Thursday, February 10, 2011

Turn the other cheek? Not there yet

2/10/11 Thursday
Another cold morning, 4 degrees according to the news. We stayed fairly warm, it was 49 degrees in the bedroom when I got up at 4:30. I checked on Buddy outside, and covered him up again. The electric blanket keeps him safe from these extreme temperatures. Then I loaded up the wood stove after stirring the left over hot coals to the surface of the ashes. By the time Cherie got up it was much warmer. Not having any strong winds blowing helped that immensely.

Yesterday I drove to Odessa to attend the prayer luncheon where Mark Case was speaking. His message and view of the future is very much in line with mine. For me it serves as a confirmation, that I am not in error with my vision of what is coming. We look forward to seeing what comes of this relationship with Mark and his ministry. I shared our testimony with a few individuals, and could see the impact of revealing what God has done in our lives.

Rascal is such a big baby. I just let him and Trixie back in so they are both on the bed as I type this. He’s snuggling up next to me and keeps pushing his nose under my arm for pets and attention. Sure makes doing this difficult. But our dogs desire to be loved, and the love the return so avidly, are a refreshment to us. Buddy is even more desirous for love than Rascal and Trixie and stands up on his two feet to get as close as possible as he seeks his pets. There is a pureness in this that lightens my soul. It sure would be nice if people could love as freely and without strings as our pets do.

This pureness is what God desires to see in us. Titus 1:15 says “To the pure, all things are pure. But to those who are corrupted, nothing is pure”. I know of no one who is truly pure, but I know many who have high degrees of pureness and have not been terribly corrupted by this world and the things in it. A child is as close to pure as there is, but all of us become jaded to a point through what we see and experience in the world around us. Pureness, for me, requires cleansing out all the impurities that lie within. A hard and long process. For a smelter, purifying gold or silver requires intense heat to burn out or reveal that which is not a precious metal. Often these impurities lie hidden and undetectable within the metal until this fire exposes it. A thief suspects others of stealing from him, and a liar doesn’t believe what others say. All of us see the world through stained eyes, and thus it distorts our perceptions. When Jesus taught regarding judging He addressed this when He said "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Mathew 7.3)

We all tend to do this and must make concerted efforts to examine how we judge others in the light of the truth, and through the love that Jesus requires of us. A recent event at my wife’s work brings out another aspect of pureness, a not so comfortable part of it. When one has a high level of pureness, and the innocence that goes with it, they often are more trusting and thus surprised and sometimes victimized by those who are corrupted in their thinking. We have seen a lot of this, where those with corrupted minds play on and take advantage of trusting Christians. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, presenting themselves as great godly people but in reality have poisoned words and cause great disruption. Jesus said that if someone takes your coat, give them your shirt also, and if someone slaps you on the cheek, present the other cheek for them to slap also. To tell the truth, I’m not there yet. I really have a hard time letting anyone take advantage of me. But I understand it’s where I need to be and strive to achieve such a state. Don’t know I’ll ever get there but know it’s a goal to reach for.

Got work to do so it’s time to go.

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