Monthly Archives: September 2003

Like Peter

 

Matthew 26

 

Peter

 

The rock

Was pretty shaky that night.

Jesus whom he knew and loved

Needed him.

But all Peter seemed

Capable of was fear and violence

And denial.

 

Rising to his Lord’s defense in the garden,

Did he think that

Cutting off the soldiers ear

Would force Jesus

To declare the Kingdom

Right there and then

In a mighty power show?

 

Following along in the shadows

Trying to figure it all out,

Peter who has asked all the questions

Forgets all the answers. 

Forgets that this is his declared Messiah,

Son of the Living God.

In fear, he denies; the cock crows.

 

I’ve been a Peter too.

I’ve asked the questions

Should know the answers

Have had the closeness of walking with him.

But like Peter

In the rush of anger and frustration,

Forget.

 

But Jesus

Gathers the dust of my crushed faith,

Takes it in his hand,

Molded by his grace

Makes it a solid thing.

Accepts my love and sends me out again

To feed his lambs.

 

I’ve been like Peter too many times.  Unfortunately, not the strong Peter, but the weak denying Peter or the angry impulsive one.  Things I should know vaporize under conditions when my faith should be strong, or at least visible.

A blind man used to come by our house on his circuit of begging at the mission.  He would be there waiting when I came home tired after a long morning at work.  I would be in no mood to deal with him and always wished that our cook would have given him something and sent him on his way before I got home.  But that job always seemed to be left to me. 

He never wanted much.  He would request some rice, maybe an empty tin can.  Or maybe a full one of fish. 

It just seemed such an intrusion, such a unreasonable imposition on my time.  I had my children to feed and they were usually waiting for me.  I was tired and just wanted to go and sit and eat before siesta time.  I didn’t want him to be there bothering me.

Yet there he was.  Time and time again.  I never improved a lot in my attitude I am afraid.  I was being a Peter.  When the demands got too personal, when they required that I take some of my precious time to help this guy – I denied the God who sent me to Africa in the first place.  I gave him stuff, but I didn’t give it with love in Christ’s name.

I don’t know what became of this man when all the missionaries had to leave at the beginning of the civil war.  He probably was helped as much by his village people as he was by me.  They were quite likely more generous than I was – helping him in spite of their own suffering. 

God, forgive me.  I saw a man suffering but I didn’t see you.  I, like Peter, denied you.  I failed.  And still you say to me – go and feed my sheep. 

Even knowing God’s forgiveness, I still live with the regret that I could have done some of the simple tasks he put in front of me so much better. I wonder if Peter relived his regret when the cock crowed each morning?

 

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Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash died today of complications from Diabetes.  I am not a big fan of country music but he was quite a guy.  So another one joins the cloud of witnesses around us.

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Thoughts about Worship

Randall has been getting me thinking about worship.  We talked about it briefly yesterday am at Gate Crashers.  So in a few of the off moments I had during my day yesterday I jotted down some thoughts.

Today we talked of how:

God wants our worship

Not just a show

Not just a song

Or dance

Or any of our submissive gestures

Or sacrifices we bring to him like:

            – self denial

            – nice looking lives

            – regular church attendance

            – our tithes

If they are just a way to show how good we are.

They just aren’t enough to be worship

 

No They are not nearly enough.

He wants the centre,

The parts I’ve reserved for myself;

My motives, my time.

 

He wants me to see Himself

            In every person I treat today

            In my children needing discipline

            In my spouse needing consideration

            In my employees needing appreciation

            In my family needing my time and my love.

 

Each act, each thought, each word, lifted to him

My worship for the day.

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Christian Duty?

Just skipping around the net,linking through some of my favorites and found this through Chuck Pierce.  Taxes are no fun but they can redistribute wealth.  Maybe that is one reason some of us tolerate our taxes here in Saskatchewan.  Just doing our Christian duty?

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I just finished posting something and just lost it.

Well there I seem to have found it again!  Goodnight!

And again it has disappeared – oh well…

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Link to a Congo Story

Just picked up a story from a friend  – D R Congo’s Mission of Mercy  that is a great story of rescue by some missionary pilots.  Thought I’d share it with you.

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Come Autumn!

Looking out my window, it is grey with rain.  The seagulls lift off in one huge flock as someone jogs down the path through the park across the street by the river.  Fall is coming quickly.

Our summers pass by with such speed.  I prefer the temperatures and colours that autumn brings but it seems that summer changes into autumn too, too fast.  One forgets quickly the 30 plus degrees of the hot days and nights.  Now there are quilts to be snuggled under and a fire to be lit.  There is a certain cozy pleasure in this.

Living for a time in the tropics where the variation in seasons consisted of a few degrees and a few minutes change in the heat and length of the days created in me a longing for the seasons of the northern hemishere that I grew up with.  I am a person most at home with the changing of the seasons.  Each one brings its own pleasures but it is the period of change between them that I love most.  I am full of anticipation of the next seasons best days that will be mine to enjoy just ahead.

Quickly forgotten are the long hot days when I wished for air conditioning and still far away are the cold dark nights of winter with the bitter cold that numbs to the bone.

So come autumn!  I wait for the calls of  the geese as they gather on the river and fill the evening skies over my home.  I wait for those first crisp days after a nighttime frost when the clear blue sky seems to have a certain sharpness to it.  And I wait for the turning of the greens of summer to the bright golds, oranges and browns of the fall.

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