Showing posts from September, 2013

Thoughts from Uncle Screwtape (letter #13)

My dear Wormwood,
It seems to me that you take a great many pages to tell a very simple story. The long and the short of it is that you have let the man slip through your fingers. The situation is very grave, and I really see no reason why I should try to shield you from the consequences of your inefficiency. A repentance and renewal of what the other side call ‘grace’ on the scale which you describe is a defeat of the first order. It amounts to a second conversion—and probably on a deeper level than the first....
.... It remains to consider how we can retrieve this disaster. The great thing is to prevent his doing anything.As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilising the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imaginatio…

Change for the Irrational Mind

To transform our irrational minds is an action. A committed, purposeful, intentional action. 

Where does an action begin? The end goal looms out on our horizon as a mountain, one that we want to quickly conquer. 

Like any run (I'm thinking of the 15 miler I have to do Saturday) we have to put on our shoes, have a drink, and nibble something small before we can ever even walk out the door. Once outside we pick up our feet and make it to the end of the street. 

Okay, we've made it to the end of the street. Now, we break it down. Once I get to the end of this song I'll be warmed up. Okay, I'm going to pick up my pace for the next song and then work back down to my target heart rate. Round this corner and just make it the last two miles to the zoo. I'll get some water. Whew. Made it, now let's turn around. Just three miles back to the trail...and before we realize it the 15 miles is broken down in our minds into manageable chunks. The hill ahead isn't the focus so…

More Thoughts on the Irrational Mind

Where does one begin with the mind, an endless ocean of thoughts?

For those of you who have asked, I am still trying to figure all of that out myself. And honestly, I have a long way to go. This morning I found some guidance in Proverbs 2:1-11

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be …

The Irrational Mind Part 1...Maybe

In a bible study that I am apart of we have been discussing what it means to love God with all of our mind. For many of us, we have grown up familiar with the verse "love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength". 
Loving with all my heart- This is difficult to "quantify" in an explanation but I believe entails an emotional component and is self-explanatory. Loving with all my strength- suggests loving even when I feel like I can't or perhaps, also, using the physical strengths that I have to take care of the body He has given me. That is an aspect of love as well. Loving with all my mind- what does this mean? Or of more importance, what does it look like?
Love is so complex and yet so simple. I don't suppose that it is easy, as I'm sure you would agree. There are times when loving someone is difficult. Perhaps the things they do and say are not the things you find yourself liking or agreeing with. Perhaps, that …

Friendship, God, and Knowing

Saturday afternoon my grandmother, sister, brother, and I sat around the living room discussing salvation and baptism. It was an interesting conversation that began after we got home from Papa Amos' funeral.

That service was by far the most beautiful thing I have been a part of in a while. To witness the legacy that he created and left was incredible and I can only hope that my life and the lives of those I love are following in similar footsteps. You see, there is a sense of grief for those of us left behind, however, there is immense joy for Amos. And that joy cannot be contained. A joy that springs from a knowing that Papa Amos knew His God. Throughout the service I heard story after story of a man who invested in people's lives, quietly, without programs or special terminology but simply because he could and he loved them. For all the occasions he would pull me aside for a kiss on the cheek (in front of who knows how many Cracker Barrel waiters) and say "I'm real …

Love Them Like Jesus

In our university group we have been discussing discipling. The whole commission to "go" and make disciples is a little overwhelming. Like the faulted beings we are, it's easy to get caught in "where do I even start?" or "people won't listen to me" or "I'm not in a place where I can do this personally". These are valid reasons, but like it was pointed out last night, these are more likely to be excuses. 

My Peacemaking class asked us a similar question yesterday afternoon. While referring to peacemaking and conflict transformation situations, the question still hangs out there: "Where do I start? People won't listen to me. I'm not in a place personally where I can do this". It's a tough battle between those thoughts and the conviction that we must do more. What holds us back? Vulnerability and fear. 

I don't have solutions or really any further thoughts at the moment. In more ways than one, I find that I am be…

Papa Amos

A few months ago I posted "And the World Gets Smaller". Written while at home, I concluded with the story behind my mom's rose bush. As of yesterday that story has come as close to full circle as we will see this side of eternity. My Papa Amos went to be with God.

Receiving that phone call late yesterday afternoon and then having to contact my parents and wait up for my grandmother was very difficult. Heartbroken for those left behind, death can make it's sting. While he is not my actual grandfather, he practically is. Papa Amos and his wife took in my mother when she moved to the USA to attend ACU. That relationship continued to grow even long after my parents married and had children. I recall many Christmases driving down through blizzardy Missouri  conditions to spend the holidays with my grandmother and Amos&Dewby. If it was summer time my sister and I would play in the backyard with him while he attended to his rosé gardens. They were the most beautiful gar…