Saturday, December 19, 2009

Re-cognition and the Christmas Story

Gratitude -
1. Peace - Hope - Joy - Love
and the message of preparation during ADVENT!
2. O Come All Ye Faithful... Christmas hymn
3. Anticipation - through the eyes of children
4. Anticipation - through the eyes of adults who have tasted the story, first hand!
5. Beth's fruit cake cookies.

Deep calls unto deep. Psalm 42:7

You will seek only what you have partially already discovered and seen within yourself as desirable. Spiritual cognition is invariably re-cognition. (RR)

Ask anyone who has known me for a long time - since childhood - and I have always been a bit different when it comes to faith issues. I always found it hard to find lots to 'repent' of, since I was born on a church pew and my parents made sure I would continue to be there each Sunday morning until I left home for college. I was never a deeply disturbed, nor problem child. I caused no one alarm when it came to being a well behaved son, brother, school student, etc. I was a good 'little man'.

Therefore when the pastor or my Sunday School teacher would preach or teach on 'changing your ways, or you will burn in hell' I generally thought they must be talking to the neighbor kid. I didn't have too many bad habits to 'change'.

Because I spent so many years in Sunday School and church, Vacation Bible School, and Training Union (be glad to explain this one) I knew the story and knew the players - most of all Jesus. It was not my heavenly father that I feared. It was the punishment my earthly father might dish out if he ever caught be doing anything bad.

I anticipate Christmas in a whole new light today. It is a special celebration to say the least. I look forward to it - but not for the same reasons of old. I use to look forward to preaching about Mary, Joseph, Wise Men, and Angels and Shepherds. But today, I look forward to the reminder that God loved us so much that He chose to come to earth in human terms. Incarnational terms. He was human like me...

That means that He looked on my personhood and said 'this is my creation, and it is good!'. I don't have to do anything to be saved. He has saved me all along. He created me. He is my FATHER and all He has ever wanted for me was GOOD.

What a shame that I learn to fear HIM. What had He ever done but loved me. He loves ALL His children - the whole of the human race. This Christmas business is just an annual reminder along the path.

I think it is sad that we get caught up with the 'baby' and never realize that He became a MAN! The MAN. The one true MAN of GOD. What a gift. He won - I don't have to win... He is worthy, even when I am not... He loves, even when I am unlovely...

What a GIFT - it has been there ALL LONG.
Yes indeed - Spiritual cognition is invariably re-cognition!!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

What we resist, persists...

Gratitude -
1. The gift of Kathleen Harris for 90 years!
Aunt Katie - may you rest in peace...
2. Bumping into one of my distant Joshua brothers
on line last evening and our time of instant chat!
3. Our decorated Christmas tree (thanks to Beth)
4. Being held...
5. Receiving unexpected Christmas cards

"But what I tell you is this: Do not set yourself against the man who wrongs you..." Matthew Matthew 5:39

Interesting concept - what we resist, persists (RR). It seems I most often judgementally look for evil in others (and myself) in order to fight it, hate it, eliminate it, or (God forbid) project in on some herd of swine - hoping it will fall off some cliff somewhere and I will be rid of it forever.

However Lord,when do I seriously attempt to hold onto the 'evil within me' or even the 'wrong done unto me' and try to learn from it?

Leonard Cohen has a verse in one of his songs that says some thing about trying to be sober, 'but I had to do it drunk'...

When will I too realize that I am addicted too, to so many things and instead of escaping, maybe there is something about those recurring themes that I need to learn. God knows that they persist... I have tried too long to run and hide from my sins, and they kept returning.

I guess I could identify with brother Paul when he says 'the things I want to do I resist, and the things I don't want to do, I do.' Lord I bet Paul listened and learned! Lord, take my heart this day and teach me something I don't already know - about my sin and about your grace.


Lord, may I have true eyes to see and ears to hear. Teach me Lord - teach me...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Give Him my heart...?

Gratitude Journal
1. Happy Birthday to Beth
(I won't tell her age, but we have been married a long time!)
2. P.I. Christmas Party
(Different this year - change is good!)
3. The difference one candle can make in a dark room.
4. Reconnecting with old friends on Facebook!
5. Even the 'suggestion' that snow might make it to Columbus...

What can I give Him - I will give Him my heart.

While I don't know the whole hymn I do love the words (above), particularly when sung during the ADVENT Season. However, my challenge is to pull apart the term - 'give Him my heart'. What does that exactly mean?

Are we talking about some sentiment or emotion? No - my emotions change too often. They are not under my will power as I would like. They are too erratic!
Maybe our thoughts - that's it, I won't think of anything but Jesus... No, that doesn't seem to work either. My mind drifts and it is always changing according to the topic.

What does it mean then to give Him my heart? Christmas is coming...