Saturday, February 22, 2014

MICK'S MUSINGS: Lap dog lessons in life.

Gibby, dad's Christmas gift from his offspring, is a delight. Feisty, energetic, curious, with a nose for every varmint that dares intrude on our property, playful, and at times wanting nothing more than one of our laps. We are his refuge, his comfort food, his safe place when his young world doesn't make sense.

In the process of teaching him to obey the command to "come" when called, he ran out the length of his leash at full speed which naturally brought him up short with a choking jerk. A desperate yelp, then with terror in his little eyes, and blinding puppy speed, flew back to his  master, landing full force in my arms....and staying there until his puppy trauma faded.

Somewhere I've read, (Ps. 46) "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble." That's us to Gibby. But I could not help but compare my "refuge" use of God to Gibby.

He wants to venture out, but insists I always be within his eyesight. If he loses sight of me, he panics, and with little feet hardly touching the ground flies back to the spot where he last saw me. I'm always there.
And with God I venture away.  God hangs in there for me, faithfully awaiting my return.  I've learned that if I cannot see God, returning to the point where I parted company with Him is critical to His presence in my life again.

Gibby, like us, will learn obedience. Won't be all pleasant for him. But it is necessary for him if he is to be safe and protected.  By now this aged one should have obedience down pat. Hardly. Hebrews 12 has it correct. God's discipline of his children, not necessarily pleasant, afterwards yields the "peaceful fruit of righteousness". It puts everything back into right relationships...with God, myself, and others.  Or at least it is supposed to, according to the Word. Even the Lord Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8)...a concept I have difficulty wrapping my mind around.

I love Gibby. He is a joy to me. I know God loves me. I want to be a delight to Him. Simple obedience is critical to the process.

Monday, February 3, 2014

MICK'S MUSINGS: "Should old acquaintances be forgot"....No way!

A treasured blessing from our Father's love...old acquaintances. And at my age most of them are. Sadly some of those choice acquaintances left earth's scene without the "old" bit. This back-in-the dark-ages wedding photo of a college roommate and his beautiful bride flooded my storehouse with memories of Philippians 1:3 quality.  Jim, the groom, entered glory from  a dirt road in the Ivory Coast leaving his bride and  two young children. Stu (far left) and Ken (far right), both college buddies, in the purposes of God finished their faithful labors earlier than most...good men all. Check out the ears standing between the couple and you might recognize a familiar face. Then recently we attended a memorial service for a brother whose walk with God most followers of Jesus would label weird. Outside the neat theological boxes created by those who insist on a manageable God, my brother stared faith in the face and never flinched.  Daring, when most of us would duck, reckless obstacle daunted him, fearless of any foe (no doubt Satan cringed at our brother on his knees), generous to his last penny, loving beyond any sin laden soul or self righteous saint, an easy laugh and joyfully holding on to faithfulness unto death...a servant of the first order because the Lord Jesus captured his heart  He was a man who lived for His Lord in construction clothes, not a clerical collar.

No saint though, just real and free of the scourge blighting much of the Western church where "niceness" equals "Christian".   Matthew 15 records an encounter of Jesus with "nice" folks who possessed more Biblical knowledge than most of us, people whose traditions outweighed Biblical obedience. Jesus surveyed that crowd of safety first, live by their unwritten rules, bound by their spiritual culture (which they knew was THE way) and said, "That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God," Not saying unless you are weird you aren't spiritual. But those few folks free of the shackles of performance based acceptance and not stuffed in the theological/procedural box of how you must do the Christian life, are a spiritual breathe of fresh air to me. And not easily forgotten.

Oswald Chambers has a word for it:  RECKLESS ABANDONMENT TO JESUS CHRIST.

Been enriched by a number of such "old acquaintances." More than that, challenged, made to realize how comfortable a manageable Christian life can be. Stirred. Thank you, you unforgotten friends. Your wide place in my life is missed.