Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Judging by the number of copies of the Bible I have in different translations, including some that showcase the languages I don’t even know or recognize, one would think I am quite an expert on the subject of listening to God. But, my 'expertise' has been largely focused on ferreting out a single verse, ripped out of its context that ‘speaks’ fireworks into my darkness. The same God who spoke Light into darkness, I gather, aims this little laser at me, fires it, and, Ka-boom! - the light switch is suddenly turned on, my ears tingle and I am mildly dizzy from the intensity of the revelation.
Wow! That was soooo COOL! Do it again, God!
Now, I am not saying that God can’t or doesn't speak and encourage us through this laser gun approach in communicating with His children. In fact, sad as well as embarrassed to admit it, but most of my Christian life has been sustained through such fireworks display. The array of verses has grown over the years, of course, but they read more like a Webster dictionary rather than a compelling, intriguing, heart-wrenching and sometimes hilarious true love story. If watching 24 doesn't seem like a lullaby in comparison, and Jack Bauer's life doesn't illicit an occasional yawn, could it be that there is something terribly wrong with the way I approach God's Word? Could there be a better way to listening to God speaking instead of playing this celestial laser-tag?
Friday, June 22, 2012
As Oswald’s piercing words about the apparent lack of evidence of sainthood in my life still ring in my ears, I gulp the rest of the coffee down to the dregs and stumble into the kitchen for round two.
Having the last shred of excuse clobbered out of me by Mr. Chamber’s uncompromising dedication to the Lord Jesus and to my becoming a saint (whatever that means), I find myself suddenly rather awake and wondering what on-line Webster would say about the meaning of the word ‘saint’... or Wikipedia... or perhaps, even Vine's Dictionary of New Testament Words... I know, I know, I am nuts about words... it's my background, guys! C'mmon, I am a literature geek!
However, instead of being distracted by my perpetual curiosity and running down the rabbit trails the life so aptly affords me all the time, I write the word down on my mental chalkboard for future further exploration. Even though in my humble opinion it is quite antiquated, it seems rather important in the economy where Oswald Chambers lives and operates. Over the years I've learned, if it is important to O.C., it'd better be important to me
My ego thoroughly bruised, my second cup of coffee in my hand, I know I am ready for the real thing. So, I turn on the shiatsu massager for my soul, AKA as The Holy Bible and crack the book open where I last left it off.
I must admit here that for quite a while I wasn't accustomed to doing this. In fact, I used to have a shot-gun approach to reading the Bible.
But then I heard a story about a man who is asking God to reveal His will to him through reading the Bible and the first verse that his eyes fall on after praying and opening the book were,
Judas went and hang himself…
The man is shaking his head, thinking,
Lord, this must be a mistake! So, he closes his Bible quickly and reopens it again, and the next verse he sees is,
Go and do likewise.
By now the man is shaking in his boots and with his trembling fingers, he tries it one more time.
His misty eyes fall on the words,
What you do, do quickly!
I may not be the sharpest knife in a drawer, but upon hearing this story I started wondering if perhaps there could be a better approach to reading my Bible than this random 'shot in the dark' spiritual roulette.
Mercifully, during that time I also learned about the importance of reading individual biblical passages within their immediate context (chapter/s, entire book), with view of the audience (who is it addressed to) as well as the writer’s intent and purpose for writing (why is he writing to this particular audience). This approach involved a bit more work, but it was well-worth it.
Then I also heard somebody talking about the importance of continuity as we read the Scriptures. And that simple word, continuity, seemed to forever change the way I read my Bible.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
- Spiritual sugar-coated sweets also known as Scar-Pain-Suffering-Free Gospel, which is not the Gospel of the Crucified and Risen Savior at all, but only a cheap imitation of it;
- Highly processed spiritual milk at best and junk food (perhaps even poison) at worst, served to us in many unsuspecting ways and many forms, sometimes even through sermons proclaimed from the pulpits and places of recognized and 'approved' spiritual authorities around the world (I am not naming any names here, you know who you are);
- Predigested spiritual 'food' substitutes readily available in the many daily devotionals of the type You-Too-Can-Be-Holy-(and-HAPPY!!!)-In-Just-Five-Minutes-By-Following-These-Three-Quick-And-Easy-Steps