I’m going to close this post out with a few random thoughts. One of the most important things for me in anything that I do is whether or not the time is right.
I don’t know if the time was ever right before now for me to write all of this down. I don’t know if the time will be right again any time soon. So I must do it now because now is the right time. The following piece of scripture carries much weight with me on the issue of timing:
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I love this piece of scripture and not just because it was made into a song by ‘The Byrds’.
Timing is so important, God’s timing above all else. I have many friends, good friends, who are quite critical of Christianity in general and some Christians in particular on social media. I choose to let them have their say on that platform and I do not argue. Some say I need to be more defensive of my faith. I believe that the best defense is a good offense and that I can be most effective when making my case in other ways.
If you want to be the one that attacks everyone that goes after your faith I am certainly not going to stand in your way. I would rather make a few effective statments than use a wall of words.
One of my great frustrations from both non-believers and many oChristians is how often the bible gets taken out of context. If ever something has been taken out of context more than scripture for personal gain, I would like to know what that is.
This one is one of my favorites. Many women I have encountered in my life do not like these verses.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
This is from Ephesians chapter 5. Many people get upset with this and on the surface it looks pretty bad. Are wives not their husbands equals? Are wives to be slaves to their husbands? I’ve always felt badly for anyone who got upset at these verses because their rage resulted in some temporary blindness which caused them to miss the next few.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Now we get to the heart of the matter. This has nothing to do withwomen being slaves to their husbands. This is about husbands and wives giving of themselves fully to the relationship. I think of it in part as sacrificing everything about you as a single person and embracing being a married person.
The husband is asked to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ loved the church enough to die for it. Without his death and ressurection, there would be no church. A husband is instructed to lay down everything, including his life for his wife. There aren’t many stories of slave owners sacrificing their own lives, giving them up, to save a slave.
The last thing I want to say concerns my worth as a Christian. As a Christian, I am no better than any of my fellow man, Christian or otherwise. I did not earn my salvation and never could hope to do so.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9. If we could work our way to heaven, when we got there we’d have to listen to everyone else explain what they did to earn their spot. That sounds more like earth than heaven to me.
The only part of my eternity in heaven that I had anything to do with was to answer yes. Saying yes to what Christ had already done was the only part I played in the whole thing. Saying yes, and agreeing to live as Christ like a life as I possibly could (and we all fall short of that high standard) means that I’m no different from my friend Duane, all the pastors, evangelists, missionaries and other people of faith I have known and it means I’m no different from those whom walked with Jesus personally during his life.
Writing this entry has been good for my soul. I may talk about my faith more if I find an avenue in which I think it is appropriate and will make an impact. As I said way back at the start, I am not here for an argument. I believe that this is still something that I can more effectively communicate in a more private setting and with my speech and not my writing. I may be under-estimating myself and can always change my mind.
One more thing. I have had many great examples in my life of what it means to try and live one’s life for Christ. But perhaps my best example and biggest inspiration was my great aunt Sister Kathleen Johnson. A more gentle and loving soul I have never met. Forget trying to live up to Jesus’s example, I don’t even make it up to hers.
When people die sometimes it is said of them that “they didn’t have an angry bone in their body”. Sometimes when that phrase is spoken, I wonder how many people within earshot have started making lists of times they saw the person angry inside their own head.
If sister was ever angry it was before I was born. I cannot recall an instance of her raising her voice even a single time. She didn’t need to raise her voice. Among her family, she had everyone’s admiration. At family gatherings as multiple discussions took place around the room; sometimes a period of quiet would settle and everyone would just listen to her tell a joke, a story or make a comment.
She has been gone for over five years now but the impact she had on those who knew her best and the impression she left on the world she encountered will not fade away.
When trying to decide what songs to include and where to put them, the easiest one to figure out was the last one. If you take nothing else from my post I pray that you walk away from it saying “God is good”. Because he is good to me far beyond what I have ever deserved.