Knowing with certainty that the Holy Spirit of Jesus lives within me, my goal while writing is to have my self quietly stay in the background, so that the voice that makes it to the paper will be His voice, Jesus’ voice. I often fail, for my self won’t shut up. Being the selfish self that I am, my own voice wants to be heard. But sometimes I’m quiet enough to hear Jesus within me, and let His voice make it to the paper. Those are the best writing times.
I thought I had found it. I thought I had discovered the underlying reason for our often-damaging natural human pride. But the flaws in my theory soon made themselves seen. Yet there are still parts of the theory that make sense to me.
They say that ego and arrogance come from insecurity – I believe this. I also believe that our mortality can feed our core sense of insecurity. Our life is short; we have little time to experience life – this can feed insecurity. Our mortal future may not be clear; we are uncertain of what waits for us on the other side of death – this gives more food to our insecurity. For those who are certain of heaven, they may feel uncertain of how God will judge them; and the insecurity gets bigger and stronger.
I don’t believe that pride and ego originated as a result of the insecurity that is fed by our mortality. But I do believe that our mortal insecurity feeds the pride that is already part of our natural humanity.
I constantly struggle with my own pride, striving to make it go away. Well, though I can’t make it go away entirely, maybe I can starve it and weaken it a bit… by living past my mortality and instead living for eternity. By faith, I want to accept my immortality that waits for me on the other side of death, and also accept the love and forgiveness already given to me by Jesus Christ. My eternal future is certain and bright.
I believe that accepting our bright immortal future will starve our insecurity, weaken our prideful human nature, and strengthen our humility. What do you think?
Life can be wretched sometimes. Work can be a place of misery, feeling more like a prison; we don’t want to be there, but we must be there, we have no choice, for we need the money in order to pay the bills and make a living. “Living”… that’s almost a cruel joke, for it sometimes doesn’t feel like much of a life.
And then there’s our life outside of work, sometimes filled with relationships in turmoil. And don’t forget the mundane things, like the car that breaks down, the leaky faucet, the broken light fixture, the computer virus, with new problems always ready to replace those that get fixed.
And the worry list gets longer as sleep gets shorter. Is this how life was meant to be?
As most of us see it, we have two choices. Some choose the path of total escape… suicide. Most of us choose to not give up, but rather trudge our way through life, trying to make the best of what we have. Yet there’s a third choice. We can surrender.
Surrender your life to Jesus. Let Him have your life. Let Him deal with your problems. Let Him go to work for you. Let Him take on your worry list. Let Him have your mind, body, heart, and soul. Let Jesus live your life, through you.
The great irony is, once you surrender to Jesus, that’s when you will truly live. That’s when you will find true joy. Surrender isn’t easy, but it’s easier and better than the other two choices.
It’s Sunday morning – time to get ready to go to church. Do you have a church to go to? Do you have a way to get there? If not, maybe do as I’m doing on this Sunday. Instead of looking to others for “church,” look within yourself.
Find a quiet place to be alone, but not truly alone. As Paul said, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
The one true Church, the Church that Jesus built, is not a building or a manmade organization. The true Church is the body in which the Holy Spirit of Jesus lives… my body, your body, the collective bodies of all who choose to believe and accept the gift of Jesus’ salvation and presence.
Manmade church can be great – I’ve grown a lot by going to such a church. But it’s not the true Church that Jesus built.
Do you want to go to Church today? Then quiet your mind, close your eyes, and look inside yourself … to the Spirit of Jesus within you. That’s where you can truly worship and praise Him. And maybe even sing a song for Him. I bet He’d enjoy such a one-person choir.
“But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” (Hebrews 3:6)
“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22)
One of my favorite times of the day is early morning, when it’s still dark outside, with my cold hands warming around a hot cup of coffee. My mind starts out wandering, never stopping long in one spot. My thoughts are looking for Jesus, within me, yet my spiritual attention deficit disorder (SADD), keeps scattering my thoughts, hindering my efforts to find Jesus.
But soon the coffee gives my wandering mind the strength to wrest control of my thoughts and focus on my search for Jesus. And He’s always there waiting for me, in the midst of my thoughts.
We sit there together, while I sip my coffee. Closing my eyes to block out the distractions of the world, I look inside, to Jesus. And we just hang out together. Sometimes I talk. Often I try to just quiet my mind and listen. This quiet time with Jesus is my favorite time of the day. And I’m so grateful.
I recently got some great advice from an editor friend of mine, and now I’m totally re-writing the first chapter of the book I’m working on. As for the rest of the book – I don’t know yet. Revision 11 is looking meaty. What revision will be the final one, 22?
When will this book be finished? I’m three months away from the seven year anniversary of the day I started working on this book. Whether I ever publish it or not, I sure would like to finish it someday. I’m getting impatient. I want to be done with it. Here I am, still getting up each morning way before sunrise, just so I can have an hour or two to write before going to work. Seven years now of the same routine, and the end still looks far off and blurry.
This morning I was praying about all this, again. And thank you Jesus for reminding me what’s important.
It’s not finishing the book that’s important, at least right now. The focus may shift to finishing at some time, but right now it’s all about writing. What gets me out of bed each morning is the joy of finding Jesus in my writing. When my words are His words – this is what I chase after each morning. And when I’m able to empty myself enough to let Him write through me, those are the best moments of my day. Well worth getting out of bed before the crows. And I’ll keep at it until Jesus says it’s done.
Each of the church elders had already put in a full days work, with another workday less than ten hours away. Yet they were now in the third hour of a one-hour meeting, a little after 10:00 pm, and the pastor was again lecturing on the supremacy of the Presbyterian Book of Order. The elders had heard this message many times before, how important it is to make sure all their decisions are in accordance with the Presbyterian rulebook. Finally, my friend Chris couldn’t take any more. At a pause in the lecture, Chris slowly stood up, slammed his bible on the table, and declared, “THAT’s my Book of Order!”
Beware of those who put their rules above Gods rules. As Jesus warned, “They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” (Matthew 15:9)