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August, 2016

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I Don’t Know ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 29th, 2016 | Category: Inspirational, Understanding | Comments

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Has anybody ever watched or heard you do or say something remarkable and then asked you, how you did that? This query is not for magicians. Even if you’ve forgotten about the specific event(s), I suspect that this has happened to you. Your response was probably an apologetic form of “I don’t know”. There are so many things in this life which we don’t even attempt to explain, much less wrestle with. No second thoughts, we just move on presuming that there was some logical explanation, even though we don’t necessarily have access to that explanation. We fault our lack of knowledge or awareness rather than our lack of faith and move on to firmer ground as quickly as possible. I’ve come to believe over the course of a long lifetime that things don’t just happen. There is either a scientific explanation or there is a spiritual explanation, for everything. There is no giant chasm in-between these two of life’s unexplainable’s. Furthermore, in my book of understandings, all scientific explanations ultimately fall under a sub-category of new naturals (scientifically verified). They have been re-labeled through time and discovery from the supernatural (not scientifically or mathematically verified) column to the natural column (proven by some tangible means) into our filed away understandings. There is still so much we don’t know. Much more in fact than we do or ever will in this life.

I didn’t always feel this way. There were various times throughout my life and career when I moved freely around in that self created chasm of unawareness. I didn’t know and didn’t need to know. Meeting God for the first time erased that chasm and permanently connected the two abstract columns of understanding for me. “I don’t know” was really just an admission on my part (and that of others) that I didn’t know God, which opens up a universe of other “I don’t knows.” I just didn’t know what I didn’t know (then). When we first meet God and the doubt of belief gets blown off the face of our purpose, in fact off of our entire lives, the light may be so bright that we squeeze our unbelieving, unaccepting eyelids shut in abstract denial. This denial comes because it’s the first time (short of tragedy) when we can actually grasp how little we know and how much less in life we can control. I did an electronic phrase search of several e-bible versions, discovering that the grouping of the words “I don’t know” yielded “no results” in any Bible groupings of words. That’s remarkable, because the Bible is a book written about the “I don’t know’s” who later came to know God. Perhaps it’s a translation hiccup, but given all of the available translations, somebody should have stumbled over this admission of confusion. I suspect that the biblical personages didn’t know at that time what they didn’t know. So much so that they couldn’t admit it either. Of course God needn’t say that phrase because there is nothing which He doesn’t know. Consider this. “GOD’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”” Isaiah 55:9-11 MSG. This passage from the book of Isaiah is a direct quote from God (subject of course to translations). It is a wonderful explanation of just how God works with/on/over/in and for our well being. It highlights how His understandings cover everything while our understandings often cover only our eyes, ears, minds and hearts. God’s words have a powerfully functional purpose even beyond the living of this life. There is however, something more in this passage, something vital which (to the best of my knowledge) has been generally overlooked. God’s words work through those who have commissioned their lives to be lived under His guidance. That’s how we do the good or revelatory things which we can’t otherwise explain. God is at work and we are His instruments of understanding.

God’s words produce works through those who have chosen to accept and treasure them. Those works and words will one day return to God, looking remarkably like those who stand before Him in either acceptance or judgement. As He said “So will the words which come from my mouth not come back empty handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.” God wasn’t talking about sound echos bouncing back to heaven. He’s talking about us. What we do with His words. Since not everyone chooses to hear God’s words, then accordingly they were not meant for everyone. If they were, then they would be heard by all. They can still be heard when the time, personage or number is right. The words are available to everyone but not everyone will avail themselves of those words. We all hope to return to God after this life ends. When that happens, God will be pleased with the works of His words and how they have become a part of those who have returned to Him. He will expect that those who carry His words will not come back spiritually empty handed. Those words will have in some small way contributed to more souls of surrender and understanding. The “I don’t knows” need to know Jesus better, to have a chance at that point in life. Knowing that God worked through us and that we don’t or won’t deny that (ever again). Jesus has always been the working model of this. “The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.” John 1:1-5 MSG. The work of the Word continues through us, with purpose.

These days when I do something or say something which goes beyond the general understanding of those listening or watching or of their their rudimentary scientific validation processes and someone asks “how did you do or know that?” I’ll simply answer, God knows and that’s what really matters. If we’re getting the words of God, we’ll know what this means in terms of our purpose, actions and assignments. We’ll know what’s expected of us. We’ll know if we’ve failed or succeeded so far. We’ll know how to move forward with understanding. We’ll better know God. So, who can now say “God knows” instead of “I don’t know”? If we are one with God, the conclusion for us is simple. God did that. We are just pleased to assist in any small way possible.

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Am I Significant? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 19th, 2016 | Category: Christ Follower, Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Love | Comments

Everybody wants to feel significant. In some way, by some measure. Without God, we will simply press ourselves into a chosen or defaulted life. A life of our choices. If, given our choices, we think we are failing in one arena, we’ll usually step up our game in some other arena(s). Work, play, learning, competitions, relationships, they all offer us the opportunity to achieve some desired level of earthly significance. We want our lives to somehow matter, to others. Here’s… read more

Even Better Than Hope ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 3rd, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

Imagine that the road of your life is built on a foundation of Hope. That the many miles you’ve traveled, detours taken, storms encountered, accidents experienced are at least in part resolved and restored by the Hope that your road continues with options. That’s most of us. We live on a street named Hope. What could be better than that? It may be an unknown, but it’s something! Some people have no hope what-so-ever which is extremely discouraging. Hope really… read more