Saturday, January 07, 2006

God is good. So good. He never fails, He never let's His people down, He never ever loses. When it looks like He is not good ... He is still Good. You just have to trust that The Truth is good. When it looks like He is failing ... He is still winning. You just have to trust that the end game is all about Him. When it looks like you are being let down ... He is still going to come through for you. You just have to wait. When it looks like He is losing ... get ready for the victory. It is surely coming. Maybe not until you are dead ... but it is coming. (By the way, you are not ever really dead. Not if you are a Christ follower.)

Those are unshakable, unalterable truths. They are part of my "core values." I count on them and stake everything on them. I have learned much through my journeys on this planet. Most of what I have learned are mere details. Details, while important, in some cases are the composition of a fact so huge, so over-riding, that you cannot see it all at once.

And I think that is where so many people get lost. People with spiritual tunnel vision cannot grasp the fact of God. Not really. They say they can. And they really believe they can. But experience has shown that they are wrong. What they are really grasping is a tiny portion of truth that fits their fancy. They find it to be comfortable because it supports their desires and agenda. They are looking at a detail and missing the vision.

Let me give you an example. A person decides that he wants his church to be a certain way. He wants it to be a place that feels comfortable to him. He wants it to look just so, sound just so, and work just so. Because that makes him happy. And he read in the bible that God wants to give you the desires of your heart. Translation: God wants to make you happy. And so it is easy to extrapolate that out to seem to mean you can manipulate your church to be what you want it to be. And because that will make you happy, God will be happy too. This is a person who has looked at one detail in the bible and grasped it (incorrectly) and that is as far as he ever gets. Because he is busy killing a church. And all the while he truly believes that his actions (based on his own opinions) are God given.

Do you realize how dangerous that way of thinking is?

Nobody can completely grasp God. That is a silly notion. He will not be understood or grasped. But I believe that spiritual visionaries have an insight that allows them to see past the details of life and come to some sort of understanding of a big picture. He thinks like this ...

He reads where God says in His Word that he wants to give you the desires of your heart. And he does not stop there. He keeps on reading. He reads where God says He is entirely pleased with His Son and wants us to follow Him. And he keeps on reading. He reads where God allows His Son to be nailed to a cross, He turns His back on Him, and His Son dies. Dead. Stone cold dead. Real flesh bleeding out onto the dirt dead. He reads where God's Son is pried loose from the cross, planted in a borrowed, closed, sealed tomb. He reads where God raises His Son from the dead three days later, gives Him some more truths to teach, and then takes Him back to sit down at His right Hand. And this person wonders, "If God is pleased with His Son and yet allows Him to go through this humiliating agony ... if God allows His own Son to experience the greatest example in history of delayed gratification ... why would I think that He would treat me any differently?"

And that person has discovered a remarkable truth. God does love us and want us to have the desires of our heart. He also knows (because He read the whole book) that God already tried to give us non-delayed gratification. That happened at a place named "Eden." It did not work out so well. We screwed it up. It was our fault, not God's. God gave us everything and we wanted more. (The couple in Eden were looking at a detail ... the serpents lies ... and not the bigger picture ... God's truth.) And this person knows that God wanted to give us the desires of our hearts so badly that He didn't give up there. He kicked in what appears to us to be "plan b" but was really "plan a" all along. I mean, God knew that the Garden of Eden thing was going to go south quickly. It did not come as a surprise to Him. He knew that if He was going to create man and stick with this dubious project it was going to cost Him the ultimate price. And He went with it anyway. God knew the big picture before there was a day-one.

Let me wrap this up for you. A spiritual visionary understands something that a tunnel vision guy cannot get. We do not call the shots. EVER. When we try to we screw it up every time. Go ahead. Read the book. Find me one example of a time when we called the shots and it all worked out alright. Good luck. Plan on taking some time off for your search. You are going to need it. Come in real close to the screen ... closer ... I want to tell you something. It-is-not-in-there. Is that print to small? Here ... IT-IS-NOT-IN-THERE.

Do you think that your precious vote means anything in God's economy? Do you really think the church is a democracy? Do you think that you know best? Do you scoff at those who say "I have prayed and God told me ..."? Do you think nobody can be trusted because everybody has their own agenda? Do you waffle back and forth, wringing your hands, wondering what we should do? Listen closely one more time ...

God is laughing. Not with you. At you.

Stop staring at the details. How much? How long? Where? Why? Give it up. Tunnel vision only gives everybody around you a head ache. Get the big picture ... the huge, over-riding FACT ... or get out of the way.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I'm writing tonight just for the sake of writing so don't take any of the following too seriously:

I like late night. It is quiet. Even Bailey the Killer Beagle hides under blankets or afghans. She doesn't want to be messed with after 10PM. It is like she can tell time. I think she would get up for a Milky Bone but I'm not sure. She'd much rather I deliver it. That's not happening.

What is it about the darkness that attracts me? I think it is because my life tends to be so public that anytime I can hide I just naturally take advantage of it. I like to go to the car wash here in our little burb. It's the kind you put money into and this machine goes round and round soaping, rinsing, waxing, and rinsing once again. It promises not to touch your car... only wash it. Right. Like that is possible. Anyway, at one point, if you pay for the ultra good job, it goes around you two times (a bonus round!) squirting you with multi-colored foam. Each color is supposed to do something different. I don't know what because I seldom bother to read the fine print on anything. And truthfully, I doubt that it works anyway. I pay the extra because I get to sit in my cool Mustang and hide. Nobody can see through the foam. Well, I can't see out so I assume nobody can see in. Their is a flaw in my logic at this point. When I purchased my Mustang I chose one that is "electric green" with a khaki convertible top. To the best of my knowledge it is the only one in town. Therefore, if I want to hide ... my car is not the best place to do it. Everybody in my church knows who owns that car. Every teenager in my youth group knows who owns that car. Every cop in town knows who owns that car. And I am pretty sure that they all know the car is not capable of driving to the car wash on its own ... so they know I'm in the thing. See what I mean? Bad logic. But I don't care. I feel hidden. Kind of like a small child who thinks you cannot see him if he is under the covers. Maybe this is all a sad commentary on my life and the way I live it. I don't really care. Maybe I cannot truly hide but if I can convince myself that I can, well that is almost as good.

You know what I hate? I have this place that I go to at least once each day. They sell my favorite caffiene there. I fill the 32 oz. cup knowing that I will never finish it. I seldom do. The ice melts long before the cup is 2/3rd empty. I should by the smaller 20 oz. cup but when I do they give me pennies in change and I don't want pennies. The 32 oz. cup costs .99 with tax and I always throw the left over penny in the "give a penny/take a penny" tray. It's just easier to hand them a dollar and walk. But it doesn't quite work that way. I know most of the people that work there by sight. I don't "know" them... I just know them. Know what I mean? We speak every day and never really say anything. It's one of those "comfort" things where you feel like you know somebody because they are a part of your morning (or evening) scenery. But there isn't really a connection of any depth or quality. I'm fifty years old. Most of them are in their twenties. What I hate is when I see one of them and they say something like, "Hi, hun." Or, "Hello, dear." They don't know my name. They don't know where I live. They do know what I do for a living but only because I come in occasionally in a suit and they get curious and ask. But the point is that they really don't have the right to call me hun or dear. Maybe I'm silly but that is a right reserved for somebody who I am really a "dear" to. Or a "honey" to. The honey part is pretty much the sole domain of my wife and I don't really like anybody else tromping on it. She might not call me honey very often but it's there for her if she wants to use it. There are multiple people that can call me "dear" without bothering me. That's slightly more generic. I would hope that one or two friends would find our relationship dear to them. Their is a deep intimacy attached to "honey" in my mind. A lesser intimacy (but still an intimacy) is attached to "dear." Am I being too picky? Maybe. But this is my blog and if you bother to read it I don't charge you anything. You are probably somebody that could call me "dear" without bothering me. Give it a try and then winke once ... I'll know the signal and I'll tell you if you are in my "dear club" or not.

Ok, it's late and tomorrow is getting closer. I'm trying to train myself to start the process of going to sleep before 11PM. It isn't easy for me. Like I said, I love the dark. And the quiet. It's nice. I feel good at night. It is a shame to ruin it with the unconsiousness of sleep. But such is the nature of life. There is not going to be any night in heaven. It says so in the book of Revelation. I know that heaven is lit by the presence of God Himself and that will make up for any missing of the night time I might experience. But down here .... it's my time.

It's 11:02 and I didn't quite make it. But I'm going to try ... starting .... NOW!