Sunday, December 12, 2021

Ten Supports

 As an educator and therapist, I have come to realize that NO and DO NOT often do not help people know what to DO.  For example, in a school hall, it is much more productive to tell a child to "Walk" as opposed to "Don't run."  "Don't run" might mean I can skip, trot or crawl, which doesn't really lead me to "walk."  

Also, because of human nature, many people just inherently rebel against "Don't," which repels them, while "Do" could attract them to new behavior and thought.  So, I decided to rewrite the ten commandments given by God, which are mostly "do not."  What do you think?

Exodus 20:1-17 

God began to speak directly to all the people (including Moses):  

I am the eternal one, your God.  I led you out of Egypt and liberated you from lives of slavery and oppression.  As a result, remember that I am only for your good, so serve me only.  Let me be the center of your ideology and desire - in your heart where I belong.  Consider me first in all your comings and goings.

Be loyal to me.  Let your love for me, which I will give you and cultivate in you, grow into a passionate loyalty to me and my kingdom.

Love me by demonstrating a commitment to the path I set before you.

When you speak, remember my name is sacred.

Set apart a day of rest so that you can capture a sense of that sacred.  Let your whole household take respite so that my purposes can be focused and directed inside the hearts of all in your household.  I myself rested, you know.

Honor your parents.  How you do so reflects your honor of the Lord and will be reflected into your children.

Value the life of your fellow people - neighbors near and far.

Stay true to the one you marry.

Value the prosperity of your neighbors:  what is his is his.  I gave it.

Let your tongue value truth, especially about your neighbors.  Only tell what is right, obvious and known.

Keep your heart focused and grateful on what God has provided you.  Let it be enough.

Now that list gives me more to do than just avoidance of behaviors.  Rather, a descriptive guidance leads me to growth within the life of God.


Sunday, December 05, 2021

Prepare the Way of the Lord

....A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level and the rough place a plain.  And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together...  Isaiah 40:1-11

Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight...and there, John preached repentance... Mark 1:1-8

Sin causes us homesickness for heaven:  tight turns, hills and dales make the drive nauseating.  Jesus, the Way, has changed the path.  He is now the super highway (straight and level) to righteousness (being as we should) and heaven.  Repentance is the entrance ramp.

John preached repentance.  "Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is near," he says in Matthew 3:2.  Repentance in Greek is metanoia, which means "change your mind."  Repentance is our off ramp.

Meta - less close, less intimate with; against
Noia - your mind, your way of thinking and understanding.

True repentance, Tim Keller says begins when these end:
1) white washing (it's not so bad)
2) blaming
3) self-pity (sorry about getting caught/consequence)
4) self-flagellation (punishing myself to avoid criticism by others)

It begins when I come into agreement with God and, through Christ, walk a different path - the one he prepared for me to follow him.  This path is not without challenge and will be filled with great meaning through the developing presence of heaven.  That's what I want - more of heaven!
Make it so!