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January, 2016

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Never Underestimated Again ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: January 25th, 2016 | Category: belief, Faith, Jesus Follower, Truth, Understanding | Comments

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Does anybody really know who you are? Yes you, that floating vessel moored some where in mystery. We might believe that someone close to us knows everything about us, yet in reality, that’s nearly impossible. It certainly would make life simpler, but that’s not how we’ve learned to live our lives. It’s not how our minds-eye works. We have fears, hopes, dreams, thoughts and secrets that we’ve consciously chosen not to share with certain people or in some cases with anyone at all. Over the course of many years someone close to us may have ascertained or deduced much about us, but not everything. Everything would make us vulnerably transparent and we aren’t very good about facing and accepting our vulnerabilities. That’s not an entirely bad thing because there are gems buried in our vulnerability boxes too. Once we truly grasp the simple reality that nobody can fully understand us, it should set ablaze the path of our judgements about others. We don’t know everything about anybody else either, so our judging will always be flawed . We can’t always know why or how people do, say or think in the manner that they do. We are all built with more inherent complications than the finest timepiece or the most masterful device ever conceived. We are or shall one day simply grow to become man or woman. There is of course another step forward in our growth understanding, which would be for us to become a child of God. Let me explain.

When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest. He didn’t evade the question. He told the plain truth: “I am not the Messiah.” They pressed him, “Who, then? Elijah?” “I am not.” “The Prophet?” “No.” Exasperated, they said, “Who, then? We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something—anything!—about yourself.” “I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’ I’m doing what the prophet Isaiah preached.”” John 1:19-23 MSG.

John (the Baptist), while being completely honest and truthful didn’t know as much about who he was as he did about who he wasn’t. That’s very insightful. He chose not to describe or even speculate about who he was, but rather defined himself by his purpose. Make that his God ordained purpose. Which in and of itself was no simple matter. “I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’” Thunder in the desert? That comes across a bit like the old philosophical question; if a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? If there is no one or way to hear it, who is to say for sure? Is sound only for the ear which is tuned to it? Perhaps sound is either the proximate cause or even a consequence of hearing rather than the other way around as we too often perceive it. We can’t hear or sense the voice of God until such time that we fully believe that God exists. Then we can hear what we could not before. The difference lies soley in our beliefs not in our bodies. The voice of God has always been there, here, everywhere, we are just learning how to be witnesses to it. So now, who are you? God knows the answer to that question even more than you do. Which does “Make the road straight for God!“a very special and important goal for us. The road of understanding which leads up to and then away from us should be as straight as the road of understanding which leads to and from God. Of course I don’t know for sure about you, but everyone has underestimated me at some, if not at many points of encounter or relationship.  There are no exceptions to that statement, including my  own perception of self. That’s partly my fault and partly theirs. Underestimating is a chronic condition which we all share. Only after I surrendered myself to God did He begin unraveling the mysteries of my being. The purpose(s) of my life. God already knows all, so underestimating isn’t a possibility with Him. He reveals to his children that which is least obvious, divine purpose. Knowing God is an ongoing adventure, a systematic journey without an itinerary which we might otherwise relate to. Doing the works which God has prepared before us is our purpose. John saw himself in what Isaiah preached and then even more revealed by what God instructed. Yet the mystery of the assignment’s details eluded him. It wasn’t until after Jesus offered the rest of us the counsel of Holy Spirit (which we must seek), do the infinite details finally began to come into focus. It’s not our job to save the world, it’s our job to do our work. Who we really are is for God to define, it is not for us to speculate on. It all begins with our core belief, which in turn begins with our faith. Don’t let anyone ever underestimate you again. Come to know what God really wants you to know, about you. It is your time to find yourself.

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Together With God ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: January 6th, 2016 | Category: Christ Follower, Church, Love, Prophecy, Spirituality, Understanding | Comments

There exists a general, perhaps even lethal misunderstanding about the church or more specifically about the church which was referenced by Jesus. His church is not merely one or even many buildings. Neither the church as a structure nor any constructed temple by itself houses God. Believers no longer go to a church building to find God. In fact, quite the opposite should be true. We bring God with us into our church buildings. If relationship with God is our prime objective,… read more