“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:14-15)
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
I have been doing this since the day after Christmas 2018, and the WordPress site page is telling me I just did post 82. I wrote more about my blogging history and how I arrived at the design, content and intent here. I’ve really enjoyed doing this again.
My goal is in the first verse at the top of the post. But the word for church, Greek ekklesia “assembly,” implies no one can do this by themselves, by definition. I’ve benefited over the years from the encouragement, prophetic words, correction and even the occasional rebuke from good friends and fellow believers. I’ve had persons take me aside, like Apollos was by Priscilla and Aquila, who “invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately” (Acts 18:26).
I’ve tried to keep my style conversational, colloquial and engaging. None of that should imply that I don’t take very seriously the topics I address. I think lots of other people take some of the same issues just as seriously, too, but perhaps they have trouble finding others who share their enthusiasm.
I’m hoping some of them find their way here.
After the powerful demonstration of God’s power in the contest with the prophets of Baal, Elijah told Ahab seven times to “go back” before seeing “a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea” (1 Ki 18:43-44) that meant imminent rain after a prolonged drought. And then it started pouring.
But then Elijah fled from the queen’s threats despite the great victory at Mount Carmel. He was ready to give up, clean out his desk and find a golf course condo to live out his golden years—as far from the people of God as possible. Well, not really, just ready to give up, although he wasn’t watching the calendar for the next church potluck dinner, either.
Over the years, my greatest opposition—my greatest heartaches—have come not from unbelieving family members or co-workers, but from the church. I’ve blogged on some of this.
Moses received these instructions for making the lampstand in the tabernacle: “the buds and branches shall all be of one piece with the lampstand, hammered out of pure gold” (Ex. 25:36).
I don’t know if, in settled areas, there was another way to create a gold item like the lampstand. I don’t know if the technology had been invented. But regardless, hammering was the available means for a people still on the move.
What you’re reading and what I blog about every day, which of course is just the fruit of what I’ve become, has been hammered into the present form for the past 44 years. Yes, hammered. You have my permission to read into that its metaphorical implications and accompanying real–not figurative– pain.
There have been many times I’ve felt like Elijah, ready to walk away. But also as Elijah, the Lord has said to me, “Go back” (1 Ki 19:15). So here I am, blogging again.
That’s a command, but his commands are not burdensome. Because of what I’ve learned in the wilderness, I don’t need to be prodded to believe his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Mt 11:30). I’m walking in it. I’ve been walking in it for years.
I don’t know any of you, and I’ve attracted followers that I’m curious to find out why you bothered. You can be critical, you can be candid, you can tell me you’ve included me in a case study on deviant religious behavior, I really don’t care. I can take care of myself.
I do not sell anything through this site and never will, I don’t lend out email addresses, etc. Anything you say will be treated as a confidence, not to be disclosed without your clear consent. I’m not looking for pen pals. I just want to connect to see if I’m on the right track or need to make adjustments. For that, I need your help.