Friday, November 24, 2006

Omniscience' Question

Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the other nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? Luke 17:11-19

Here in Georgia the weather has been indescribably beautiful. Temps in the a.m. have been in the 30s to 40s. Afternoons have soaked us with sunshine. High humidity has taken a vacation, and the holiday has given us a respite from the usual pace. This "foreigner" is enjoying every minute of it!

Over the last couple of months I have been more aware of my need to cultivate a thankful heart. I have done word studies on "joy" and "thanks," but more importantly, I have chosen to go to God time after time and confess my need for those two heart conditions -- joy and thankfulness. God alone can provide them.

When I read this story it struck me how surprised Jesus was that only one out of the ten healed returned to "glorify God" and thank Jesus. Also, it appears that Jesus was a little surprised at who did return -- a Samaritan. I can understand why Jesus was surprised that only one of ten returned to give thanks. But why was He surprised that it was "this foreigner?"

Reading this, I have concluded and decided that I want to be a pleasant surprise to my God. I want to be one of the very few people who return to give thanks for what He has done. It also crossed my mind that I have spent so much time asking and wishing, that it may have surprised (if not shocked) God that I finally returned to "give glory to God" with a humble "thank you!"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Words -- Your Mouth

I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes.Jerehmiah 5:14

Tonight my son Josh and I sat staring into the firepit. We split time taking turns coaxing the wet wood to burn. I recently bought a cord of wood for just such evenings as this. A few days ago, my neatly stacked fuel was drenched with 5 inches of rain. Needless to say, we didn't have a roaring fire.

The transformation of cold, damp wood releasing energy, that chases away darkness and warms our bodies, still amazes me. I know, I know there is a scientific explanation for it -- combustion and all that. But I still love a fire and there is something spiritual about it. God often chose to use our fascination with fire as a metaphor to teach us spiritual truth.

"Jerehmiah, your words, formed by air traveling over your vocal cords, and shaped by your tongue and teeth, will be like a consuming fire. No, your words will not be motivational or inspirational -- a speech that gets the adrenalin flowing and moves people toward great purposes. Instead, your words will be like a Divine match, struck, and set beneath souls dry as tinder (paraphrase)." Jerehmiah, as God's proxy, spoke words that ignited a consuming fire -- words that brought judgment.

Josh and I took shifts using our lungs as bellows. As we leaned into the glowing embers our breath did not form words, but did ignite a flame. With each puff, tongues of fire leaped and curled around the wood, consuming it.

Each dancing flame brought brought to my mind echoes of God's words to His prophet.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Scientia Mutua Mundi

In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil . . . You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you shall surely die. Genesis 2:9, 16-17

There it is, the only prohibition given to the only couple God ever created, Adam and Eve. Billions of humans have come and gone through procreation since, but these two are the only originals.

I was not there when all hell broke loose -- when the first couple became the first sinners. They saw, took, and ate of the forbidden fruit, and their unhindered relationship with God gave up the ghost. The Scriptures declare that the lineage of all good and evil can be traced to its birth place, found in this story.

Not all the world believes there was actually a couple named Adam and Eve. The mythic account of the origin of man and sin is considered little more than an ancient generation's attempt to find university. Impossible that we, their progeny, received their fallen DNA -- impossible that we inherited their sin nature at conception.

My wife Sandy was recently inducted into an honor society, Phi Beta Delta. The society has a shield with this motto, Scientia Mutua Mundi -- Latin for The world's shared knowledge. When I read the Latin phrase it piqued my interest and brought forward these questions, "Can we agree that all of us share a knowledge that there is good and evil in this world? Is it possible that there is a record of its origin?"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Precarius Life

No, I did not intend to spell precarious in the title of this post. I recently read that the word prayer comes from the Latin root precarius -- a linguistic cousin to precarious. There is an uncertainty that goes with prayer. Truth is, it is often uncertainty that causes us to call out to God, and even as we do so, we are not always sure of the outcome of our prayers.

When I think of the word precarious I also think of danger. I have heard it said, "Be careful what you pray for!" Is it dangerous to pray for things and situations? No, it is my lack of prayer that is dangerous. The choices are a precarious or precarius life.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Docility

Writing is a necessity for me. As of late, my postings have been few and far between. I have a lot of other things I could be doing, but I just feel the need to write. "But what will I write about?" I ask myself.

I am going to write about the word "Docility."

"Why?" You might ask.

Like I said, I need to write. So I picked up my Webster's New World Thesaurus, flipped it open, and put my right index finger on the left page -- page 122. Under my finger was the word "docility." Docility is a noun. It is akin to obedience, gentleness, adaptability; see humility, shyness. Says my Thesaurus.

The synonyms puzzled me. To me they are not similar words. For instance, I consider myself very adaptable, but I am not shy, nor am I particularly gentle. Yet, I do consider myself to be obedient. Can one be obedient and not gentle?

The Thesaurus said, "see humility." One of the synonyms for humility is submissive. Since I turned to the word humility, like my Thesaurus told me, I guess I am submissive.

I think I will look up Shy. A synonym for shy is girlish. I am not shy.

I return to the word docility and one final synonym -- humility. Yes. That's it without a doubt. I am supremely humble.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Buck Stopped Here

I am almost embarrassed to admit it -- I wasn't in a tree stand to greet the sun as it peeked over the tree tops. Instead, I did a few things around the house and then went horseback riding. Even though it was in the upper 70's, the trails, dappled with light, were cool and comfortable.

After doing some groundwork in the round pen we headed into the woods. Our path zig-zagged through oaks, pines, and nearly naked hardwoods. After a while we emerged from acres of planted pines into a sunlit field. To my right was the rickety tree stand I had dragged across the field a couple of years ago. Once across the opening, we started down a sloping road that led to another small clearing. On my left lay the complete skeleton of a buck. Still attached to the skull was a thick set of antlers with ten points.

"That wasn't there 3 weeks ago," Cary said.

We sat on our horses discussing the cause of the big deer's demise. We both figured someone had wounded it and couldn't track it. After a few minutes, I got down from my horse to look at the rack. When I tried to lift them for a closer look, we discovered what had happened. The antlers were tangled in some thick vines. I gave a couple of good yanks and still couldn't break them free!

I had heard of such things happening, but have never seen it first hand -- the buck stopped here, got stuck in the thicket of vines, and died.