Friday, July 31, 2015

Our Reasonable Faith

It's happened in my presence twice in the past few weeks. 1) An older woman sitting next to me at a concert ignored the "deer-in-the-headlights" look of a young person to whom she was downloading her life story. 2)  I watched another older lady corner a pastor and proceed to blabber on, and on, and on. He had no way of escape. I did, so I slithered away from both scenes, muttering: "Oh, dear Lord, help me listen more and talk less".  The benefit for you who read this blog is that you can blip me out by the tap of a finger.

I do a great deal of listening, actually. Not only do I listen to a great many people He brings through my door or through the many ways we communicate now but I also listen to teachers/apologists on National Religious Broadcasting (Channel 378, coast to coast).   I respect their speakers and writers who give me the privilege of thinking my way to a truth.  NRB provides such resource people as Kay Arthur (Precepts for Life),  Apologist Ravi Zacharias ("Let My People Think"),  Irish John Lennox, mathematician, philosopher and apologist at Oxford University in the UK,  Frank Turk, ("I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist"),  Chuck Colson (deceased but still speaking on NRB), witty apologist/writer Eric Metaxas ("Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy") and host of "Socrates in the City" that features the finest of speakers,  and a few others who coax my mind out of moth-balls.

Currently I am reading two books: "The Mystery of the Shimitah",  sequel to "The Harbinger"  by Jonathan Cahn, and "James, a Reader's Companion" authored by my pastor friend, Mike Loehrer. This latest book of his equips us as did his "Egoless Elders" to be alert to what causes divisions in churches.  Mike inserts powerful Biblical insights into his imaginative tale-telling. Such is his book, "Porch Talk with Gramps", a fine resource for parents, grandparents, or anybody that has influence with kids. Who better than Mike, a father of ten and grandfather to...Oh, well, i've lost count.

It is disturbing to hear that 75% of our kids who have been brought up in church lose their faith during their first year in secular colleges and universities. Most of the women and men God sends me to disciple have influence with young people who are examining their faith. Today the Holy Spirit will help the Thursday Girls reason their way to a belief of their own as we study the Book of Hebrews.

Tony, my son Doug's former foreman came to fix a propane gas leak yesterday,  charging me a quarter of the first plumber's estimate. We widows have to be discerning without being cynical. ...but then, who doesn't?  My house is getting old.  My personal plumbing is wearing out too.

My goal this summer: exercise in the water to regain some strength in my muscles. I am off to water aerobics where I am rebuilding relationships with people I knew years ago. A major bonus: fresh news and marketing opportunities, much as the women at the wells exchanged every morning. Next Saturday night, the 8th, I will return to entertain outside at the Mulligan Room. Several women from the class showed up with their families last month. If the Lord reminds you to do so, pray for me to: "Be wise toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity, letting my conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that I may know how to answer everyone."  The presupposition is that I will have built a relationship that invites questions.

Remember Stuart Hamblen who came to Christ through one of Billy's early Crusades in Los Angeles?  He wrote "This Ole' House" and "I Believe".  Here is another of his songs.

                        UNTIL THEN

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone.
Along a trail that's winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.

The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall,  they're borrowed for awhile.
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble.
Remembered there will only bring a smile.


Love, Jo