Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's good to be home

This morning's sunrise

11/20/11 Sunday
We are so back home. Been back for a week now and still catching up. There was great concern regarding our outside dogs, as we had no one to come and check on them. We had left out several tubs and containers of food, confident we would be home in a week, but it didn’t last two weeks. Driving up to the house in our new used truck we were ecstatic to find both Buddy and Duke in the driveway, loyally waiting for us to come home. Seeing how thin they had become, especially Duke, who’s ribs were pronouncedly visible, brought home how sad it was there was no one we knew close by we felt comfortable asking to check on them.

But what it also did was cause me to think of the spiritual principle our dogs illustrated. Their food bowls were empty and had been empty for quite some time. Both Buddy and Duke are strays we rescued, so they had been on their own before, yet they stayed. Why did they stay and not go wandering to at least look for food? Because of loyalty and also a form of faith deep inside them, faith that we loved them and would always take care of them. Now I know they are only dogs and don’t display the higher cognitive thinking abilities we humans have, but there is a core deep inside them, a trust and faithfulness that we should all make note of.

Just as our dogs stayed, faithfully waiting for their masters to come and provide their needs, so should we wait and trust in God. Oh, there was rejoicing when we got home. They bounced and leaped, excited to see us, and we loved them intensely back. I ran and got food for them and even had to encourage them to eat for they, despite being desperately hungry, were more interested in crawling in my lap and being close. There is a lesson in this for me. Just as they trust in us, to the point perhaps of starving, so need I to trust in God, to truly believe He will take care of us and knows our needs even before we do. When things get bad, when situations all seem to go wrong, when church people who are supposed to love and care reject and gossip instead of doing what they know is right, I need to understand that God is still God. That He loves us even more than we love those dogs and will always lift us up. We pray every day for the pastor and others at Hosanna, intercede for them, ask God to be merciful but also ask that He help them see and understand how their actions directly contradict everything our faith is about. We are to lift up, not tear down, strengthen, not destroy.

I went to the Lynaugh prison yesterday. So missed attending the 4 day Kairos event we had planned so hard for. At the prison I shared something I had read when I was in prison over 30 years ago. It was a poem that I no longer know word for word, but the message still remains with me. The poem told of a man driving along and noticing a group of workers busy tearing down a building. He stops and talks with the foreman of the group, who tells him, “In a minute or two, I can tear down what others took years to do”. When I first heard this decades ago it had an impact on me, for the truth is it is much easier to tear down than it is to build up.

I shared this with the new converts and new members of the Kairos community because we are laying a foundation for them to build on. In prison, and out here in the free world, it is important to be builders and encouragers, to help each other out, protect and nurture our brothers and sisters in the faith. But when pride, ego, envy, jealousy, and all those other shortcomings we all must control, are allowed to rise up, then there comes discord, strife, and all manners of evil, and the Love of Christ, the foundation of our faith, is shoved off to the side. This is a dangerous thing to allow, for with it comes the judgment of the living God, who makes it clear many times that He will protect His little ones and hold accountable all who wear the label of “Christian” but harm the least of God’s children.

Mathew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

I watched a pastor squirm regarding this verse not so long ago. She said “It says many people will “say” they do these things, but doesn’t say they do, in her attempt to make sure it didn’t refer to anyone she knew. Fact is there will be many false teachers and prophets who do have signs and wonders following them, they WILL prophesy in Jesus’s name, they WILL cast out demons, they WILL perform miracles, yet they are not pleasing to God.

1 Corinthians 13 says 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

It’s not what you do, but why you do it that is important. True love is shown in actions, not empty words. True love forgives and always works to build up others, to choose what is best for them, not best for yourself. There are so many who seem blind to themselves, deluded they are all that in the church when the fruit of their lives reveals the truth.
The truck we bought in Indiana
That’s it. Got work to do so must go.


Amy E said...

Congratulations on your "new" truck! Sure wish we lived close enough. I would have cared for your need to move next to me ;-) now if I only had the money to pay a mover to bring your house here ;-) Tell Cherie hi for me!

Bob said...

It would be nice, as long as u had 75 or more acres for me to put it on. I know farming down there is easier, because there is water.

Bob said...

actually we plan on building a straw bale house one of these years so this one will become a rental or something