Monday, November 9, 2015

Never ever ever ever get into a political discussion on Facebook. Ever.

In Your righteousness, deliver and set me free. Psalm 71:2

I am Your servant and the child of Your handmaid; You have freed me from my bonds. Psalm 116:14

In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha, who was distracted with serving, came to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do all the serving by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered, ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said, ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her. Luke 10:38-42

The distracted fretting of Martha. The contrasted freedom of Mary.

The one thing.

Incline my heart, O God, to Your ways. Turn my eyes from longing after vanities. Psalm 119:36-37

And yesterday’s verses included my pilgrimage verse.

Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Bitterness,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.

And what a gift it was from God my St. James pilgrimage, twice, so I could really get what it is about. One thing, really.

And I am part of this almost silly Facebook group, American Pilgrims. Silly because the whole bunch of them really get it. Over and over, it is about this one thing. Over and over again, it doesn’t matter about the blisters. It doesn’t matter about the type of jacket. It doesn’t matter about the snoring. Even if they haven’t wrapped the words “Lord God Almighty” around the Presence, He is there.

The Way of the Wall, Gary Stokes: The Middle of the Oreo
Often when we seek His will, His purpose, we are attacked from all sides and from within.

Nehemiah 5 is all about hard times. The very hard times being suffered by the Israelites as they labored to rebuild the wall. And they cried for mercy.

The cry for mercy is always answered by God.

Nehemiah reacted with anger, anger that led to godly action. He paused and pondered. And he ruled his heart within himself.  He noticed the root problem and gathered the leaders and contended with them over a very actionable step: you are charging interest from your own people. The leaders minimalized the consequences of their actions, slavery of children. (Exodus 22:21-27) If you lend money, do not treat it as a business deal; charge no interest. When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. 

Israel’s national identity is “We were slaves, and when we cried out, He redeemed us.” We are not The People Who are Better, but We are the Redeemed People. This is all about, Will we be redemptive or will we be blind?

All men and women are created equal in the eyes of God. We, the Church, need to step into actively protect each and every child, our flesh and blood.

It is different to be religious rather than reverent. Let us not buy into doing what our culture does. The Way of the Wall means living a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Jesus taught us, saying: “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, treasure that will not fail you, in heaven where no thief can reach it and no moth destroy it. For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.” Luke 12:33-34