An Eternal Beginning

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”~~Martin Luther
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is aposiopesis. This is “a sudden breaking off in the midst of a sentence, as if from inability or unwillingness to proceed.” Finally, a word for that thing that Stephanie does all of the time, usually right before the last word of a question.

Today is Cheese Lovers Day. Wow! And right on the heels of my other favorite food, Popcorn Day! This is truly amazing.

I do not have good news about Jeremy, my cousin’s son. I had a Facebook message from his sister when I woke, this morning. It turns out that what has happened is not a diabetic coma, as they thought. Apparently, it is anoxic brain injury brought on by choking on some vomit after he went to bed. She said he also had high blood pressure, which must have contributed to this somehow. He is, essentially, brain dead. “We are just waiting for a miracle,” she said. While I was never close with Jeremy, I was very close to his mother, my cousin, when I was growing up. Probably the closest out of all of my other cousins, as she was the closest to my age. My heart is breaking for her (as well as the rest of the family) right now.

Christi had a good time having dinner with friends from a previous work environment. I had a good time playing Fallout 4. Everybody wins, right? Tonight, we’ll be all together for the first time this week, so we’ll probably make chili for dinner. That’s the plan, anyway.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:7-11

“Faith builds on foundations that reach to the bedrock of eternity. Life in God acquires a steadiness that is unaffected by the tremors of anxiety. Even death cannot shake its repose.” How true this is. As I was reflecting yesterday on all of the events of this year, including a call I got yesterday, the contents of which I will not reveal at this time, I had such mixed emotions. However, due to the truths reflected in the above quote, I’ll tell you where I landed. I landed firmly on that foundation that reaches to “the bedrock of eternity.” This is a year to be strong. This is a year to fight to the finish. No matter what it continues to throw at us, my faith is built on that foundation of Jesus Christ, and, as the psalmist says, “I shall not be shaken!”

“‘O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in Thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Book of Common Worship). Amen.

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Are You Fresh for Everything?”

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:3

“Being born of the Spirit means much more than we generally take it to mean.” I’ve started this synopsis with one of the last sentences in the reading, because that sentence carries much weight, and summarizes the reading perfectly. And it is very true. Typically, when we think of being “born again,” or “saved,” as I grew up saying, we think of the beginning of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and leave it at that. But it is so much more.

It is, as Chambers says, “an unmistakable work of god, as mysterious as the wind, as surprising as God Himself.” Truly we do not know how or where it begins, as it is “hidden away in the depths of our personal life.” However, it does not stop at the beginning. In fact, Chambers says, it is a “perennial, perpetual and eternal beginning.” I like that. The true life in the Spirit keeps us fresh all the time, in our thinking, in our talking, and in our living.

When we become stale, something is out of joint with God. If we feel like we have to find something to do for God, we are beginning to get stale. This freshness of which Chambers speaks is not born out of obedience. It comes from the Holy Spirit. The obedience is what keeps us in the light.

Chambers admonishes us to “Guard jealously your relationship to God.” Do not pretend with Jesus (as if we could, anyway, right?). We must draw our life from God and no other source.

“Being born of the Spirit means much more than we generally take it to mean.”

Father, I confess that I have not adequately guarded my relationship with you. Teach me to do that, resisting attitudes and temptations that would adversely affect that relationship. Let me draw my life from you, and give me that eternal beginning. Keep me fresh; let me not get stale. Rather, I should say, restore me from the staleness that I have allowed to creep in.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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6 thoughts on “An Eternal Beginning

  1. Jeff, I am so sorry to hear about Jeremy. I hope the family is receiving the support they will need at this very difficult time — support as in palliative care physicians and nurses to help them make some tough decisions. God bless. Carley

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