Year ending thoughts...
14 and ½ years and still have my “learner's permit” in the marriage license. I think that is what they should hand you when you first get married a learner's permit, because a license implies, “you got this” and about 2 days into it, (if your eyes are open) you realize, “I soooooo don't 'got this'.”
The latest lesson has been a deep and good one.
We were asked on a Sunday morning by the Associate Pastor, “Who have you been overlooking?” Sunday morning, seemed like a good message, and so I began looking around. Nothing. Then about 2 days later my notes fell out of my Bible and I asked God again. (God smiled, because He likes to answer us when we come back and ask the questions again.) “Your wife”... “You treat her like she is the one person in the world (and maybe the kids too, be careful) who you need to correct and “keep her head from getting too big.” Months ago, God said to follow the advice of Ann Voskamp, “praise her and hug her 4 times a day” …. Well you may as well tell a caterpillar to fly!!, but now with this new revelation and some repentance and the grace to fall and get back up, this has been the plan. Even in the “trying and the failing” of it, a “new and glorious morn'” has dawned in our marriage.
All praise to Him, and my apologies to anyone to whom I have ever given marriage advice, ESPECIALLY to those to whom I gave advice when I was not even married. What a proud, ridiculous, idiot!
So here's to a new beginning, here's to a learner's permit that never expires!
All full of the Holy Spirit, just had a 'visitation' riding high then I came down the mountain and crashed, just like the disciples, my job, my marriage, are designed by God to give me opportunity to realize the depth of my need. To put me in a place of realizing my total destitution and my continual, I say, continual, need of accessing the resurrection life. Nothing else will “work”. I invent formula's and concoct plans and do do do a lot of stuff and it is all for nothing, because only the resurrection life of Jesus flowing out of my death to self, my realization of the reality of the total destitution of all that I have to offer, only there, only there at the foot of the cross does anything “good” originate.
Genesis 33 Jacob and Esau. Jacob, limping, broken, going out first to absorb what could have very possibly been the wrath of Esau. Jacob, bowing to him repeatedly, telling Esau that he was no longer a conniving cheater, in acknowledging to the angel, his name, his name was changed. Jacob was given the gift of seeing Esau's face as if it were the face of God.
A truly broken "church" disarms the resistance of Israel. A gathering of people released to a love of God that is unconditional, not looking at "who's in and who's out" based on some virtue, or correct doctrine or any other thing that would be trusted, except the living God who raises the dead. The pride of the power that is going to be broken includes many "good things"
all of which fall short of the ONE thing, the best thing, the only thing, the resurrection life of Jesus Christ flowing in and through a believer and a body of believers.
John 13 Jesus Knowing He is a Son, was free to be a slave.
Oh for a "living sacrifice" that does not talk back to or argue with sovereignty. Have Thine own way Lord, Have Thine own way! There is a war, but there is a rest in the war. Works that are no longer mingled or mixed. Seal it Lord, Give it Lord!
Holy Ghost the movie, that was a gift my wife gave me for Christmas. I have watched it twice already, it is not perfect and I am not looking for perfect. It was a beautiful thing to watch and uplifting and challenging. It touched me and goaded me on, so it is a good thing.
Small gathering-- Our family journeyed to a Christmas Eve service at the largest church in our area and it made me aware that a work has been started in me to no longer be content with “the stage” and the “audience” type of service. The Bible seems to make it clear that we are to come together in a small enough venue that 'each one' could bring a psalm, a hymn, a spiritual song. 'Each one' would come in to the service “prayed up” and ready to be used by God to minister to others and to the Lord. Our giftings would flow and grow and as we get too many people to allow this to happen another small group would be released from there. That is my vision not sure how it will all play out, I have no desire to run ahead of the grace of God.