Monday, April 27, 2009
I have always found it fascinating that God reveals Himself as a small, functional being verb and His Son, likewise is associated with abstractions.
God is the generative power of the universe, the central core, the connective sinew...He is all there is. Yet, He did not choose magnificent terms to speak from the burning bush to identify Himself. Instead He revealed He is the Identity of all cognition.
His Son, as the Living Word reveals the nature of human identity, which is our ability to form mental concepts and label the abstract with nouns and verbs. The words Jesus uttered and the understandings those who walked with Him delivered to us about Him are the essence of true humanity, or what we may conceive of as God's intention for His creation.
We are little I am's. We are small identities playing with the abstract reality of the power of thought. Focused on ourselves, we only identify with the death of sin from the Fall. Redeemed by Christ and born of the spirit, (at the very least an abstraction of thought foreign to all earth-bound thinking) our identity becomes tied to the source of life.
Consider self talk. Listen over all thought. What follows the "I am" statements we make or more pointedly we simply think: words of earthly, self-related logic or those in which meanings spring as pure water for life from the Identity at the center of the universe?
Friday, April 24, 2009
Okay, here's the ugly truth. My computer did not crash, and no, I have not lied to you. I honestly thought that it had!
We took a family vacation over the spring break from school, which is always the week after we Christians celebrate the Risen Lord Jesus. In leaving our home for that length of time, we turn off the hot water heaters, unplug everything pluggable except the freezer (This trip, we even emptied the refrigerator, cleaned it, and left the door open to allow the fridge to air out!) and we're off.
On our return, I replugged everything including both power strips serving the electronic array we have at the computer desk and turned on the computer. After a few minutes use, it shut down inexplicably. I CHECKED ALL THE PLUGS, I shout, as you snicker thinking you have diagnosed my problem already. I found no problem connections. I rebooted the computer, and it whirred alive. The computer is old (seven years); it has done some odd things lately, and I muttered aloud that it might be getting ready to crash.
This second go round, it worked long enough for me to check our e-mail, loading the 32 messages stored from the previous week, then it shut off again. I checked all the plugs again, but this time the computer would not come on. I tried several minutes later, then several hours later--nothing. I concluded it had crashed, and on Monday I posted it was dead. No one sent flowers, so I thought this wasn't a painful passage but a rather routine one as I have read.
Until Tuesday, when out of curiosity, I unplugged and replugged everything. The computer came on, and I knew I had to face the public admitting my distinct technical deficiencies. I have no clue what happened or why, but maybe my wife and I will get another year out this computer.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I have no idea when it will be fixed or replaced.
I am writing this from school, which is actually wrong for me to do because I signed a use agreement for the network stating I wouldn't use these computers for personal use. (When you finish reading this I am hoping it will self-destruct leaving no evidence of my transgression, but that seems a bit naive.)
If you are someone I e-mail with, e-mail me, as I can correspond through the server when I get computer time on someone else's computer. I need you to e-mail first, as I have downloaded all e-mails from the server (only activity I accomplished before the crash) and therefore have none for reply currently.
Don't expect a post any time soon.
C'est la vie in cyber world.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
If the eternal God is accepted as having entered the limits of our timed earth; if His resurrection is seen as the basis from which life in the believer springs; if we are truly hidden with Jesus in the heavenly realms as a result of His supernatural life, then our earthly existence in a natural state hardly exists in comparison to our eternal state.
The butterfly must pass through the caterpillar state, but does it bother over being just a caterpillar?
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Encouragement in the faith and encouragement generally cannot be built on statements we doubt. Differences of practice need not be reason for doubt between believers. We are as a universal Body of Christ aware of the great diversity of belief and practice among Christians. However, I am convinced there is only one faith in Jesus. There are, in contrast, various levels of maturity. The encouragement we might rightly offer others of different practice is to seek the Father. I do not expect anyone’s walk to look like mine in practice, yet I believe there is mutual understanding of what faith is and how it is lived, if we would humbly accept it lives beyond our man-made boundaries of religious practice.
Believers need to feel free to question anything in their own tradition when that is their need. Questioning practice of the group is not questioning the existence or authenticity of the Lord. Open discussion and mutual reflection is a benefit to us all.
We must trust in the mercy of our Father, and such trust is the basis of an authentic encouragement. I think there is no such thing as human objectivity, not in a pure sense anyway. Each of us is primarily subjective in all things. In my view, it is only as one opens to the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ that we partake of the Mind of Christ and touch truth. It is from a clear view of truth that we become strong in the ability to encourage others.
Encouragement is a key factor in one’s development as a Christian. We must beware, however, the voice calling to self-help for development as a better person. Becoming a better person is a siren’s call crashing one’s hope on rocks of discouragement. The old nature cannot be fixed. (And we all have the old nature.) For all us Christians, we must learn how to exist as our new creature through the depths of faith. It doesn’t happen by flipping switches. Rather, when people who share a significant past encourage one another, the established trust together on Christ opens individuals to the growth our heavenly Father guides.
This begs the question of whether or not Christians of varied backgrounds may develop a significant past. I say, love has no boundaries. Therein lies the true nature of encouragement. It meets its intended use from God when we are encouraging one another from a position of trusted love toward a deepening of the love which is from God. In contrast, encouraging one another to a better, more sophisticated humanity is nothing but empty humanism, the great lie of Lucifer to lift himself to be God’s equal.
Do you practice your faith in a different manner than I? No matter, love between us and for God together will flourish if we but seek to lift each other up into the light of Jesus.