My understanding is that Peter Marshall was a famous Presbyterian Minister that served as Chaplin for the U.S. Senate. I do not know if this story sent to me via e mail is “true” but it seems likely. I thought the words were incredibly timely and topical and I wanted to share them with you.
“That irreverent river pilot who said so many outrageous things, said something that has haunted me for years. So often I find myself pondering the New Covenant of Jesus.I have had serious discussion more than once on when the end times will come; On why foot washing does not mean foot washing; On how often you should take the supper; How much should you give; Are you going to hell for using a band in church;How deep does the baptismal font have to be; How clear in the Book is the doctrine of the Trinity; Is the definition of church leadership a single way; Can you pay a preacher; Can a woman preach or be an elder; What is the age of accountability
In the midst of all those good discussions, Mark Twain shouts,’ It is not what I don’t understand about the Bible that worries me. It is what I do understand .’ How clear is it that He died for me.He calls me from darkness to live in His light. He said I have to die to be reborn.He says I am to be immersed.He says even harder things.Why should I believe that He means it when He says; Forgive often and quickly; Seek my Kingdome; Be ye Kind one to another…
Peter Marshall said, “We should read the Bible until it said to do something.Then lay the Bible down and go do it. Then return and read some more.”
Why do we make what is so simple so complicated?
Dear God forgive us who had rather argue Religion than follow your Son.”
My mother-in law Nola sent the above story/ message and it is absolutely PERFECT…it goes with last week’s post where I quoted my pastor who said, “To live, when it’s good times or bad, is to believe God at his word and then to …put your money where your mouth is and live what you say you believe.”
Isn’t that so true? We theorize and argue what God is saying to us… we argue the specific words or which version of the Bible is “true”. We spend our time thinking about what we should do INSTEAD of DOING it!!!! I LOVE the advice ,“We should read the Bible until it said to do something.Then lay the Bible down and go do it. Then return and read some more.”
James 1:22-25 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
Before I read the above message from my Mother-in-law, I was going to start my writing today by saying something that I think I have said before, but it needs repeating JUST SO YOU KNOW! Just so there is no mistake AT ALL. When I write these “heavy” or theological or philosophical posts I AM NOT writing to preach to you. If I sound like I am preaching to anyone I am preaching to me. For me to understand/ take things in and remember, I HAVE TO write it down. When I was in school I had to take extensive notes…when I am at church, I write notes…if somebody tells me about an event or a date that needs remembering, I have to write it down. I learn when my hand and my head are working in concert. If I ever sound to you like I am saying “Thou Shalt….” what I am really saying is, “Christy, please pay attention to this. It seems important. Please write it down so that you won’t forget.” That is why I write this blog…yes, to share with you…but mostly to remind myself of things that I don’t want to forget.
I was going to focus today on one of the lessons from the Dave Early book that may be one of the most needed by me to write to me about. I need to pay EXTRA attention…and pray extra hard about this one. I started to write this almost a week ago, and I am just now getting to it (if that tells you anything about my attempts to avoid the topic.)…and I am going to put it off until this afternoon, because right now I want to tell you about another thing that was NOT a coincidence: A couple of nights ago, my boys were watching The Breakfast Club on TV. I haven’t seen that movie since it came out. I remember that I liked it…that I was “moved” by the characters but back then in 1985 (when I was 15), I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters. I wasn’t a rebel. I cared about my grades, but I wasn’t a brain. I was an athlete but I didn’t play sports to get approval from anyone. I wasn’t a beauty queen who put lipstick on with her cleavage…or a kooky girl who put pixie stix candy and potato chips and sugar cereal on her white bread sandwich. I knew people like them…but not ONE of them were like me. AND the CRAZY thing is, that FOR WHATEVER REASON, I did not when I watched the movie in 1985 hear the last lines of the movie! …the final words written by Brian the Brain… being read by Mr. Vernon, the “teacher” in charge of the Saturday In-School-Suspension. Mr. Vernon had given the In-Trouble kids an assignment explaining who they were:
:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv1I4q6lOpo (Brian Johnson:) “Dear Mr. Vernon: We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club.”
Why is this significant or why does it have anything to do with my Lenten devotional book? Because the book by Dave Early is all about relationships…and acceptance…and love and honor…and service. These kids, from different friend groups, from different economic realities, from DIFFERENT WORLDS! opened up, were honest, encouraged each other, comforted each other, made peace with each other, FORGAVE each other and helped one another forgive themselves. That is HUGE. That movie touches heart-strings because it is a lesson for the importance of reaching out to KNOW another person and how it not only helps the other person but it heals us as well. We are NOT alone. We can find support and comfort and friendship in the most unlikely places.
My next article will be on forgiveness. Until we learn to forgive AS God forgives, we will not have peace. I want peace. I want everyone to have peace.