For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ. Colossians 1:19 NLT
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. Colossians 2:9 NLT
Friend of sinners
That scene where Peter makes his enlightened confession of Christ leads me to ponder. As I recall from scripture, only 3 disciples witnessed the transfiguration. Before that, the 12, just like everyone else, saw the natural man Yeshua, son of Yosef, with their natural eyes. Asked “Who do people say I am?”, there was no risk (per se) for the disciples to answer Yeshua’s question; they simply repeated what they’d heard. Not once did Yeshua say “BZZT! Wrong!” Even when some of the answers were preposterous. “John the Baptist? Someone thought I was John the Baptist? He baptized Me! How could I be him?!?” No, Yeshua just listened. But then He asks the $64,000 question; one fraught with risk of humiliation for the disciples. Did fear of speaking foolishly make for complete silence? How long did the proverbial crickets chirp?
Once again, it was Peter who got out of the boat and declared what man can see only with eyes opened by God: Continue reading
Since posting “Choices”, I’ve been pondering the nature of repentance, particularly since with every election, Christians renew the call for America to repent. Asked to elaborate, most cite abortion and homosexuality as their primary complaints. War, divorce, removing prayer from schools, and pornography are also cited, though typically with less revulsion than is reserved for abortion and homosexuality.
How I wish I could claim I’ve never been caught up in one of Christianity’s campaigns to stamp out sin in the world. Frankly, the world has every right to sin; a right granted by the Father. But when has scripture – the Word of Truth – ever stopped a religious person who was hell bent on doing a vain religious work? Certainly scripture never stopped me when I was headstrong to carry out some self-righteous work “for God”.
Let the one who does what is evil continue to do what is evil. Let the filthy person continue to be filthy. Let the righteous person continue to do what is right. And let the holy person continue to be holy.” (Revelation 22:11 ISV)
The operative words above? “Let them.” Regretfully, my youthful zeal was easily exploited by those who rail against sin and one day I found myself Continue reading
Every 4 years, the people elect a new king. Christians, Evangelicals in particular, look for their candidate to be a kind of King David archetype. Then there’s the neo-Apostolic-Prophetic camp and their so-called words of “prophecy” proclaiming God’s “anointed” choice, who will help stem the tide of sin, usher in revival and restore America to its constitutional and (ahem) Biblical roots. Often such “prophecies” carry with them a broad call for America to repent, for which “prayer warriors” and “intercessors” labor in prayer, while hedonistic Americans go right on living as if there were no God at all.
As often as America has managed instead to elect a King Saul rather than a King David, I see little point in voting for a man or woman to rule over the people. Certainly in my lifetime, every president has been a disappointment insofar as bringing peace and advancing the Kingdom of God is concerned. And yet every 4 years, regardless how poor the choices, Christians clamor to vote, admonishing one another to ignore the candidate and vote the issues or party platform, all the while claiming it is a Christian’s civic duty to vote. Frankly, I bristle at the notion that choosing between the “lesser of 2 evils” is my civic duty.
So what does scripture have to say about the matter? Continue reading
There’s this vague recollection I have of a comedy skit where Adam is in the garden with God and names the animals. The Adam character is a trifle lazy and, as memory serves, hillbilly-ish. In between laughs from the audience, Adam makes quick work of naming the animals; e.g., all birds are “flappers”, fish are “swimmers”, waterfowl are “paddlers”, and so on. I half expected God to point out that waterfowl are both paddlers and flappers, but He must have figured hillbilly Adam couldn’t handle such profound revelation. I thought maybe it was a scene from the musical comedy “Cotton Patch Gospel” but Adam wasn’t a character in that one. Anyhow, the way my mind works, I can’t help but remember that skit and chuckle to myself whenever I read the account of creation in Genesis.
Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field… (Genesis 2:19-20 ESV)
It’s one of many passages in scripture that leads me to Continue reading
Walking with the Spirit leads to revelation of the sort that exposes our fears and religious ideas. It startles me just how few words spoken by the Spirit have the power to throw down temples made by men and reduce them to rubble. Yet long after my own temple to man’s religious system was destroyed in my sight, there remain a number of buttresses and other fortifications within me that stand in opposition to the Spirit and Truth. As He pummels yet another of my religious relics, I’m reminded once more of Yeshua’s declaration in Matthew 24:2 “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Whether the physical temple in Jerusalem, or the ideological temples and high places within our minds and hearts, I believe He intends to throw them all down to ruin, that His Spirit and Truth would reign supreme.
It was in laying hands on my wife for healing from chronic leg pain and praying “… in Your name …” that He pummeled another of my religious notions, saying:
“You heal her.”
Say what?!? I have no power to heal anyone! Or do I?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with a separatist mind set in some things – me from Yeshua. Or perhaps I should say, there are ways in which I own the truth of being IN Him, and ways that I see myself as separate from Him. For example, with regard to salvation, I am IN Yeshua without a doubt. Where it comes to healing however, I often see myself on the outside, looking in. Thus on the one hand, I identify as a son of of the Most High; while on the other, my self view is that of a beggar. Continue reading
This is a follow-up to the post Facing our greatest weakness, together (link).
When my wife and I were married following our year-long Seattle to Chicago courtship, one or the other of us had to relocate. Since she loved teaching more than I loved my career in aerospace, I resigned my position of 20+ years and moved. My hope of finding employment in the rural Midwest was naive at best and after a year of job hunting without so much as an interview, we began to clash, often. Tension was fueled by our old fashioned expectation that a husband should be the principle bread-winner, despite the fact there was no employment in ‘Cornville’ for a former aerospace employee. Consequently, we were forced to make a number of adjustments for the reality of where we chose to make our marriage home.
Feisty! One of many joys marrying another first born. ;^D
I could write an entire article on how the experience affected my sense of manhood, pride, accomplishment and self worth, going from a highly paid professional position with excellent benefits to earning a few hundred dollars here and there for performing odd jobs while my wife supported me. Yet God’s hand was apparent in our situation, as He taught us to trust and rely on Him and replaced our system of valuation with His own standard of worth. Still it was a rough go at times that ultimately saw us swap typical gender roles. Karen worked hard and long, as most teachers do and I took over the Continue reading
1988 was the first time I lost 100 pounds. I’d dieted before and lost as much as 40 pounds but this was the big one; the diet to end all diets. Reaching my ideal goal weight according to a medically accepted height to weight table, took 10 months on a pre-packaged meal plan with rigorous daily exercise. Naturally, when I reached my goal weight, friends and family were thrilled and wanted to celebrate my success with a festive meal. Here and there I slipped a bit, all the while reassuring myself I could balance out the pounds gained by cutting back “next week”. But next week never came.
A year later, I had regained all the weight and then some. Compliments ceased and my self-esteem nose-dived. When finally I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I hoped it would be the solution to my obesity. Sadly, the pounds so easily gained with a slow metabolism, didn’t come off when I began taking Synthroid®. At least I had more energy and my frequent bouts with lightheadedness, caused by very low blood pressure and a slow heart rate, subsided. Still it saddens me that 5 or 6 doctors over as many years didn’t suspect thyroid problems in a chronically dizzy and exhausted fat man with the resting heart rate of a marathon runner. Continue reading