I’ve been reading Paul’s letter to the Romans.  At first I just loved the vigorous energy of his writing and his cheeriness, and good humor, and the jocular assurance that somehow he would find a way to lay aside all that was demanded of him and to actually make the voyage over to Rome…  Then come 10 chapters of fundamental Christian theology, about the knowable nature of God, the act of God in Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit; about the fundamental change in the spiritual equation between God and human brought about by God’s gift of Jesus; about how that relates to Jews and how to non-Jews; about how the difference is obliterated and how it is not; about the mystery of grace and predestination… At this point I am slogging. I am reading 3 translations. Paul’s discourse is pretty organized, so at natural pause points I retrace what I have read in the other 2 translations. I am seeking God’s revelation to my understanding. I am hoping to not be snared in the particular wording of a particular translation and thereby to be led away from what a passage actually says. Predestination, because of Calvin’s theological interpretation which I find totally unchristian, has so much emotional freight; It was very hard to get through chapter 11. But I know the Quakers did battle with the Calvinists using these same passages. In the 4th,  5th, and last 4 verses of the 11th chapter, the Quakers clearly had a better grasp of Paul’s whole message. I will need to go back reread many times the sweep messaging Paul transmits about… what we can know about God…those last 4 verses say ruefully= NOT MUCH! And that corresponds exactly with my experiences of God….

But by this point I was slogging because what I most urgently want to know was= How do I DO this walk day-to-day? How do I let God loose in my life and freely manifest what He wants to manifest with me?   And suddenly, in chapter 12, Paul turns to exactly that question. When I saw that, I had to stop and write all this, because I need to acknowledge the encounter with the miraculous, mysterious way Jesus shepherds me, negotiating me past all the pitfalls I have built into my nature, leading me to nourishment, and the still water my nature requires, until I am ready for the answers to the questions which pick at my peace. And just in time too.



6 thoughts on “I GIVE LIFE; NOW LIVE!

  1. The words and thought you are able to synthesize – for my consideration as well. It’s so amazing to experience repeatedly that any “true thing” out of the storehouse of the Spirit of God spreads in meaning over any heart willing to take time to consider and sink – and LIVE. I haven’t begun to absorb all that is in these posts…just wanted you to know I am reading. Thank you.

      • Pam is also urging me, so I will answer in Prayer Requests….something about birds and stones but I can’t quite put them together. Good news as far as operation goes; Poor grade on living life= major blow to good side by bad of Spar…
        We’ll see how I speak to that…Yours in shame, Spar

      • I’m not sure I follow your meaning – but the bottom line is – we have a Savior – and for a very good reason. Chagrin at times on our part….

        A curmudgeonly old elder in a small church in So Cal where I was on staff would often open the Sunday service with a prayer that began with these words, “Well, here we are again, Lord. We’re a needy people……”

        About the fifth time I heard it, I thought, “Good grief, Joe….move on already….” Then, about the twentieth time I heard it, I realized the man was on to something that had core truth in it. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. That’s a true thing.

      • Oh yes, The Shepherd’s really got his work cut out for him on this one ’cause I really ran myself Deliberately into the briar patch on this one, which means a lot of self- deception and all that stuff, and consequences, consequences…………………*sigh*………………but if you went to Prayer Requests you see me turning the curve on this; Pam and Zurichmike are part of it, you are part of it, the Long 4 year “apprenticeship”, the effort in the Treehouse Chapel, and now here in My Chapel by the Sea;;;;;;when you throw wide the door and let Jesus in, and you sense the changes happening and you understand nothing and fear much and… you screw up…and consequences follow fast… you make the connections, rant and rave, feel burning, burning shame and finally are humble enough to release that….Yes, That. And THAT, too….
        Well actually, I suffering from sudden nicotine withdrawal, and violating the doctor’s orders to concentrate on sleep the next 2 days…
        To recognize that I screwed up and to wallow in it a bit is not a bad thing. I don’t want to forget it. Like in AA : never forget how miserable your last drunk was. There are parts of me that don’t like not being in control. and now 2 real old parts are going to have to go.
        Gnite…I love you , sister with all my heart….

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