You will find what you look for. Is science and philosophy and religion: seek and you will find.
So let’s get biblical and religious and churchy: why is “love” the greatest on which all else rests?
Because if I look for love I will find love. And if I look for – and find – love then that must change me because love changes me. And if love changes me – and if I am looking for and finding love always – then I am changing always and in a good way. Love is selfless, love allows, loves listens, love is kind – because love is NOT a pushover, or being a doormat, or needy, or unkind.
I see-hear many words explaining what the bible says, how the bible applies, how (some) commandments still apply, how (some) commandments don’t apply (as much), how even the “old commandments” (some) still mean “consequences today” for compliance or non-compliance, how the “old commandments” (some) are always and for evermore “punishment and reward” because God always keep His promises – and if that means He has to smite because of the small print … then He smites because that is Him keeping His promises!.
It’s all in the small print, folks! Read you bible properly and you will see.
And talking of “reading the bible properly” … Let’s talk “Living The Devo Life”!
Which is about living the bible through “Devotionals”.
Devotionals being stuff to make reading the bible more interesting – more worthwhile – something you can do every day (and not get bored)! Devotionals bring structure – format – insights – “stuff” to make “Devo Life” worth the investment – enough to read the bible every day!
How good is that … of me!
Which was how I began reading the bible “improperly” …
And how I found Batman … God Soft Hands Jesus would rock up in the batmobile … A gloved hand would extend … GSHJ would beckon me over …
God rocking up – dressed as Batman in the batmobile … that brings the bible to life.
Before that it was a loom. The old fashioned loom complete with clacking frames and bobbins and all that stuff. And the bible stuff went in like threads – and out came beautiful rugs and carpets – with new words and new images.
I never knew what would come next – that really brought the bible to life.
And after Batman he took me through a fairground. Each stall or ride would be a question / a doubt / a theme / a thought. And He and I would tarry … would sit on the grass … explore and uncover … discuss and dissect … link and unpick … share and repair.
That was the living bible in living my life.
And then came a knowing. A sensory thing that was physical and spiritual. A word would “leap from the screen” … an immediate tug inside … a living thing … a signal of wrong … of not right …
And he and I would find out why together.
And then I felt drawn to laying the bible down. To spending time together beyond the bible … discovering how he and I were more than the bible … why “this” is more than “spiritual growth” … so much more!
And this blog charts that journey. That’s all this blog is – my journey … not yours – just mine.
And one thing above all else I have learned in my journey …
At some point you break free from “The Devo Life” …
From commentaries … from all the devo stuff that is only the record of others’ connections with THEIR God … At some point you go beyond the work of reading the bible … you liberate yourself from the “should and should not” we are all taught … You find your own truth in your own bible … you discover the bible NOT as taught … find YOUR own God NOT as taught … find church NOT as taught … and maybe find “being a good Christian” is irrelevant. At some point you break free of that ….
Or remain addicted to other’s connections with their God.
Because – ONLY with hindsight – I realised I accepted the distance of separation as “how it was” with this God stuff. That I would only experience God through others’ – their connections – their sermons – their expounding – their teaching preaching of THEIR God.
It taught me distance … to play safe … play logical … stay in control. It taught me to keep God safe in a box and insulated from my life and real living.
With hindsight … “Living the Devo Life” can become “Date Night Life” –
A good thing every now and then – but as a way of life … ?
What did Jesus mean
And we have been told such and such by our Teachers and masters- and we believed.
Seek and you will find, and seeking for the wrong thing, you will also find that.
The Beatitudes, beautiful attitudes to be swallowed with vinegar. because they come with a caveat
Attitudes balanced on the double edged sword as though black mail is afoot.
Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The kingdom of heaven is mine only if i am poor in Spirit!
If my Spirit is not poor, and how do I know. then is the kingdom of heaven mine, why do these make me nervous and upset, because they propose attitudes and actions that only goody goodies, with soft heads might believe they qualify.
11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
To long for such to happen, then to have the satisfaction, smugness of knowing how blessed I am to be kicked in the stomach. How do we know it is our faith prompting the perjury or do we make it so to reassure ourselves that Heaven is ours.
And what is this heaven? It is among us, we are the kingdom of heaven.
However we would rather be Pharisees placing heavy burdens on our own backs in the attempt to make which Jesus happy.
Our friend and lover or our task master?
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“Our friend and lover or our task master?”
And just what do I seek that I will find – every time?
I used to have big teams to manage in an earlier life. My starting point was always “How do I make myself redundant?” – how do these people learn the knowledge and skills to have the confidence not to need me to make every decision. I wonder whether in church we prefer – so are taught – to leave “decisions” to others.
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In my church’s family I am with the few who do for the congregation what others don’t care about because they think we have it all in hand. They hold us to ransom since if we don’t would they and we are too uncertain, yearn so much for acceptance that we cling to Martha when it is time to Teach the Mary’s that it is service and listening that God requires.
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“… Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
In church. leaving the decisions to others usually results in 5 or 6 only, that actually work for the congregation.