We come now to look at the far-reaching impact we make when we touch even one person…
Rahab wasn’t the only one saved the day the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. She cut a deal with Joshua’s scouts that included her parents, siblings, and their families. It occurs to me that if all she cared about was her own salvation, Rahab could’ve simply gone back with the scouts and left her family to die in the attack. It didn’t seem to enter her mind to leave her loved ones behind. She pled for their rescue along with hers right from the beginning. Continue reading →
With the story of Rahab’s “salvation” as a backdrop, let’s now see who does the actual saving and how he does it.
Walls crumbling at the sound of shouts and trumpets? Not bad in the miracle department! Was it the perfectly articulated shouts or the trumpets’ tone that did the trick? I think not.
Remember how God told the Jews to march around the city walls for seven days without saying a word? No speaking for a week! Now that would be a miracle for me! I mean, not a word whispered between marchers, not a shout up to the Jerichoans peering down from their ramparts. What was that all about? My guess is that the Lord was reinforcing the point, “Put me first, do what I tell you, rest your mouths for the moment, and let me do the rest!” Continue reading →
We were making pancakes on a camp stove among a grove of cedar and eucalyptus trees in Golden Gate Park the other day, sharing them with anyone who came out of the trees and bushes where they’d slept the night before. Drifters many, living the gypsy life from coast to coast, travelling by train, by thumb, on foot. Others came to the famed Haight-Ashbury and stayed in order to “find themselves.” Most have lost more than they’ve found. Some collect recyclables, and on a good day (like after a holiday or concert in the park) they make as much as $50. Most deal weed for their living expenses, others peddle harder drugs like crack, meth, or heroin. The weed sellers ply their trade out in the open (the penalty benign) and my conversations with them are often interrupted by potential buyers of all shapes, sizes, and social extremes. Some customers are shoeless, showerless, shaveless, and sporting long, painstakingly grown dreadlocks. Other clients approach donning garments of the Armani brand. Continue reading →
But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you. 2 Timothy 4:5 NLT
In Part 1 we talked about the first of four important pieces of advice that Paul gave Timothy in this verse – to be sober in his thinking and not freak out when things get weird in his ministry. He knew for sure that things would get that way, and warned his protégé to keep his head together. He also knew things would get hard, that difficulty was inevitable for the one living a life of service, so he encouraged him to endure whatever came his way.
“Don’t be afraid to suffer for the Lord”(Don’t give up when it gets hard)
Not to play the Greek card in order to make me look like an expert, but I noticed that this phrase (which is a translation of just one original word) literally means to “suffer evil.” I think Paul was encouraging his young disciple to refuse to quit when being a spiritual leader seemed unbearable. It reminds me of the time when I asked the Lord what I was to do about all the loss I was experiencing at the time (divorce, broken neck, cancer). The words that ricocheted around in my thinker were “Suffer well!” (Not exactly what I was hoping for at the time! “Get well… Be well” even “Well, well…” would have sounded a lot better to me. But oh well!) Continue reading →
OK, so I didn’t really meet the devil, but let me tell you a couple stories about recent encounters I’ve had in the park with a spiritual power that is definitely not God’s, and what they taught me about God, our nemesis, and myself. Continue reading →
God is after friends. He uses every means possible (and some impossible) to leave a bread trail back to him and his paradise…
(This is the final installment of this theme of God’s Passionate Pursuit of People. You can read the other installments in musingthemysteries.wordpress.com or view the entire paper on barneywiget.com.)
Field #5 –CHRISTIANS
If what I’m saying about God and his persistent pursuit of friends is true, I trust that you can see what kind of colossal influence it might have on our witness to these potential friends of his. It’s certainly affected the way, and the spirit in which, I share his love with people lately. As I tell you how, please know that there are many many other things that could be part of a discussion about “evangelism,” but I limit my focus to the topic at hand. These are some things that are changing in how I do what I do since I’ve been more aware of how much God does what he does to make people aware of his love. Continue reading →
(You can find this entire paper on barneywiget.com)
In the last post I wrote about the first 2 “fields” in which God plants seeds: creation and conscience. In this post you’ll find fields #3 and #4.
Field #3 –CULTURE
Sometimes when I hear Carlos Santana play the guitar (as far as I know, is not a follower of Jesus) I think I feel the presence of God. The same thing happens when I gaze at a painting by Rembrandt or read the novels of Twain. I’ve finally come to the realization that the artist doesn’t have to be a Christian to exude through his art the creativity of God. When he makes a sunset and when he gives the gift of artistic talent to someone, God reveals himself.
Through what he made directly (in creation: eagles, snow-peaked mountains, etc.), God left clues about his power. But he continues to cultivate an awareness of his person through the things he makes indirectly through people (in culture: art, community, science, tradition, etc.).