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“Then I Rest in All That’s Right”

He did not fail to confess,

but confessed freely,

“I am not the Messiah.”

John 1:20

“He must increase,

but I must decrease.”

— John 3:30

Joel Hathaway, Alumni Director of St. Louis’ Presbyterian Covenant Theological Seminary, recently wrote this and sent it to me on my birthday. It’s stuck with me and blessed me. With gracious permission I share it with you today —

My Soul unto Thee: A Prayer 

If you grow short, then I’ll grow long—

imagine all that will go wrong:

you’d grow less, while I grow more,

and act out deeds I should abhor.

So I’ll grow dim, let you grow bright,

for then I rest in all that’s right.

— Loud AMEN here, how about you?

 

 

BONUS: The Rainbow, all the way from Scotland

“What does the Body of Christ look like in the light of the rainbow?”  — The Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, in Edinburgh, 5.21.17

CHURCHES: CHANGES WE MUST MAKE OR DIE. NUMBER 5.

There is nothing I can add to these nine things Thom Rainer has posted. Nothing.

He writes —

Another church closed. This church had unbelievable potential. Indeed, it had its own “glory days,” but only for a season. But, 10 years ago, few would have predicted this church’s closure. Today, it is but another statistic in the ecclesiastical graveyard.

I know. We don’t compromise doctrine. I know. We must never say we will change God’s Word.

But many of our congregations must change. They must change or they will die.

— So here is his one of his nine suggestions —

We must stop using biblical words in unbiblical ways.

“Discipleship” does not mean caretaking.

“Fellowship” does not mean entertainment.

Have You Outgrown It?

She regularly took him to the zoo after she and his father had fought.

This time they were sitting on a bench, looking at a tiger.

She asked him what he thought the tiger would do if it escaped.

He smiled at her and said the tiger would run away and chase squirrels.

“Oh, so you’re an Optimist,” she said.

“What’s an Optimist?” he asked his mom.

Looking away, she answered, “Something most people grow out of.”

That’s a scene from season 2 of the Wachowskis’ current Netflix series.

How would you answer his question, “What’s an Optimist?”

Is it really just “Something most people grow out of” or is there another answer?

Looking forward to hearing from you, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

A Catcher’s Mitt on Both Hands

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands,” said Maya Angelou.

She had me right there.

Goofiest baseball image I’ve ever tried to picture: “a catcher’s mitt on both hands” would be tricky to pull off by yourself.

Even trickier to literally pull one of them off your hand by yourself while wearing two catcher’s mitts.

And what are you going to do while wearing two catcher’s mitts besides make silly muffled sounds while clapping?

Ms. Angelou went on, “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

For example, share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. — Isaiah 58:7

As one of our national treasures pictured it, “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

What are you going to “throw back” in responsible gratitude today?

 

Fear, Rage, Desire, & Love

“This is what life is,” says a character named Sun in season one of the Wachowskis’ current Netflix series.

She continues, “This is what life is: fear…rage…desire…love.”

WARNING: Big Question coming up next.

How would you complete her sentence, “This is what life is: ____________”

I’d love to hear from you. Seriously.

And take as much space and time as you need. Seriously.

Confessions of a Coffee-Holic, part 3 of 3

[PLEASE NOTE: If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2, simply scroll down and do so first.]

Another problem I’ve encountered with my Naturally and Artificially Sweetened French Vanilla Cappuccino Mix, Made with Coffee is the recipe.

Or maybe it’s with the directions.

Either way, I know it’s yet another case of Operator Error.

To properly prepare a serving of Naturally and Artificially Sweetened French Vanilla Cappuccino Mix, Made with Coffee takes a three step process.

  1. Boil water.
  2. Put the appropriate amount of scoops of Naturally and Artificially Sweetened French Vanilla Cappuccino Mix, Made with Coffee into the cup/mug/Yeti One Gallon Rambler Jug.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the Naturally and Artificially Sweetened French Vanilla Cappuccino Mix, Made with Coffee powder.

On more than one occasion I’ve taken my first sip and found it to be weak and lacking in flavor. Like really bland. Even blah. Like it was just hot water.

Because I’d accidentally skipped the second part of the recipe and forgot to add the Naturally and Artificially Sweetened French Vanilla Cappuccino Mix, Made with Coffee.

The same thing happens with our faith and in our churches. We get everything in place, shiny and polished and perfect, but leave out the key ingredient: Christ Jesus.

And we find ourselves in hot water.

And the writer of Hebrews 5:12-14 roars at us: “You ought to be teachers, but you have need for someone to again teach you the elementary principles of the things of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

“Everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for they are infants.

“Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” 

Time for us to change some things.