Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category

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Bestial Stupor

March 21, 2020

I have been reading through Soren Kierkegaard’s exploration of Abraham’s faith in  “The Kierkegaard Collection”.

His description:

“People commonly travel around the world to see rivers and mountains, new stars, birds of rare plumage, queerly deformed fishes, ridiculous breeds of men — they abandon themselves to the bestial stupor which gapes at existence, and they think they have seen something.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

I have never thought of the myriads of social media accounts chronicling something “astonishing” as feeding my bestial stupor.

That might be a little harsh.  However, I am reminded of my own bestial nature of gaping at the creation without ever considering that which is truly amazing…faith.

“But if I knew where there was such a knight of faith, I would make a pilgrimage to him on foot, for this prodigy interests me absolutely. I would not let go of him for an instant, every moment I would watch to see how he managed to make the movements, I would regard myself as secured for life, and would divide my time between looking at him and practicing the exercises myself, and thus would spend all my time admiring him.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

ancient antique armor armour

Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

There are “knights of faith” living amongst, which are testimony of what is more miraculous than any of God’s other creation.  That is worthy of a pilgrimage to see; a pilgrimage to gape into the infinite.  However, you have to know what you are looking for because a true knight is easy to overlook.

“He lives as carefree as a ne’er-do-well and yet he buys up the acceptable time at the dearest price, for he does not do the least thing except by virtue of the absurd. And yet, and yet I could become furious over it — for envy, if for no other reason — because the man has made and every instant is making the movements of infinity. With infinite resignation he has drained the cup of life’s profound sadness, he knows the bliss of the infinite, he senses the pain of renouncing everything, the dearest things he possesses in the world, and yet finiteness tastes to him just as good as to one who never knew anything higher, for his continuance in the finite did not bear a trace of the cowed and fearful spirit produced by the process of training; and yet he has this sense of security in enjoying it, as though the finite life were the surest thing of all.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

We once called a pilgrimage to observe and learn from a Knight of Faith, discipleship.  Unfortunately, we don’t hear that term very often and even rarely take that sort of pilgrimage.  We have social media after all.

We have allowed a bestial stupor to blind us to the truly remarkable; exchanged the creator for the creation.

Let’s open our eyes to what makes angels rejoice.  Look around, there might just be a Knight sitting beside you worthy of amazement… worthy of imitation.

“The Kierkegaard Collection” is free: http://a.co/6alGyrH

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Who’s Your Daddy – John 8:47

March 19, 2020

“The one who is from God listens to the words of God. Because of this you do not listen—because you are not of God.””

  • Where do those who deny the words of God come from?
  • Who’s inspiration inspires the creative, deaf to the Spirit’s whispers?
  • What source motivates the over-achiever’s pursuit of praise?

Jesus never asked these questions.  If someone doesn’t listen to the words of God, then they are not of God.  

  • What are you of, if you are not of God?
  • What is your heritage, if not an heir of God?
  • Who is your father, if he is not God?

John 8:42–44 (LEB): Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would love me, for I have come forth from God and have come. For I have not come from myself, but that one sent me. Why do you not understand my way of speaking? Because you are not able to listen to my message. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father!

There are only two options for spiritual father; God or Satan.  Our default is Satan and our desires demonstrate the reality of our spiritual patriarch.

I am reminded that there are no innocent pursuits.  Everything has a source, a motivation, an inspiration.  We live in a world of light and darkness.  Jesus told us that He is the light of the world.

Why would we think that works sourced from darkness are benign?  We don’t need to be afraid of the world but we also don’t need to be ignorant of it either.

It is reasonable to question, of all that we allow to influence us, “who’s your daddy?” .  We are called to live in the Light…Let’s not play around with the world of darkness.

https://ref.ly/Jn8.47 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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More Contagious than COVID-19 – 2 Corinthians 13:5

March 17, 2020

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are unqualified?”

Well, I have been infected. 

I have been infected by a foreign contagion but it is not the COVID-19 virus.  I was infected so long ago that I often forget that I am a carrier of this particular infectious agent.  

I have been watching the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It has changed the very society on the planet in a matter of weeks.  This virus has changed what we do, how we do it, and when we do it.  

I have been reminded of the pandemic that changed my life.  I was infected by a contagion in my youth.  This contagion has a 100% mortality rate.  It is the most deadly foreign contagion the world has ever known.  

I caught this contagion from my family.  In fact, they deliberately exposed me to it.  It is transmitted by breath, words, and my parents breathed it upon me, repeatedly.  

Eventually, this foreign agent caught hold of me, changed my eyesight, and altered my mind.  The progression of this “disease” eventually resulted in my death.  

I did die, but no one moarned.  There was no funeral.  I did not become a statistic on the news.  The reason no one moarned was because the same thing that killed me, brought me back to life.  I came back to life but I now live totally dependent upon the same contagion that originally infected me.  

The pandemic that resulted in my infection has not ended.  It has been going on for more than 2,000 years.  There are periodic flare ups.   At times, those infected act like they are trying to infect others. Most of the time, those infected seem to be taking precautions to avoid the spread:

  • Covering their mouths to prevent the transmission.
  • Sanitizing all they touch to remove any trace of contagion.
  • Self-quarantine themselves with only the infected.

I realize that I often live according to the recommended measures used to control a pandemic like COVID-19.  Yet, the infection that killed me and brought me back to life is the best thing that ever happened to me.  

I want to infect the uninfected. I understand the breath that I try to breathe upon them, may smell like death but I can infect them if I use breath mints.  

Therefore, I am going to strive to live according to the counter -measures of a pandemic:

  • I will not self-quarantine myself within my communities of infected.
  • I will not cover my mouth in hopes of not offending the uninfected. I will breathe, sneeze, cough and maybe even vomit on as many as possible.
  • I will slather my contagion on everything I do, say, and think.
  • I will continue to touch my eyes with infected fingers to remove as many logs as possible.

I have been infected by Jesus Christ.  I would have died if that had not happened but now I am alive, eternally because there were people who did not follow the rules of a pandemic.

Therefore, I will follow the rules of the temporary COVID-19 pandemic but I will try to break every rule of the Jesus Christ pandemic. I would love to see another pandemic flare up (revival) in my lifetime but that starts with the infected being irresponsible with the contagion of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

So, go get tested to see if you’re in Jesus Christ.  You can do a self-help but if you don’t know how, then head to a local clinic (Church).  They can test you. If you’re not infected, hopefully, they will breath on you and you will become like me.  If you are infected, then go out and become an epicenter for this glorious pandemic.

Galatians 2:19–20 (LEB): I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, and that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

https://ref.ly/2Co13.5 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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Seeing without Sight – 2 Corinthians 4:17–18

March 11, 2020

“For our momentary light affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure and proportion, because we are not looking at what is seen, but what is not seen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is not seen is eternal.”

I see dead people.  I see those who are alive.

I see without sight. I see without eyes.

How do you describe a world to one who has never known light?  You cannot use words to elicit a memory of a sunrise. How do you encourage a view through lenses that don’t exist.  You cannot narrate the details of a vivid event when there is no context of jamboree.

We live by faith and not by sight. 

Often, we forget that we have been given eyes into the eternal.  Eternal eyes are what usher us out of our afflictions and ensnaring cares. It is our focus on what is not seen which frees us to see into the limitless eternal weight of glory.

When we are afflicted and downcas we need to open our eyes; our eternal eyes.  Through faith, we can see His eternal glory if we will only look.  So, close your eyes to the seen and open them to the unseen.

My meditation for the day is to live by faith and not by sight.  I want to see the unseen.

https://ref.ly/2Co4.17-18 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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Safety Plan for Dollar Bills – Luke 18:24

March 9, 2020

“And Jesus took notice of him and said, “How difficult it is for those who possess wealth to enter into the kingdom of God!”

I was reading this article 25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America .

I know some who work in these jobs.  They wake every morning and prepare for another day of earning a wage, not considering it might be the last. No one expects to get hurt or killed.  Those who work in the most dangerous of jobs have safety plans, safety supervisors, and even a governmental safety agency.  All these elements exist to keep those in the most dangerous of jobs safe from the complacency of normal.

We are at most risk when danger becomes normal and no longer feared.

Yet, do you know what is most dangerous for your soul?

We get up most mornings as Believers, oblivious to the dangerous cares that ensare. I think a case can be made for the dollar (for those in the US) as being the most dangerous tool in the Christian’s  toolbox.  The Bible speaks often to warnings about money.  Yet, I fear that we are at most risk because the danger of money has become normal and no longer feared.

Money, in the hands of a Believer, is like a chainsaw in the hands of a logger.  You can clear away a lot of brush and branches and fall the tallest of obstacles. Yet, you have the risk in all that good of losing a limb and bleeding out.

Money, in the proximity of a Believer, is like a trench laborer at the bucket end of an excavator.  You can get to the depth of core needs and dig through the hardest obstacles. Yet, you have the risk in all that good of being crushed by the power of a misplaced love.

God knows the risks to residing in a world ruled by money.  It is dangerous to our soul.  Therefore:

  • We need a safety plan.  What are you going to do to make sure you handle money safely? What is your plan?
  • We need a safety supervisor.  Who are you going to be accountable to regarding how you handle money?  Do they have permission to make your money their business?
  • We need a safety agency.  What is your authority regarding your money?  Does the Bible establish the basis of how you are to value and steward your money? Will you obey it?

In my opinion, these are the essential elements for every Christian engaged in activities, which wield the dangerous tools of money.

My meditation for the day is money as a tool, not a purpose.

https://ref.ly/Lk18.24 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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Not Hard…To Understand – 1 Corinthians 16:14

March 5, 2020

“All your actions must be done in love.”

Often, we make things harder than they need to be. Doesn’t means they are easy to do.

If my actions are not motivated by LOVE, then I am doing it WRONG.

Often, I need to figure out my mis-directed heart before I figure out my mis-directed actions. Remember the whole log-speck lesson?

My meditation for today will be to base all may actions in love.

https://ref.ly/1Co16.14 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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Ruled by Energy Reserves – Luke 14:12–14

March 4, 2020

“And he also said to the one who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or wealthy neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But whenever you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they are not able to repay you. For it will be paid back to you at the resurrection of the righteous.””

Let’s get together…someday.  The preferred response for delay.

We should socialize more, but not today.  It has been a long week of words, energy spent without much in return. I need time to recharge without a demand for more.

We should get together…without a ready reply. Sure, let’s keep it small; friends, family, and the neighbors down the way.

They won’t demand much, no conversations to carry, no drama to parry, no wary expectations.  It will be fun; no energy debt to pay, but actually a possible repayment, long delayed.

But what about the treasure in my righteousness bank?  There’s no banquet deposit from this type of party.

There is no spiritual value in yielding to the rule of one’s energy reserves.  If you want to be like Jesus, you might have to spend those reserves, without hope of like-currency return.  Deficit spending might need to be the norm.

Yet, we are not in a net-neutral world.  We have a limitless power reserve, which allows us to expend with nothing in return.  God created the world. Yet, He can’t give me an extra energy advance?

So, let’s get together, all you energy petitioners. Let’s have a banquet with the emotionally poor, disabled by drama, blind to truth, lame to norms.  It will be a long night at the end of a long week. 

Yet, it will be the most fruitful of walks by Faith when welcomes are exchanged in the boosted power of the Spirit rather than the puny reserves of an introverted nerd.

https://ref.ly/Lk14.12-14 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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