Going out…

Thur., Jan. 13/22

Adventure happens when we brave our way out into the unknown. Not, mind you, as going out “on a lark,” that is as by a whim for the play of it. But going out by a call to it… perhaps fearfully, yet compelled by the duty of it — through a dark and howling woods perhaps toward some desperate cries of “Help!”

This is the sort of “going out” to which our spiritual father Abraham was called. Of him scripture states, “By faith Abraham… obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Heb. 11:8). His motivation was this “call,” a plea not to save but one desperate soul, but in God’s plan, to save many souls… spiritual descendants “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” (v. 12).

How did he do this? “By faith…” We are called to faith. We only imagine our whims. The worldly-wise adventurer goes out on a limb, but the spiritually discerning believer is called and goes out in faith, on the Branch, the root of David. (Isa. 11:1, Zech. 3:8, 6:12, Rom. 15:2, Rev. 22:16).

Abraham went out by faith… faith in His Guide… the Branch… the same Guide and Branch Who dwells in the hearts of all who willingly come to Him. The Holy Spirit, the “deposit” of God.

“…when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13).
When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:13b-14).
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isa. 30:21).

By faith Abraham… obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. — Now there is true Adventure!

Press on…

Hearts Above!

Wed., Jan. 12/22

I looked up out the passenger seat window as my wife backed the car out from our garage. “Look! — A heart” I said, pointing to above our neighbour’s eaves. Sure enough… there it was. How it got there I do not know, but carefully carved in the overnight snow was this lovely frosty form.

We went about our business for the day, which for a time included being parked waiting at a roadside. Then I saw the second one! Again, looking up and out through the passenger side window. This one appeared up high in a tree, a shape formed by possibly the only leaves left.

Twice now I had been still, looked up, and noticed messages that had been there all the while… been there long before my looking… long before my discovery of them.

David, must have looked up often as he shepherded his sheep. His discovery he put to song,

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1).

Paul testified to just how long indeed God’s messages have been there… waiting on individuals to be still… to look up… to take notice,

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:20).

Korah, was a descendant of Levi the son of Jacob. In Numbers 16 we read of how he gathered 249 others and led a rebellion against Moses. As a consequence fire from heaven consumed them followed by a plague which slew a further 14,700 men who complained at this punishment.

Years later descendants of this Korah chose not to follow his rebellious ways. They learned to listen to the love of God instead. Eleven of the Psalms were written by these men. Among them was Psalm 46 where we read “Be still, and know that I am God,

Seems to me the older I get the more I seek stillness. To be still… to look up… to take notice.

How do you choose to live this day?

Press on…

“…and then this dog pulls up…”

Tues., Jan. 11/22

I eased into the parking spot, gaze focused on the bumper of the car facing so as not to tap it. Then I looked up.

In the driver’s seat of the car in the stall facing me sat a dog, looking for all the world as though he too had just pulled in! Ten… maybe fifteen or more seconds passed as we sat, nose to nose in our parking stalls, eyeball to eyeball in our driver’s seats. It was like a challenge, though neither of us had made any driving faux pas. But still, we stared. The challenge was more intellectual than physical. Neither had noticed the other until that one simultaneous instant of mutual shocked discovery!

Things are not always as they seem, are they? The U.F.O. observed through the car windshield is really a reflection on the glass, the four easy payments grow to a not so easy twelve, the shortcut takes longer, and the slam dunk you executed so well in college now slams you to the blacktop below.

Ever wonder if the same might be true of spiritual things? Might the way we think about some spiritual matters really not be that way at all?

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a French philosopher and paleontologist. Though a Darwinian he was also a Jesuit priest, a theologian, and a teacher. He is widely attributed as having stated, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Not that the material world is unreal in any way, but that at present our eternal souls inhabit these material and temporal forms. As someone else once said, “You do not have a soul, you are a soul and have a body.”

Knowing this to be true the Apostle John wrote,

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! …Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:1-3).

God has a plan! He made us, breathed life into us, made us “living souls”… forever! Right now we are in living, learning, limited human bodies. Soon these will die… it’s a result of our sad rebellion.

But this world is not all there is! True life is not as it seems: not just things and doings in this life only. Death is not what it seems either: not an ending, but a change…

Determining what that change looks like is the business of this life now. As in his gospel John also accounts,

He [Jesus] came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:11-13).

Trust Christ with your life… your soul. Love Him… obey Him… He alone is The Truth.

Press on…

New Beginnings…

Mon., Jan. 10/22

New beginnings require transformation. A new job, perhaps a new suit. A new relationship, perhaps a new persona. A new baby, well… far too many things to list here! — Today is a new beginning of sorts for me.

Perhaps you have followed me on my initial blog site, thebrokenrunner.com. If not, have a look. There are now some 870 weekday posts to be found there.

The above site followed a topical pattern throughout each week. They were written while I served as Elder and Assistant Pastor at Lincoln Baptist Church, New Brunswick, Canada. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of each week I focused on some aspect of the previous Sunday’s sermon message. Thursdays were reserved for a rotating sequence of topics related to Discipleship — the growth of a young Christian toward maturity in Christ. On Fridays I responded to reader questions on any matter of Christian life and doctrine.

Toward the end of 2021 health reasons required me to step down from my duties at Lincoln Baptist Church. L.B.C. remains my home church and its members my dearest family in our Lord. But for me it was a time for change. A time for a New Beginning.

Pressing On…” is one such new beginning. Here my format will be freer, posts will be random, on any topic upon my heart at the time. I continue to welcome reader feedback and questions and will be happy to address them. I enjoy writing and expect to post daily, but without guarantee.

A new year marks a time of new beginnings for many people. I hope you will make this a time of personal new beginnings also — in Christ.

“And He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.'” (Rev. 21:5)

Please join me as we “press on” (Phil. 3:12-15) together toward that high calling of God… that “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17) into which Christ Jesus has taken hold to transform us… indeed to make new all those who call upon His Name.

Press on…

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