Sunday, August 31, 2008
Our devious children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, along with a host of associates around the USA, completely surprised us with a 50th anniversary celebration!
I am amazed they were able to keep it secret considering the number of months and individuals involved.
Those responsible ought to be employed by our US Intelligence agencies!
It was an evening to remember, for certain.
My former associate from the Sanctity of Life days, Fr. John Mc Fadden, with whom I shared a cell on a number of occasions opened with comments and prayer, and warmed my heart with his love for Christ.
The range of folk present for the evening spanned our years from USMC, The Navigators, Seminary, First Baptist, Newtown Square, National Fulfillment Services, Prison Fellowship, and Christ Community Church. Mercy!
The email comments form folk with whom we were privileged to minister were humbling and encouraging, and brought back such a host of warm memories.
Following the email readings, effected by our children and grandchildren, my brother in the faith and co-laborer in the kingdom of Christ, Mike McHugh, delivered some closing observations. (Bye the bye, he was one of the co-conspirators!)
What a reminder of God’s providential involvement in our lives!
Jan and I want to express our most heartfelt appreciation for the labor expended by those who brought this to pass! What a terrific operation! We are duly impressed!
The evening was a gracious reminder of the goodness of God we have been privileged to experience!
Truly, our cup runneth over
Friday, August 29, 2008
Most would encourage me to "move on", but generally, in the good providence of God, each week three to four men would respond positively.
The session were designed to last 50 minutes,focused on the gospel of John or similar material, and run for 3-4 weeks. During that time, the gospel would be communicated in a manner designed to "...fit the needs of each one..." involved.
It was not unusual to see at least one individual in each group make a profession of faith. For those who did, we would then begin the process of following them up and assisting them in their growth in the faith.
Many subsequently left for Vietnam and our contact would be lost.
Imagine my surprise when, 15 minutes ago, I get a phone call from one of those very men. In the course of our conversation, he remarked about answering the knock on his door that evening and responding positively to my invitation!
He was one of those who did make a profession of faith and has faithfully followed Christ all these years through Vietnam, years as a pilot with American Airlines, etc.
What a pleasant surprise!
Praise the Lord
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Finished volume II of Cottrell’s Trilogy on God and started Vol. III.
Loved it! Highly recommend it, for he exalts Christ and provokes the reader to both search the scriptures and think!
Again, there are fundamental disagreements in our understandings! But, as the Psalmist says, “…I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy commandments…”. Brother Cottrell, IMHO, is in that category and this olde bird has no intent to throw stones!
In a previous post I made reference to “…thinking outside the box…” and suggested such is an intellectual impossibility. All thinking occurs within a “box”.
So, for me, my objective has been to attempt to “think inside” bro. Cottrell’s “box”. This has been my driving motivation to read his Trilogy on God, and hopefully, to conclude with his commentary on Romans.
One of the things I look forward to in heaven is the chance to interact with brother Cottrell and to ask him, “…how do you insinuate the concept of “relative independence”?
Maybe, when he explains it, my response will be, “…Oh, why couldn’t I see that back then?...”
Or, maybe, my response will be, “…What? You can’t be serious?..,”
In any case, we both agree there will be continued learning on the “…other side…”!
Ain’t God awesome?!!!
What would “church” be like if saints were allowed to “…grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ…” in an arena of acceptance versus one of “indoctrination”?
For certain, it would be uncomfortable for the “leadership”!
Leadership is a “snap” when everyone is “…on the same page…”, and a “…pain in the rava…” (as my grandma used to say), when they are not.
But, pray tell, how are we to enable an individual saint to be “…fully persuaded in their own mind…” if we confine their thinking and/or restrict their intellectual explorations, biblically?
If, in the thought of a previous post, we provide/restrict the "box" in which they think?
IMHO, it is somewhat easier to raise up “indoctrinated clones” than what I might refer to as legitimate saints/disciples.
The latter requires management, whereas the former would appear to require leadership?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Though we are on opposite poles, theologically, on a number of points, we are certainly on the same page insofar as it pertains to the place and role of the scriptures. Early on Cottrell declares:
1) The Bible is our source of knowledge of God
2) The Bible is inspired, i.e. God breathed and
3) The Bible is understandable, i.e. perspicuous.
As soon as I read those statements, and in the words of John Wesley, although in a differing context, “…my heart was strangely warmed…”!
At the moment, I am about ½ way through Vol. II. Stimulating!
Monday, August 25, 2008
"The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian."
A. W. Tozer –
God, in heaven! How I love that citation!
We currently live in a Christian “sound bite” era.
Today’s saint is turned off with linear arguments requiring thought. Instead, today’s saint wants to “feel” God. (Whatever that means?).
Today’s saint seeks for a “personal relationship”. Somehow thinking such relationships are not “mind on mind”!
Isn’t it strange to consider the God of the universe values propositional revelation above images and feelings! (Consider the prohibition regarding images in the Ten Words!)
Were such not the case, we wouldn’t be constrained to a Bible, but God would have left us a VHS/DVD!
"Come now, let us reason together"!