Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Do You Still Not Get It?"

Sometimes, a question is just a question, but other times, it's a swift kick right where you need it.

Mark 8:16-21 (The Message)

The disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus overheard and said, “Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all? Remember the five loaves I broke for the five thousand? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

They said, “Twelve.”

“And the seven loaves for the four thousand—how many bags full of leftovers did you get?”


He said, “Do you still not get it?”

From my journal, December 21, 2000

Jesus put the question to His closest followers: "Do you still not get it?"  -  And He can ask me the same thing today, I'm sure.

"I've fed thousands from just a little, and had more leftovers than I had to begin with. I've walked on water. I've stopped a raging storm dead in its tracks, just by saying so. I've rekindled lost passion. I've moved you from comfort and familiarity until the new became comfortable and familiar...am I not capable of managing your every need? Both now and into the future?"

Truth is...Of course You are, Lord. You are able. I need only to trust and obey.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When E. F. Hutton Speaks...

Am I the only one here old enough to remember the E. F. Hutton commercials?

The scene would be a busy restaurant or a tennis match. Two people would be having a semi-private conversation, and one would say to the other, "Well, my broker is E. F. Hutton, and he says-" at which point, all other activity and noise would immediately stop and everyone's attention would be focused; intent on hearing the sage advice of E. F. Hutton. "When E. F. Hutton speaks, people listen."

I had an E. F. Hutton kind of moment recently while reading A Glimpse of Jesus, by Brennan Manning. When one of your favorite writers chooses to pass along a lengthy quote from "the most important book [he's] read outside the Bible"  -  a book that "has revolutionized [his] understanding of Christ and the meaning of Christian discipleship"  -  it might be a good idea to pay attention.

Hence, this excerpt from On Being a Christian, by Hans Kung.

The church of Jesus Christ is a home not only for the morally upright but for the moral failures and for those who for a variety of reasons have not been able to honor denominational teaching. The Church is a healing community proclaiming the Father's indiscriminate love and unconditional grace, offering pardon, reconciliation and salvation to the down-trodden and leaving the judgment to God.

A Church that will not accept the fact that it consists of sinful men and exists for sinful men becomes hard-hearted, self-righteous, inhuman. It deserves neither God's mercy nor men's trust. But if a Church with a history of fidelity and infidelity, of knowledge and error, takes seriously the fact that it is only in God's Kingdom that the wheat is separated from the tares, good fish from bad, sheep from goats, a holiness will be acknowledged in it by grace which it cannot create for itself.

Such a Church is then aware that it has no need to present a spectacle of higher morality to society, as if everything in it were ordered to the best. It is aware that its faith is weak, its knowledge dim, its profession of faith halting, that there is not a single sin or failing which it has not in one way or another been guilty of. And though it is true that the Church must always dissociate itself from sin, it can never have any excuse for keeping any sinners at a distance. If the Church self-righteously remains aloof from failures, irreligious and immoral people, it cannot enter justified into God's kingdom. But if it is constantly aware of its guilt and sin, it can live in joyous awareness of forgiveness. The promise has been given to it that anyone who humbles himself will be exalted.

Truth is...forgiveness and grace are a messy business, and it's good to have close companions along the way. That's what I call Church, and that's what I wish for each person reading these words.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Ah...Valentine's Day...chalk-like hearts with two-word phrases, boxes of chocolates, bouquets of flowers, infinite opportunities to disappoint...

Yes, there are a lot of traditions associated with today's festivities. And if a fellow feels like he has to live up to expectations, there's a lot of pressure.

Well, here's a little more.

What does or doesn't happen today...or on ANY single day...is not nearly as important as how you treat your spouse throughout the whole year. Which is why I've chosen today to direct you to a post from July 8, 2013 titled Homo Sapien Husbandry.

It started like this:

You've heard of animal husbandry, I'm sure. Well, this is like that, only specifically about being a human husband. There are certain things that I think every man who is married ought to know and do. Just in case you were wondering, here they are:

To read the rest, CLICK HERE.

Truth is...perfect love casts out all fear (I John 4:18), but only God's love is perfect. I still have to work on mine and how I show it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

5,000 People; All Glad I'm Not Jesus

It's been said before..."There is a God, and you're not Him." Well, I just read a journal entry of mine from December 2000 that indicates what a good thing it is I'm not.

RE: Mark 6:30-44

So...the apostles get back from their preaching tours and Jesus wants to get away with just the 12 for a restful break. They sail across to the other shore and are met by a crowd of thousands.

The next phrase is a telling truth that points out a major difference between Jesus and me: "At the sight of them, his heart broke  -  like sheep without a shepherd they were."

Had it been me, I would have felt exasperation bordering on anger...anything but compassion. And they definitely would have been on their own for supper!

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Truth is...If the truth were known, all would clearly see I've still got such a long way to go.