"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Short Parable

A little heresy mixed in with truth is like serving your children rat poison, and telling yourself --"As long as it's not the main ingredient, it will not hurt them." Quite a different issue from not getting the proportions of the original recipe exactly right.

He who has an ear, let him hear.

"If any one comes to you, whether an apostle or even an angel from heaven, with a different gospel than the one we have brought you, let him be accursed. I say it again, let him be accursed." Apostle Paul

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Outside the Box

This feels like a risky post to share. In showing my weakness, and in letting you see that I can be a bit “out there,” I hope to share some hope with you. So here goes.

Those of you who know me, know that I am called as a counselor first, and exercise other roles as the needs arise, but not always comfortably. Recently, I was standing in the wings, waiting to go on platform to deliver a difficult message, to a large crowd, at a difficult time. It was in the wake of international and local tragedies, and I had been struggling with it spiritually and emotionally. I also had a nasty bronchial issue, always there, always nagging, always threatening to spring from my chest and take my throat and mouth by storm, rendering me useless as a speaker. I stood there, surrounded by black walls, black curtains, black ceiling. The black door closed behind me, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Boxed in, literally and figuratively.

The usual prayers, “God help me,” head bowed, spirit broken. Then, through the crack, I saw the lyrics to the praise music. I could not sing, but I lifted my heart to Him, the One who brought me there to do His will, to speak his Words. My hands soon followed my lifted-up heart.

At some point, I am not sure when or how, I began to dance. I just forgot myself. I became a little boy dancing before his Father-- then, Abraham beneath the stars. The black box that once contained me was gone. There I was, before the God of the universe, dancing, worshipping, free to serve without reservation. At some point, my attention had shifted from myself, and my own inadequacies, to God and his complete adequacy.

There was something different in my gait as I crossed the stage that day. I still had to stop to sip water a time or two (the flesh is weak) but there was newfound liberty in the delivery of this message. I was free from the box that once contained me.

How often in the days that preceded the delivery of this message, I questioned, “Why do things always have to be so impossible?” Here is what I have decided: If things were possible (to me), I would not rely on God in the same way that I do when they are quite beyond my personal grasp. There would be little room for God. I would be content within the box. And what a shame that would be!

“Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12: 10

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Legend of Two Wolves

Not original to me, I pass this along to you because it has inspired many. It challenges me to listen to my inner monologue. . .

An old man and his grandson were walking along a path. The grandson had reached an age to realize that some people become bitter, hate filled people, while others do not.

So he asked, "How can this be?"

Grandfather responded- "Within every man, there are two wolves. One, a black wolf, represents, despair, envy, self-centeredness, vindictiveness, unresolved anger, and unforgiveness. The other wolf, a white one, represents such qualities as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, forgiveness."

Insight passed quickly over Grandson's face. Then another question- "But Grandfather, if these two wolves live within me, which one will win?"

Grandfather's response, "The one you feed the most."

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8,9

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. Romans 7:21-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things, there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23

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