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August Newsletter-Paper Route

Pro_9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One, understanding.  

Or my version with a bit of Col. 1-16 mixed in:  the recognition of the awesomeness of what He has done, that God is with us, that the Father, the Son, and Spirit created all things, are in all things, are present at all times, is the beginning of knowing Him, i.e., understanding.

I never had a paper route.  But my neighbor Mike Hickey had one.  He had one of those big cotton bags that hung on the front of his bike with those special hooks added on the handlebars. If I remember correctly, Mike delivered about 70-80 newspapers each day around our neighborhood.  As part of our friendship it was agreed that some days he and I would sit on the front porch and I’d help Mike fold the papers, stuff them into the bag and off he’d go.  The papers were folded into thirds and into thirds again, and one third was tucked into another third to make perfect square paper.  Today, I catch myself occasionally folding papers just like I did many years ago just for old time sake.  Now the key to being a good paperboy (besides the obvious of being on time and showing up to work your route every day), was the obligation to throw those folded papers while riding your bike down the sidewalk, and make those babies land on people’s front porches.  Landing it in the bushes, wet grass or banging the windows was not part of the acceptable, professional description of a good paperboy.  If that newspaper was folded just right, if you held it just right, you could throw a slow curve and lay the news on a 6 foot by 6 foot front stoop.  Mike let me help a few times and I soon learned ‘the toss’.  It was like Wainwright’s strike to Beltran–a beautiful thing to behold.  But, if you landed it into the gutter’s water puddle, or tossed it on the roof: job not done!

Now I mention that to say a few things about the Gospel.  I tease a lot about Faith but in reality I’m very serious about it, maybe even too serious sometimes.  But I believe each day is a package of Life to be opened and discovered in the light of that Faith.  I haven’t found a day when there’s not, at some point, a need for the application of the Gospel of Grace into our lives.  After all, Christ has made all things and is present with us at all times. So, except in our brains, aloneness is not something that ever really takes place.  Each day is filled with opportunity to follow Him in our mundane! (You’re supposed to smile there, not frown.)  Whether at a ball game, shopping, work, driving, and even sleeping, He is with us.  That’s His name: I Am!  Moses was told to just tell Pharaoh, if Pharaoh asked, ‘I Am’ sent him.  That’s really one of the first things we need to know about Him-always present, on duty with us.  I Am is standing with us, at hospitals, at funerals, at doctor’s offices and yes, He’s with us at Kroger, Busch Stadium or at Bald Knob Cross on Easter morning.  He just simply is, always is.  Knowing that takes away the I was, the I will be or the I might be about Him.

I don’t know for how many times now, but I’m going to bring up Jane’s Chicago experience again.  So many things were evident there, observed there.  Allow me to refresh your memory about Jane being rushed to a Chicago hospital in the spring of 2012.  For those that don’t know, my wife was paralyzed for about 6 months due to a condition known as GBS.  For this newsletter purpose let me jump through a long story into this short statement: The one thing, and the only thing, either she or I knew was that God was (Emanuel) with us.  His I Am filled in all the gaps in what we did not know, what we could not see, salved the hurt and chased all our fears.  Fortunately, we, while not really being aware of it, I suppose were pre-prepared for such an event.  The seeking and searching to know the heart of God years before suddenly became His embrace in her critical health condition.  We didn’t have to go looking for help, Help was standing right there with us.  We didn’t have to plead for compassion, Compassion was all around us. We had spent years preparing our hearts with this single fact: that God wants to be with us, desires above all to have a relationship with us.  That knowledge made trusting in His companionship easy.  That’s the slighted story of Genesis; that Father, Son and Spirit, because of their natural character, were determined to re-unite with man. God sought Adam out in the bushes, not the other way round.  He’s a lighthouse so that we can find our way to Him in every situation we face.

Jesus taught that the best way to live is to maintain your house in the good times so that you’re pre-prepared for the storms.  When storms come, a foundation made of the Cornerstone of our Faith will get us through.  The world is betting that this Jesus thing is a hoax, wants you to believe that Jesus’ friends robbed the grave, took the body, faked the deal.  They’re betting that this creation thing was just a mixture of accident and time, trusting in their intellect over their heart.  Believers, on the other hand, find Jesus as a door to huge things prepared by God before the foundation of the world.  We find Jesus personal, and personally involved with our daily lives.

Here’s the big picture of pre-preparation:  God wants to be with you, wants to partner with you, wants to have a personal one-on-One relationship with you.  Settle that!  I remember having conversations over the years with people about the most important thing I’ve ever learned in my Faith. It’s always been such a simple, short answer:  ‘Dad ain’t mad.’  Instead of trying to keep us out of His presence, He’s worked and is working on ways to woo us in.  Try walking in that kind of knowledge about our Father for a year and see if it doesn’t change your sensitivity to His presence with you.  The problem, since Adam, has been that the knowledge of our failures, or Sin, has separated us from the Love of God, just like it did with Adam and Eve.  We’re infected with that belief.  God’s take, He’s seeking after us to bless and turn us away from Sin and that wrong headedness.  God (Father, Son and Spirit) in Wisdom decided to heal that separation with the death of Jesus.  His blood and the cross tore open the veil of separation, and Forgiveness opened a way for us to stand at the throne of His Grace.  Therefore, the Word of God rings true- you shall be My people and I shall be your God.  That was a promise to Israel and it’s reality to us.

The most important part of my newspaper boy story was the fold.  Let me say it like this, it was the necessary thing before the thing.  That fold made the paper manageable and prepared it to be thrown with such accuracy as to hit the porch.  That preparation meant ‘job done’.  Our Christian life is much like that.  How we prepare our hearts about God’s Purpose and Love makes all the difference when we deal with all that life can bring.  Pre-preparation (making up our mind about the character and nature of God) before the weight of the world comes heavy on us affects the outcome of that pressure.  Job done is in walking a journey of personal relationship with God.  That’s the end game.  He came to put away Sin so that we could again do as Adam and Eve did before the fall– walk and talk with God.  Taking away the barrier between you and Him at the Cross was what He did, but why He did it was so that you could step into a life embraced by the One who created and Loves you.  Now we get to finish His Purpose.  Just as Mike was gratified when we hit the porch, we can know the gratification that comes when you yield to the invitation of a personal, intimate relationship with Father.  In the heart of God, that was worth the price He paid to be with us. Worth His Son so that They could step into this world and seek us out, stand at your door and knock with their invitation to a new Life.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters

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