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Archive for February, 2005

I’m back

Monday, February 28th, 2005

I apologize for the lack of anything meaningful around here for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been struggling a bit with a number of things.

But I’m back. I hope the Job post below will give you something to chew on. I have a list of things to get to and I may do another post yet tonight.

Whether I do or not, I sure appreciate y’all. I especially appreciate Serena and Arielle. I’m learning from y’all and I covet your prayers. Thank you.

Job brought it on himself

Monday, February 28th, 2005

I promised cZja a while ago that I would address Matthew 8/Luke 8 where Jesus speaks to the wind and calms it.

Groundwork first:

God made man in His image. He intends for man to operate the way He operates. God speaks and what He says becomes.

Digest that because you have to understand it. Done? Good. Because we need to understand the book of Job.

Job 1:5 says:

And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings [according] to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Job lived in fear that his children were in sin. And he said. When God speaks, what He says happens immediately. We’re made in His image and His intention is for us to operate like Him. What you say matters. Job said and “thus did Job continually.”

Later in the book, Job says. “The thing I feared the most has come upon me.” That’s because that’s where his mind was focused and where the mind is focused, the words of the mouth follow. What a man speaks, he will have. For better or worse.

You’ve likely been mislead about the book of Job. I was. But if you read it carefully… and study, you’ll find that there is nothing there that contradicts the rest of the Bible..

And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

There are a number of things that we need to notice here. First, satan is ignorant. He was whining about the hedge and didn’t even know that it was down. Second, he’s a manipulative little prick that tried to con God into doing his dirty work. “…put forth thy hand..” Hallelujah, God’s smarter than that and refused to do it.

But God is also honest. Always. So He said, “Behold all that he hath [is] in thy power..” That was true and satan didn’t even know it until God pointed it out. The hedge was down because Job was living in fear and speaking from that fear. The hedge of protection was broken by Job’s words. God didn’t take down the hedge of protection, Job did.

The chapter finishes thusly:

While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Job was wrong, by the way. God doesn’t take.

Perhaps you noticed there in Job 1:19 that there was a “great wind” and it was a force of destruction.

Let’s look at Matthew 8 with that in mind.

Matthew 8:24-29:

And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
And his disciples came to [him], and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

The wind is under the purview of the “Prince of the air.” But since he’s subject to mankind’s dominion again because of the redemptive action of Jesus Christ, you can command the wind and the seas also. Jesus himself said that the works he did and greater works would we do.

In Matthew 8 the wind is most clearly a satanic force trying to keep the Anointed One from getting to the other side of the lake. They feared him then and they fear him now. Notice that had the disciples not woken him, he would’ve slept right through it. They were afraid because they didn’t know what he knew. It’s all available to us now. I think that Jesus was shocked and appalled that they had learned so little from him. He was making it clear that they could’ve done what he did. They could’ve rebuked that wind just as he did.

Fear will connect you to the thing you fear just like faith connects you to the thing you hope for.

More on my grandmother

Monday, February 28th, 2005

There are details I inadvertently omitted about my grandmother.

Not only did she have 8 children in 11 years, they were all born at home. That is as natural as natural childbirth gets. Maybe there was a neighbor to help out for a day or two, but she and my grandfather were running a farm throughout all this. Also, her first child was a girl.. followed by seven boys.

Just try to imagine having seven boys and a girl, all under 12, in a small 3 bedroom farm house on a working farm without running water. And she was happy.

I whine if I lose internet access for a few hours. What a spoiled, sissy generation we are.

My grandmother

Sunday, February 27th, 2005

My father’s mother was an amazing woman. I knew her but I regret I didn’t know her more.

She grew up in the city and her husband was a farmer. When they married, she was 33 years old. In those days that was a spinster. His family so abhorred the idea that he would marry a “city girl” that they refused to attend the wedding. They told him (and her) that she would “never make it on a farm.” So, on wedding day, the bride’s side of the church was packed and the groom’s side of the church was empty. That broke her heart. But she was determined to prove them wrong.

She married at 33 and then had 8 children in 11 years. This was in the 1940′s and it was a rural, farm life. Every morning she was up before the sun to fetch in many pails of water from the well pump outside. Water for laundry, cooking and cleaning for the entire day. And she wasn’t just feeding her hoard of ten. This was a working farm with hired hands that showed up for work before dawn. She fed them breakfast, lunch and, on slaughter days or other long ones, dinner too.

I had far too little contact with her, but I never saw her without a smile.

Her husband died long before she did. She ran the family’s farming business for years after he was gone.

My favorite aunt (in a big family) was there when Grandma passed on. Grandma was well into her eighties and had been running the farm on her own for more than a decade. My Aunt Celia told me that her last words were, “Do you think I’ve proved to them that I can make it on a farm?”

When she died, she had thirty-five grandchildren and a number of great grandchildren. Because my father was her only child to precede her in death, my sister and I split his eighth of the inheritance. That little bit of money is long gone. But my real inheritance from her is her life and the lessons to be learned there. I’m still working on it.

The Dukes of Hazzard

Sunday, February 27th, 2005

CMT is bringing back The Dukes of Hazzard. I search for meaning or something I can learn in everything. There is none here. The Dukes thing is nothing but candy and mindless entertainment. But they sure were good at it.

Last night CMT did a special edition of “Inside the Fame” with the cast of the Dukes. In it, John Schneider admitted that the General Lee was the most recognized car in the world. But… then he said that had there been no General Lee in the show, it would’ve still been a success because of characters and writing and blah, blah, freakin’ blah. Nice try, John.

I was nine when the show debuted. I wasn’t allowed to watch it then. The only reason I really wanted to was because that car was cool and it could jump stuff. It’s really hard to believe that was 25 years ago.

My mother recently sent me the tape of the first time I ever preached from a pulpit in a church. I was eight years old. At the end of the recording it cuts to an episode of the Dukes of Hazzard. Once I was allowed to watch it, I audio recorded every show. Sitting with the tape recorder in front of the TV, pausing the recording when the commercials came, scolding the rest of the family if they made a noise in my “studio.” It was the highlight of my week so I recorded it and listened to it the next day multiple times. No one in the family wanted to watch the summer re-runs with me because I knew every line.

In fourth grade, when it rained and we had “indoor recess,” we played “Dukes of Hazzard” because I was alpha male and suggested it. I was always Luke Duke because he was the smart one that always had a plan. And… because I suggested the game in the first place, I always got to pick the prettiest girl to be Daisy. (It was years later that I realized that if I was Luke I could never have Daisy because we were cousins.)

One of the fondest memories I have of my Dad was when he took me to “Autorama.” We saw THE (wink wink) General Lee there and I took a picture of my Dad standing next to it. In many ways, my life was complete right then. I certainly thought it was at the time.

I had a great childhood and I owe a great debt to my Mom and Dad for that. Adulthood sucks. Even as a child I saw that. I didn’t want to grow up then and I still don’t. But where can you hide?

I sure do miss my Dad.