Archive for January, 2014

Old men categorize wisdom, young men dream dreams

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Well, that is one way to look at it.  As we age, we tend to slow down in our vim and vigor.  We still have all sorts of thoughts and ideas.  But we, hopefully, have much that slows us down. 

Slowing down and patience are things that I have been working on.  I have had surgery on my knees and eyes.  Both of these have allowed me to speed up – I can get to what I can see now – without a great amount of effort.

But should I?  Patience is teaching me that a little forethought and time to cogitate is not a bad thing.  Less people get wounded by careless words or anger without thought.  Opportunity for God to speak into the situation is always a welcome thing.

And so, I am willing to look back over what I have learned and begin to think things through.

By the way, this piece of wisdom came to me in a journal entry in March 5, 2001 as I was contemplating on the book of Joel.  Hopefully I’ve learned a bit more since then – hopefully I’m applying what I wrote!!

On planning

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

I have been working through the matter of being a planner.  I am not going to say that we shouldn’t plan.  In fact, I am a believer in the work that it takes to make things work. 

But, I am seeing more and more that the gifting of God for a planner is a also a possible curse.  The planner can take over from God, and make things work to his or her satisfaction.  Often not as a conscious thing, but more as a remnant of a selfishness which we seem to inherit at birth.

I like what Chris Tomlin had to say on this.

If you look back and go, “it’s worked perfectly to my plan”, then it’s about your glory.

I guess I want life to be about God’s glory.  And so, I am consciously not planning (at least in my own strength).  I am trying to spend more time asking God what His plans are.  Haven’t figured all this out (and a younger colleague of mine was disappointed in that – he wondered how he would ever figure things out if I hadn’t figured them out at my age!).  But God is good and will continue to work in my life both to do his good pleasure and to bring glory to Himself.

Transitions

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

As some of you will know, transition plans that had been in place for the next while at our church have been changed.  This means I am  in the midst of my own personal retreat time (in the midst of continuing work responsibilities).

The phrase that has stuck in my mind  is, “Gaze on God.”  This morning it was not easy to do just that.  Yesterday more than one event meant readjusting again and again.  My first inclination is to make a plan, or to retreat into the worst case scenario.   I think my first inclination is probably misplaced!

My gaze today has been prompted by Romans 11:33-36 (New Living Translation)

33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

34 For who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to give him advice?

35 And who has given him so much
that he needs to pay it back?

36 For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.

As I looked through some journals of previous years, I saw that same  set of verses pop up.  These were the verses that came to mind on July 18th, 2002 right after the funeral for my father-in-law, Al Cooper, who had passed away suddenly. 

We wonder at circumstances – particularly those over which we have no control and for which we have no plan. 

God, let me get a new glimpse of  you today.

Inspired by a murmuration

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

I have been away from blogging for awhile.  In that time I have come to appreciate much of where Facebook, as a social media, is heading.  They have really become more “Linkbook”.  I have found a lot of the sharing is linking to others and what they have to say, a trend away from the original idea of personal sharing.

I don’t really want this blog to become just a link.  So, let me invite you to find on YouTube a video of “murmuration.”  This is an amazing sight as starlings (or other birds) swirl together to form unusual patterns.  With that  in mind, I created the following thoughts which went along with a two minute video that I found (you can search on You Tube under – “Murmuration (Official Video) by Sophie Windsor Clive & Liberty Smith)!

This is an encouragement to believe that unexpected chaos can lead to exceptional beauty!

“In Genesis 1:2, the Hebrew reads that the Spirit of God was brooding restlessly over creation. Things were formless and void, there was a swirling of matter but no final sense of what was to come. In the next few days, there is a whole new creation. Beauty out of chaos.

Pentecost comes in the beginning of Acts, and life is swirling for Jesus’ followers. With tongues of fire, God’s Spirit comes, bringing beauty out of chaos.

In the swirl of history, God’s timing brought Jesus to this earth. In the fullness of time, in the swirl of Jesus’ death, God brought beauty out of chaos.

When Christ comes again, the significance of the swirl of our earthly lives will become apparent. In this new creation God will reveal the beauty in the chaos.

In Hebrews 12:2, we are called to Gaze on God – to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation. Not only as individuals, but also as a gathering of Christ-ones.

I may not see other than those few flying beside me as I experience the ebb and flow of life. But we are together in Jesus. And together we are the murmuration of Jesus’ presence on this earth. There is no better place to be!! “