2 Corinthians 11
16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! 20 For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!
But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 2 6on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,b in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.
I was given a new ring tone for my phone - "Pirates of the Caribbean" - and I am Enamored with the idea upon waking up - the first thought runs the course in my brain saying, "GIVE US THIS DAY."
We lose sight of the Adventure Paul was living for Father God. Saints are dour in robes with judgment? Noooo. When you look at all the ways Paul loved those he was telling about God's Love to - Paul LOVED! We posted all the ways Paul wrote of his love. If you missed the post, take a minute to go back and see how many lovely ways Paul says his witness is for the beloved people.
Now, if we take Paul literally, that we should imitate Paul - verses 25-28 we would think Paul was dour. Instead I think Paul fit in well with the Italians - the Joy, the indignation, anxiety over loved ones. Today, at the bright old age of barely being 50 years old - I discovered - if you darken your facial hairs with hair dye - well - it doesn't stay Clear. Am I clear in saying this? Yes, after deciding that the face hair had to decide if it was white or blonde to be lasered to gone - (I'm trying to say dark hair lasers off better) - I found in the doctor's office - I had arrived with vaudeville style goatee and mustache.
And that went actually fairly well - the doctor's office and I fell over!!! And that at the age of 50 - I had never experimented with hair color and didn't know what goes on clear - doesn't stay clear.
And I'm here to tell you today - I rejoice in my sufferings! Laughed all day. Can you imagine with me - Paul rejoiced in that shipwreck!!! Nothing like surviving! And I got to tell about the fire several years back during Altar Care story. An opportunity to share a public Oh Noooo and to say how nice everyone was that the Church didn't catch fire during the service and on my watch. A memorable witness to the Love God has for us in the witness of Christian kindness. So... My day was pretty complete! If you're chatty and you know it, raise your hand! Thank You, God, for kind people, everywhere you encounter goodness!
1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
I was listening to Rick Warren Daily Hope last night; Rick Warren said expect God to do something NEW in your life...
God does tell us not to put too much of a "beard" on. We are better at being our best self than a poor best fake. To have your honest self revealed and to be able to say "I Survived!" Is a Mighty Fine Thing.
OF COURSE, I realize the fiery trials of Paul were indeed NOBLE. I'm saying, when you pull out all the aspects of Paul, writing in the Holy Spirit, about love - you are learning - this man could bounce with the Strength of the Lord - which is indeed JOY. It is one of the few ways to understand rejoicing in sufferings!
Just Maybe. Paul would have liked the song, "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple. Smoke on the Water like the Holy Spirit in Genesis, and Fire in the Sky of The Book of Acts. A day to God is millions of years - we just aren't that far apart in the eyes of God. Imagine that! Dusty robes don't necessarily mean dry dusty sense of humor!
The mercies of God renew each day - my mercy for today is - I will never appear in public again with a full painted beard. Amen.
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness
Now, the blog post is sort of fluffy today - and perhaps it seems light to you. One - our faith is something we don't put on a lofty shelf and say "Holy, holy, holy" - (and label that) - "For Other People. Lofty Nobility." Faith, my new friend and I discussed today is - taking what God puts in Your Soul to Your Father God and calling that "Abundant Life." We do NOT know what others have going on - we do know - what God gives to us to put forth in our unique talents and abilities. Let's run from calling that talents and abilities and instead call it "Heart."
Paul is comfortable saying see Jesus in him and imitate him. I'm, personally, not comfortable with that. Rick Warren pointed out something that completely grabbed me and held me. Peter says in Matthew 16 a re-announcement of the Divinity of Jesus. And just as Jesus turns to this human man, Peter, and says Peter will for - all time - be honored in Heaven and on earth as Seeing and Knowing and Serving God. Peter then Proves he is fully human and not God's Son, by saying Jesus shouldn't die and for Jesus to proclaim only Life and Glory. Jesus goes so far as to say - evil. To try to cut into God's Plan.
I'm saying with all my heart - God is God. Jesus is God's Son and Lord. My relationship with Father God is to Love Him for the Love HE has bestowed on me. I don't want to say I'm good enough to be imitated. I want to point to His goodness. And bask in the gift of salvation. I want the people I love to know Father God Loves and is Marvelous. When I have a glimpse of "rejoice in sufferings," then I will share. Because Jesus said He came to make Life Abundant. The Lord sees transparently all of the world and universe HE created and calls good - yesterday, today and tomorrow - and HE sees us just as we are. His response? He wants to save us. Give us His Son and Salvation.
His Mercies renew each day. Count on His Promises.
so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught
Father God, in our new day, we open our hands to You. Lord Father God, if You will bless us with the blessings of Abraham, Jabez, David, Hezekiah, Isaiah, Daniel, John, Luke, Mark, Titus, Timothy ~ we ask in the Name of Jesus for Your glory. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †