Thursday, January 12, 2012
I appreciate reminders.
As always, I am faced with the many things I have not gotten to. Was grateful for the reminders sent regarding updating the blog for the Kairos prison ministry. We were stuck in Ohio when the last Kairos event happened so I not only missed it but failed to write in the Kairos blog regarding the event. That was in September. So today I must focus on that, or I will proceed to some other thing and forget again. It is frustrating to be so smart and so dumb at the same time. And then there is the personal problem I have when I perceive that someone dismisses my opinion as having no or little value. That happened recently during a conversation so I made the decision to walk away before my frustration grew to the point I would say something I regretted. The person followed me, not allowing the escape I sought and then later called on the phone. I expressed my perception that he had a lack of respect for my opinion but he seemed unable to see that fault in himself, so I again brought the conversation to an end. There was a time when I would have just unleashed all that emotion but I continue to improve there.
The snow has all melted now. It went down to 25 degrees last night so the ground froze again, along with the lake we have in front of our house. The high is only predicted to climb up to 47 degrees or so, so it will be a cool day for sure. I had been thinking of climbing on the tractor today but may not. But I do want to take advantage of this moisture in the ground and see if I can work the soil some more in that new 5 acre plot we cleared.
A friend stopped over the other day and helped me understand a little more regarding the equipment I have cobbled together. He had taken college courses on mechanical agriculture, or something like that, way back in his early years. I said something about trying to “plow” that new plot as he looked at my tractor and, pointing to what I had on the tractor said “That is not a plow”. I don’t remember what he called it but when we walked back to where the other bits and pieces of equipment are he pointed to the single blade I have used to create trenches for the drip irrigation and said “That’s a plow”. The other things Mark told me were to basically scratch the surface and the “plow” is what I use to break what he called “hard pan”.
This, however, is a plow. Unfortunately I only have this one that is complete, though I do have another that contains two of these, but they are worn out and the front blade is missing on one. Considering my tractor seemed unable to pull the two blade thing I pictured above it might not matter. So I will hook up the single blade and take twice as long with twice the fuel to break up the new plot of land.
Mark was surprised to hear that there are no area farmers helping me to understand these things or anything else about farming. I explained the power of gossip in this area and how some seem anxious to spread that which would inhibit anyone from being friendly with us. But on the other hand I must admit that I am not that good at reaching out to others and being friendly. I also am not good at asking for help for when we have nothing seems to come of it, with the exceptional exception of a few and the friends we have at the First Baptist church in Midland. Here in Stanton there has been very little contact and some of those we have met sometimes seem to turn and stab us in the back. There are exceptions to that general observation, but not many. Hopefully in time that will change. This town needs a good dose of the real love of Jesus, instead of the version we have experienced.
I am being pulled more and more in the direction of starting a bible study here, and will pursue it and see what happens. Have talked to several people we know and respect about it and have heard nothing negative regarding the concept. That is up to God. I am not really worthy of doing such a thing and realize intently that there comes a tremendous responsibility any time you stand up and represent God. My desire is to reach all those whom are not well looked on by others. In my conversations at the jail I perceived a definite feeling of not being accepted in local churches by those who were incarcerated there. This is so sad, and such a poor reflection on the truth of God, who’s main commandment is to Love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it. Real clear and simple, but appears to be as rare as it is clear.
Last Sunday Cherie and I had church and communion at home. We feel it vitally important to have the Lord’s supper, to remember through the bread and wine that He died so that we may have life. During the devotional we had together we read how Abraham “Walked before the Lord”. “What does that mean, to walk before the Lord?” I asked Cherie, fully intending to answer my question. But I will ask you too, all who read this, what does it mean to walk before the Lord?
The scriptures talk extensively about how we walk, both before and with the Lord, and also walking in the vanity of our own mind as well as in sin, following the paths of others who are not pleasing to God. In Genesis 5 we find this rather mysterious statement “Enoch walked with God ; and he was not, for God took him.” The sentence before that said “Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years”. It would seem that Enoch began walking with God after the birth of his son, Methuselah. I believe that there is a delicate line, a point where you have advanced past “walking before” the Lord to that level of spirituality where you are walking “With” the Lord.
Before their sin, their act of pride in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden daily. It was a time of fellowship and communion, when there was nothing to stand in the way between them, it was the way God intended when He created them, but that fellowship and communion was disrupted by their sin. Enoch, apparently achieved that level of righteousness and purity that I so would like to come close to, and God simply took him to heaven.
Before you can walk with God, you must walk before Him. Here is the scripture I had read that brought this up with Cherie and I. “Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty ; Walk before Me, and be blameless.” Enoch was 65 and Abram was 99 so that gives me hope at my young 56 years of age.
Listen then, while I tell you what I believe it means to “Walk Before The Lord”. When you are before someone, you are in their presence and very aware that they are examining you. In court you appear “before” a judge, whose job it is to study what you say and even how you say it. To walk before the Lord then is to be constantly aware of His almighty presence. I am sure many will say that they are constantly conscious of God’s presence but I would be careful with that. I know that I am not, despite longing to achieve that awareness.
Let’s be real. We behave often according to the company we are in. When your father or mother is present most of us watch our P’s and Q’s carefully. When you are with the pastor or priest there is little question that you would be on your “best” behavior. But then you get around some rowdy friends, and that all changes. I find myself being easily drawn into their mode of conversation and sometimes catch myself saying or agreeing with things that I would be ashamed to talk about in front of certain others, and more importantly to God. To Walk before the Lord means to be acutely aware that there are no secrets and nothing is hidden from God, and that we will all give account for every word we speak, especially if that word causes spiritual harm to another.
This is the start of the day. At least as far as this blog is concerned because it is somehow already 2:00. I hope to visit the jail today, and need to despite many other things to do. There is nothing more important than the eternal life available to all, nothing. Bye now. Be good and remember that there is a God and He really does love you. I have many friends who don’t share this belief and read this blog, but I don’t apologize for possibly offending or causing them discomfort. They should know that I love them and judge no one for not sharing the same convictions I have. Been there so very much understand.