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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Quiet)

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Silence)

Back in the 1600’s, distinguished French inventor and physicist Blaise Pascal wrote, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Satan hates silence — and our culture looks to cram noise into every living second of every day. The Jesus-follower believes in having a “quiet time” to pour over God’s Word!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2020 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Social Distancing — A Few Thoughts

As an “expressive introvert” (I’ve taken the tests: Myers Briggs, Briggs & Stratton, etc.), I recognize that my default setting requires a fair amount of alone time. I can identify with the desert monks centuries ago who lived in caves by themselves and contemplated the glories of God away from this broken, fallen world of sin.

However, they could not escape from themselves. We take ourselves with us when we self-isolate. Blaise Pascal, the 17th century mathematician and theologian said, “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” Aloneness, solitude, can be one blessing from how our culture is dealing with the Coronavirus.

But we have a supernatural enemy who hates quiet. He majors in noise and often we cooperate with his wicked plans by providing as much noise as we can. It is hard to contemplate when one is immersed in sound. Quietness is a rare commodity in our culture, but one we can pursue with profit.

Here are several benefits of self-distancing that occur to me:

1. We can re-discover reading. You remember reading, don’t you? Pastor John Piper once said, “To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree.’” What books do you have in your library that you would read — if you only had the time? Now you do.

2. We can concentrate on conversation. With much of the hustle and bustle of regular life forcibly put on pause, we can talk with our spouse or significant other about life, and suffering, and challenges. And we should focus on becoming better ASKERS rather than TELLERS. Asking good questions of those we love gives them the opportunity of expressing their views and perspectives. Someone has said that “The ability to hold a good conversation has almost become a lost art form.” Edith Wharton once wrote, “Ah, good conversation. There’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”

3. We can major on meditation. We who know Jesus have no excuses not to meditate on God’s Word. Many of us now have what we seemingly lacked B.V. (before the virus) — and that is TIME. Use it wisely. Develop or re-develop the habit of pouring over God’s Word — and thinking about what you read there. Chuck Swindoll writes, “In place of our exhaustion and spiritual fatigue, God will give us rest. All He asks is that we come to Him…that we spend a while thinking about Him, meditating on Him, talking to Him, listening in silence, occupying ourselves with Him – totally and thoroughly lost in the hiding place of His presence.”

4. We can achieve a new perspective on prayer. Human helplessness in the face of this pandemic is remedied, for followers of Jesus, by the simple practice of prayer. We must pray for our leaders as they make key decisions. We can pray for our neighbors whom we hardly know. We can commit ourselves in prayer that life will be different when we are through this trial. We can pray for our churches which have discontinued meeting together. The church is not finally defined by its services or its building, but by its members who love and pray for one another. Prayer is the antidote to worry. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” And we can pray for others, for our lost neighbors, for those who have turned away from the gospel. J. Sidlow Baxter wrote, “Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”

Your thoughts?

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2020 in social distancing

 

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“The older I get . . .”

“The older I get, the more I realize I don’t want to be around drama, conflict or stress. I want a cozy home, good food, and to be surrounded by happy people.”

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2018 in old age

 

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STUCK! Ten Areas That Will Bury You as a Believer and How to Dig Your Way Out! (Area #9- SOLITUDE) (con’t)

In this ninth area of STUCKNESS, we are thinking about our need for the spiritual disciplines which will help us grow.  For some of us, we give precious little time to the area of SOLITUDE.  Alone time with the Lord is really important.  He can speak to us when we are quiet and just with Him.

I’ll admit — as an introvert I really like the idea of SOLITUDE.  Just give me my dog, my laptop, and a good cup of Starbucks (and occasional visits from my wife Linda), and I’m pretty happy.

But SOLITUDE is only one of the dozen spiritual disciplines that I need in my life.  We mentioned the others in our last post (the inward disciplines are: meditation, prayer, fasting, and study. The outward disciplines are: simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. The corporate disciplines are: confession, worship, guidance, and celebration). Which of those practices do you find easier to incorporate into your busy life?  Which seem impossible?

Our text for this area of STUCKNESS is Mark 6:30-34 where we read,

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Doing and saying are important in the Christian life, but so are resting and eating!  Jesus invited His disciples to “come with me.”  They didn’t need to escape Him, but the crowds.  “Come with me by yourselves” — This was not an evangelistic invitation to bring others along. This invitation was strictly for Jesus’ disciples.  “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place.”  We underestimate how much our souls need quiet, don’t we?  “… and get some rest.”  Soul-rest is hard to see but spiritually lethal when it is missing.  This reminds me of Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11:  28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  How’s your rest going?

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2017 in christian growth

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 23)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.28.12 PM

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

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Posted by on February 15, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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