Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I've had two losses in the last twelve days.
While they may seem tritely self-absorbing to you, they triggered confession and repentance for me.
Yes, He works in mysterious ways.
If it wasn't enough for me to fork over big $ producing annoying hassles to fly from Chicago to Wilkes-Barre to satiate the prejudices of my mom against me riding Return2 over the river and through the woods to..., I trimmed my facial hair just a few days before departure.
You know the yarmulke deal?
If not, ain't no way you're gonna get the abridged Numbers 6 one.
Let's just say I'm still into personally subdued displays of devotion concomitant to Matthew 6.
I'll explain if asked.
If not, not.
Of course, it will grow back.
Pastor Peers' wife gave it to me about 49 years ago: "Presented to Bobby Kopp by Junior Fellowship of First Presbyterian Church of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania on May 18, 1964."
I took it to college, Heidelberg, Geneva, Rome, seminary, Israel, Egypt, Syria, England, Scotland, and...
I've always kept it on my desk or in my briefcase or knapsack but never out of reach or eyesight.
Zippered KJV Bible.
I thought I left it where I always leave it when not taking it with me - top of the pile of Bibles minus the one that I always take with me if not taking it.
I haven't seen it since getting back.
Of course, except for a comb lost near Hebron and specs lost in Edinburgh, misplaced stuff has always shown up sooner or later.
Maybe my zippered KJV Bible will pop up.
Despite being a little heartsick about 'em for reasons requiring interrogatives for declaratives, I didn't carry on too much about the losses reflected in the mirror and on my desk.
I didn't curse, cry, banter, or moan.
O.K., I moaned a bit.
That's probably because I've been scratching the surface of my relationship with the Lord by reading the Bible and praying more than preaching/teaching/writing about or pretending to be reading the Bible and praying.
I recall the pastor who was as old as I am now who said this to me when I was too young to accept a church's not God's call to be their pastor too many years before I was remotely ready which I did anyway much to everyone's eventual dismay: "You're known as a man of prayer. So I'm sure our Lord will tell you what to do if you pray about it."
I remember thinking, "Well, yeah, I know I'm known as a man of prayer and have preached and taught and even written a non-bestseller about prayer; but God knows I don't actually pray as much as I preach, teach, and write about it."
So I took the job much to everyone's eventual dismay.
Buuuuuuut now that I'm actually reading the Bible and praying more than preaching, teaching, and writing about it, I'm starting to experience/express some of the proof of practicing more than professing/pretending it that Paul talked about in Galatians 5; which came in handy when I lost sooooooo/tooooooo much of my facial hair and my zippered KJV Bible.
God knows I know He knows I've got a long way to go - I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with Him via Bible reading and prayer after years of professing/pretending more than I was experiencing/expressing - buuuuuuut to horrify the grammar police who care more about jots and tittles than saving souls, I'm trying to be more better than before when I was more worse while pretending to be more better.
The point is nobody has to sweat the small stuff like lost stuff if we're taking care of the big stuff like our personal relationship with Him that is enabled by reading the Bible and praying a heaven of a lot more than preaching, teaching, and writing about reading the Bible and praying.
BTW, about three hours after writing the preceding, our custodian Murph found my zippered KJV Bible on top of the piano in the choir room.
I left it there after praying with the choir less than 24 hours before getting on the plane for Wilkes-Barre.
Maybe I'll buy a plane ticket for Murph to Hebron and Edinburgh.
Or maybe I'll prepare for my next losses by...
Blessings and Love!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Scratching the Surface of Colossians
The devil does lots of dirty deeds in the church.
That's because the devil, as Luther wrote, is a "clever trickster" who disguises itself as "an angel of light" or someone/something good and tasty; or as I've come to believe, the tempter's temptations are so tempting 'cause we wanna take a bite.
Jesus warned, it/they "come in sheep's clothing..."
It/they don't come looking like bad guys/gals.
It/they come looking like part of the team; and blend in like bad leaven to make things worse over time.
It/they are like sleeper cells that seemingly lie dormant in the halls and sanctuaries and on the committees of churches until the time is wrong for them to disturb, detour, divide, damage, and sometimes even destroy; noting one of its/their favorite strategies was summarized so well by the Rolling Stones, "Confusing is my game...Can you guess my name?"
C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters comes to mind as the old demon encourages the younger version, "I note with grave displeasure that your patient has become a Christian...There is no need to despair; hundreds of those adult converts have been reclaimed...One of our great allies at present is the church itself."
While James is right - "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" - and Paul is right - "We use God's mighty weapons to knock down the devil!" - there's often too much disturbing, detouring, dividing, damaging, and sometimes even destroying because too many pewsitters and pulpiteers do not identify and isolate 'em from infecting the rest of the body aka church with its/their disease: "Watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive."
Bluntly, the Biblically ignorant.
Even more bluntly, that's why the Church has always emphasized Biblical Christian education as one of the best ways to beat the devil in time.
But, again, we've seen its/their accomplices making a mess in too many churches.
Matthew 15 and Colossians expose its/their dirty tricks: "They elevate human traditions to the commandments of God...See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, and not according to Christ...not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body...grows with a growth that is from God."
I've learned how to cut to the quick in distinguishing authentic Christians from posers - the real deals from those who've unwittingly and often wittingly made their deals with the devil.
Just start talking about Jesus with them!!!!!!!
People who really know/love Jesus are always eager to talk about Him; and people who don't, don't.
Jesus is the litmus test.
Do you want to know what your deacon/elder/pastor really believes or if you'll be equally yoked in marriage or if your denomination is still faithful or if your government...or if...or if...or if...?
Just ask 'em to talk about Jesus.
If they can and are eager to do it, you know who they are because they know who He is.
If not, not.
To horrify the grammar police who often care more about jots and tittles than saving souls, you is or you ain't.
That's what Colossians is all about; establishing His identity and exposing ours.
Paul says Christians have an uncompromisingly clear and conclusive confession about Jesus: "He is the image of the invisible God...all things were created through Him and for Him...In Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell..."
In short, Jesus is not like God.
He is God.
This letter expands upon the opening sentences of John in establishing His identity - His divine birth certificate.
This letter also describes how people who know and love Jesus act accordingly; or, acknowledging the room for improvement in everyone's life which is why we praise our Lord Jesus for also being our Savior, how people who know and love Jesus are better than worse when it comes to following His ethics: "Seek the things that are above...put on...compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another...forgiving...And above all these put on love...Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
As I've scratched the surface of the Bible with Colossians really pounding home the point, Christianity is all about Jesus.
Think about it.
How can anyone who belongs/connects to any church/person that/who claims to be a part of Christendom not be focusing on Jesus and filtering every part of their life and ministry through Him?
Christianity is about Jesus being Lord and Savior and following Jesus because He is Lord and Savior.
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Scratching the Surface of Philippians
Begging comparisons to Uncle Sam(s) throughout American history, King Hezekiah was one of the few kings who remained faithful to God and experienced rewards from God here and now before hereafter.
Isaiah recounts a glorious instance of Hezekiah's fidelity yielding divine favor: "Thus says the Lord: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover'...Then Hezekiah prayed, 'Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight'...The Lord came to Isaiah: 'Go and say to Hezekiah,...[I, the Lord]...have heard your prayer...I will add fifteen years to your life.'"
Though Hezekiah trusted God for eternity, he wanted to live longer because he enjoyed the favors of God in time; and because of his faithfulness to God, God was faithful to him and added fifteen years to his limited time on earth before passing on to eternity.
I like how the David Crowder Band has sung about it; which you can hear by clicking on the link above.
Really, listen to it before continuing.
Yes, we know Jesus wanted the cup of existential death and suffering to pass or overlook Him in a very human kinda way because, like Hezekiah, He enjoyed the God-given graces in time.
Yes, we know Jesus didn't fear the first nano-second after the last breath in time because earthly existence is the limited preface to limitless graces in heaven where there's no pain, suffering, tears, or death anymore; which, of course, is why eternity is considered heavenly.
That's the biggest and best reward of faith in God.
Loving earthly life and living it so famously, fully, and fearlessly happens because of the confidence that God has enabled an even better life in heaven after this life on earth concludes.
Knowing God has something heavenly for His family of faith after time frees/encourages/enables us to enjoy the best of our time on earth without being chained to it as if we are limited to it.
Knowing an even better life comes after the best of this one means really enjoying it because we're not clutching anxiously to it as if it is the only one that we get from God.
That's the "secret" discovered by Paul and anyone else who gets close to Jesus: "I have learned the secret...I can do/face all things through or because of Him who strengthens me."
That's why Paul loved life but wasn't afraid of the inevitability of departing from it for something infinitely better: "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...This life is not worth comparing to the one to come...For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Paul understood his call in time but had an even greater anticipation of the heavenly call awaiting everyone whose confidence is in the Lord: "I am hard pressed...My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account."
In other words to horrify the grammar police yet hint at the heavenly, we gotta do what we gotta do and enjoy it as best as we can before He does what's really the best for us in heaven.
That's the blessed assurance that compelled Paul and everyone else who gets it/Him to pray and try so hard to honor Him in time as thanksgiving for the world without end: "Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
That's what he meant by "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding...[that]...will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
That's what Hezekiah understood and the David Crowder Band sang about and all of the saints of all time echo: "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
That's the secret that everybody knows who knows Him.
This life, as we learn right from Genesis, is very, very, very good; and we can live it famously, fully, and fearlessly because of the blessed assurance born of confidence in our Source, Starter, Sovereign, and Savior Who has saved the best for next.
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!
Monday, October 14, 2013
Scratching the Surface of Ephesians
I'm old enough to have some historical perspective; and while I may be wrong, I am convinced until proven otherwise that there are more miscreants causing meanness, madness, and misery than ever before.
Surely, things have been tough ever since the first (original) rebellion (sin) in the garden; but it seems like the instances of meanness, madness, and misery are increasingly intense and frequent in an eschatological kinda way.
Indeed, and, again, I may be wrong, but I am convinced anyone who doesn't think things are getting worse than ever before is living in the ozone layer of reality with two feet planted firmly in the air or over-dosed on St. John's Wort.
We're in a war; precisely as Paul cautioned in Ephesians: "Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet...This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels."
Then he describes our best defense: "Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand...withstand...stand firm..."
Paul uses the metaphor of a Roman soldier preparing for battle to remind us how/why we can live victoriously and win sooner or later and definitely in the end.
We have the blessed assurance of victory because our Lord has provided what we need to win the war: "We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods. We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds."
If you would like a printed "spiritual warfare" prayer with Ephesians 6:10-20 as a guide, just contact me at email@example.com and I will send it to you with permission to print and forward.
In short, Luther taught us to sing victoriously, "One little word shall fell him!...Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He!...And He must win the battle!"
Let me put it another way.
Remembering all of the pieces of the armor isn't nearly as important as remembering Who is the armor.
Or as many have done so victoriously when the Devil and its accomplices come knocking at the door, "Jesus, please get that for me. Thank You!"
While Ephesians, like Paul's other letters, includes lots of other important parentheses of counsel, encouragement, and exhortation, the big focus is on the war with the Devil and its accomplices that no one can avoid with the good news that we will win the war sooner or later and definitely in the end.
Francis Frangipane wrote, "How do we defeat the enemy? Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our hearts."
That's what this letter is all about.
We belong to Him, we belong to each other, and, together with Him, we will win the war sooner or later and definitely in the end.
In the meantime of miscreance, meanness, madness, and misery, we will pray and labor to live the holy lives of winners: "Therefore be imitators of God...Look carefully then how you walk...making the best use of time...understand what the will of the Lord is...Grace...[will]...be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible."
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Bill O'Reilly's Killing Jesus is gonna be a bestseller.
He's the #1 talking head on TV and he's got a bunch of other bestsellers under his belt already.
I cannot relate; but I did read the book.
Three confessions before getting to the book.
1. I often agree with him.
2. I often tire of him often yelling at guests and often demeaning anyone who doesn't agree with him about almost anything.
3. I haven't read any reviews; expecting his idolaters to drool and his demonizers to ridicule.
He's sooooooo popular.
He's sooooooo unpopular.
He seems to symbolize America's ideological bipolarity.
I often like what he says.
I often dislike how he says it.
O.K., that was redundant.
Kinda like the content of the book.
Not a lotta new stuff.
Strangely, then, I'm surprised by feeling rather, uh, positive about the book.
It wasn't what he said/wrote.
It's how he said/wrote it.
I guess my reaction to him as a writer contradicts my reaction to him as a talking head.
Neither has stopped me from reading and listening.
Getting to the book more than the man, he and very much of a sidekick Martin Dugard have an engaging way of writing; obviously, everything from their noodles has outsold anything that I've ever written by a trillion to one.
It's like President Obama.
The President's critics, like O'Reilly's demonizers, gotta admit he's/he's riding high in the popularity polls...period.
It's hard to argue with sales.
The first thing that strikes me about the book is the same thing that strikes me about Mr. Bill on TV; while claiming to be fair and balanced, it ain't that hard to figure out which way he's leaning. In the book, for example, he makes this claim: "Martin...and I are both Roman Catholics who were educated in religious schools. But we are also historical investigators and are interested primarily in telling the truth about important people, not converting anyone to a spiritual cause. We brought this dedication and discipline to Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, and in these pages we will do the same with Jesus of Nazareth." But then here's how he closes the same paragraph: "By the way, both Lincoln and Kennedy believed Jesus was God."
Of course, I have no problems with that because I share that faith.
Actually, while there's nothing really new in the book when it comes to the main story, the most compelling and recommending parts of the book relate to their traditio-historical research which is laudably clear, concise, and, from what I know, accurate. They provide excellent traditio-historical context for their summary of the story; remaining remarkably in harmony with the Biblical account.
Maybe it's my current OCDishness buuuuuuut I really like how they captured Jesus' contempt for clergy in a Matthew 15 and 23 kinda way with parallels to their successors; or, in my estimate, the neo-Pharisees and neo-Sadducees of too many of today's churches.
My only notable criticism is they don't seem to share Paul's 1 Corinthians 15 insistence on Jesus' resurrection as the cause of His renown not to mention saving Lordship: "Whether or not one believes that Jesus rose from the dead, the story of his life and message achieved much greater status after his crucifixion." Buuuuuuut then, again, exposing his/their bias, which, again, I like, he says in the same afterword, "After the crucifixion, the disciples underwent a radical shift in behavior. They were quite positive that they had seen a resurrected Jesus and soon went out into the world and fearlessly preached his message." In other words, ya can take the historian out of the believer but ya can't take the believer out of the historian!
Excellent...like the book!
What I really, really, really like about the book is the renown of its primary author Bill O'Reilly.
Again, he is the most renowned/watched/read TV talking head and best-selling author of our day.
That means he just may draw the kinda attention to Him that could save...
Annnnnnnd that's not just a history lesson!
That's a fact!
Blessings and Love!
Monday, October 7, 2013
Scratching the Surface of Galatians
Dr. Macleod, Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of Presbyterian Worship which remains the most comprehensive yet clear explanation of the meaning and method of Reformed worship, wrote of baptism in the cited book, "...the sign and seal of God's initiative taken in our behalf through His Son, Jesus Christ, and therefore the main thing is not what men do, but what God Himself as done." Then he quotes Richard Davidson: "Baptism is the door by which all come in. The newcomer may be a man of years or an infant of days; the Church takes him up in baptism, and then fathers him, mothers him, brothers him till Christ is formed in him. Baptism is a step in the process of initiation into the family and household of God."
Indeed, while the Greek meaning of baptism can mean to dip, drip, dab, or dunk, the deeper meaning refers to dyeing or changing colors as in allegiance, affection, and intention.
When an adult is baptized, she or he is declaring allegiance to and affection for God with the intention to be His in all things at all times in all places with all people.
When an infant is baptized, parents and family of faith are joining together in providing examples as well as education and environment that will encourage the child to grow in allegiance to and affection for God with the intention to be His in all things at all times in all places with all people.
Of course, too many folks go through the sacrament while posing religion rather than authentic relational desire to enflesh the allegiance, affection, and intention; or as Dr. Macleod often joked with his classes, "A woman came to me to schedule a baptism; wanting, as she said, to get little Johnny done. I asked how she wanted little Johnny done - rare, medium, or well done."
Paul's letter to the Galatians is about separating Christian posers from authentics; distinguishing a religion about Jesus that is good for next to nothing from here to eternity from a relationship with Jesus that is the best from here to eternity.
Specifically, he refers to circumcision which can be seen as a precursor to baptism as a religious exercise intended to display devotion to God; noting circumcision, like baptism, can be done without any real devotion.
Like everything that we do religiously about God rather than relationally in, through, and for God, we can be circumcised or baptized by a religious method without a relational meaning; as in going through the motions without meaning it.
I'm reminded of the story of the fellah who asks the pastor how the church can get rid of the bats in the belfry. The pastor answers, "Well, we'll just baptize 'em and then we'll never see 'em again!"
Religion without meaning is like that.
Many people are religious about God; just going through the motions and not making a heaven bit of difference in their behaviors.
People who are related to God make a heaven of a lot of difference in the world, nation, churches, families, and with everyone all of the time in every place because it/He shows they are marked off for Him - truly circumcised/baptized - by their behaviors.
Paul wrote to the Galatians to explain how true circumcision/baptism/religion is infinitely more about meaning than method as expressed through confession, conduct, and countenance: "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."
He explains how the truly circumcised/baptized - an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual reality revealed through obviously Christian character - show/display the proof/evidence/fruit of their relationship with Him through externally visible devotional traits of an invisible commitment such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility, and self-control.
Or as a Bible study of maturing Christians once described maturing discipleship in a way that may horrify grammar police while remaining true to Him, "People who are really devoted to Jesus are more better than more worse and wanting and praying to be more better as soon as they really get it/Him."
That movement from a religion about Jesus to a relationship with Jesus is transforming: "It is no longer I who live but it is Jesus who lives in and through me."
That movement from a religion about Jesus to a relationship with Jesus transforms anyone deciding to make that movement into a Christian or "little" version of Jesus.
So while Paul would never affirm works righteousness or working one's way into heaven by good deeds, he makes it very clear in this letter that righteous works are the hallmark of people who are right with Him: "...justified...[just as if we had never sinned aka saved]...by faith...expressing itself through love."
Consequently, in a few words in the letter that were not thrown in but rather highlighted to emphasize the importance of walking Christianity as we talk about Christianity, Paul says he and all authentics "remember the poor, the very thing I/we was/are eager to do" (read Matthew 25 for more on that).
Summarily, "Neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation..."
Paul got it from Jesus: "If you love Me, you will do what I say."
Talk without walk is religion.
Talk with walk confirms the relationship; and the blessing: "...as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them."
So while heaven will be the best forever, it can be heavenly here and now in, through, and for Him.
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Hans urged me to read Friedrich Zundel's Pastor Johann Christoph Blumhardt: An Account of His Life (2010).
I haven't been as stunned-to-savor-slowly-not-speed-read since diving into Georges Bernanos The Diary of a Country Priest (1934).
Anyone who can connect the affirmations/affections of Moltmann and Willimon not to mention Hans and especially not to mention me must be anointed.
Moretheless, I haven't read anything lately about anyone not to mention Someone that has riveted my attention/aspirations as has Zundel's bio of Blumhardt who said/did what I've never been able to articulate/incarnate as/sooooooo clearly, concisely, compellingly, conclusively, and, most importantly, Christocentrically.
Most books even the book are these days.
But so is lunch at Applebee's.
Buuuuuuut what is digested from Blumhardt lasts...forever.
Raised/reared in the theological ghetto of Germany's finest academic institutions, Blumhardt never lost focus for life and ministry: "To be cheerful in the Lord is something precious. I am always pleased to read in Paul's letters about the joy he wishes the faithful."
Blumhardt resisted temptations to discipleship detoured by books about the book more than the book itself: "He took the Biblical view of things for granted; any other way of thinking seemed alien...He found it painful, strange, and saddening that not only he, but also the venerable, devout men around him, seemed to lack the nearness to God that he saw in the Bible...It puzzled him that the gifts of grace...had so receded into the background...Holy Scripture and the revelation set forth in it occupied a higher place for him than it did for others."
He knew more than most and me about loving Jesus by loving like Jesus: "He...reveals Himself as the Father of all His creatures. He wants to show Fatherly love to all...No one is excluded...Such is the love of God...Should we then go and discriminate between people?...Whoever wants to live like a Christian must not take the best for himself, but leave it for others."
He began a sermon on 7/24/1831 in Basel, Switzerland with this prayer:
Father of love, break down the barriers that still separate
our hearts! By nature we are unable to love. We feel more
urged to hate and hurt one another than to meet each other
with peaceful and well-meaning love; we would rather pay
somebody back than forgive him; we incline more to anger
than to patience and forbearance. That is not Your way,
Heavenly Father. How can we then be called Your children?
Therefore, kindle among us the spirit of love; make us
mindful of how much You have loved us poor, lost sinners,
so that we may learn from You the love that shows we are
Your children. Amen.
A punchline in that sermon: "The Lord's gaze...penetrates into the hidden places; He, who loves all His children, sees also those who do not love them."
Blumhardt understood the authentic Church as having "an ultimate goal...readiness for God's Kingdom...Awareness that the Lord will come has made people gird their loins and have their lamps burning."
While I don't pretend to understand all of what that/he means, I kinda get it/Him that He is coming back for His own and His own have a priority to live and minister in cognizance of eternity with Him prefaced by existential loyalty to Him.
Or something like that.
Anyway, I thought about that juxtaposed to whatever has been rekindling in me since my kairos moment(s) with a few brothers and Eugene in October 2011.
I really don't know what happened and keeps happening since...
It wasn't what he said; though His presence through his anointing was overwhelming.
Well, I guess I kinda know what happened.
He happened; and He's still happening in a slow, steady, solid, evolving, and transforming way.
A big part of that has been to confess my sins against others, repent as conscious, and seek reconciliation with others as with Him in a Matthew 25 kinda way guided by Matthew 18:15-20.
I have been, surprisingly and differently as in never before inclined, eager/instigating/receptive to restoring all of the broken relationships in my life and ministry.
I've praised the Lord for the relationships that have been restored.
I've lamented relationships that remain broken; even while remaining eager/instigating/receptive to...
And I've praised the Lord for the revelation to know all relationships will be restored in heaven; for heaven has no room for perpetuating broken relationships.
I believe that hope as ultimate reality - eternal reconciliation with the whole family of faith as reconciled with Him through Jesus as Mediator - with every fiber of my heart as the totality of feelings, facts, and faith.
Tozer has helped me to understand the sad reality of existentially broken relationships: "We dwell in a world halfway between heaven and hell. In hell there is only evil; in heaven there is only good; on earth the tares and wheat grow together, with the tares vastly outnumbering the wheat."
Tozer has helped me to understand the glorious reality of eternal reconciliation through Him with His: "We must face today as children of tomorrow. We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come."
In other words, "He will wipe away every tear from..."
I've messed up so many relationships in time.
Perhaps you can relate to me.
Perhaps you are related to me.
That's the bad news.
The good news is He fixes/cleans up messes...forever.
That's His promise for anyone/everyone related to Him.
Blessings and Love!