Thursday, June 19, 2014

BUSY BRAIN DAY – Paul, Psalm 34 and C.S LEWIS

Reading CS Lewis and his encounter with his mentor/teacher William T. Kirkpatrick (a stiff and tough instructor in how to think) Lewis is said to mention that “I hear you,” was the closest thing to praise ever uttered by Kirk (William).

I hear that” because I have often, but not easily or too frequently, offered these same words to others who speak from their heart – whether pain or joy or just an opinion – and put themselves out there for all to see; giving others the possibility of criticizing or laughing. Perhaps that would be all I need now and then when someone reads my blog and would do me the honor to say so, in some way.

So, if you find this page interesting; or if the words hit your life in some way; or if you have shared this with someone else because you think it might help them; perhaps you could let me know that this page was not lost in cyberspace some where, but was actully read and understood by someone. A simple comment of “I hear that” would be great encouragement to me, even if you do it only once. Sometimes I feel a little lonely out here in “real” space.

Meanwhile, as I was reading our passages from Paul's writings, which we are reading to complement our sermon series on Act 13 and following, I came across this admonition: Paul is writing to the Corinthians, scolding them for their self righteous attitudes, self serving bragging about “who” they are ”following” and how that makes them special; he declares that he is sending his “son” Timothy to be with them and help them find their way back to reason by reminding them of what Paul actually taught them. But he also declares a desire and a determination to get back to them himself.

In closing he says, “What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit.” And here I remembered that old fashion way of discipline... “Come out to the woodshed with me.”

Paul was not afraid to declare that the Corinthians needed some discipline. They were his children in Christ and He was their Father, sent by Christ. In other words, he was responsible for them and he intended to take care of business, one way or another. He was well aware of the responsibility leaders in the faith held, and would be judged for in the end.

He did not put them in “time out” nor did he send them to their rooms to think about what the had done and were doing; neither did he say, “Shame on you. Now go and continue as you were.”

No. He told them there would be consequences if they did not shape up and humble themselves before God; stopping the “bragging” nonsense and the sinful behavior. Then he moved on to tell them other things that needed changing because they were sinning in those things as well. And, if we go on to the next letter we will find that they were a pretty stiff-necked people about all of this.

So how do we shape up in the stiff-necked category? Are we hearing what God said? And, even better, are we doing what God said? Do we even want to know what He said?

I sincerely hope that we do want to know and that we are making an effort to hear from Him everyday in many ways; not just reading one verse with an effort from someone else to bring us light though what they are thinking about that verse; Or are we reading through the books of the Bible (not necessarily in order) but with consistent effort to see the “Big Picture” laid out at our feet by the hand of God himself.

I suppose you can guess by now that I am adamant about reading and studying God's word, line by line, in the Books He has given us as the underlying premise of our faith and beliefs – even if we only read one verse at a time, or one chapter or even one "section" title at a time. We must just keep reading, and reading, while also making note of and studying the Word in many various ways.

Ask anyone who gardens: Digging in the soil yourself is a blessing beyond words and an uplifting joy, even though one may not be able to grow everything they want to, they can find Joy in what they do grow and eat.

Then there was Psalm 34, verse 17: The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them...” Here my thoughts turned to the fact that I seriously try to keep myself busy in doing righteous things in order to BE righteous. Do you see anything wrong with that?

Wow. How many times have I frustrated over someone who will not let their Lord be their righteousness, but go on sinning by pushing their own agenda for the life they are willing to live.

When will I learn not to do that? When will I learn that my righteousness before God is in Christ and Christ alone!!! When will I learn that I must stop making myself busy with righteous busyness in order to “Be still and know that (He) is God!! When will I humble myself to stop making my own plans for how my perfect life should be “worked” out, and let Him have His way, however strange it may feel.

Well, once again it has been a busy day; But this time I hope some headway has been made for the glorification of God, in myself and in others.

May the God of our fathers and the Lord Jesus Christ, be with us all as we daily struggle to be what He wants us to be; and may we be listening and hearing Him speak to us through out our days on this earth, until we can be with Him one day.

Can you hear that? :)

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