Remember, you can still enter and win a free Haiku. Just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, location, and something about you, and you get to read a personal Haiku especially written for you by me on this fine blog (plus a chance to win a free coffee mug!). It was a slow day for Haiku entries which inspired...
waiting for entries
no blogging fun without them
won't you play along?
...so let me digress on my most recent Beeson Pastor experience.
We, apparently, are going to hear from all kinds of "Christian leaders" before this year is out. For the past two days we heard from two ladies. One was a woman who had worked for Leadership Network for a number of years, and now works for an organization called "worldconnex" as an (I am not making this up) "Information Broker". Her presentation consisted mainly of information that, if they had given us a booklist, we could have broken ourselves. Filled with all kinds of facts and theories about where the church is now, and where it's going in the future, she was not all that terribly original, but inspired good conversation.
The second woman works for an organization called GlobaLocal, which basically, well... I'm not quite sure what they do. I think they help local churches get active in missions overseas, but I couldn't be quite sure. Anyhow, she was a little bit more, uh... "uneven". Practical and helpful in some ways, and in others.... well, let's just say we weren't quite on the same page.
Example: During her presentation on how to discern the will of God, she talked about how earth mirrored heaven in the sense that there was warfare going on the heavenly realm. Really? War... in heaven? You mean that when Jesus teaches us to pray that earth should be like heaven, it means we're asking for war between superpowers? Hmmm. According to John the Revelator (20:10) in the battle of Armageddon, when Satan amasses great armies, preparing for battle, God will reveal his holiness, and it'll be all over. Not one shot will be fired. God 1, Satan 0 No contest.
Here's the deal folks, evil has no power over God. It can't tempt God to do anything, or destroy God, or hurt God. Evil had its chance, and the result was an empty tomb. God isn't amassing armies or coming up with battle plans. He's God! The only realm where spiritual battles are fought, is this earthly one, and the only power evil has over us is that which we give it.
Let me tell you this story... my Grandmother Bucher was married very, very young. Before she was twenty, she had two kids, my Aunt Laura and Uncle Dick. While the kids were still little, her husband took to beating her. Back in those days, before the Depression, women were just supposed to shut-up and take the punishment, but my grandmother, with two little kids and a third-grade education, left to make a better life. She did end up meeting a good guy (my grandfather) and had four more boys (including Dad and Dave, the twins, in her forties... after that grandpa wasn't allowed to sleep in the same bedroom with her anymore - true story) but until the day she died she never had two pennies to rub together. I remember as a kid (my grandfather died years before I was born), in the city of Lima during the 1970's, using her one-holer in an unheated backshed (later her kids got her a flusher and bathtub)... the same shed where she did her wash by hand.
Thus, as a poor, divorced, widowed, mother, you could say she was as vulnerable as a person could be in this world. She stood no chance against powers and principalities aligned against humanity, except...that woman hung on to Jesus with all that she was. A lack of education never stopped her from reading her Bible through again and again and again. And I don't know how much time each day she spent in prayer... I just know she prayed for countless people, by name, every day. I'm not saying she was perfect, far from it, but in her simple understanding and simple life, she truly moved mountains. That's why when her day came, she told the doc, "Don't put that tube down my throat. I'm ready to go home."
So, here's how much power Satan has... he couldn't keep heaven out of a poor, divorced, widowed mother's home. Fat lot of good fighting God would do him.
Let's just say I took the stuff worth taking, and I left all the rest behind.
Now, on the Haikus!!!
For: Aimee Bucher
From: Our Dining Room
hey you big sluggard
quit writing stupid haikus
take me to dinner
For: Sue Dickerson
From: Lima, Ohio
say "bye" to Shadow
I can't take her in right now
she is a great bike
Our silent retreat at a Trappist monastery ends Sunday afternoon, so look for next week's "Ten Things I Think I Think" and more haikus, next Monday.
Have a great weekend!