This Gathering Darkness… and This Little Light of Mine

Just Thinking…..

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L. V….. One more tragedy, piled on weeks of tragedy, piled on years of tragedy, piled on decades of tragedy….. to the point that it becomes more than a mind can comprehend. We cry, shake our heads, rant, seek justice and revenge…. and become numbed.

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I don’t know if mental illness played any factor in the events in LV. I do know that we have dropped the ball in caring for those who live in their distorted worlds. I know that gun control will surface again as an issue. I see no harm in the average law abiding citizen having a gun. I cannot fathom any reason, tho, why this citizen needs an assault weapon. One who is obsessed with killing, whether mentally ill or not, will just find other ways if guns are completely eliminated.

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This prevailing numbness of America, this growing darkness, this raging division …. We all can agree that it is not healthy, not desirable, not an environment in which we want to live with our families. What we fail to agree on are root causes and solutions. Evil surrounds us; this is not new. But how do we resist evil…. fight evil….?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

I’m not necessarily a good person. I’m a sinner, saved by grace. I’m just a common person who observes, an ordinary person in an ordinary place. I’m a follower of Jesus who believes His truth. I don’t pretend to know all the answers, nor will I force my conclusions on you.

But just so you know, here are those conclusions:
1. We need to strengthen our families. Start with our own families.  Start tonight.
2. We need to be kind, forgiving…… not rude.
3. We need to listen, to have civil discourse.
4. We need to not be afraid to reach out to our neighbor.
5. We need to be free to worship and express faith.
6. We need to passionately care for others.
7. We need to compassionately care for others.
8. We need to know our history: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
9. We need to take time to think, to observe, to ponder.
10. We need to write a poem, dance, create art, sing, pray….. instead of destroying and defiling.

Note: there is nothing in this article that calls for a protest, or an extreme law to be passed. It is simply a list of ways that I…. you…. and your children…. can do something to make a positive difference. I can no longer wait for someone else to make the difference. I have to start where I am.  And I am right here…. right now.  This little light of mine can fight this gathering darkness.

 

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Father….. Show me where to be light in this dark world.  Protect us from evil. Amen.

To God be the glory…..

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Published in: on October 2, 2017 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What Does an “I AM” Look Like, Anyway?

Just thinking….

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I am a visual person. I remember things better when I can see them. I remember lectures better when notes are put on the board or screen. I can describe people, places, things in great detail if I have seen them….. even decades past! So it’s no great surprise that pictures of Jesus help me understand Him and worship Him better.

The problem, of course, is that there were no Kodak moments 2000 years ago. No Canons…. no cell phone cameras. So I have to turn to word pictures. And how wonderful that the WORD gives many pictures of Jesus!

Our pastor this morning spoke of Jesus as the I AM in word pictures, and it intrigued me.

Let’s begin with Exodus 3:13-14.

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

Note: The name was not “I WAS”…. nor “I WILL BE”. Not even “I MIGHT BE”. It was right now, in the present…. which is exactly when I need Him most!

Then, jumping ahead in time, Jesus made an important series of I AM statements, and these are the exciting images that really stick in my brain. And of course, since God is three parts: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, then it stands to reason that the God of the Old Testament can use the same wording as the Jesus of the New Testament. They are one.

1. I AM BREAD

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John 6: 35. Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Bread…. A staple, satisfying, filling, a source of strength. Yes, Jesus is that for me!

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2. I AM LIGHT

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John 8: 12.  When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Light…. Showing me the way, keeping from tripping and danger. Yes, Jesus is that for me!
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3. I AM THE GATE

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John 10: 7. Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.”

The Gate….. Protecting me from the evils outside. Yes, Jesus is that for me!

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4. I AM THE SHEPHERD

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John 10:11. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

The Shepherd….. Knowing what I need, and providing. Knowing when I am in danger, and protecting. Knowing when I am lost, and finding. Knowing when I am off the path, and guiding. Yes, Jesus is that for me!

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5. I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE
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John 11:25. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

The Resurrection and Life….. I have watched the first green signs of spring, pushing thru the cold soil……. Have seen corn become life from a seed that died, have observed the lilies which one day were not and then they existed in glory. Yes, Jesus is that for me!
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6. I AM THE WAY….THE TRUTH….THE LIFE

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John 14: 6. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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The Way…. the Truth…. the Life…. The correct path gets me to my destination.  Anyone who tries to detour me off that path is false, not truth, giving me lies about my destination.  I want that narrow path to eternal life! Yes, Jesus is that for me!
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7. I AM THE VINE

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John 15: 5.  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

The Vine…. the connector between the root and the fruit. No fruit is possible without that vine. Yes, Jesus is that for me!

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Sooooo……
When I get all stuck on myself, and huffy in spirit, and thinking I am in control…. When I start to believe that I am the master of my ship, the designer of my own universe, the owner of my body….  When I begin to act like I am charge of my own destiny….  then I lose sight of Jesus as I AM.  I try so often to put myself in this position: I am in charge of my fate.  I am the mastermind. I am the hard worker. And the list goes on.

When I actually believe that I am I AM, then I begin to worship my own intellect, my own power, my own self….. and not put my worship where it belongs.

Father…. help me to remember that it is not all about me. Help me to remember that Jesus is not the the USED TO BE; He is the I AM. Help me worship Him in spirit and in truth.  Forgive me for trying to be the one in charge and for all my misplaced worship. Thank You for all these pictures of Jesus!

To God be the glory…..
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Published in: on October 2, 2017 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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