Sunday, October 29, 2006

back in black

i always liked this template better. it's time to bring it back. and if you find yourself with some time to waste, i don't know, skipping homework perhaps? or just needing a break at work, one of the girls who was in youth group when i was volunteer leader is all grown up now and is a first year teacher in the inner city of chicago. she blogs about it and various other things here.

back with ya soon.

3 comments:

Wendy ftfs said...

It makes a more dramatic back drop for your pics.

Johnny Cash.... Man in Black

...said he'd stop wearing black as soon as the condition of man changed and we stopped causing pain to one another.

He never did stop wearing black.

Interesting thing about the ten commandments ... there is love behind every one of them.

Our Father saying ... don't do this ... it will hurt you in more ways than you understand ... just listen ... I know how to protect you.... Just listen to me and all will be well.

But we don't listen ... and all is not well.

He sent His son to tell us to love one another deeply ... forgive one another as our Father forgives us. No matter what. We don't understand what depth of forgiveness we are called to. When He says put the pointing finger away that is exactly what He means ... you are just as sinful... you have nothing to say about anyone.

These are the commandments that Jesus taught us ... LOVE

"What commandment is the foremost of all?"

Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.'
"The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'

There is no other commandment greater than these."

The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE'S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF,is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him,

"You are not far from the kingdom of God." Mark 12

jON said...

thank you so much wendy for these words. they come at a time sorely needed and they are a salve to my soul.

about 2 minutes ago i was thinking about scripture and myself. and it has taken me a long time to verbalise, but i think where things are for me is that i want to stop lying and saying it all makes sense. as if all of the bible fits into some sort of cohesive whole for me. because it doesn't. there are still many things i don't fully understand.

in my life and religious training, i learned many scriptures. some seemed to be geared at outer actions, some inner actions. the place i found that i had gotten to last year was that i realized while trying my best to follow all the verses about externals, for some reason, the ones about internals were not happening. doing or not doing certain things did not change my inner man. so in obeying one set of scriptures, another set was being left void. as soon as i realized this and began another path of honest self-appraisal, i found that in disobeying the scriptures about externals (not to simly disobey, but to be honest about who i am at the moment) i found the scriptures about internals being fulfilled.

strangely enough.

so the thought i just had was that if i'm going to be disobeying one set of scriptures at the moment, i would prefer they be ones about external things. because in the end, the only cohesive message i get from scripture is what you, wnedy, have pointed out here. there are no greater commands for us than to love god and love our neighbor. and being honest has lead those to actually being the number one and number two things in my life.

and to me, that's not backsliding. that's progress.

and this process simply unlocked a whole set of scriptures in a new light in which i had never seen them before. and it makes more sense to me. and once again, in my mind, that's a good thing. because the more scriptures that actually makes sense, i can explain better. and not have to go through my old routine of conversation in which there comes a point when i have to say, "i don't know why. that's just how it is." because i know that doesn't work for me. i don't know why i would think it works for someone else.

so i decided to stop pointing the finger outward. and stop pointing the finger inward. and just rest in his love. and share that same love with everyone i come in contact with. this, i think, is the real message of scripture. and until i get the rest figured out, i'm going to stick with this.

Wendy ftfs said...

""as if all of the bible fits into some sort of cohesive whole for me. because it doesn't. there are still many things i don't fully understand.""

It does, Jon. In the OT you get to know your Father and in the NT you learn of his all encompassing mercy and His love to you is reconfirmed. It's as simple as that and I don't think we CAN fully understand all of it ... where there is difficulty understanding an area and brothers and sisters begin to argue over it ... this is simply not understanding and we have to sit back and say, listen, we are not understanding this and we need to pray and let the Lord open it up to us ... if that doesn't happen right away because of our own feeble and stubborn minds then we need to go back to the "rock" who commands "love". It is our anchor, our cohesiveness, our Saviour.

""in my life and religious training, i learned many scriptures.""

Yep, and we have not always heard them right from the pulpit ... most of the time we have ... but they can be coloured with the pastors' misunderstanding of them or with their own prejudices... that is why you must be reading along with them and in prayer and love relationship with God. Always reading the context in which a certain thing was taught.
I heard in church one day that the very elect would be deceived in the last days, so great would the delusion be ... but that is definitely NOT what scripture says at all ... it says "IF IT WERE POSSIBLE" even the very elect would be deceived. Matthew 24

""doing or not doing certain things did not change my inner man.""

Only "love" will ... remembering who love is ... God is love...you must always be saying to yourself ... am I loving in this situation? Am I in tune with the lover of my soul and am I harming my neighbour? Or am I in this for myself... no greater love than this ... that a man lay down his life for his brother... the first in the kingdom is servant of all.

""so i decided to stop pointing the finger outward. and stop pointing the finger inward. and just rest in his love. and share that same love with everyone i come in contact with. this, i think, is the real message of scripture. and until i get the rest figured out, i'm going to stick with this.""

Good thing to stick with ...
There will be failures still ... keep at it.

James 3

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.....

Two Kinds of Wisdom

..13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.