Little Christs

It is Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Thirty-two days until our Oregon vacation!

Quote of the Day

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” ― Benjamin Spock

Word of the Day

Dox ~ Slang: to publish the private personal information of (another person) or reveal the identity of (an online poster) without the consent of that individual.

Today is World Asthma Day. Having grown up with asthma and raising two children who suffered from it, as well, I am quite familiar with this threat to breathing normally. Ironically, one of the suggested remedies/preventatives for asthma is to not clean quite so thoroughly. “Does this seem counter-intuitive to you? It sure did to us, until we learned that hyper-hygienic environments have significantly higher occurrences than farms and those houses that have pets. So you can start by making sure that your kids spend more time playing in the dirt, and not sanitising your world to within an inch of its life.”

Band practice went well, last night, and we got out a bit early, which was nice, as it had only been two days since our last concert. One thing that helps is that, since our next concert is less than two weeks away, we are basically doing the same show as the one from March, which is the all-Disney show. So we’ve played all of this before. Next week, we will go over those again, and probably throw in some new stuff for the July 3 show.

We’re getting really excited about this trip to Oregon. Everything is booked, and we have our PTO on the calendars. But before we get there, we are planning a short trip to east Texas in a couple of weeks. We are taking my mother out to visit her twin brother, and are hopeful that all of the cousins will be able to show up, as well, for a sort of mini-reunion. I’m looking forward to this, because the last two times I have seen my cousins were both for funerals. It will be nice to see them in happy times.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. 
Psalm 66:16
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah. 
  that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.

Psalm 67:1-2
For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Psalm 61:5
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 
Psalm 51:10

Today, I’m offering a quote from Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.

This is the whole of Christianity. There is nothing else. It is so easy to get muddled about that. It is easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects—education, building, missions, holding services. Just as it is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects—military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden— that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time. In the same way the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.

In truth, this thought agrees largely with what Dallas Willard taught in his writings. Too many people believe that salvation is simply about forgiveness and nothing else. We tend to see it as the “basic minimum requirements for getting into heaven when you die.” But it is so much more than that. It’s about transformation–turning us into “little Christs.” The paradox is that we cannot accomplish this on our own, nor will God do it for us. Willard defines grace as God accomplishing for/in us that which we cannot accomplish on our own. Yet effort on our part is also required. This is what brings the Spiritual Disciplines into play.

Father, I pray for the Spirit’s assistance in working the disciplines, in training myself to become a “little Christ.” I pray that our local churches will return to the idea of creating disciples rather than just notching up salvations on their numbers board. Help us to follow Jesus, to walk in his steps, to obey the words that he said.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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