I spent time this morning reading a theologian on “Aging and Dying.” Here are two quotes that really stood out:
“Modern Western culture seeks to avoid thinking about aging and death, and some people put immense amounts of money and time into attempts to hide the signs of aging and to appear younger than they really are” (Grudem).
“There is nothing wrong with a moderate effort to improve one’s physical appearance, but the pursuit of a ‘perfect’ body or a continual desire to disguise one’s actual age can easily become an idol, turning our hearts away from God and the things he wants us to focus on” (Grudem).
I am preparing a commencement speech that I am scheduled to in the next couple of weeks. I have found myself focusing on Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. He survived four concentration camps. Ultimately, he created a psychothereapy that is rooted in the search for meaning (as opposed to Freud’s will to pleasure and Adler’s will to power, the latter of which was built on Nietzsche’s thought), what he says is the primary motivation in all human beings. He then details three ways that we find meaning. While not everything in his theory—Logotherapy—agrees with a biblical worldview, it is profound. In my opinion, it is among the best that the world of modern psychology has to offer. So much of it does in fact sync with the teaching of Scripture. The first half of the book tells his heart-wrenching experiences in the camps. The second part of the book lays out in succinct fashion the nuts and bolts of his theory. It is a MUST read in my view. You won’t be able to put it down.
After being raised Southern Baptist, I spent most of my teens, 20s, and 30s in more charismatic churches. Some people around me claimed to hear God every time they asked. Every time they prayed. Every time they glanced upward. But not me. Could it be sin? Maybe. Who could rule this out? Could it be I have not learned to distinguish between the whispering Spirit and my own thoughts? Probably. Or maybe it is something else. All I know is that I have a major issue with two types of Christians: (1) the one who simply reads the Scripture and doesn’t think that they need anything else (a fresh touch, a fresh word, an encounter), and (2) the one who thinks God speaks around every corner ten times a day.
May the Lord speak. Jesus did clearly affirm: “My sheep hear My voice” (John 10:27 ESV). What is there to argue?
May I hear Him more often than I do. He is the teacher; I am not. He is Lord; I am not. I pray the same for you if you are a Christian. Oh, what sound is sweeter than the infinite personal triune God speaking/whispering/singing into a human heart? In the words of the grasshopper and honey guy: “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:29–30).
When I played high school basketball, I wore #13 on my jersey. Today is post #13. Some hotels do not have a 13th floor. There is a floor 12 and 14, but not 13. But this is silly, right? There is a floor 13. Floor 14 is floor 13. Just because you call it something different doesn’t make it any less so. Oh, wait a minute—I am now talking about truth. Floor 14 is floor 13 no matter what symbol you use. Besides, the “4” is just a linguistic symbol that human beings have created to signify a certain quantity. Thus, it is just an organized collection of marks meant to communicate a particular quantity. Thus, you can call the 13th floor, “floor 14” or “Miami,” but it doesn’t change the fact that the 13th floor is the 13th floor. I could say it like this: the truth is that you can call it whatever you want, but the 13th floor is still the next floor up from the 12th. I hope that this has truly changed your life. 🙂
In a letter to his brother, Warne, the 22-year old C.S. Lewis wrote the following about a man being engaged to be married: “engaged—that fatal tomb of all lively and interesting men.” Yikes. Even Lewis must be read with care. Of course, he would be surprised by Joy (also the title of his autobiography)—an American lady—decades later. I don’t think it made him less interesting, but more!
Psalms 5:3 “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” I know some people are morning birds and others are late night owls. But in the Psalms, one cannot help but finding references to prayer in the morning over and over and over. What do you do to take a minute, breathe, and connect with Jesus before the rush begins?