Thursday, February 24, 2011


Here is a paradox.

The things that we should and do regard as the greatest of blessings,
we sometimes view as an affliction.

What's up with that?

I love Matthew Modine's answer to the general in Full Metal Jacket:     "Sir, I think this reflective of man's dual nature."

Ever use the phrase, "I am of two minds about the matter?"

Family. Is yours (even the nearest and dearest) sometimes a pain and you wish they would (if only temporarily) go away?

How can this be?  These are the people with whom we share common blood and heritage and even physical resemblance.

Why the ambivalence?

Maybe Matthew Modine was sorta close to the truth.

Paul spends a whole chapter in Romans coming to the conclusion that the flesh struggles against the spirit.

That's me alright.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Appropriateness of Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy

Not sure if that is a word. Not joy, the other one. Joy is a word.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Joy is what I feel when I worship. Joy is the feeling I get when I'm with friends, especially brothers and sisters in Christ. Joy is not external. Joy is internal. It comes from God, who places it in my heart.

Thanks be to You, O LORD.

My joy sometimes annoys others, who think I'm not being serious enough. They're probably right, but that's no cause to not be joyful.

Mrs. Drysdale is irritated by it, but that's okay. I'm going to spat her on the bottom with my broom. Or my boat paddle. Or whatever I happen to be stirring the lye soap with.

Get thee behind me, joyless person!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Field of Blood

I really love the title of this book. Are the place names in the Bible cool or not?

So I'm back on this book again and I'm really having fun. I've been busy with a series of articles. You seem to never be able to do enough research for this stuff ( the book OR the articles).

About the articles; I was held up on the last one, wanting to make a practical application from 419 A.D. to our present time. What do these ancient heresies have to do with today, right? So I was digging through the confessions of several denominations and feeling kinda guilty cause  I was fixin' to dis these folks in a newspaper article.

Lo and behold, Deon has one of the most outlandish experiences you could imagine (well maybe you could; I could hardly believe it). It was a picture-perfect illustration of how we can stray from the truth.

Yeh, I said WE. There's a real temptation to feel superior here. I'm fighting it. I'm thinking that felling superior to your fellow Christians is just as big a sin as thinking you've acheived a sinless state. Quite a bit of arrogance there, however you slice it.

So the book. Right now, I'm about to marry off Eleazar's sister. He's my hero: one of the Three, the mightiest of David's Mighty Men. His friend Shammah has asked for  her hand. At this point I'm inclined to have the Philistines kill her before the wedding.

There are just too many issues that arise from having the protagonist related by marriage to one of his comrades-in-arms.

Don't you think?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Everybody Hurts

How do you deal with pain? Easy to say, "Give it to the Lord."
Hard to do. Hard to let go of it. Why would you hang on to something that hurts? I am reminded of that scene at the beginning
of the tv series, Kung Fu, where Caine takes the burning cauldron
between his forearms and sets it aside. He then falls into the snow,
and the marks left on his arms identify him as a Shaolin priest.

Someone, maybe G. Gordon Liddy, once said "Eat your pain." I'm
not sure what that means; maybe you swallow it down and you digest it, absorbing that part which is useful and discarding the rest.

Someone else said, "That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger."
Yeh, I can relate to that. It's more in line with Romans 8:28 and the idea that all things come from God's hand and are intended for the good of those who love Him.

Do you share it? Doesn't jibe with the "Suck it up" or "Gimme some pushups while you're down there" philosophy, does it? Here's something: Solomon, in the midst of his discourse about life "under the sun" said this: "For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who falls and has not another to lift him up!"

So how do I share your pain? Is just being there enough? Brother Red Johnson (some of you remember Brother Red) had a song that went "Stop, and Let Me Tell You What the Lord Has Done for Me." Talking about salvation, of course. But Paul said "Rejoice in the Lord always."

Can we rejoice together? "This hurts for now, but look what God is doing in my life to make me stronger and better and more like Jesus!" Can I share with you in this manner? Would it be offensive if you're the one hurting?

About Caine. This pain is blocking our path. We can't get around it.
It's so big and heavy, we must momentarily embrace it to set it aside. And this process marks us, identifies us, tells who we are and to whom we belong.

That's what I think, anyway.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.

Forgive me, Heavenly Father, for I have sinned.

Tempus fugit

Sometimes I wish this day would just hurry up and end. How
foolish of me. Time, even when left to itself, flies.

I gaze at a photograph of my grandson and read that he resembles
myself at that age. Peace and blessings be upon you, young man.
May you go with God.

And I wonder, what happened to those forty-five years? There
were days, I am sure, that I thought would never end. I stare at this photograph and pray that you will see each precious minute given
you as a gift from God.

Time spent in contemplation of His goodness and mercy is time well-spent. Cherish your family. Look upon your job as a heavenly
calling. You will be placed there to to be a blessing, and to be blessed.

No need to wish for the day to be over. That time, when passed,
will be just as lost as the minutes of pleasure you enjoy.

And then, one day, you will look around and ask, where did it go?
So cherish it, but don't hoard it. Multiply it by sharing it. Enjoy God
and increase the value of your time. Give it back to Him by serving Him. It's all His anyway.

And we run and we run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking;
Racing around, to come up behind us again.

Forgive me, oh Heavenly Father, for against You, and You alone, have I sinned.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Good frend, for Jesu's sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased here;
Blest be the man that spares these stones
And curst be he that moves my bones.

Engaging in discussion with friends in the family of Christ
can be tricky business.

With so many denominational backgrounds, levels of personal
understanding and levels of desire to seek out the deep things
of God, it can be easy to offend.

Remembering (Lord, help me remember!) to "love the brethren" (and the sistern!),
I move cautiously, desiring conversation.

Forgive me if I've offended you (you know who you are). I tend to be "enthusiastic"
at times.

But this is truly great stuff we're dealing with here. Yes?

What all this has to do with Shakespeare's epitaph (other than that I think Olde English spelling is really cool), I cannot say. I'm like Jules trying to explain the pulp-fictional Ezekiel 35:17

Or better, like Christians trying to decide
among themselves what Paul is really saying in Romans 9.


1 John 3:14 first.