Monday, February 27, 2012

Vampire Protection

So as for spending time in God's Word (see previous post), I'm in a dilemma. I KNOW it's important, and a good thing to do, so it should be easy, right? I should be jumping at the chance to do it. For pleasure, even.

But instead I feel driven, in an anxious way, to take time to read my Bible every day. It feels so legalistic. I should simply be able to relax into the joy of spending time with Jesus, but I can't. I'm driven to the activity, rather than being drawn to it. Kind of like a vampire is driven to suck blood, not for pleasure (it can't be that much fun), but because of an unhealthy addiction (unhealthy for the victims, at least).

Yuk! My apologies for the disturbing content of this post. Vampires are on my mind because my friend, Kate Zimmerman, reviewed a vampire novel in her column in our local paper yesterday.

So that's my dilemma. Here's my diagnosis: I think the drivenness comes out of a mixture of pride and fear.

PRIDE: Reading your Bible every day is what good Christians should do, and I want to maintain the image.

FEAR: The vampirish pull of the secular society around me is so strong I’m afraid it will suck out my soul if I don’t fight back with a daily dose of eternal wisdom. In this crazy culture, I need a daily reminder that God is sovereign, even though He seems to have given us an endlessly long piece of rope with which to hang ourselves.

Sigh. So when do I get to enjoy the healthier motivation? Maybe not until heaven. I can see myself sitting down with Jesus then, when the reasons for pride and fear have been dealt with once and for all, and enjoying a pleasant visit over a spot of tea.

Meanwhile, here's my frantically acquired dose of vampire protection for today:

“I give eternal life to them; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

So says Jesus, in John 10:28-30.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What Joy Is and What It Isn't

“Joy is not an emotion. Joy is a settled certainty that God is in control.” *

I'm not a Calvinist. At least I don't think I am.** But I love this statement about joy. I remember when the truth that God is in control finally settled deeply enough into my soul that joy came to live there as well. For good.

It was an unconscious thing, the deep receiving of this Truth, and the amazing, surprising side benefit of receiving the Joy. It probably happened over time, as I read and meditated upon and therefore subconsciously absorbed Scriptures that reinforced this truth.

I became indoctrinated with the Truth.

We need to allow the Holy Spirit to indoctrinate us with Truth.

We can only do that by spending time in His Word.

* From The Joy of Calvinism, by Greg Forster as reviewed by Joan Nienhuis.

** Now I'll get a sermon about this from my retired, Presbyterian minister-cousin, Rol, I'm sure!

Shameless Audacity

That's how we're supposed to pray: with "shameless audacity." Jesus said so in Luke 11.

No shame. And with "intrepid boldness." (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary).

That's His admonition to them when his disciples ask Him to teach them to pray.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will YOUR FATHER in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Exclamation point is in the text.)

Lord, fill us to overflowing with your Holy Spirit today!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Journey, Zinovy's and Mine

A friend just did a great video interview with me about Zinovy's Journey. If you'd like to learn more about the process and the motivation behind the writing of the book, you're welcome to view the interview at "Going Home."

I miss the opportunity to post more to this blog, but life is consuming me right now. I don't even have time to write about it. It's a good (God) thing, but limits what I have time to do on the side.

Please keep being my friend on this blog. I intend to post more one of these days, if you have the patience to wait.