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In black and white - I heard from God!


Airplane travel is one of the greatest opportunities I have to talk with others . . . in fact, some of you are reading this because I met you on an airplane.  That is pretty cool, and hey, thanks for being my friend.


A week ago, I was flying from North Carolina to Southern California, heading from my home to what was my longtime home, San Clemente, the Spanish village by the sea in Southern California.  When I boarded the airplane, I realized I had been ‘upgraded’ to an exit row, but now had a middle seat.  Hmmm.  I had barely sat down when Mr. Aisle said, ‘I thought I was bold today with my pink, maybe not so much,’ referring to my very pink dress.  With a sideways glance and a smile, I said, ‘there’s always tomorrow—you can try again tomorrow.’ 


Now I wish I had a tape recording of the next two plus hours because the conversation was truly rich.  I believe I asked Mr. Aisle if he ever hears God speak to him, and then Mr. Window chimed in, ‘Oh yeah, I see him all around me—in the trees, the ocean, the skies…’  From there, we were off!  When asked if I hear from God, I commented on several words I believe God has spoken in the still, small voice to me, but proffered, ‘Fact is, I most often hear from God when I read the Bible.’


Now that statement, though entirely true for me, can be a stopper for some, because they find the Bible difficult to read.  Nonetheless, this comment really resonates with me: The primary address at which the words of God may be found is the Bible. More of God's speaking to me has come in conjunction with study and teaching of the Bible than with anything else. The Bible expresses the mind of God since God himself speaks to us through its pages.1


Is it just wishful thinking on Dallas Willard's part, on my part, or does God himself speak through the Bible? How can we know? On this point, I should like to drill down, and I hope you will open your mind to the possibility of this truth radically impacting your life--pretty much every aspect of it.


Whilst a little girl, the words of the Bible were presented to me; at that time, only in the King's English. Often when a scripture reference is mentioned . . . wait, what is a scripture reference? Where it is found in the Bible. When a football fan holds up the sign "John 3:16" at a Chiefs' game, he is referring to the gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16. [Duh, you say. Well, Joe Bible Thumper, if someone is new to this--like if they have possibly been religious, but not really familiar with the contents of the Bible, just the reference can be confusing. It wasn't long ago, I had a woman at my Bible study say, 'when you or someone else mentions the numbers, I am not even sure what you are talking about.' Something to know about me: when teaching, it is my desire to whet the appetite of every listener (or reader) to want more of God, but I am most interested in the person who is inexperienced, the one who asks the simple questions. You see, I have found that in many of our so-named Bible studies, the Christians just get bigger heads, but not bigger hearts; we find out more about scripture perhaps, but do not help others know more about Jesus. We do not exhibit enough humble love and openness that others want what we have! This ought not be.]


As noted by the panting dog pictured above, we are in the dog days of summer - it is HOT. So I am going to simplify a bit and offer some truth, in black and white, that you can trust. Yes, that's good: the Bible, truth you can trust. Remember: truth is not subjective, it is objective; it conforms to reality, not someone's interpretation, whimsy or proclivity.


While I will lay out the reasons I trust the Word of God for you; yes, reasons, because not only is the Bible reasonable, but so is the Christian faith. “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”2


Several years ago, I was in an art class in North Carolina, watching as the instructor distributed paint to each class member. Moving from one to another, she said, "here's you some paint . . . here's you some . . . " and on it went until each artist had the required paint necessary for the creative project before him.


So, here's you some truth for your day:

-->first from the good old King James Version that my mama said was the one true Bible because that's the one Jesus read, [hmmm... wait, Mom - Jesus did not speak English, nor did he ever hold a Bible in his hands...]


For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

The reference? Psalm 100, verse 5.


I attend the Anglican church in Raleigh, and the translation of the Bible that is most commonly used is the English Standard Version. (Version? yes, hold on - we will get to that in coming days. What is a version? How did it come to be? Which is the most correct? Oh, and what Bible should I buy? oh, so much to say...;)


From the ESV: -->For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.


God is indeed good - his character, his ways and his unending love. This is the truth that empowers me, the real truth of Who God is in my life; but wait, there's more - God is also faithful to us, and not just to us, but to those we love who come after us.


A prayer: God, I thank you that you are good and that your love lasts forever. Thank you that long after I am gone, you will be faithful to the prayers I have prayed, and extend your love to my children and grandchildren and their children too. In your mighty name, Amen.


Write it down. Carry it with you. Memorize it: For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Truth you can stand on.


Big God - great song! Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1-af00ZwVk


Christine





1 - Dallas Willard, Hearing God

2 - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


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