This morning I listened to 2 messages, both centering around Abraham. The first, from Chuck Swindoll, focused on the story of Isaac’s near-sacrifice and the concept of this year’s theme being “letting go.” The second was by the late Ed Bousman and was more about the calling of the bride of Isaac contrasted with the calling of the bride of Christ.
It has always struck me that Abraham was the prime human servant of God, because he was the only one specifically chosen to make the same sacrifice God did- the life of His Son. But I’ve learned that God doesn’t start anything in the middle. Consider that Abram started out not an image of God, but an image of Adam. He was given the fellowship and the promises of God, and then (don’t get mad at me) through the encouragement of a woman, tried to do things his own way. This led to disastrous effects down through all of mankind’s history- though it did not disqualify him from God’s attention and concern.
Abraham recovered from his setback by striving to become more obedient to God. He had been given two conditions- have faith and obey; upon doing these were hung the promises of God. He succeeded so well that He was given the privilege of Isaac’s sacrifice- the privilege of becoming as close to God as possible. While I saw this as an event, I hadn’t thought about that progression he needed to go through to get there before today.
Bousman took it a step further. Abraham (now an image of the Father) sent out his servant (played by us) to find a bride for Isaac (who becomes Christ in the analogy). Isaac was to remain with Abraham while the servant went out to find His bride, just as the risen Christ abides in heaven awaiting our gathering of his bride (the Church). He also reminded us of the servant’s question about, “what if she won’t come”, to which Abraham replied he was off the hook. Not, “kidnap her”, “Take her by force”, or “Bribe her.” The servant’s duty is done in presenting the invitation.
Swindoll’s though, was the part that hit application for me. The part about being willing to let go; and he went in detail about giving up something near to your heart that might be in the way. For me, though, it’s not quite like that. If you go back to my “24 hours give or take” post, you’ll see an entry about wanting to meet with a former pastor, to apologize. This has been an issue of forgiveness with me. Without going into details, I can say that every time I think I’m there, I rehearse the meeting in my mind, and it always devolves into “my fault, your fault” and I realize I’m not there yet. Today I realized that the reason I’m not “getting there” is that instead of letting go of what was done to me, I use it as a shield to protect me from dealing with the shame that I brought on myself in the situation. Today I realized that obedience= forgiveness= letting go of that shield and accepting my own shame. Not easy, not there yet- but at least now I know where the problem lies. Not everything God wants us to let go is a prized possession or opportunity. Sometimes, it’s a defense mechanism protecting something God says I don’t need.
about 5 inches.
Here’s a funny story. I was texting my son about the news that a pitcher on his Indians, Fausto Carmona, got busted in the Dominican for using a false name. His reply: Geez what else could go wrong ohhh I know having a squirrel invade ur apartment!
Okay, so I asked if his “party cat” Porkchop had let this squirrel in. His reply:No he chased it all over destroying everything in there path now I have to clean up when I get home my closet is destroyed.
Turns out that KC is trying to train Porkchop to stay inside. To do so, he leaves the door open when he takes his trash out, making sure ‘Chop stays at the door. Well, this time, the cat didn’t bother to get up from his nap- until the squirrel entered the premises. The squirrel made a bee-line into the bedroom, whereupon the cat chased him into the closet and there they began their remarkable simulation of Armageddon. Could only happen to my son.
Two things yet from last night. I was watching an all-star football game when the news came down that Joe Paterno was taken off the respirator and was near death. By the time I got on CBSSports.com to look into this, they had a “Breaking News” banner that he had indeed died. Turning back to the TV, they were still saying he was “off the respirator;” and within 10 minutes, the banner had disappeared. ESPN.com reported (and CBS soon confirmed) that the mistake had come when the Penn State student paper announced that an e-mail had went out to all the football players that JoePa had passed. Apparently neither the paper nor CBSSports did their due diligence before releasing it. This morning, without commenting on how the false story had come about, the editor of the school newspaper apologized and resigned from the paper. Nice to see he was big enough to admit the mistake and take responsibility. Once upon a time, that would have guaranteed him a future job in the news. Too bad nowadays integrity means nothing to the media.
And that brings me to today’s last item- I flipped over to msnbc (don’t hate me) to see how the South Carolina primary turned out, and was happy to see that Newt had won an overwhelming victory. Of course the shills that pass for reporters on that network were busy scoffing at what they thought Newt’s next move would/should/could be. I wondered how we had gotten so far away from the days when news reporting meant news reporting, instead of giving the liberal opinion as if it was everyone’s opinion and, damn, you’re dumb if you don’t have the same opinion. The msnbc crew were 4 of the most childish, irresponsible, and condescending excuses for journalists I’ve ever witnessed. But, that’s today’s liberal elite for you. Patting themselves on the back that they speak for the “99%” (which was down to about 33% in late November, after which the media quit tracking it’s support) and sneering at anyone that would gainsay them. You know, I actually can see how the people who think Occupy had a point, uh, had a point. But if I had to rely on snakes like msnbc, George Souros, and Harry Reid and li’l Jimmy H to lead me…
Just for the record, yes, I’m finally throwing my support to Gingrich. Why? Because to me one of the biggest problems is nobody wants to work with anyone, make a deal, to get something done. Obama is ineffective because he’s a Chicago threaten-you –with-a-stick politician who can’t find anyone he can bully at this level.
On the continuum of candidates out there right now, you start at one end with Ron Paul, who I doubt ANYONE will work with; move to Santorum, whom I like, but is a “tea partyer “ in the sense that he will stand his ground come hell or high water, and that’s been part of the problem. Bachman, Perry, and Cain were to varying degrees in that category as well. Far to the other side we have Romney (and perhaps Huntsman) who would have been willing to compromise to get deals done, but I’m afraid would have given away the keys to the car. I believe that Newt is smart enough to make a deal, connected enough to work with people, and tough enough not to get walked all over doing it.