Read the bible with me


I read this:

Your life is an overflowing closet. You know it is. There are sweatshirts folded up in a corner of your mind where your children’s birthdays should be stored. That worry about the rust on the car is taking up the space that you had reserved for a slow cup of tea in the morning. I know how you feel. And guess what? There’s a way to get stuff back where it belongs: let go of some of it.

Living lightly is not just about the stuff we accumulate, and it’s not just for people in the second half of life. It’s about an attitude of living with fewer burdens and encumbrances, whether you’re twenty-one or sixty-five. When done with honest self-awareness, the journey toward living more lightly has moved me to realize that I am blessed by less. Less stuff and worries have opened space to live with more contentment and meaning. Living lightly reminds me that my existence is more than accumulating possessions and status. Ultimately, I am on a spiritual pilgrimage.

As I continue to strip away the unnecessary stuff in my closets and mind, I’ve been able to see more clearly how much is enough and how much is more than enough. It’s a delicate dance to balance my own genuine needs with those of others. The spiritual paradox is that the less tightly I cling to my stuff, my way, and my concerns, the happier and more blessed I feel. Once I have enough, less is more.
(Excerpted from “Blessed by Less”: Susan V. Vogt)*

And then I read this:

“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:31-35

I checked out the whole of Mark chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4. That is all there is. “Hey Jesus, your family is outside”“You are my family.”

Face value? Don’t disrespect your family Jesus! Context? Less is more. And the reality (maybe) …. ?

Mark “had (more than) enough” in walking with Jesus. When Mark wrote “Mark”, he had so much more than “enough” – he had an overflowing indwelling life changing abundance of knowing God Soft Hands Jesus. So for Mark? How do you write that down?  Are you not changed in your writing as in your living?  Is not “less so much (MUCH!!) more”?   What need “the pretty stuff” for Mark ?  How would that “add more”?

So my GSHJ added this pretty piece – just for me (and you):

“Picture this, Paul … dusty souls all around … I am feeding these peeps … these hungry souls … and a voice calls out “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” Not an accusation or a judgement – simply a voice calling out with information they had been asked to pass to me. What a perfect opportunity! What a glorious gift! I look around … all these hungry faces … all the love and fellowship … all so close … so connected! And I look each one on the eye, their heart, their very soul. And I breathe the words, “Here are my mother and my brothers!” And each beautiful creation sighs … each unique being in that room in that moment knows that truth … And in the stillness of that moment, I leave that room. That perfect moment of realisation is no more perfect by me staying. I leave that moment and find the loving arms of my mother, my father, my dear family outside.”

And as God Soft Hands Jesus gifted me this perfect moment … in my mind’s eye I hear them laughing together … Jesus and his family … his mother … their love for each other … the bond each has: they giggle as they talk!

“Once I have enough, less is more.”

Why could that not be true of the “writing Apostles”?

“Read the bible with me always, Paul.  For I am with you always, even to the end of time.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

* Sacred Space: “Something to think and pray about this week”

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6 thoughts on “Read the bible with me

  1. Good stuff, Paul. I also love the nuggets you bring, as Susan mentioned. Definitely, “less is more.” Also liked, “Are you not changed in your writing as in your living?” So true! Writing brings our experience and thoughts into concrete reality.

    Our relationships as “family” is the “more!” We’re all totally immersed and surrounded by family all the time, if we will just open our eyes to it. We are truly spoiled by a good God. Who would want anything else 🙂

    • Hiya Mel – and thank you. Relationship!! Oh yes! And you comment : “… if we will just open our eyes to it.”

      This morning (over at Church Set Free) He did something He has never done (with me) before. Almost like a loving counterweight to this conversation: “And making “less” of Me is not always a good thing, Paul!” … And then used “The Great Commission” (not a fan of that label) as edited by us (simply through the amazing act of salvation). And having been saved and now (obviously) wise in all things “God” – to become edited into that universally loved: “Teach them to obey!”

      Who would want anything else? 🙂

  2. Reading your thoughts and reflections Brother, and the things the Holy Spirit reveals intimately with you, is like receiving a gift “out of the blue,” unexpected yet full of anticipation. It is like a more “mature” kid who is thinking, should I open it now or wait and then the anticipation becomes overwhelming knowing for a certainty that a precious gem or jewel only awaits to be revealed! I guess the “nuggets” that Sister Susan and Brother Mel describe could very well be a “nugget” of a gem!!! 😉 Either way, it is exciting to see what gift the Holy Spirit has prepared for all of us through you!! Love, brother!

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