Monthly Archives: October 2012

You are a Flake (And That is Good)

I remember distinctly the day I was called a flake.  My niece smiled kindly and happily as she said, “Mert, you’re a flake.”

I didn’t know whether to feel blessed by a child or to feel insulted, yet she seemed so sweet.  I asked her, “What do you mean by flake? That means different things. What kind of flake?” 

She paused and thought long and hard for a four year old. Then she said, ever so sweetly, “A snowflake.”

“Why a snowflake?” I asked.

“Because you’re clean!” she exclaimed.

I was blessed indeed and felt so unworthy of her pronouncement.

As I reflect on the unique mission & calling God has given me and what my niece said, I believe that her pronouncement also reveals something about our common faith. My mind drifts to Psalm 133:

See how good and delightful

For brothers to dwell together as one.

Like the precious oil upon the head

   Descending on the beard;

      The beard of Aaron,–

         Which descended unto his robe:

Like the dew of Hermon which descended

   upon the mountains of Zion,–

For there YHWH commanded the blessing:

   Life for all time.

 Mount Hermon is a place where it snows, and where there is also dew that settles on other hills due to the coolness of the heights and the condensation. Each individually unique bit of precipitation on Mount Hermon joins others to prepare the way for the whole land to be blessed with dew.

Likewise, the Lord gets his due throughout the earth when we as God’s people join together in the heights and compact together to settle in the place God appointed at the time he has set. Our common faith works together as each part plays a unique part of intercession and waiting before the Lord.

Wikipedia has a fine photo of Hermon with snow on it. As you can see, the sight is imposing and impacts a large area around.

Ultimately though, we must realize that our source is not the mountain. We must look beyond the mountain to the Lord God Almighty who put the mountain in place, sends the snow, and sends the dew upon the land. Look to Him, and your needs will be supplied and the land will be watered.

In the Gospels, it may have been Mount Hermon where Jesus went up to be transfigured. It would have shown his sovereignty over the place where false gods were regarded as reigning by the pagans. Pagans would have built shrines in the area to honor non-gods. Jesus claimed sovereignty by being transfigured there and being whiter than the snow and giving the disciples an idea of the changes that would take place in their lives as He would accomplish His reign in & through them. Mount Hermon was at the Northern border of the Land of Promise.

In Christianity, Mount Hermon speaks of the edge of our life where transformation & transfiguration takes place. We reach the edges of the promises. We seek the Lord. We follow Him to the ends of the earth on a mission for the Kingdom. To be with Him wherever we are going. And suddenly we find He is more and greater than we would ever expect. Our faith in the Messiah which we share in common with Moses and the Prophets is brilliant, yet not the work of human genius. Humans cannot make a soul as radiant as Jesus.

We would love to memorialize the presence of the Lord. But God does not want to merely form a memory, He wants to send us on a mission to new places with new graces, rooted in a common faith, each bearing a unique, meltable mission.

You see, when you melt the snow of Mount Hermon, it melts into one pool of water. We enter in one way, and leave transformed. Our unique mission converges on the edges of the land.  At the edge of the presence of God’s people in the world, we find that there is often the most unity among the saints. We work together when we see not our distinctiveness, but how our little drop of love can be joined in the clouds of glory to exalt the Lord of Glory!

You see, love is the greatest, most enduring thing.  The mountains will be leveled. One day, people will no longer ski down Hermon’s slopes.  But the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.

Categories: Good News, Humility | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Companions

They patiently wait to be read while sitting on wood, under the back seat of a car, or at a friend’s house. They stay just where I put ’em and remind me of things. They don’t bite, hit, spit, jump out at me, or run away. I can bend their backs and mark them up so that I can hear their words better.

I’ve heard them in English, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, and learned a little from some in Indonesian, German, French, Arabic and Russian. I’ve even burnt a few (heretics mostly), but they never complained. I buy them eagerly and house them at home, but I do not sell my companions quickly. I may need their words of wisdom one day. I’d rather give them away.

I learned to stay inside with them when it rains; they become rotten and distorted if I leave them outside too long. A few are colored or international or even multidimensional, but most are black and white and from America. Yet, those from here have taken me farthest: to solar systems light years away, to natives in Irian Jaya, to ancient China, and to the squalor of New York City. I’ve explored the beginnings of the universe with them and their contents have enabled me to grow in a new life.

I’ve seen my insides in them and some tell me what’s on my mind, but I don’t mind. When I’m finished with one I may give it to a friend or to schools. I have many companions, but my favorite ones all say the same thing: Jesus loves you.

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Win the Race by Resting

Win the Race by Resting

Based on the Sleep to Run blog entry in the Land of Nod by Shelby Harris and Paul’s metaphor of Life as a Marathon/Race.

Here are some ways resting the soul can enable you to persevere in life:

1. Resting is often neglected by those who plan to persevere, but sleep is central to success. Rest or ruin in the rush of life.

2. Many begin the race of really living life to the fullest by faith in order to overcome a bad habit, addiction or problem. Just as weight is reduced with good rest, resting increases the ability to combat the wait. Life is long: relax. The less you have to … wait … the faster you go.

3. Resting and relaxing enables you to absorb and store more of what you take in the day before the race. Restlessness ruins your memory needed to know the course of life.

4. Lack of sleep & rest & relaxation can lead to longer recovery times. In fact, many deal with crisis by long periods of sleep that the neglected earlier. Are you going to win the marathon of life? Then take time now to take it easy. Pace yourself.

5. In order to rest for the race, don’t stress. Focus on the finish line, but don’t fret about the field of fellow contenders.

6. People need differing amounts of sleep, when you don’t need an alarm to wake at a regular time, you know you have found your rhythm.

7. Abstain from addictions or excess as you rest and recline. To win the race, you can’t have cravings keeping you up at night. (Nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, food, chocolate, even exercise are part of the stimulants.)

8. Avoid excess entertainment before you rest. The mind must be free to dream of bigger things and to wander the great beyond if you are to win the race.

9. If your soul cannot find rest, ask a doctor for help. Doctors need work just like runners. Doctors vary in methodology and philosophy, but a Good Doctor will care about patience.

10. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the prize. Run with others. You are not alone in this race; it is a human race. Live in love.

I’ll see you at the finish line!

Categories: Humility, Rest | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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