Friday, November 30, 2012


Knowing that our scheduled journey through the Bible yet had most of those there yet in the Old Testament, I had intended to wait for others to initiate discussion; but, when the teacher opened the class with an announcement that the lesson would be focused on “hope”, plans changed. The Book was lying on the table right in front of me, its pages turned to Hebrews, and a verse in Chapter six seemingly pulsated, begging me to offer it for a springboard. After declaring God to have confirmed His oath by “two immutable things”, the author speaks of such term as chosen us for discussion as an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast; and which entereth into that within the veil”. If one thinks about it, hope holds no assurance of the future fulfilling its wish, even though the Word does speak of faith being “the essence” of its existence; yet, through a “born-again” experience, we have become, in a sense, “impregnated” or reconnected to the Creator via the Holy Ghost, the “hope of Glory”. As believers, we possess no guarantees whereby, out of our own thinking, we might dictate the mind of God; but we do have an invitation to become one with He who now abides within us, an option to step beyond our own understanding and rest in the knowledge of all our worries being put into His hands. Therein are we secured. Therein are we led. Therein can we know peace in a world where, all around us, chaos abounds. Christianity was crucified and laid in a tomb; but resurrection brought forth life. The details of “truth” may well need to be sorted out in our heads. The reality of “Truth”, however, lives in us a bit farther down, in the depths of our own identity. There I must go, again and again, with the mystery of all that I am……

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Driving to school yesterday morning, I found myself entertaining those kinds of thoughts that seem to come to us all at one time or another. It was but the second day back after a five day break celebrating Thanksgiving and yet my brain was already mentally calculating how long it was before we’re off for Christmas. There was no real reason for my query. I had just finished a book by Kathleen Norris over the weekend, one entitled “Acedia and Me”. It might well have been the consumption of her words that provoked my thinking, “acedia”, according to her, the equivalent of ennui, boredom, a quagmire leading to depression. She believes it simply part of the human equation. We are creatures easily possessed by a sense of having “fallen into a rut”, especially when a schedule owns us or, for that matter, when we find ourselves, as well, sitting idle with nothing to do for any length of time. Go figure. What’s important, however, isn’t so much the condition, but the consideration given unto it. When melody morphs into monotony and life loses all sense of our going somewhere, all one really needs is “focus”. A job is just a job. What makes mine fun is the kids. Wednesday evening Bible classes are a weekly banquet, not just a matter of sharing Biblical perspectives with others, but fellowship wherein “Christ in me” becomes “Christ in us”. Ministry at both the mission and the Center is more about giving than receiving, but I do admit to such outreach ministering to me as well. Grandkids and family are the “icing on the cake”. God has been good to me. THIS day, THIS moment, THIS present set of circumstances, alive in Him, keep me as I go. Whooops….time to warm up the car and do it all again.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"It Is What It Is..............."

Three of my grandsons, the oldest now twenty, went shopping around midnight Thursday evening, returning about four in the morning with fifteen dollar sweat-suits plus a few other bargains, and vowing to do it again next year. Continual texting back and forth with my daughter kept worry to a minimum. To each their own. There was never a discount, though, no matter how big, that could tempt my wife to go forth into such madness… I listened to my pastor this morning liken being baptized into Christ to its original meaning of cloth being immersed into dye until it took on the identity (color) of the liquid. It was a good message, but one, in my opinion, that failed to say it “as it is”. Thomas Merton once said that “To say ‘God is love’ is like saying ‘Eat Wheaties’. There is no difference except that people know they’re supposed to look pious when God is mentioned, but not when cereal is”. In other words: preach something long enough and believers will repeat it without any real understanding of what it means. In truth, there is never a point, at least on this side of heaven, where any of us ever permanently take on all that He is. What we do possess via a born-again experience is an actual connection with His reality and the possibility of becoming one with Him temporarily, in worship or in prayer. We can also know Him partially in an anointing, a place in ministry where He comes forth to speak through us, sing through us, or simply witness through us unto whomsoever. The union is temporal, however, and men remain men afterwards, in our individuality, in our humanity such as it is. Some of us even find it fun wrestling with others over a forty percent discount while the rest of the world is sleeping. Go figure……

Friday, November 23, 2012


It’s eight-thirty in the morning, the day after. There’s a light rain falling outside, with the temperature expected to drop back into winter by tomorrow. Beth and the granddaughter are sleeping late, McKenna coming to stay overnight with us when we returned home from the family gathering. I’ve been up for a little over an hour, finishing my commitment to once again read the Book cover to cover. Seventy-nine days a good pace, Revelation leaving my mind in a spin. No doubt there are those out there making a profit with eschatology, solving the mystery as it happens. Old-time holiness preachers didn’t have the celebrity status that the media affords today. There were those few, though, with charts large enough to stretch across the sanctuary, the subject illustrated with pictures and punctuated with chapter and verse. What’s more: it’s not surprising to me that forty years later so much of their message is coming to pass. I find, at the same time, however, that my own attempts to understand and explain all the personalities and events brought forth by John in this final piece of the Bible yet leave me baffled for the most part. It is not and never has been “knowledge of all things” that has secured my faith. In fact, what Scripture teaches me is that which my experience along the way has confirmed: the journey is and always will be “through the veil”. Truth is in front of me, but “in” me as well, an anchor-line providing me with balance, the next step mine to take. The Holy Ghost is my teacher, His anointing not mine to command and more than this old man deserves. I trust in my “belly”, not my head…..

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Thanksgiving morning here and I find myself most thankful for an inner connection with Him, a knot inside that keeps me as I go, an anchor-line that adjusts me in my walk, a well where “deep calls unto deep” and meets me in my need. Christ “in” me has never been some transformation wherein my humanity disappeared and suddenly all things were new in any way other than that connection lost in the Garden being restored. After my confession yesterday about being glad to finish this commitment to reading the Bible from cover to cover, the rush somehow limiting me in any real study of its text, Hebrews just kind of “jumped off the page” at me today, Beth still in bed and me up at an early hour, the house quiet, the electric heater beside my recliner taking the chill off the room. It’s nothing more than what I’ve long believed. Nonetheless, in reading again how, while the law could not make anyone “perfect”, the “bringing in of a better hope” did, the whole promise, as I see it, anyway, was once again made clear to me. The “word of the oath”, the new covenant wherein God declares He will put His statutes into our mind and write them in our heart was never meant to be fulfilled merely by our consumption of chapter and verse, but by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us as a witness of it being so. It is He who confirms grace. It is He who works within us, a teacher, a healer, a compassionate shepherd who shapes us as we go, the third PERSON of the Trinity; and to find Him anything less, in my opinion, is to entirely miss what salvation is all about…..

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Still Waters.........................."

Besides working with the kids, one of the reasons that I love working in public education is the fact of the breaks it affords me along the way. We only went to school Monday and Tuesday this week, turning Thanksgiving into a five day mini-vacation. For me, anyhow. Beth is already up to her ears in preparing for tomorrow’s feast. Our normally scheduled Wednesday evening visit to the rescue mission, though, has been canceled because they will be celebrating the holiday a little early tonight, any disappointment on my part transferred into gratitude for not having to miss this next Bible study class. I’m way ahead of the date set for us to finish the entire Book, already into Hebrews and only five more assigned units to conquer. Truthfully, it will feel good to have it all done, not so much in the sense of accomplishing anything, but in being able to return to my usual practice of “probing it with the Holy Ghost”. Running a foot race from cover to cover leaves no time to have a conversation about its contents, the Spirit taking that which catches your intellect and pulling it down to where “deep calleth unto deep”. I don’t regret these past couple of months of consuming the Word in its entirety, it being a long time since some of it has even been on my plate; but my inner man is in need now of a “breather”. The Detention Center is scheduled for a week from this Sunday. I’m ready to just relax and allow Him to lead me where He may……

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The Isaacs, a bluegrass gospel group from our area and rather well known in such genre, was given most of our evening service Sunday evening. Other than the drummer, it’s a family affair, visiting us since the three were young children. Somewhere along the way the father left. Mom and the kids continued. The music lost that Bill Monroe “twang” and, for awhile, in the teenage years, got loud enough to reach the church down the road; but on this occasion, at least, what filled our sanctuary was a beautiful, more contemporary sound of banjo, mandolin, and bass that in no way offended the ears of this old man. There was a mixture of hymns along with some songs that they have written. The one I’m sharing here brought an anointing over all there, prompting a request for an encore. While the Bible message, in many ways, has been denominationally divided, believers separating themselves over chapter and verse concerning one viewpoint over another, in our humanity we are one; and when you “hit” us where we live, it doesn’t matter what name is over the door. Our altar, after but a few words from the pastor in closing, filled quickly. The Holy Ghost has a way of doing that……

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Holiday Gratitude...................."

Saturday evening Beth and I went to an early dinner put together for the church “family”, probably less than a hundred people opting for the fellowship, the first time we have so mingled at something like this since returning. There’s a local business nearby where she orders pies each year for all those who gather at my oldest daughter’s home, so we had simply picked one up a little earlier for our contribution to the spread, a lemon meringue in a box with the lid taped open so as not to disturb its look. I turned onto the expressway ramp with it resting on the back seat of the car and was about to merge into traffic, however, when a large SUV suddenly cut directly across our path, leaving paved road to traverse nothing more than a grassy section between him and the exit he had missed. I braked. The pie hit the floor, the container retaining its contents, but nothing inside now resembling its former pristine state of existence and we didn’t discover the damage, of course, until we arrived back at the house. A phone call ensured another could still be purchased. A thirty minute round trip drive and ten more dollars remedied the matter. Amazingly, other than laying down on my horn when that fool made his escape in front of us, both of us stayed pretty calm about everything. Is there possibly a point where old age has you feeling like nothing is worth the effort it takes to get angry? I mean, it’s not like you can’t make me mad; but, in the long run: life happens; humanity is humanity; and what does it change if my blood pressure rises? T’is the season to be jolly. I’m still breathing and God is good. Asks the blessing and then, if you will, please pass the cranberry sauce……

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Hind Sight......................."

Chaim Potok’s is a Jewish author whose literary characters always belong to that particular ethnic group. “Old Men at Midnight” is actually three short stories written in his usual genre, each one dealing with the Holocaust in some manner and the last two specifically illustrating what the title must surely suggest: the male of the species, in approaching finality, looking back to consider his journey as navigated. Re-reading it this week has me deep in thought examining my own history, the roots of who and what I am, the significant events along the way, circumstances that shaped my identity. If, in conclusion, such evaluation finds me to be nobody “special”, no trophies sitting on my shelf, no certificates or degree framed and hanging on my wall, the past merely something traversed with a complete lack of common sense and a lot of stupidity, somehow there yet remains a hope in Him. Are there regrets? Many; but who can reach back and undo what has been done? I believe that, while it is a shame some of us seem to learn only by stumbling down the path, in the end what He is concerned with is the finished product, that part of us which returns unto He who created us in the beginning. Likewise, that leads me to believe as well: if He’s still working on me, it might behoove me to remember, regardless of how much the other fellow is giving me grief, he, also, is “under construction”……

Thursday, November 15, 2012


At least twice today someone at school mentioned Thanksgiving along with that old familiar perspective of not believing it was here already. At my age, however, such amazement long ago disappeared, the calendar somehow becoming little more than a way of staying in sync with the world around you, life merely a flow, each day taken as it comes and squeezed for as much as you can get out of it. Our Wednesday evening Bible class last night began with one woman’s dislike for Ecclesiastes. To put it bluntly, she found Solomon to be a “whiner”. That, then, sparked a discussion on wisdom and the idea of so examining our existence, our human experience thus far. The original lesson had been planned around Proverbs, and as it was introduced into our thoughts, the ninety minutes evolved into a “gathering at the oasis”, people simply sharing testimony and witness. The Holy Ghost was in our midst. When the teacher introduced some reference to Scripture’s mention of a path to be followed, however, I suggested that, while most probably see some “yellow brick road”, a spiritual course that leads one to the Pearly Gates, the actual route is a ”pursuit of Christ”, a determined stumble after that One who declared Himself to be “the Way”. Final prayer was special. Holidays are but annual events, perhaps creating memories that will stay with us through the years. Here and there, though, heaven and earth connect, His Spirit convincing us of eternity; and this, to me, gives meaning to everything else……

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


My pastor friend in Pensacola has now approached me twice about over-seeing a satellite church for him here in northern Kentucky. I’ve turned him down both times. It’s nice to know he has such confidence in me; but, at the same time, unless God tugs on my anchor-line otherwise, the Detention Center and the rescue mission have my heart. To be truthful, it is a mystery to me how the idea of community worship can be achieved when its built around a sermon delivered via a computer broadcast transferred to a large movie screen. Sunday evening, however, it occurred to me, while sitting in the balcony and watching the service evolve before me, that the whole event really wasn’t all that different. The fact that it was happening “live” and right in front of us, that there was no physical lens between the people on the stage and the congregation seated in the pews, did nothing to eliminate an invisible sheet of something or other separating those two groups. In the old days, one never knew when the Holy Ghost would move some brother toward the back of the sanctuary to arise and bring forth inspired witness; or it could well have been one of the older sisters who would start an old hymn, the words coming from somewhere deep inside her and breathing life into all there. Nowadays, it’s not so much that the Spirit doesn’t have the freedom to originate from the “spectators”, but that those people don’t seem to recognize it can be so. All eyes are on the pastor. All minds are geared on “the program”. Alice does step through the looking glass at times, of course. The anointing falls and prophecy calls forth the sick and the hurting; but, to me, when the veil of the temple was rent, it made us all priests, vessels through whom He could minister. If you think that such privilege makes anybody “special”, it might help to remember God once spoke through a donkey. The important thing is in recognizing grace when it comes to us……

Monday, November 12, 2012


In approaching the front entrance of our church last night, I joked a bit with one of the younger women. Surely she’s not more than five foot tall and was carrying a purse big enough for three people. A shoulder strap aided her in such task, but evidently it was heavy enough to yet require both hands, the bag positioned on her hip rather than under her arm. Her daughter is a teenager, so I’m fairly positive it didn’t contain those necessary articles that mothers often take with them for their infants. This wasn’t the local theater or amusement park where popcorn or a hotdog and coke costs you next week’s paycheck; so it’s doubtful that she was simply sneaking in a snack. A television set in case the sermon was boring? A tuba for one of the musicians? I jest, of course; but the scenario does give me pause to reflect on what many of us often do bring into the service, not so much physically as spiritually. Life, even “in” Christ, comes to us with its share of pain, sorrow, and things we just don’t understand. Humanity remains humanity; and the reason that we come together is to become, if only temporarily, one in Him. All hearts ought to be centered on knowing Him, resurrected and alive in our midst, the Holy Spirit saving, healing, comforting, an affirmation of what we claim to believe. If the gathering is only about ritual and fellowship, then we are missing the most important element. I’m not knocking either; but somewhere in there has to be a manifestation of He who completes us and renews us for whatever the next step brings unto us. Anything else is just religion……

Saturday, November 10, 2012


My school had an assembling yesterday afternoon, giving honor a little early to all the veterans out there. Some relatives of the kids, I suppose, representing each service and both genders, were seated to each side and in front of a movie screen, a small lectern positioned between the rows and facing the entire Elementary population filling the gymnasium bleachers. Little American flags, plainly marked with the claim of having been “made in China”, had been passed out to all grades when they filed in and were now being waved with a loud exuberant chant of “USA! USA! USA!” Mostly, all I got to hear was Lee Greenwood, along with everyone gathered there, sing of one’s love of country just before having to escort one of our Special-Ed children back to our room. My heart was already full, though, those lyrics stirring up something within, memories of my father and uncles bringing a bit of tear to my eyes… Early this morning my mind turned to those women who were also part of that “Great Generation”. Aunt Lois, through the course of those years, while involving herself in a local scout program, became an ambulance paramedic and then went on to graduate as a registered nurse, all while raising a daughter and maintaining her home. Aunt Vi was married to a trucker and learned to operate one of those semis every bit as well as any man, actually giving one poor fellow a lesson once when he had downtown traffic tied up trying to back his rig into an alleyway. She lost her one son in Korea a bit later, but never gave up her grit. My mother, with no education, managed while dad fought in Italy, her brood of three wanting for nothing; and when he died later, at the age of forty, she worked nightshift at the Post Office for three decades while raising two more with her second husband… This nation is in my blood, in the very depths of who I am; but looking around at where we are today, the corruption of politics in general, the morals of people who think “freedom” means getting something for nothing, it’s easy to ponder what others sacrificed. My faith remains my strength, giving sense to that which sometimes seems to make no sense. Tomorrow I intend to drive up to the cemetery and thank a few people……

Friday, November 9, 2012


In Wednesday evening class, the teacher took us into the Book of Psalms, ending with a final note on the Fifteenth. That particular one is said to have been written by David, has only five verses, and puts a question to God as to who is able to abide in His presence. The list of ten requirements immediately presented afterwards may well have been “inspired”, breathed into the giant killer, the “bloody man” who was also said to be the “apple” of the Almighty’s eye; but those there in our room were agreed as to the human element also being present in the forming of those words. It is one of those “Sermon on the Mount” messages, no man completely above falling into at least one of the categories along the way that barred entrance. So when I read in Matthew, this morning, where Jesus accuses the scribes and Pharisees of having omitted the “weightier matters of the law”, specifically naming them to be “judgment, mercy, and faith”, it caught my attention. He was addressing the church of His day; but religion is religion wherever one finds it. Thus the question: Are we presently just as guilty of the same rebuke? The latter is part of our doctrinal message, but has evolved into a force which believers think they, themselves, create; the middle term we embrace in so much as it comes to us, yet often demand conditions to be met before we’re will to extend it unto others; and yet that first one finds us usually quick to pronounce “them” guilty and the reason why this world is in such sad shape. Surely judgment, though, “must begin at the house of God” and, if we are to examine the beam in our own eye before expounding on the mote in theirs, then I’m of the opinion that the omission referred to by Christ speaks of looking in the mirror. In seeing ourselves, we will find Him enabling us to see others as He does. Then, in experiencing that process, we are grounded even stronger in His reality within us and faith finds anchorage. Men are not redeemed through some self-formed transformation into holiness; but are saved via an internal connection bought for us at Calvary. If David came too soon to possess such Holy Ghost “hook-up”, it would seem he nonetheless knew “deep calleth unto deep” and often somehow went to that inner oasis……

Thursday, November 8, 2012


As expected, there was a lot of initial discussion about the election before Bible class even started last night. While much of it dealt with concerns about this nation’s future, it amused me that some were perplexed how so many Americans could ignore basic moral values with their vote. In truth, it perplexes me that so many within the church believe the world should simply accept their doctrinal view of the Book. We convince nobody by swinging a sword. I point you to Christ, Himself, and suggest that His admonition that night in Gethsemane can be applied just as much to a Bible thumper as anybody else. Likewise, I’m prone to believe the Body has been led into left field concerning prayer, a lot of people in my bunch whining that Romney lost because the ecclesiastical community didn’t bombard heaven enough with our political petitions. Our teacher spoke of a television interview, however, with an older woman in Florida who was rejoicing about the Almighty having answered her earnest cries for Obama’s reinstatement; and he left me wondering if it was all a matter of the Methodists outnumbering the Pentecostals, one side cancelling the other out until God went with those two extra senior citizens at the last minute. No; if Christianity has become a minority in this country, it is because we, ourselves, have failed to be the leavening agent, complacent with our own sense of righteousness, thinking our proclamation of “truth” as we have interpreted it to be somehow equates to the Holy Ghost “in” me. A claim of resurrection means nothing until the Reality of such faith reveals Himself in the situation. Somewhere along the way we have lost our kids, the neighbor next door, and America as a whole. Judgment begins at the door of His tabernacle……

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"From Where I Sit......."

There is an empty feeling in my stomach this morning. No fear; Christ remains the Rock to which I am anchored. It is obvious, though, that more than half this country holds little or no moral values; and I ask myself if that's because we have failed to legislate our faith unto others, or because we have failed to live it. My prayers were not to put any certain man into office, but for America to know revival, for the Church at large to awake in Him. He has always held, not only our future, but each and every day in His hands. In Him I rest... Forty years ago, preachers within old-time holiness were interpreting Biblical prophecy to reveal exactly what is taking place in the world around me today. They spoke of a global community desperately needing solutions to their very existence, financial disaster effecting drastic change in many areas. Christianity, not so much as a true body of believers, but the ecclesiastical institution, itself, would become wrapped up in its own righteousness and operate blind to its own arrogance. The answer, to me, is not standing on some street corner waving my “sword” and yelling “Repent!” Rather, more than ever, we need to look inside and know the voice of God for ourselves. A very dear friend of mine once delivered a sermon entitled “Will the real Holy Ghost please stand up!” In such time of chaos and confusion, in such a day when “the violent take it by force”, this old man often questions his own sanity, his own stumble down the path in the midst of it all. What I have found to be true is His inner grip on my very identity, a “hook in my belly” as I go......

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Hanging Chads....................."

Beth and I cast our ballots early this morning after dropping the granddaughter off at the church school. We did so out of “love for our country” rather than “revenge”, although I do admit both of us hold some pretty strong feelings about the incumbent. Here in Kentucky, a driver’s license is required to prove your identity. Neither of us considered it a big deal. Nevada is currently being charged in a law suit over their allowing illegals to register, the plaintiffs going so far as to declare Harry Reid would not have been re-elected in 2010 otherwise. Our assigned location was not crowded at all this morning, no electronic machines mysteriously changing Romney votes to Obama, merely a single sheet of paper with small blank boxes to be penciled in before feeding it into some sort of machine that resembled a shredder. Surely not; but I did mentally question that possibility. As a matter of fact, after leaving, it crossed my mind as to why, with all the computer genius that’s out there, this nation doesn’t possess a system capable of verifying each and every one of us. Could it be that politics at large just doesn’t want it “clean”? I wish we all were more like the population of this small town in New Hampshire. While we were waiting this afternoon to pick up the granddaughter, Beth somehow caught a broadcast on her smart phone telling about ten people in some rural burg up there who all showed up to vote at the same time, each dropping their complete form into a box before immediately taking them back out for a count. There are two who are Democrats, three Republicans, the rest listed as Independents. This occasion was a first, the results revealing a tie. Amazingly, after a bit of laughter and handshakes, they all went home, still good neighbors, willing to trust God for whatever the future holds…..

Monday, November 5, 2012

"Ground Zero............."

Yesterday afternoon I watched a short video clip recently given me, one created a few years ago for a Pastor Appreciation dinner, one wherein a few of the older members were reflecting on life as it was within the body as we made the transition from the former sanctuary to this present one. It brought a bit of tear to my eye, these folk all dear to my heart and the journey one I shared. To be truthful, they yet spoke of being thrilled with the current state of things, a position that this old man no longer holds. While the sanctuary yet remains a place where the Holy Spirit is able to fill my heart at times to over-flowing, when the whole service can simply be stopped somewhere in the middle for our shepherd to record a separate portion for those receiving our broadcast, surely there’s room for a question or two about our location… In my walk with Thomas Merton a few days ago, he pointed to that Garden of Eden event in Genesis, specifically to the interrogative the Creator brought forth just after the fall. “Adam,” He asked; “Where art thou?”, knowing full well that the object of His inquiry was hiding behind a bush. The author’s reasoning about the matter was a suggestion that we all might consider making a personal GPS investigation frequently, just in case we, ourselves, are likewise probed by Him. I agree, fully aware that acknowledging my longevity doesn’t equate to inspecting it for “continental drift”. With humanity being humanity, though, the ecclesiastical community at large, in my opinion, could benefit as well from regular check-ups. Just because His grace still abides, it doesn’t mean the ship hasn’t navigated off course……

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I awoke early this morning, as usual, the television and my cell-phone current with the community around me, but every other appliance in the house yet operating by yesterday’s time schedule. Some speak of this occurrence in terms of having “gained” an hour, but, if that is so, somehow the mirth escapes me, my mind always remembering it just has to be “paid back” just a few months down the road. There is purpose to the whole affair, I suppose, a few more minutes of light restructured into that portion of our day where we most need it. Something in me, though, never adapts, or, at least, not immediately, my body, seemingly, with its own inner clock and needing to slowly adjust to the new alignment. More than a demand for a mental recalculation of my existence, this goes deeper. A root of who I am requires a bit of space before being able to once again feel comfortable in the soil of this unfamiliar ground… Is there such a spot within all of us, a Genesis Garden of Eden where can be found the original naked seed of our identity, that part of us trapped somehow in the web this world weaves around us and yet aware that life has to be more than what we possess? I think there is; and I’m inclined to believe it the one place where, when we realize He has been standing there knocking at the door all the while, we can connect not only with Him but with each other. It matters not our history, our ethnicity, nor our gender. Life is lot more confusing than trying to remember if it’s “spring forward and fall back” or the other way around. Christ promised, however, that “out of a man’s belly” could flow that which was able to strengthen us for the journey. In Him can be found a rock to anchor us in whatever the storm throws at us……

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Heresy: Part II..............................."

”If you forget the words to your own song, you can always claim artistic license. Forget the words to the National Anthem and you’re screwed.”…Kyle Lovett

Once again Saturday morning finds me just returned home from a visit to my local Ford dealership, this time performed at their request rather than a normal need for an oil change. While waiting there, I chanced upon the above quote and, with my mind yet traversing the subject of “deifying Scripture, somehow the singer’s statement registered with me. This old man is very much a “mental ruminant”, always chewing on some “regurgitated” thinking not yet quite digested; and what holds my attention, at the moment, is wondering why we are so scared to simply “give the Bible back to God”, in terms of Him defining it for us instead of the other way around. Immediately, of course, most will tell me that we already do so by confessing it to be “inspired”. What exactly does that last expression mean to us, however? Is it no more than the Almighty once “breathing” His voice into certain prophets and a handful of disciples, that which was spoken sanctified and set in concrete? Is it, in reality, yet alive, Deity in communication with us, utilizing Biblical text as a directional “rod and staff”, leading us step by step in our journey? Thomas Merton, in his book “Springs of Contemplation”, defines it as “a judgment on a deep level somewhere down in the ground of our body”, assigning it to the Holy Ghost and adding “it gives us the conviction that, when we follow such leading, we are on the right track”. I agree, my only hesitation being his failure, like so many others, to give the Spirit His own identity as the Third “Person” of the Trinity. One way or another in this, it seems, we find it much easier to keep Christ in a box, our faith, indeed our salvation, a matter of our own doctrinal interpretation……

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Literal Heresy............."

In reading the Old Testament, some tend to see a different God, one seemingly void of grace when it comes to humanity as a whole. The Jews fared well if, as a nation they toed the line, and a few chosen individuals getting blessed regardless of their character, their relationship with the Almighty more a matter of His patience with them than of their righteousness in an attempt to follow Him. This was an age where kings required only good weather to exercise population control, wiping out entire communities, the victor claiming the spoils; and such practice apparently not only okay with the Creator, but, at times, so ordered by Him. It was a different time, a different world, and surely we, as believers, need to consider such things It was, and always has been, the same “I am”. He who brought forth Christ through Mary via the Holy Ghost is that very One who in the beginning spared Noah, appointed Abraham, and spoke through Samuel, His nature changing not anywhere within the journey. Can it be said, then, that perhaps these sacred verses recorded within the first half of the Book came to us as much from men as they did from on high? Do I dare suggest that even so the second half was put to print, inspiration “tainted” by the very channel through which it flowed? For me, the Bible is special, not because it, in itself, possesses some hallowed state, but because it is “the sword of the Spirit”. The “Word” sits at the right hand of the Father, working in us via the Third Person of the Trinity. One way that occurs is through our perusal of Scripture. We must be careful, however, to never think ourselves as having solved the mystery therein, its promises ours to claim merely because we equate it with having faith. He, alone, remains the Authority, the Kingdom, and the Giver of Life…...