Pastor Mike and his family are going to be gone this weekend for a Christmas get away as a family, so I get to preach at JBC this weekend. I am memorizing the book of Hebrews in preparation for my Sunday morning, 8:00 am class for this next Fall when I am going to teach through the book of Hebrews. There are 13 chapters and I am about done with chapter 9 so I am getting close to getting it done . Hebrews is one of the most difficult books in the Bible to understand, and because I am memorizing it I think about it off and on all through the day. Because of that constant thinking, pondering, and meditating on the book I have made a couple of shifts in my theology over the last couple of months. It is impossible to spend as much time as I have in a book, and not have that book greatly influence your thinking and your belief system. So this weekend I am going to preach on “The most important test we will ever take” and why it is really important to pass it. The first time I took my driving test to get my license I flunked, it was so embarrassing to tell my friends at school. The first two times I took my test for my motorcycle endorsement, I flunked. Several pastor friends who rode motorcycles came to encourage me the first time I took the test, and they watched as I knocked down cone after cone as I attempted the obstacle course with my motorcycle. Now that was embarrassing!! The test that I am talking about this weekend is given by God, and if we flunk it the consequences will be forever.
This morning I got up at 5 am, showered, shaved, got dressed and headed down the road to Shari’s Restaurant in South Salem for an accountability meeting that I am part of every Thursday morning. About half way there I remembered that I hadn’t taken my Parkinson’s medicine before left. I take it every 8 hours, and if I miss by more than a couple of hours I start getting some uncomfortable and irritating muscle issues take place. When I remembered I said, “Darn Pills” out loud as I was driving. I take them every day, every 8 hours and I still forgot. I have a little pill box that has three compartments for each day all clearly marked. If I would put my pills for a week in that at least I could see if I had forgotten, but I forget to put them into the box.
It is my goal to read my Bible everyday, spend time in prayer by myself everyday, to pray for my kids and grandkids everyday, to write this blog everyday, to ride my stationary bicycle for an hour everyday, to confess to God all known sin everyday, to read my goals everyday, to work on scripture memory everyday, to read in a good book everyday, pray with Patty everyday, and a couple of other duties that I can’t remember right now.
There is no chance that I will be even a little bit successful with this list if I don’t develop a system to help me remember. I am working on it, and getting more successful all the time, though slowly, at getting everything on my todo list done everyday.
I went to the funeral of an old college friend today. Whenever that kind of thing happens for sure a lot of reminiscing follows. Greg died from brain cancer that he had been battling for awhile, and leaves behind a nice family who are all believers. The last time I actually saw Greg was way back in 1970, but in 1990 he sent me an email and we corresponded regularly since then. A lot of what we wrote about when we emailed back and forth was about the things we did in college, and what we were doing now. Today as I sat in the funeral thinking about our days together when we were both just out of high school, it seemed so close, like it was just a week ago, and I had this thought that life is like a blink of an eye. We often get so worked up over things we won’t remember next year, and if we could remember them close to the end of our life they would seem so trivial.
Most of the kids and grandkids were here today, and the ones who weren’t will be in a couple of days, so there was about 30 in the house today eating, playing and talking. It was a nice day, very nice. The grandkids ran around outside having fights with their light sabers having a good time, the ladies played dominos and talked and fixed food, the guys told hunting stories and ate, and later in the evening started in on theology. It was a nice day, very nice, it couldn’t get much better. Today was about as nice a gift as an old dad and grandpa can get, a spiritually healthy, relationally healthy, character strong and mature family. Sitting in the middle of all the noise listening and contributing some and thinking, how did this happen? To many years have gone by to remember even a small part of our history and experience to answer that question with any degree of accuracy or completeness. But I do know that the level of love and unity that we have as a large family is very rare today, and however it came about is a great gift from God.
I don’t like people telling me what to do. I try not to get irritated when they do, because it happens more and more as I get older, in fact even my kids boss me around now. We all have this reaction and resistance to being told what to do, and most of us have developed a patience or a self-control level so that we don’t make a big scene when we are treated like someone’s servant.
The one person that I want to boss me is Jesus. I want Him to lead me and to be my Lord in every area of my life. When I say, “I want” that is an intellectual wanting, in my heart I still tend to resist His Lordship in my life, there is this pride in me that thinks I can run my own life. That independent spirit in me is really quite foolish when I think about the fact that Jesus is God, all wise, my creator, who knows everything about me, and loves me so much that He gave His life for me and paid for my sin. I want to be submissive to His Lordship and leading in my life so to make it more of a reality in my heart and soul I declare Him my Lord every morning, and ask for His help in being humble in my walk with Him.
It would seem like by this time I would have conquered this resistance to being led by the Son of God. I am hoping that I get it down soon.