GOOD MORNING Chub Lake!
We live on an acre of land that we call Chub Lake. (It is a Boy Scout Camp in the Sierra Mtns) It is a good name because it is all land and has no lake and no Chub in it (Chub is a clean fish that is environmentally adaptable to the mile-high elevation, feeding on the lake vegetation that grows there.)
But it’s the trees here that make our home so pretty.
Yesterday was a bad day. (Sorry, I’ve got to get this off my chest.)
This morning’s devotional reading was helpful: 1 Corinthians 2 and verse 5, (AMP) ‘So your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God. . . . verse 12: ‘Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but to the [Holy] Spirit who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God.’ . . . and verse 16: ‘For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct him and give him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of his heart.’ [Isa. 40:13]
‘Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as his counselor has taught him?’ [Romans 11:34]
‘For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood his thoughts, or who has [ever] been his counselor?’ [Isa. 40:14]
‘With whom did he take counsel, that instruction might be given him? Who taught him the path of justice and taught him knowledge and showed him the way of understanding?‘
ONE SPECIAL PRAYER IS KEY
Early yesterday, I received a tweet from pastor Rick Warren, of the Saddleback Church in my home state (author of Purpose Driven Life) and his tweet said ‘direct from @Rickrickwarren7, Hello beloved.’ His picture was plainly recognizeable and I quickly accepted that it was him (or a staff member).
This is what made it a bad day.
He asked what he might pray for me and my heart’s concern. I told him I am concerned for my dysfunctional family – that it’s not close due to divorce, distance, and death. So he immediately prayed five paragraphs. (linked here) I thanked him and received it.
Then he (or his staff member) asked me to give a donation to a certain charity, which in my mind is not unreasonable, but I have no access to funds.
So I replied that I felt like it was not wisdom to give (in order to get) for increasing the value of our request of God – in other words, to add weight to my heart’s desire [prayer]. So I declined politely, thanking him and/or his staff-member (The direct tweet is on Messenger App and works differently than public tweets.)
When I got around to sharing what happened, Wife came unglued. (If wives do such things: ‘Hell hath no furry!’ – you know.) She thought since I am sincere about praying for family relations improving, that I was querying her for money to give to the legitimate charity – I had to check that out too. She is CFO here.
Such strife has become our mode of honest communication. We’ve battled through the fear that our budget is not as big as it used to be, but who doesn’t? I explained as good as I could that this was a real opportunity to make an offering if we can, and that the prayer was specific with faith-believing.
THE MIND OF CHRIST IS ALWAYS IN PERFECT SINC WITH THE HEART OF GOD
Kris Vallotton Ministries says in 8 minutes what this is about.
HOW THE HUMAN MIND IS DESIGNED FOR THE DIVINE BRAIN
The artist of this abstract brain, that is wired together with small panels, may also be related to my second daughter’s hubby, Mark. (Isn’t that just like God?) [Or is that the brain of the abstract artist?] See the mind of the brain in blue as shown all around the brain-proper (which is in green). Think about that.
With such an abstract image of an intricately designed brain-shape, we can be willing to increase our level of imagination. And since our conscious soul is contained within this, like a long, thought-out plan, we can agree with the linked panels that green and blue are cool colors. (Oh! Is that an egg in the center panel?)
An egg contains all the materials needed to produce an offspring as a true fertility-symbol. So we are saying, how the mind of God produces faith through the heart of God’s love: The Gospel egg, John 3:16. And this describes what Paul (Sha’ul) said to the Galatians (chapter 5, verse 6 AMP):
“For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.” That tells me that biblically, the heart is bigger than the mind – and both within the soul. And, in the center of the mind, is the heart of the Gospel.
Proverbs 22:17-18, (AMP) “Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them.”
MEANWHILE BACK AT THE RANCH
I am not a member of the Saddleback church-community. I haven’t lived in California for 55 years. But today, our agreement for family relations to improve, with its senior pastor yesterday, is being answered. Just a few moments ago, after starting this article, I met with my ex-step-daughter-in-law (if there is such a person, married and divorced from second Wife’s second son who died in February.)
GREETINGS FROM THE NOT TOO DISTANT PAST
She was all smiles and asked if I was with Wife (her ex-mother-in-law), and I admitted she was waiting inside the store for me to join her. But I told her I had a bone to pick with her. She shook her head and she was unaware of any cause for that. When she visited us last, she left in a huff. I explained.
Wife said she (daughter) had told her on no uncertain-terms to not communicate with the grandchildren without her knowing. That hurt Wife’s feelings. The energy around the visit was congeniel, until I heard Wife crying in shock about what was said. So I confronted the daughter who smilingly waved-it-off as having laid down rules, personally, and had to leave to pick-up her daughter.
Then I could see the dynamic mis-communication and was able to relate such meeting with Wife. She was surprised that the prayer I shared (link to prayer with a distant pastor, even yesterday) is already bearing fruit. What a Godsend! She’s an active local Baptist Church Orchestra member, ex-daughter-in-law admitted to being faithful, with her children. (Thank You God!)
GOD LOOKS UPON THE MIND OF THE HEART
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (AMP, the reference is linked to biblehub.com and has several versions listed.)
Do we think our life’s events are keeping us in trouble with each other, or with God? We can’t fool Him. He is always on our side. Why? Because he has made us and not we ourselves (Psalm 100:3). If we think in our heart, we know him – because of his written word (promise), and his faith, which changed our mind toward God, and our behavior to accept his community: Then we can know the truth, and . . .
John 8:31-32 (CJB), “So Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted him, If you obey what I say, then you are really my talmidim, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.“ Yeshua-Jesus is our Deliverer. His finished work of perfect human sacrifice for us by Jewish law is our permit to be free from sin’s penalty.
HERE IS A REASONABLE CONCLUSION
“The primary function of the body is to carry the brain.” Charles Edison, about his father’s thinking . . . “The brain, besides directing motor activity, is of course, the instrument by which one remembers, considers, evaluates, thinks. And it is through the wonders of the brain that one knows God, the Creator of it all.” (Taken from the introduction of the book: WORDS THAT INSPIRED HIM by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.)
In their new book, The Story of Marriage, John and Lisa Bevere describe their relationship as having gone through what I have described here with Wife and me. Their quest asks how do we get here? I have linked the first chapter because when I saw their interview this week on TBN, they said all marriages go through this. Their ministry website has given us 33 pages to tell us they found the answer.
I am impressed that although, our lives seem helter-skelter, and we seem to have no control, there is still hope. Truly the heart of God is real and more present than we know, so that having the mind of Christ, we are able to recognize his love and loving thoughts about every detail of our lives. What’s missing?
Prayer. We don’t pray together. This is big. This may be the central or root cause. Not having total trust in me, Wife is left alone to figure out how to live with me. Am I the problem? Yes. I have to read more about the answer, and commit to be a better husband rather than just a partner. (Thank you Father!) Amen.
The LORD bless and keep you!