Oh man...Dave said it has been since July since I wrote anything for the blog. I do not do well just trying to get something down to put out there. I did write a couple of things I might put out after some adaptations to them. They are personal and I am not ready to share some of that yet. During this time my father-in-law passed away and we have had to place both my mom and dad in a nursing facility to get them the care they need. Lot so of stress but I so admire my siblings. My sisters have done an incredible job caring for mom and dad until it was impossible and my brother, Frank, really stepped up to help also. They are really amazing.
As I sat down to put some thoughts down it amazes me how the Lord will put us in places or situations that help us face our stuff...our issues. Then as we do step up He gently nudges us forward to places and situations to see if anything has stuck. If our healing has taken hold, I suppose. For me as I have discovered the voice the Lord has given me it seems like He keeps pushing me out there in uncomfortable places to speak. As I have been writing for a local website I have been challenged to keep writing...speaking. I direct my posts primarily to the Church, to challenge and to encourage, and many of the readers are not coming from that perspective at all. Some do....but definitely a different section of the church.
We are living in times where it seems like the call word of the day is “tolerance.” Can we be tolerant of others? Can you Christians be more tolerant? Kind of a can’t we all get along theme to life. The surprising thing is that the loudest voices crying out for tolerance are...the least tolerant! Oh if you will sing along with them their can’t we all get along song they will be tolerant....but don’t you dare change the words of the song. It could get ugly...well it will get ugly...and quickly. Strange. On one article as the comments rolled in a sweet individual joined the conversation and sang her let’s all get along song. As I sang out of key it got a little tense...strange...the next thing you know...I am not welcome to sing along anymore...no room in the inn for guys like me. You know if you can push some sweet new ager over the edge...you just might be doing something right! TOLERANT! I WILL SHOW YOU TOLERANT! AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE! Dorothy we ain’t in Kansas anymore.
How do we lead in a culture that tells you in five different ways you are not welcome here? Your kind is not welcome. Hmmm. Land of the free. As long as you know the right words to sing maybe. As I write I am thinking of the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me.” It would be OK to sing this as long as it is the Prophet Jesus or the teacher Jesus you are singing to. Then we have to do something with the line, “The Bible tells me soooo.” Can’t have that can we? Well, I guess you could as long as did not take the Bible literally...we have to remember it is just a story book meant to teach us how to love. Jonah is a fable...Genesis a story...one my favorite lines has been, “Yes I believe in the resurrection...just not literally.” Doesn’t that just kind of stop you in your tracks and wonder what does that mean? So Jonah...Adam and Eve...just made up characters to teach us about life...and Jesus too? Somebody made that all up? Really?
I do find it humorous that I am writing for something like this website...and people are reading it. Then commenting. Not agreeing with me very much but reading. I kind of feel like an exhibit at a zoo...you know...let’s go see the guy who actually believes the Bible is inspired by God! He is sooo strange. What they really would say is, “Let’s go see this guy who is a literalist when it comes to the Bible!” “He believes the stories inside it...this should be fun. Maybe we could feed him.” Yeah...that is right...they have labeled me...a literalist. Trust me they do not say this with awe in their voices...it is with sadness You can almost see them shaking their head sadly...thinking that this animal was supposed to be extinct...but there is one left. How sad. Now I know I am not a real literalist because if I were I would have one eye plucked out and one hand chopped off for sure...and who knows what else? But in the culture we live in believing the scripture for anything is taboo. It is being reduced down to a collection of fables for good living...and should be on the shelf with other sources of enlightenment.
So the point here is...well one of the points here is...a couple of years ago I felt like God gave me my voice back. That after years of being shut up and feeling like what I have to say does not matter He has put me in a place to speak. Odd thing is for me I never would have seen myself speaking to this crowd...let me talk to other Christians but not to the Buddhists, agnostics, Bahai, and liberals. Please not me. I do feel like Moses here...I don’t speak all that well...I will stutter...I am not that deep...and I will get angry! Then I sense Him asking me, “Why did I give you your voice back then? To be safe? To be quiet?” As I go through this whole deal I stay humbled because I know I am over my head in so many areas. That at an elementary level I am rejected...because of Him...well He is being rejected...and I have a birds eye view.
He never sends us places He does not go with us...He never asks us to do anything He has not already done...He did not give me my voice back...to remain silent. How can you not love a savior like this? How can you not serve a God that cares so deeply?
Last week I was close to shutting up...shutting down shop. Someone asked me about the line of casting my pearls before swine...I suppose I could make it fit here...but I can also make Paul’s words fit here...4 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”Romans 10:14,15
Listen friends...they want you to stop singing...but our song brings light and life...we have to sing...if not the rocks and hills will take our place. I am an introvert...I am not seminary trained...I am bald.Yet God gave me a voice...I will use it.