Monday morning meanderings. Vol.12

September 17, 2007 at 10:43 am 2 comments

We arrived back in Sayre late Saturday night about 30 hours after we were supposed to be back.  Weather in Atlanta, Friday, caused a backlog of flights in an out of one of the world’s busiest airports and we were held on the ground in Florida, then diverted to Birmingham, Alabama then finally into Atlanta where we missed our connection.  After staying overnight in a hotel near the airport we arrived in time for our 3:30 pm flight only to sit around for a couple more hours until the flight was cancelled for mechanical difficulty.  Finally we were on a 7:45 flight into Oklahoma City and then after a hour and a half drive to Sayre, we were finally “home”.  Good times.

Item one. What God desires of us. During a between sessions conversation with one of our speakers this past week in Florida, the speaker, Bob Mumford said this about intimacy with the Father: The Father wants to see our face.  I have heard and studied much about our need to seek His face but this was the first time I had ever heard the idea that the Father desires to see my face.  Mumford’s point has to do with being free to let the Father see who we really are.  Most of us are too intimidated to let anyone see into the deep places of our hearts, let alone the Creator.  Guilt, shame, and self hatred cause us to run, hide and hope no one really sees or knows.  Deuteronomy 10:17 says God is “no respecter of persons”.  The Hebrew word translated “persons” is literally the word “mask”.  In other words the Father wants to go past the masks we put up and know us as we really are.  New birth into Christ allows us to see through the veil into the face of the Father but it also allows Him to see our face as well. That the Father of all Creation and my Abba wants to see past my mask and look me full in the face is both thrilling and chilling.  More on this subject another time.

Item two. Prayer for the week.  Grant that I, Lord may not be anxious about earthly things, but love things heavenly; and even now, while I am placed among things that are passing away, hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (more here)

Item three.  Linda and I have a nearly 13 year friendship with an Amish family in Lancaster County, PA.  We have the loss of a son in common as well as a love for the Father.  We have made 3 trips to visit there and enjoyed real fellowship with their faith community.  We hope to go again in the next few months.  It was with that history that I found this article from the Religion News Service interesting.  Read it here.  I love these people and appreciate their commitment to faith, family and deeply held commitments to pacifism, disengagement from society and simple life philosophy, but I wonder what trends like the one in this article mean for their culture.  What happens if Amish people start thinking like evangelicals?  What happens if they decide they are supposed to reach out to other people with their Christian message? What does it mean to be “in the world, but not of the world” if you are Amish? What does evangelism and mission work look like? Perhaps one day soon David and I can discuss these subjects, until then I pray for wisdom for Amish leaders like my friend.

Item four.  The monthly letters that come from Jon Eldredge and his Ransomed Heart ministry are always good.  These last two years for Linda and me have been, in many ways, the best of times but they have also been the worst of times. It seems as though there is a regular purging of what was and a pushing toward what will be or what is.  I do not do purging well, perhaps no one does.  It is so deeply ingrained in me to want to live a happy little life.  I just want things to be good, to be with our kids and grandkids, to have something significant to do with my life, to have “plenty of money” and for things to just be nice.  In this months letter, Eldredge is making the point that we are much more inclinded to be upset when the gifts are taken away then we are when the Giver seems distant. We are far more upset when things go wrong than we ever are when we aren’t close to God. And so God must, from time to time, and sometimes insistently, disrupt our lives so that we release our grasping of life here and now.  Usually through pain.  God is asking us to let go of the things we love and have given our hearts to, so we can give our hearts ever more fully to Him.

It isn’t that God doesn’t want happiness for us, I think the Scriptures are quite clear that He does.  But what is more important to Him than our happiness is our holiness and He knows that we cannot be genuinely happy until we are authentically holy.  Until God has become our all, and we are fully His, we will continue to make idols of the good things He gives us.

 It is clear to me, after these past two years that I more often say during times of struggle, loss and purging, “why does God let this happen” than I say “Why am I not more fully given over to the Father and His desires for me?”

The philosopher and theologian, Blaise Pascal (find more quotes here) captured all this in one short burst of Spirit filled wisdom: There is no happiness except in God, and ourselves united with Him.

Have a great week united with Him.

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Charismatic, Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Family, Friendship, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Miracles, Monday meanderings, Revelation, Supernatural, The Father, Thoughts that make me go "hmmm", Travel.

Atlanta Alone.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ron Marrs  |  September 20, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Greg,

    I recently finished a book entitled, “Rumspringa: To Be or not to be Amish”. Very intriguing and fascinating study of their approach to adolescence. Maybe we can chat about it someday.

    Ron Marrs

  • 2. sumi  |  September 17, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    In the book of Song of Solomon (which is much more than a simple story about romantic love, by the way) the bridegroom (Jesus) says to his beloved:

    Son 2:14 O My dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let Me see your face, let Me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is beautiful.

    To think that He wants to see my face and deems me beautiful is almost too amazing to comprehend!

    As for what you said about purging and suffering as a result, I wrote down something my pastor said once in the back of my bible and came upon it again yesterday. It read: Some things will not be birthed if you do not have the capacity to suffer. It struck me as very true.

    Going to click on your Ransomed Heart link now. 🙂

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