It’s been so long since I published anything here, I thought I’d just start over. Lately, everything’s been on my other two sites that I moved to other host environments to take advantage of other features that were very useful for them.
But something’s missing there. People read, but seldom respond. It’s not so personal either, since that tends to mess up Google searching for the main stuff on the sites. So I’m back.
Starting over, but not with God
No, I’m not starting over with God. I’ve been through way too much to do that.
But there is a different emphasis.
I write a lot about the Great Commission.
The Great Commission
Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That passage has come to have such meaning and importance to me. Among other things, it drives a need to be more personal. So that’ll be part of starting over.
BTW – the inability to do things like superscript the verse numbers, do searches on the passage name, and other added features is why I stopped writing here on wordpress.com.
My other sites
So yes, I’ll keep writing the Bible stuff on the other sites. And I’ll put excerpts and links in here to let you know when there’s something to check out.
Here’s another reason for starting over. We all have things in our lives – good, bad or indifferent – that affect us. I never shared any of them, unless it was within the context of something I wrote about the Bible. I never did it like person to person.
The good ones
… as long as it’s not bragging, why not share? There’s never too much good news in the world, especially with everything going on now.
The indifferent ones
… well, that’s where maybe some editing is needed. This is such a thing as TMI – Too Much Information. Even WTMI – Way TMI. Sometimes we just need to join PAA and be quiet. BTW, PAA is People Against Acronyms.
The bad ones
… this may be the hardest one of all. I never wanted to talk about them. Figured no one wants to hear about them anyway. And anyone who did want to hear them probably wanted to gloat or enjoyed hearing other people’s bad news.
But then, there’s another passage that addresses these.
The God of All Comfort
2Co 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
2Co 1:8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
The key part there is this:
comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God
For us as Christians, we believe God comforts us at least partly so we can comfort others. Eventually, I came to realize that if we never talk about our times when we needed comforting, then we’re actually being selfish.
We’re being selfish by taking that comfort God gave us, with the idea that we’d share it with others, but we keep it for ourselves. And so, we must talk about the bad times, otherwise there’s no talking about the comforting we received. And if we don’t do that, then how can we ever begin to share the comforting we received from God?
That’s a really big thing. When we comfort someone with the comfort we received from God, that’s so much more meaningful and powerful than if we leave God out and claim it’s all from us.
Starting over as a light on the hill
I have just one final passage for today. You can imagine, it’s the one where Jesus talked about being a light on a hill.
Salt and Light
Mt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Mt 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Maybe you caught the part I’m talking about.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
And yet, if we hide the fact that God comforted us, aren’t we doing exactly that? We put the bad things that happen to us under a bowl, to hide their existence from everyone. We don’t want them to know.
In turn, that also puts the fact that God comforted us under that same bowl.
And finally, that limits our ability to comfort other’s in the same way God comforted us. It also limits our ability to perform the Great Commission, because people don’t really know us as Christians. We’ve hidden that from them. How can we hope to really teach others about Jesus, when they don’t have a clue that we know Jesus to start with?
Conclusion – starting over
I think this is a good time to start over. My writing has changed a lot the last few years. Especially after I spent a week in the hospital with a staph infection. It was just one week in what was about a two month bout with the infection.
When it was all over, my doctor told me from speaking to some of the doctors from the hospital and seeing the charts and stuff, that I “beat the reaper”. I even had an experience during that week where I was (dreaming or ??) and had a conversation with God about whether or not it was time for me to “go home”. That’s Christian-speak for die. Go to Heaven. You can read some about that at God – is it time for me to go home?
I also teach a Bible Study class for adults at church on Sunday Mornings. The group we have right now has been extremely helpful for me. They’re so interested in learning more about the Bible, but especially in how it applies to life today. Sharing is incredibly important for that. To build trust, that really had to start with me. So, dragging myself while kicking and screaming to myself, I started doing just that.
It was needed. For me and for them.
And so – it begins, again.
I’d really love to hear from you!