Archive for June, 2011

And Much More Thee

Posted: June 29, 2011 in 1 Up and 1 Down

This poem also came up under my search for information and it to captured my attention enough to use it today to share my thoughts in this post. While the title is Affliction i have chosen to rename it And Much More Thee. George can’t say a whole lot about it, but i think he would allow me the freedom to do so based on my revelation of what the poem is speaking. If no then i apologize to George and ask his forgiveness and promise not to do it again.

Affliction (IV) George Herbert (1593–1633)

Broken in pieces all asunder,
Lord, hunt me not,
A thing forgot,
Once a poor creature, now a wonder,
A wonder tortur’d in the space
Betwixt this world and that of grace.

My thoughts are all a case of knives,
Wounding my heart
With scatter’d smart,
As wat’ring pots give flowers their lives.
Nothing their fury can control,
While they do wound and prick my soul.

All my attendants are at strife,
Quitting their place
Unto my face:
Nothing performs the task of life:
The elements are let loose to fight,
And while I live, try out their right.

Oh help, my God! let not their plot
Kill them and me,
And also thee,
Who art my life: dissolve the knot,
As the sun scatters by his light
All the rebellions of the night.

Then shall those powers, which work for grief,
Enter thy pay,
And day by day
Labour thy praise, and my relief;
With care and courage building me,
Till I reach heav’n, and much more, thee.

In closing,  You/i are/am more sinful than you/i might ever imagine, but more loved than you/i could ever dream. –Rico Tice

Failure-Tolerant Leader

Posted: June 28, 2011 in 1 Up and 1 Down

While searching for some information for posting there was a title that caught my attention. “Failure-Tolerant Leader,” by Richard Farson and Ralph Keye. The article begins with a quote from IBM’s Thomas Watson, Sr.: “the fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” Failure is a prerequisite of invention, which requires risk taking. Failure provides insights that aren’t normally gained from success. It’s one thing for leaders to address failure at the abstract level of corporate policies, but quite another to acknowledge failure at the personal level. For most employees, personal failure is an enormous threat that carries with it embarrassment, shame, and even the loss of your job. Worst of all, the stigma of failure breeds fear.

Failure-tolerant leaders  moves beyond simplistic definitions of success and failure, where the former is always positive and the latter is always negative. i believe there is such a thing as “successful failure.” Good leaders keep things in perspective. Don Shula, one of the winningest coaches in NFL history, remarked that he “didn’t get consumed by losses and didn’t get overwhelmed by successes.” Failure-tolerant leaders  empathize with employees by sharing their own failures and by accepting the mistakes of others. They replace a corporate culture of fierce competition with a culture of collaboration. A culture of collaboration… doing life together, community, a culture of collaberation.

All this began to make me think about what a “failure-tolerant Christian” might look like. Some of the most significant people in God’s story of redemption experienced extraordinary failures. Moses was a murderer, David an adulterer, Peter denied  even knowing Jesus, while Paul described himself as the “chief among sinners” for trying to destroy the church.

Paul describes a fierce struggle in his deeply divided self. He does things that he hates, and fails to do the good. He experiences covetous desires and sinful passions of every sort. Rather than doing the good he desires, he commits the evil he detests. With frustration he describes a “war” within him that makes him a “prisoner,” and confesses, “I do not understand what I do” (Romans 7:15, 23). Paul’s struggle is so intense that some interpreters think that he’s describing his pre-conversion life rather than a Christian experience.

Paul encourage me to embrace my struggles and failures rather than to suppress or deny them. That can be difficult when our communities don’t allow us to fail in the first place, or if they do, the  price of failure is condemnation rather than consolation. Christians are famous for throwing failures under the bus. Paul, writing from his own experience, reminds us that we all carry the gospel treasure in fragile vessels, and that none of us is worthy of or adequate to the task (2 Corinthians 2:16, 4:7). James says that “we all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2).

And so Paul asks: “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). The word points to Jesus: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, from I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:25–30).

What If?

Posted: June 27, 2011 in 1 Up and 1 Down

It’s been ten days since my fingers, thoughts and spirit all came to the keyboard on my laptop. It was not for lack of thoughts but time was allowed to slip away on a very large project. This weekend Ann Marie and i did nothing on Sunday except watch a couple of movies and attempted some mindless rest. One movie was titled What if… ? The premise is similar to It’s A Wonderful Life. A person is unhappy with how life has appeared to work out and so he gets a divine opportunity to see life without him, but in this case he gets to see What if. His what if is marrying his high school sweetheart and going into the ministry or pursuing a career. Anyway 10 days of my life’s journey will never be read by my children or grandchildren.

i am not much of a what if person. i have never asked what if i had never married Ann Marie or what if i had married someone else. i think that’s because of my satisfaction with who we are as husband and wife. i have known from the day we met that we were meant to be and on Friday it will have been 39 years of marriage and another 3 years going together before that. High school sweethearts, she was 15 and i was 17. My mother had to sign for me to get married as i was under 21. No… no what ifs in this category.

i have been trying to think back over my working years and see if there is a what if to be found there? Not a one comes to mind. i have pretty much done whatever as far as working and providing a living. Another no what if… is in having my children. i have one son and one daughter, and have no regrets with either of them. i got to experience one of each and what a blessing they have been… for the most part. i have never met another child that i was more proud of than my two children. They have grown to be incredible in every way and i am very proud of what they are becoming as a husband, a wife, a mother, a father, and as people who are working to change this world for the better. Nope no what if there.

One of the biggest areas that i thought i might find a what if in, was with my relationship with God. i am in no way saying that i have always gotten it right or that i even came close to being all i was created to be… but… no what if. i can honestly say it just isn’t a question that i am familiar with. i guess it comes from not being afraid to live life out loud. Ann Marie and i have had a policy since our early years that we would have no secrets and to this day i am not aware of any secrets that i hold and my trust believes the same of her.This has spread into my life in general, i have no secrets, you don’t have to wonder what i am thinking or if i am upset with you. i will tell you, no secrets.

If given the opportunity to see some portion of my life lived out another way… i could not find what it would be. i have no desire to see what life without Ann Marie would be like. i have no thought of what life would be like without my children. i have no curiosity as to what other career i may have pursued and lastly i certainly have no desire to try life without God.

What if … i just stay grateful!

 

Grace and Peace – Basics

Posted: June 11, 2011 in 1 Up and 1 Down
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Henry Ellis
2 Peter 1:2-13

12 So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold].

13 I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle (tent, body), to stir you up by way of remembrance,

i like Peter explains why i write about things that have been heard before – these things to me are the basics of Christian living.

For this reason I will not be negligent to remind myself and others of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.

For this reason: Coming to the kingdom is so important, it is helpful and necessary for Peter to remind me always of the basics of the Christian life.

I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know: Even though his readers and mine as well know the truth, in light of what was at stake – eternal destiny – it is worth it to go over theses things again and again.

A sports team going for the championship will practice the same fundamentals over and over again. They do this, even thought they know the techniques, because they know what is at stake. i as a Christian should never get tired hearing the basics of the Christian life. i should rejoice every time Jesus Christ and His gospel and plan for my life is preached.

Established in the present truth: Established is the same word translated strengthen in Luke 22:32, when Jesus told Peter “when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Here, Peter fulfills that command of Jesus. He will establish and strengthen me by reminding me of the basics of the Christian life.

2. (13-14) The urgency in Peter’s heart and mine is this… I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir up myself and others by reminding myself and others, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.

I think it is right: Because of what is at stake, Peter knows it is right to remind people constantly, especially because he knows that the days of his earthly life are soon coming to an end. Shortly I must put off my tent: Peter considered his body no more than a tent. A tent is a temporary place to live. Tents should
be taken care of, but you wouldn’t invest large resources into fixing up a tent… unless your my wife, Ann Marie. You save your real resources for a more permanent place to live. My more permanent place to live is heaven, and i should invest more in heaven than in my tent.

c. How did Peter know that shortly I must put off my tent? Perhaps it was because Peter was simply getting old, just as i am. Perhaps it was because the flames of persecution were getting hotter around him. Church history tells us that Peter did die a martyr, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed him (John 21:18-19).

This shows that Peter believed that the prophetic words of Jesus were to be fulfilled literally. Jesus showed Peter that he would die a martyr, and he believed it – even if he might have wished it were only symbolic.

i personally am not looking to die as a martyr, but i believe i would if it was required. i am speaking cautiously as i am not looking to be tested on this matter.

Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t. Richard Bach

Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_life.html#ixzz1P0Txqbxg

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs

2 Peter 1:2-13

10Because of this, (refers to the three previous posts) brethren, be all the more solicitous (concerned, desirous,) and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.

How can i be sure that God called me, and that i am His elect? The commentaries say this, By doing these things spoken of in 1 Peter 1:5-7 (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love). As i see these things in my life, i know that my life is becoming more like the nature of Jesus. It shows that i am being conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). While this is true to a degree i think that i am sure that God has called me and that i am His elect because of my growing and ever-changing understanding of how much He loves me and not by what i do, as well as faith. There is a saying that says, fake it till you make it. YET… what i do is the outcome of true relationship with Him. What i do may show, not guaranteed to show that i am being changed to the image of Him. For me the result does not assure me nor confirm His call, it, at best confirms my response. i’m not sure this is making sense, i don’t seem to be able to find the right words. It is possible for an unsaved person to do many moral and religious duties and just as possible for a believer to fall short in them. These things Peter speaks of are matters of the heart.

11Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Entrance will be supplied to me abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Some say that this is the ultimate reward, why it is worth it to be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure. i honestly give little thought to the everlasting kingdom, as i am more focused on today. At the end of each day i want to hear, well done. Yes eternity is important and where i will spend it matters to me, but if i take care of this day that i have so graciously been given, eternity will not be an issue.

Let me conclude by saying, Peter shows that i as a Christian will have both the knowledge of God, and a life that glorifies Him, and that the two are connected. Some try to know God or know about Him without living the life. Others try to live the life without really knowing God. Both will reside in me if i am living a healthy Christian life.

We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves. ~George M. Adams

8For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

If these things are mine and abound… this is the problem with blogging and writing for me in general. How i read these words makes a difference. Where i pout the emphasis changes the meaning of what is being said.  If i read them “For as these qualities are yours” and take them to mean that they are coming, as i make them mine. OR i can read them as meaning a statement of fact. “For as these qualities are yours”, saying that they already belong to me. I suppose both are true to some degree. They are mine as promised by God yet being mine by promise and being mine by possession are two different things when it comes to abounding in them.

If i have these things, and abound in these things, it is evident to everyone that i am not barren (unproductive, without capacity to interest or attract) nor unfruitful (unproductive, unprofitable, failing to produce or develop) in my knowledge of Jesus. The Message says, With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. i see the end result of this looking like this, that people will sense the knowledge of God on me verses me having to tell them. Ephesians 5:10 Try to learn in your experience what is pleasing to God, let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him. Let your lives be so in contrast as to expose and reprove and convict. This is abounding! The words barren and unfruitful characterize the lives of many, who lack these qualities because they lack in their knowledge of God’s love for them – knowing Him in the fuller and deeper sense. Abound… at times i have had a feel good moment that these qualities are seen in me from time to time. But Peter says they should abound in us. Abound… to occur or exist in great quantities, to be rich or well supplied. Great quantities, rich, well supplied, that’s a prosperity message.

9For whoever lacks (deficiency or absence of something needed) these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins.

If i lack these things it is shortsighted, to the point of blindness. If i lack these things, it shows i have “eye trouble.” i am shortsighted, unable to see God, only myself. This makes me virtually blind, showing i have forgotten that  i was cleansed from my old sins. Remembering what Jesus did for me – such as
cleansing me from my sins – prompts me to give all diligence to my walk with God. Basing my walk with God on what He did for me is the foundation for a
healthy, growing Christian life.

Paul says … Gal. 5:16 I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.

In closing Galatians 5:22-23 Msg. is not just some words on a page or a mere wish, but hey are a God principle that can not be changed, manipulated or used for my own benefit and glory. In my simple earthly words it is an attitude a lifestyle a philosophy a way of life to be experienced. But what happens when i live God’s way? He brings gifts into my life, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. i develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. i find myself involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force my way in life, able to marshal and direct my energies wisely.

i do not write these posts for others but today these final words are a confirmation for several as to the direction they should be engaging in. i probably should have done a separate posting for just these words but i’ll leave it to the reader to do the digging. Galatians 6:9-10  to not allow myself to get fatigued doing good. At the right time i will harvest a good crop if i don’t give up, or quit. 10RIGHT NOW, therefore, (for this reason) every time i get the chance, i work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to me in the community of faith.

I’m less interested in why we’re here. I’m wholly devoted to while we’re here. ~Erika Harris

2 Peter 1:2-13 5For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),

Giving all diligence: … me, ed am a partaker of the divine nature, but once i become a spiritual son, growth in the Christian life doesn’t just happen to me. i am supposed to give all diligence to my walk with the Lord. These describable, and visable qualities are not things that the Lord simply pours into me as i passively receive. Instead, i am called to give all diligence to these things, working in partnership with God to add them.

i am to employ… to hire or engage the services of, have or keep in one’s service, to keep busy or at work. When i employ someone there is a cost involved. So i am to pay a price toward the every… being one of a group or series taken collectively. This means that there is more than one way and one thing to employ. It says to me that if i do one thing and it doesn’t work, then i have only found one way that didn’t work and there is more than one way so i keep on employing each and every option until i come to one that does work. i am to employ every effort… an earnest or strenuous attempt. This says earnest and strenuous, meaning again that there will be some sweat and tears, there will be a cost. What is all this employing and effort going toward… FAITH. Faith to develop… to bring out the capabilities or possibilities of, bring to a more advanced or effective state, to develop natural resources, to cause to grow or expand, to elaborate or expand in detail.

The detail looks like this. Add to my faith virtue… moral excellence, goodness, righteousness, conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles. i begin my walk with the Lord with faith, but faith progresses into virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love – love being the culmination of all God’s work in me. The broadness of the list demonstrates that God wants me to have a well-rounded Christian life, complete in every fashion. i can’t be content with an incomplete Christian life. i must remember that what i am after is the recognition, understanding or better yet the demonstration of grace, God’s favor and peace which is promised to me.

6And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),

7And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

Exercising… a putting into action, use, operation, or effect godliness… coming from God. i am not fond of the word exercise. It means hard work for me and there is most definitely a cost for me. So it is in exercising brotherly affection, which leads to Christian love, which comes with at a high price. i must remember that this is not a destination, it is a journey and will come with time. i can exercise one day, one week or even one month and perhaps experience some small measurable benefit, but if i quit at that point it will be lost in a matter of days. Relationship is a journey, sometimes brief and other times very long.

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. ~Fr. Alfred D’Souza

2 Peter 1: 2-13 May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to me in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus my Lord.

i have been experiencing at a new level, two of the most precious gifts of life, grace and peace – according to the words above this is occurring because they are mine in the knowledge of God and Jesus my Lord. As i know God i gain these essentials for living. They are multiplied to me as i pursue the full, personal, precise and correct knowledge of God.

3For His divine power has bestowed upon me all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called me by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).

So that says to me, His divine power has given to me all things that pertain to my life and godliness. However, not only grace and peace – but all things that pertain to life and godliness are mine through the knowledge of Him. Knowing God is the key to all things that pertain to my life. What is knowing God? For me it comes down to an always growing and maturing in understanding of God’s love for me.

i am often willing to try almost anything except the knowledge of Him. i will trust in the schemes and plans of my so called gifting instead of the knowledge of Him. i will try knowing myself instead of the knowledge of Him. i want to come to the same place the Apostle Paul did, when he said that I may know Him (Philippians 3:10).

Here the Greek word knowledge doesn’t refer to a casual acquaintance. It means an exact, complete, and thorough knowledge.

So how do i come to an exact, complete thorough knowledge of Him? There are three ways that come to me at this moment. Through His Word, through prayer, and through the community of God’s people. It is true that i need God alone, but God does not meet me only in my “aloneness” but also in the community of His people.

This knowledge of God comes to me as a calling. It is knowledge, but it is not just intellectual understanding or intuition. It is the knowledge that comes by experience – my experience that i have of God Himself. It is Jesus’ glory and virtue that motivates Him to call me, and it is His glory and virtue that draw me to Him.

4By means of these He has bestowed on me His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them i may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.

It is by the glory and virtue of God that He called me and that He gave me exceedingly great and precious promises. This means that the promises of God are based upon His glory and virtue, and therefore perfectly reliable. God would never compromise His glory and virtue. Psalm 138:2 reminds me that God honors His word even above His name. i never have to doubt any promise of God. Instead i should let God be true but every man a liar (Romans 3:4). For these reasons, God’s promises are both exceedingly great (in the sense of being large and imposing), and they are precious, in the sense of being valuable.

That through these i may be a partaker of His divine nature. Peter’s idea is similar to Paul’s idea of our glorious status as adopted sons and daughters of God
(Galatians 4:5-7).

i have through this knowledge the opportunity to escape the corruption that is in the world. God is above and beyond the corruption of this world. i am also above and beyond as a partaker of the divine nature. The corruption that is in the world expresses itself through lust – the ungodly wants of this world.

Lost – A Day?

Posted: June 3, 2011 in Wandering Thoughts

Don’t be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.  ~Charles Richards

The first thing i thought of for this post was that i lost a day this week. Meaning that I Am got no glory but more importantly i lost sight of I Am’s love for me. i have for two months been in an ongoing battle which is in the court system. i have purposed and worked very hard to stay out of planning and spontaneous thoughts, words and actions at any level. Done fairly well i might say. This day that i lost though i let a sub-portion of this battle get more of my attention than i should have. i am disappointed in that. i did spend much of my day in the prayer room trying to take back my every thought captive to the word of God, but i can’t say i succeeded. I gave the opposing side too much of a head start. Not the person but the taking every thought captive to the word. The thoughts were taken captive to frustration, fear, doubt, disbelief and many other words i could use.

my flesh wanted to engage in this small little skirmish with all i have, yet every time i engaged with what i thought was much care and control things got worse. Details not included intentionally.

Maybe the thoughts came to fast or there were to many of them? Maybe i am just tired, worn down from the real battle and felt like i could release my position just a little to get some satisfaction or control? i really can’t say and the reason is unimportant. i lost a day for I Am’s glory and there is no getting it back. All i can do now is make sure it does not happen this day or tomorrow and so i get back up, hold my position and go back to remembering how much I Am loves me.

Maybe i shouldn’t say i lost a day, that’s part of the same thinking that controlled the day. The idea of winning and losing a skirmish. i needed or wanted something so i thought. i thought that i deserved to get it from an individual who i already thought was walking all over me. i know lots of thoughts. So my initial thoughts going into the day were already far from where they needed to be. Looking back, i know where i went wrong. I NEEDED, I WANTED. This was according to my planning versus just gathering the facts and turning it over to the Father. Had i used the tools i have gathered and the wisdom that i have experienced i would have been able to say i had a David day like He describes in Palm 71. i tripped coming out of the starting block.

I run for dear life to God, I’ll never live to regret it. I went to the skirmish first and then tried to intertwine some God into it and i am living to regret it today. That’s one of those flip sides i talk about. Why run for dear life to God, because of how much He loves me and if He loves me enough to not with hold His only Son then He would not with hold anything else that i need.

Do what you do so well: get me out of this mess and up on my feet. Missed this one also as i spent the day dealing with the people who were the skirmish instead of finding my trust in my Father. It was more like ed do what you do so well, ed get yourself out of this mess and get back up on your feet.

Put your ear to the ground and listen, give me space for salvation. Be a guest room where I can retreat; you said your door was always open! You’re my salvation—my vast, granite fortress. Retreat… NOT! i was being cautious and speaking with tempered words but retreat no way. All day long planning and responding. i think this is enough posting for posterity sake so i’ll just close with the remainder of the Psalm and today use it as a reminder for correct  and acceptable behavior as a righteous son of God. By the way… my regret is not for me or even the day but for the perception of who i am which reflects upon who my Father is that is now left on these people.
 My God, free me from the grip of Wicked, from the clutch of Bad and Bully. You keep me going when times are tough— my bedrock, God, since my childhood. 
I’ve hung on you from the day of my birth, the day you took me from the cradle; I’ll never run out of praise. Many gasp in alarm when they see me, but you take me in stride. Just as each day brims with your beauty, my mouth brims with praise. But don’t turn me out to pasture when I’m old or put me on the shelf when I can’t pull my weight. My enemies are talking behind my back, watching for their chance to knife me. The gossip is: “God has abandoned him. Pounce on him now; no one will help him.” God, don’t just watch from the sidelines. Come on! Run to my side! My accusers—make them lose face. Those out to get me—make them look Like idiots, while I stretch out, reaching for you, and daily add praise to praise. I’ll write the book on your righteousness, talk up your salvation the livelong day, never run out of good things to write or say. I come in the power of the Lord God, I post signs marking his right-of-way. You got me when I was an unformed youth, God, and taught me everything I know. Now I’m telling the world your wonders; I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray. God, don’t walk off and leave me until I get out the news Of your strong right arm to this world, news of your power to the world yet to come, Your famous and righteous ways, O God. 
God, you’ve done it all! Who is quite like you? You, who made me stare trouble in the face, Turn me around; Now let me look life in the face. I’ve been to the bottom; Bring me up, streaming with honors; turn to me, be tender to me, And I’ll take up the lute and thank you to the tune of your faithfulness, God. I’ll make music for you on a harp, Holy One of Israel. When I open up in song to you, I let out lungsful of praise, my rescued life a song. All day long I’m chanting about you and your righteous ways, While those who tried to do me in slink off looking ashamed.

Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.  ~Stephen Vincent Benét

When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 24:3-4 Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation],  And by knowledge shall its chambers [of every area] be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

So what i’m saying is that i lend myself to planning… but then i also lend myself to Jesus example in Matthew 14

When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. Planning right?

But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. So unsuccessful planning becomes spontaneity?

When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick. Spontaneous compassion which brought about correlating actions?

15Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.” Planning?

16But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.” Alternative planning?

Then He ordered the crowds to recline on the grass; and He took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and blessed and broke the loaves and handed the pieces to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. He took the facts of five loaves and two fish and He gave thanks and blessed them. He turned the facts over to the Father and ended up with an abundance. Jesus didn’t calculate how much he needed or wanted he knew that the Father was His source, His provider. The way i see it, Jesus did His part and let the Father do and even depended on Him to do the rest. What a great example of planning and spontaneity working together for Gods glory. So why not both, spontaneity and planning!

Right after this event Jesus executed what sounds to me like His planning.  As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.

It seems to me that Jesus used planning but with the ability to act spontaneous when the occasion arose. It says that Jesus insisted that the disciples follow the planning that He outlined for them.

In closing i would just make comment that Jesus thought enough of the goal or purpose of what He needed and was to do that He uesed planning to get it done. The goal  here, was for Him to get to a place where He could be alone and pray and not for a moment, on the fly, or in battle against all that people would expect or ask of Him. He wanted and needed alone time with the Father, so He made a plan to get it and then insisted on accomplishing it, and best of all then enjoyed it late into the night.

Both spontaneity and planning have their place and can be of great benefit when needing to accomplish something, let’s say like… prayer.

Plans are nothing; planning is everything. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight obveously never experienced the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit invading ones planning.

You might lose your spontaneity and, instead of composing first-rate Gershwin, end up with second rate Ravel. Maurice Ravel

i wonder if all spontaneity doesn’t begin somewhere in planning?