Daybook Of A Man Awash In GraceTweet
Posted 1/13/13 at 11:37 PM | Don Huntington |
There is one art of which man should be master, the art of reflection. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
I have a television set between my ears. My mind can be constantly occupied with empty daydreams, meaningless bits of ideas, unworthy flights of imagination.... Day and night there might never be much mental silence but only ongoing blurring and buzzing confusion.
If (even for a few moments a day) I can master the "art" of reflection that Coleridge talked about, then the grace of Heaven will be able to master me. At least some of the time my mind remains active with the thoughts and imaginations of Heaven. At those times I am being obedient to the Bible's direction, "Set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things." FULL POST
Posted 1/13/13 at 11:31 PM | Don Huntington |
The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go. (Galileo Galilei)
A common fault of religious people is for us to claim more for our faith than the Bible ever claimed. For centuries we believed that we could tell from the Bible that the earth not the sun is at the center of the universe. In our own time, some of us claim that we can tell from the Bible that God created the earth 7,000 years ago by a series of pronouncements rather than creating it millions of years ago by a set of processes. We make an even worse error when we aggressively argue our version of the truth to the point that the peace and presence of God take flight from our relationships.
These days I'm trying to keep my attitude in line with the teachings of the Bible, when it said to do things that are "...excellent and profitable for everyone" and to avoid "foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels." I cannot have real peace in my heart until I am able to permit people around me to be wrong without being upset by what I perceive as their error. This is the way for me to go to Heaven. FULL POST
Posted 12/27/12 at 1:59 AM | Don Huntington
If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own (John 7:17).
True spiritual reality apparently begins with my decision to follow down whatever path Heaven leads. I find the Master whenenver I realize that I'm in need of help and guidance. On the basis of that need I reach out to Him, which frees Him to become the Great Helper, directing me as the Heavenly Guide, and sharing His truth with me. Now that I'm going through the process, God's truth constantly becomes an active energy in my life.
I'm hard at work about the business of Heaven these days, but remarkably it doesn't feel like I'm working at all. And it certainly doesn't feel like religion. The warp and woof of my life currently demonstrates the truth of Oswald Chamber's comment:
With focused attention and great care, you have to "work out" what God "works in" you — not work to accomplish or earn "your own salvation," but work it out so you will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith....
I'm grateful that God keeps revealing himself to me day-by-day. I've never been more certain of the reality of His grace that comes as an energy in my life, working for the good of Heaven and ultimately for my own happiness. FULL POST
Posted 12/19/12 at 1:34 AM | Don Huntington
Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart. (Victor Hugo)
Robert Frost once made the complaint about spring that, "Its early leaf's a flower; but only for an hour." I feel that God has put eternal springtime in my heart. My whole life is a place where juices are running, and processes of newness and renewal are continually at work. This sense of the freshness of my faith reminds me of a words of the mourner that the mercies of God were "new every morning."
So they are. And these days they are usually renewed in the afternoon and the evening, as well.
My heart is more spring-like these days than it was when I was eighteen years old. In fact, for the past decade or so, spring seems to be blooming more vigorously with each passing year, even though the years have been marked by relative huge investment losses, periods of zero income, plus cancer and other serious medical problems. The blessing has passed to me that the Master promised to Asher, the son of Jacob: "...your strength will equal your days." FULL POST
Posted 12/14/12 at 1:15 PM | Don Huntington
Any problem that comes while I obey God (and there will be many), increases my overjoyed delight, because I know that my Father knows and cares, and I can watch and anticipate how He will unravel my problems. (Oswald Chambers)
The movie Crocodile Dundee II has a scene in which one of the bad guys comes out of a forest and sees one of Dundee's "mates" sitting by a stream and drinking a beer. In a gesture of friendliness, Crocodile's friend offers the guy a cool one. In response, the man raises his rifle and says coldly:
"You should have brought a gun instead of a cooler of beer."
"Oh I've got something better than a gun," he responds with a smile. "I've got a Donk!"
"A 'Donk!'" the guy says. "What's a 'Donk'"?
Suddenly a giant of a man comes up behind the bad guy, snatches the rifle out of his hand, and announces, "Hi! I'm Donk!" and knocks the guy to the ground. FULL POST
Posted 12/14/12 at 9:00 AM | Don Huntington |
Call on God, but row away from the rocks. (Indian Proverb)
C.S. Lewis made the alarming observation that, "One road leads home and a thousand roads lead into the wilderness." I give my life into the hands of God every morning, asking that He might lead me as He sees fit. The way He usually sees "fit" is to get me to work hard at my profession, so that I can remain productive and avoid the rocks of long-term unemployment. To work hard in the service of my wife so that I can avoid the rocks of domestic unrest. To help others as often as I am able to do so.
Someone said, "Good luck is often with the man who doesn't include it in his plans." I'm awash in a grace that is transforming my life and is saving me from the dangers that lie in my path.
I'm "rowing away from the rocks as hard as I can." (Or often doing so, at least.) I'm thankful to God for giving me my boat, the oars, the strength to row, and the wisdom to know which directions lead to safety. FULL POST
Posted 12/11/12 at 10:06 AM | Don Huntington
Noise proves nothing — often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid. (Mark Twain)
Twain's comment is right on. I've laid a few eggs and cackled like they were asteroids myself. Someone once made the observation that a person who sings his own praises usually sings solo. Someone else added that they usually sing in too high a key. My wife, Rae, on the other hand, is a model of the reservation that Twain would approve of.
God knew that I needed as a life partner someone who was a quieter, more gentle, and more complete person than I am; someone whose quiet service would help mitigate the cackling of my noisy and shallow behavior. Rae helps quiet me down.
The Bible says, "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD." These words are certainly true for me. I'm grateful for the woman I've been married to for the past 47 years. She is a joy to live with; she is a pleasure to be around. Thank you, Rae! Thank You, God! Thank You! Thank You!
My world is full of people like Rae; they keep quietly serving to make my world a better place to live. FULL POST
Posted 12/5/12 at 12:03 PM | Don Huntington
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. (Henry David Thoreau)
Wealth is small coin when it comes to the price life demands for genuine satisfaction. Many of us Americans have used whatever wealth we possess in order to hedge our lives about with satiated passions and expensive but useless belongings. Those hedges have grown tall and thick; they have moved inward until the light of genuine happiness sometimes become a mere, scarcely visible, shadow across the dark recesses into which our spirits have receded.
The Master put it best when He said, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." I'm watching out! I'm on my guard! FULL POST
Posted 12/4/12 at 11:40 AM | Don Huntington
It is impossible to live pleasurably without living prudently, honorably, and justly; or to live prudently, honorably, and justly, without living pleasurably. (Epicurus)
I've discovered that the life of grace I am leading — which necessarily involves "living prudently, honorably, and justly" — produces an amazing amount of pleasure. After all, God desires our pleasure, the Bible says, "Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil."
I am grateful for the good things God constantly puts in my life and for the virtues that permit me to enjoy them! I can get more pleasure from laughing with my wife than some people can get from buying a new car. Along with a lot of other qualities, my life is usually a lot of fun. FULL POST
Posted 12/2/12 at 10:45 PM | Don Huntington
I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief." (Gerry Spence)
Something is broken in the hearts of people who permit their beliefs to come between them and the world around them. Regrettably, that is all too typical of "believers" of many different kinds — sometimes, believers of my own kind.
I have been devoutly rejecting any belief that doesn't enhance my sense of wonder at the universe and have been ignoring all teachings that do not reinforce my being dazzled by the people in my life. Doing so has freed me to be constantly astonished by evidences of the wonder and complexity of the universe I see all around me and to be continually amazed by the qualities I find in the character of the people I meet. Each of them is worthy of being cherished. FULL POST