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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Devotionals / Walking in the Light Welcome Guest

          Random thoughts from someone trying to walk in His light

    Thu, Nov 22nd - 2:34PM



    I have thought about the previous question. Of course I would be in awe. Of course prayer is talking to Jesus but how many of us truly feel it is the same as seeing him face to face would be. Sure I would listen to anything he said. But I imagine he would want me to talk too. As a parent I enjoy explaining things to my kids. Wouldn’t he? So here’s some of the things I would ask, if my mind would work in his presence. I do know the "church answer" to some of these. I have used them myself at times. But to hear him answer, I’d ask.

    How much of Genesis be taken literally?

    How much of Revelation should be taken literally?

    What were you writing in the sand when the woman was brought to you?

    Is the leviathan in Job a real animal?

    Why did there have to be really bad birth defects?

    Why do so many great old saints struggle with their faith at the end of their lives?

    What is heaven like?

    Is there life on other planets?

    I’m sure that I heard the "voice of God" a few times in my life. Am I right?

    When are you coming back?

    Do we have a child in Heaven from Taryn’s miscarriage?

    What is the deal in Jude where Michael contends with the Devil for Moses’ body?

    Who is there in Heaven that I would be most surprised to know is there?

    I try to be faithful, to follow you, but is there something in particular that I am supposed to do with my life?

    Can you lose or give up your salvation? (Yes, I know my answer, but I’d ask anyway)

    Am I doing OK? How can I do better?



    Comment (1)

    Mon, Nov 12th - 1:24PM



    Hey,

        Here is Brant Hansen's answer (see Kamp Krusty link below) to the question - If you were stuck in an elevator with Jesus for two hours what would you ask him? I relate strongly to his answer, as did most of his many readers. It's cool that the answer is what came to me on my "spiritual retreat" when I really needed it a while back.

    I thought about how I probably wouldn't be able to say anything, but then I remembered that actual human people hung out with Jesus and even felt comfortable enough to say stupid stuff. 
    I pictured being in an elevator with a Jewish man who's a little shorter than me.  In South Florida, it is not difficult to imagine being in an elevator with a Jewish man who's a little shorter than me.
    I thought I should say, "Hey, I'd just listen, man -- let him talk."  But then thought maybe Jesus wasn't the kind to just start pontificating on people.  If I wanted him to talk in-depth, one-on-one, I'd probably need to ask.
    I thought about asking him, "What's your will for my life?  What do you really want me to do?" but I figure I already know the answer to that one, and it would have nothing to do with geography and career moves.
    I thought about asking some doctrinal questions, which "church" has it right.  But -- I'm pretty sure of this -- his answer would be aimed directly at my self-righteousness, and wouldn't give me any inside scoop at all like I wanted. 
    I thought about theodicy, and why bad things happen to good people, and why did God order the killing of women and children in the O.T., and that stuff. 
    I posed the "What would you talk about with Jesus...?" question on my radio show, and a mom called, crying, saying she'd want to know what her eight-year old boy is doing each day in heaven.
    Maybe "Why do you allow this?" -- Job-type questions -- would be the "right" ones.  Intellectually, that's the right one, purely based on the number of people waiting on the answer.  But -- just being honest -- it's not what I want him to talk about most.
    So here's what I said, in response to the question, and forgive me if it's shallow and selfish.  I'm just being honest, here's what I'd turn to Jesus and ask:

    Am I a fraud? 
    Or are you pleased with me?  If you are, can I hear you say it?



    Comment (12)

    Wed, Nov 7th - 10:34PM



    The old women stood before the moneychanger’s table. Her bent fingers fumbled in her small cloth purse. Behind her, several rich men laughed. Finally she pulled out one tarnished coin. The man in the robe at the table smirked and pushed two small copper coins across to her with exaggerated care. The woman picked up the copper temple approved coins and pressed them into the palm of her left hand. She smiled kindly at the moneychanger.

    The large rich man behind her didn’t wait for her to step away. He pushed next to her and laid a large leather bag on the table. The moneychanger hesitated, then looked quickly at his stock of temple coins. It was enough.

    He had enough coins for such a large amount because he paid attention. He had heard the rumors that the young rabbi would be at the temple today. He knew some of the important men in the temple might want to meet this rabbi. And if they wanted to meet him, it meant they wanted to impress him. This Jesus would make him a fine profit on the exchanges today.

    "Eli, such a temple gift! You must have had a good month!" one of the men said to the man at the table with a loud laugh.

    "I finally collected from that old carpenter. The one who had owed me since spring. I leaned on him and he finally paid."

    The moneychanger measured out several stacks of temple coin. Eli counted the coins and then scooped them into his bag. He pulled the drawstrings tight and placed the bag deep in the inside pocket of his coat. He headed for the temple court as the others lined up at the table behind him.

    In the middle of the court the young rabbi was speaking. He sounded angry and the people around him seemed to be getting angry at him. Eli decided that maybe this rabbi wasn’t one to be associated with. He turned to the treasury box for his big moment.

    Above the box was a new large brass funnel. It was especially designed to draw attention to the giving to the temple. As the newly purchased temple coins rolled around in the funnel on their way to the box, the sound of someone giving could be heard across the huge courtyard.

    Eli pulled his coin bag out from deep in his coat and felt the weight of it one last time in his hand. He poured some coins into his hand and tossed them slowly into the funnel, flicking his wrist slightly to make the coins curve into the funnel for a longer, noisier rise. As it rattled around he poured more coins into his hand and released them. With great care he kept the coins spinning for several moments.

    He glanced around to see most of the heads in the courtyard turned towards the noise the coins were making. Much of the conversation in the courtyard had died down. When the coins finally stopped there was a rare quiet. Much of the crowd gathered around the young rabbi turned to see his reaction. Jesus just smiled.

    The little woman stood near the treasury box, the two coins still pressed into her palm. Eli stayed before the funnel for a while, oblivious to the woman, enjoying the moment. Finally he walked away, towards his small group of wealthy friends.

    The woman waited a little longer, making sure everyone’s attention had shifted back to their own matters. She walked quickly to the funnel but didn’t cast the coins in immediately. This was the last of her money. There were many foul smells in the courtyard but there was also was the smell of cooking meat from the ongoing sacrifices. She hadn’t eaten in two days. Slowly she raised her eyes towards the temple, imagining she could see the Arc of the Covenant itself, the seat of God. With a blissful smile, she cast the two coins into the funnel. They clinked twice and were gone.

    She looked around to see if anyone had noticed her gift. No one in the court seemed to be looking. Then, through the small crowd around him, she saw Jesus looking at her. His look seemed to make the hundreds of people around them disappear. For the first time in many years someone was actually seeing her. And his look wasn’t pity. It was approval.

    "I tell you the truth," Jesus said loudly. "This poor woman has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

    The woman blushed. She looked away, uncomfortable with more attention than she had ever received in her life. But then she looked back at him, unable to resist Jesus’ look. He said something to her from across the courtyard. Somehow no one else heard him, but he said, "My daughter, there will be a feast at your house tonight."

    Several rich temple leaders went home angry that day. The little woman simply went home and waited.

    Luke 21:1-4

    Our God is a god of little things. The God of supernovas, oceans, and great whales is also the God of ladybugs, snowflakes, and fireflies. Very few of his children are designed to lead Billy Graham Crusades or build cathedrals. Most of us are made to smile, encourage, and send cards. He loves us for all the little things we do. Because He makes great things out of little things.



    Comment (4)

    Sun, Nov 4th - 11:29AM



    Hey,

        Bill Hybels at the Willow Creek Church, the 5th largest church in America. Has been very influential in how church is done nowadays. His, and a multitude of his staff's, books have been must reading for many years. I think of the whole thing as the small group movement. People reading, or better yet watching a video from an expert that boiled down scriptures into a self-help type seminar, lead by a Facilitator who sums things up and serves coffee.

    “We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.” - Bill Hybels



    Comment (3)

    Fri, Nov 2nd - 9:27PM



    Nine Things I am Thankful For

    1. I have a relationship with Jesus. I was raised by Christian parents. Despite a questioning intellect, I find it easy to believe in God.
    2. We have two great Christian children. They are great fun to be around. They are both working on educations that should lead to good careers.
    3. We have two great Christian children we "adopted" and many great Christian kids we have as friends. We haven’t had great success with adults our own age, but we are good with kids.
    4. I have an amazing wife. She loves God, is sexy, an awesome cook, has been patient and supportive.
    5. I have a good job that is pretty secure, pays pretty well for this area and provides a lot of empty time to think.
    6. I attend a church that has often provided opportunities to teach, and fail at leadership.
    7. Although I am a little skeptical of "Christian merchandise", I am blessed by Christian music and books.
    8. We have a nice little piece of land, just the right distance from town and very quiet.
    9. This website.


    Comment (2)

    Thu, Nov 1st - 8:00PM

    PERSONAL UPDATE



    Hey

        The celebration of life service for my sister went fine. She was 12 years older than I and was married very young so it was a different relationship. I was 5 when she was 17 and moving away from home. I believe she was a Christian. She was raised in church and was in church off and on. But mostly she was active with her dogs. Most of the people at the service were dog people. When the sharing time came most of the comments were about how she loved and helped dogs. It made me think. At my pizza party funeral I want maybe half as many people say that I loved and helped people instead.

        The vacation was awesome. Taryn and I had a second honeymoon. We came back closer than we have been in decades. I thinnk it was because of the state of mind that things have brought us too. Acceptance, resignation and the thought that we may be be almost all that we have left to worry about. (By that I mean we have always had church work to occupy our time).

       We had decided that after the vacation we would make a committment to one church or another. We didn't talk about it at all on the trip. Last night we agreed that ther had been no great direction. No real feeling that anything would go well in one direction or badly in another. So we decided to go where, if it worked out, it would accomplish the most good. For us and for the church. So we decided to stay in our home church and make the best of it. Maybe our showing forgivness might help things to heal a little. Or our staying might help others to decide to stay.



    Comment (3)

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    About Me

    Name: Jon Johnson
    ChristiansUnite ID: parakleter
    Member Since: 2005-07-27
    Location: , California, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: God seems to always be taking me someplace new. I want to praise and whine about that and share what I have learned along the way.

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