Sunday, September 28, 2014

THINGS THAT MY MOM SAID #5

THE WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH QUIETER PLACE, if it followed the directive of my mom, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  My mom was on to something there, in fact it’s one of the reasons I don’t like religion and politics and Monday morning sports reviewers, it’s always harsh words. It is very true that here in the good old USA we have lost the ability to speak with wisdom, tact, and at least a bit of tolerant compassion.

I am not advocating that we should sit back and let anyone say whatever they desire and just take it, rather I am offering that we return to the admonition of Scripture, of “Instead, speaking the truth in love,” which the Apostle Paul tells us one of the ways we “will in all things grow up into Him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15) Consider the wisdom of Solomon as recorded in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Maybe a quiet country would be a better country. Maybe a quiet church would be a better church. Maybe the monastics had a better idea in their vows of silence, knowing the destructive fire an uncontrolled tongue could produce. (James 3:5-6)

Yes, I know some of you are saying, but if we don’t speak how will the truth be heard? I am not advocating not speaking the truth, it’s just the manner in which we speak it and to remember even our Lord said we are to let our “light shine before others that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

How therefore should we “speak?’ “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.(Colossians 3:15-17)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

THINGS THAT MOM SAID #4

GOD GAVE YOU TWO EARS and one mouth, that means you should listen more than you speak.” Well, that didn’t always work for me. Seems like I had developed  a skill of speaking out when I shouldn’t  have into an art form. I could stick my foot in my  mouth and still keep talking. Yes, you’re right my mouth sometimes could cause a world-of-hurt to others and myself.

Though I did not readily apply my mother’s wisdom when I was young, I learned as I grew older, and hopefully wiser, that once again my mom was right.  I’m not going to say my mom was always right, but . . . well, she might be listening from “up there,” so let’s just say she gets a solid “A” for effort. Well, back to the lessons learned.

First, I did learn that when it comes to relationships here on Earth, you’ll go much farther listening than speaking. The truth is, if we listen well we will not have to speak as much in return. Thus, less speaking leads to less foot-in-mouth-disease, less hurt feelings, and on the positive-side we can actually speak more wisely when we listen more carefully.

Second, I have discovered that what works with my relationships here on Earth works even better in my relationship with God. Too often, as a follower of Jesus, I find myself talking more to God, than listening for and to God. Let’s be honest, God’s got much more to say when it comes to wisdom than anyone else, so it makes sense to listen more closely and carefully to Him.  

Here’s some ways to listen better: Read His Word, not just when you need to but on a regular basis. Second, practice the discipline of silence and solitude. As the psalmist records, “Be still and know that I am God.(Psalm 46:10)  It’s difficult to be still if we’re running off at the mouth, even if we call it “prayer.” Third, find some wise believers and seek to listen to them. Finally, don’t be afraid to read some of the “old” books of the faith, there’s lots of gems to be mined from the early church fathers and mothers.

So, there you have it. As mom would often say, “Randal Scott Kay, listen up!” Good words then. Good words now.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

RISK ASSESSMENT: LIVING WELL IN A RISKY WORLD

If you live near Felton, CA come and join us for our new Sunday morning message series. We gather at 9:30 for worship, teaching and fellowship.

If you're out of the area you can grab the message online at our church website. We hope you can join us.

May the LORD richly bless you and grant you His peace.

Monday, September 15, 2014

OF LOVE AND LOSS

I'M AUTHORING THIS BLOG AROUND 30,000 FEET, somewhere between Phoenix and Los Angeles heading home to the Santa Cruz mountains.

This past week four friends of mine were called home to heaven, it's been sad for us, but we rest assured in their presence before the Lord, resting in His peace.  We shall miss them, but we entrust them into God's continuing care.

So to, Greg Foster, Joyce Barnes, Beth Belden and Roger Williams I say God keep you until we meet again. For therein is our hope, peace and joy.

As I have been traveling to help my brother Rick who had a hip replaced, I have been reading Gordon T. Smith's great book, Called to be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity. One chapter, among others, deals with the topic of "Love." As I was musing over his thoughts I thought about why we love. Of course it finds its foundation in God's triune nature and character of love. As the Apostle John reminds us, "God is love" (1 John 4:7-9)

My thought was , in light of my heightened sensitivity to love through the loss of those I have loved, We were created to bear the Image of God, who is love. I need to be loved (be not alone as Genesis 2 reminds us) for I was created for love. I was created to be loved. God created us not just He lacked something to do, or needed to create, but because being Love He desired to create that which He could express His perfect love. We were created for love, that love whish first receives from God, then loves others and is loved in return,

This contemplation of God's love and our love for others, (Matthew 22:37-40) and being away from my family at home caused me to ponder familial love which I believe has a direct relationship between God's love for us, our love for God and for neighbor.

In my journal I wrote,
"We marry so we can love and be loved. We have kids so we can love more. We desire grandkids so we can love even more and in the process we hope to be loved more. The basic motivation for procreation therefore, is not just to create and repopulate, but rather it is to love more. If we marry only to be loved then we short-circuit the design.  This is the model we find in the triune loving God -- He created so to love -- it's His nature, and He loves it (is worshiped) when He sees us seek to make the circle complete."


To love opens us up to loss, but to not love, to not seek to create those relationships that allow us to love, and possibly be loved in return, steals from us some of very Image-bearing that we hold has Abba God's beloved.

Therefore, let us love, for He first loved us.