Archive for the ‘Stumbling…’ Category

Hello i’m Dr. Ed Peterson, the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. i’m glad you decided to join me today as i share with you about my journey of intentional living. Again before i start i must apologize that there is no podcast. After attempting to record 3 times… well, i gave up. Not sure what the issue is because when i tested it last night everything worked fine. You can come to your own conclusion… i’ll just leave it that, i’m not supposed to podcast it for whatever reason.

FranticIt was around 9 P.M., i was in for the night or so i thought. i had been to the store earlier and had rejected the idea of buying any of that “stuff”. Now, i know none of you have ever experienced this but i did. As i sat in my comfy recliner, watching mindless television, it hit me. “i…  want something,” meaning of course… a snack, something sweet, which i was now regretting having not purchased anything earlier. i remember thinking on the question of what i wanted as though it was worthy of great consideration.

The next thing i know i’m at the store, grabbing a cart and making my way down the isles. In the bakery section i loaded my cart with 4 pieces of chocolate cake which by the way had plenty of chocolate frosting covering them. i would have selected more but there was no carrot cake with vanilla crème frosting to be found. After further, careful consideration of countless other possibilities i decide on an almond coffee cake… for the next mornings breakfast of course, but knowing that i might have a slice tonight should my other items not fulfill my want. Continuing down the isles i looked left and right examining the shelves from top to bottom as though i was listening intently for something to call out my name. When i hit the ice cream freezers the choices were endless… which is why i ended up with three, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Recesses Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chunks, and Vanilla Toffee Crunch. After a stroll down a few more isles again listening intently, i made my way to the check-out counter where the two clerks immediately began discussing their favorite deserts with me. Somewhere in their exuberant sharing the cashier says, “so your having a dessert fest?” and now there’s a  name to go with what i was doing.

Returning home i carefully laid out the selections buffet style making sure that each could be seen easily, but… there was no need to choose… the intention was clear… eat them all! And within an hour most everything was gone and within 24 hours it was all gone.

Now one might ask, why? What came over me? Why the extreme, especially for someone who has had relatively little in the way of sweets for over a year? A single five letter word… FLESH/self as in my mind, my will and my emotions. As clear as i spoke “i want” a still small voice inside me began resisting. At every isle the voice asked me, “are you sure you want to do this, what are you doing, what’s going on?” But not once, not for a second did i pause to consider the voice. i might as well of said, “shut up and leave me alone!”

i’m not sharing this because i’m proud of it, quite the opposite. Now please listen or read very carefully. i don’t regret the things i’ve done, i just regret the things i didn’t do when i had the chance. What i didn’t do when i had the chance was listen to the Spirit inside me, i didn’t do the wise thing for my health and i didn’t consider Ann Marie when i had the chance.  i brought her on this rampage with me, without any regard for her. She has been struggling to get back on track with her diet and i added to the struggle. 1 Corinthians 10:23 the verse i shared in the opening has a following verse which says, “Let no one then seek his own good and advantage and profit, but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor].” Now, eating all that was in no way for my own good, advantage or profit. my point here is that i did not seek the welfare of my neighbor, more specifically the welfare of my best friend, my wife. What example did i set for her? my misplaced encouragement… and let’s just leave it at that… misplaced.

So there you have it, “the story.” What you don’t have are the lessons learned which are the most important elements of these posts. As the verse above says, “let him/ed seek the welfare of his neighbor” i always want to be respectful of readers and listeners time and this is running longer than i anticipated. i am unable to cut it short as the lessons are what i will take with me as i move forward from this… and face new… challenges in living my life INTENTIONALLY for God.

Thank you for joining me on me and I Am and i look forward to you joining me in just one more wake up for the conclusion of this series on Permissible And/Or Profitable.

 

Hello I’m Dr. Ed Peterson the host of the meandIAM posts and podcasts. Todays title is Permissible… And/or Profitable…

After recording today’s podcast 5 times and each time while saving it, it disappeared, i have to assume that it just wasn’t meant to be. So i apologize for any inconvenience but here it is in print.

1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP) says that, “All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].”

GroceryQuestion? What do 4 slices of chocolate frosted cake, 3 pints of ice cream, and an almond coffee cake have in common? Yes, they all have calories. They are all sweets. No they are not all desserts all though i suppose the coffee cake could be a dessert depending on when you eat it? The answer is… flesh/self. It was actually a trick question, that is unless you had spent the last year growing INTENTIONALLY in relationship with God, and… had been on some type of fast the entire time which included the removal of sweets from your lifestyle.

It was around 9 P.M., i was in for the night or so i thought. i had been to the store earlier and had rejected the idea of buying any of that “stuff”. Now, i know none of you have ever experienced this but i did. As i sat in my comfy recliner, watching mindless television, it hit me. “i…  want something,” meaning of course… a snack, something sweet, which i was now regretting having not purchased anything earlier. i remember thinking on the question of what i wanted as though it was worthy of great consideration.

Want to hear more? At all curious what i did with my want? And how does 1 Corinthians 10:23 fit into this? You’ll have to join me in just two more wake-ups as my grandchildren would say when they are anticipating a visit from me. Two more wake ups and i’ll share the lessons learned while uncovering the questionable choices i made and the actions that resulted. So until two more wake ups be blessed and live life INTENTIONALLY!

 

Recently i heard that, “A good teacher teaches people to memorize. A great teacher teaches people to think.” How true that is. If i simply memorize, what is taught, at some point i will come up against something that’s not been taught or that i have not memorized. At that moment i am at a stand still. BUT… if i learn how to think i will be able to come up with a solution to anything. If i know what so and so thinks then i can have what so and so has. This applies specifically when it comes to knowing what God thinks! i want to know His every thought! Now don’t throw any stones yet, but if i know what or how God thinks then i can have what God has. Just pause and meditate on that for a while, let it sink in and while you do let me give you the word to support this idea. It comes from 1 Corinthians 2 and i don’t care which translation you read it from it still says the same thing.

Verses 10-13 (MSG.) The spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—EXCEPT THAT… he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets ed in on it.

This has never caught my attention before. “EXCEPT THAT… he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets ed in on it.”

What’s that look like? “God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving me.” No secrets regarding these matters. If I know what God is thinking then I don’t need all the questions. There is a full report of the gifts of life and my salvation. It’s been revealed. AND…. i am to attend to what He has revealed.

But instead of attending to what’s been revealed, the full report on the gifts of life and salvation, i attend to what the rest of the verse says i’m not to. ed you don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. ed you are not going to and have not learned this by reading books or going to schooled you learned it from God, who taught you person-to-person through Jesus, and it’s being passed on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.

Choice… an act or instance of choosing, the right, power, or opportunity to choose. God offers a full report on what He is thinking as does the world. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

Several weeks ago i read 1Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV), “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

my heart started pounding and my mind started racing. Nice right, but what does that mean? “ed’s “Eye has not seen,” nor has ed’s ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of ed the things which God has prepared for ed who loves Him.” 

Initially when i began looking at Proverbs 29:28 which said “those who can not see what God is doing, stumble all over themselves,” it seemed to make sense in that context the ed’s eye has not seen what God is doing. Then add the ear thing and the heart thing and it losses any congruity that i imagined. So… i put the verse away in a draft file and let it sit, expecting that if it was a God thing he would reveal more.

Honestly I forgot about it until now while looking through my drafts. i read it and the same thing, heart started pounding and my mind…. there was no shortage of thoughts. Once again i tried to make sense of it. NOTHING! ZIP, ZERO, NADA! But then I remembered the rest of Proverbs 29:28, “but those who attend to what He has revealed will be most blessed.”

Attend to…? Could it be…., no……, possibly…..? it can’t hurt. Attend to by reading the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 2 and there was my answer.

i then decided to read 1 Corinthians 2:9 in more familiar words by going to the MSG. Of course i can’t get a single verse so i had to read 6-19.

We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, (repositioning myself to do just that, get feet on firm spiritual ground) but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him.

But ed, you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.

There are two types of questions. The first are good questions which get me good information. The second are great questions which get me transformation. Here’s my great question, “ed are you attending to what He has revealed?” my answer… yes, absolutely and it’s apparent because old things are passing away and all things are new!

MORE: in greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number, something of greater importance.

The key is in the personal and intimate relationship with Jehovah. The results are in direct proportion to the effort of relationship. I made my decision about relationship with the Father long ago and now each day i must manage that decision. It’s like being married to Ann Marie. I don’t wake up and decide if I am married or not. That decision was made over 40 years ago. Now I manage that decision every day.

Jehovah-Shammah:   “The Lord is present.” “The Lord is more than present!”

The name of the city revealed through Ezekiel is Jehovah  Shammah – the Lord is There. This location is named because of the presence and power of Jehovah residing there. I am aware from  scripture that God does not dwell in temples made by hands, but rather I am to  be God’s temple. This is the last of Jehovah’s redemptive titles in the order of their Old Testament occurrence. It uncovers the entirety of His on-going self-revelation. The people of Israel were brought out of the bondage of Egypt by His manifest presence (Deuteronomy 4:37). However, the  people willfully and continually sinned, and the conscious manifest Presence of  God was removed. Yet when the people repented of their gross idolatry, because  of His love, the angel of His presence redeemed them once again (Isaiah 63:9). The apostle Paul describes the church as a habitation of God. More for me means that God is not just there but He is “me.” my everyday relationships are usually what I would say, are enough. But my relationship with the Father is “more” than enough.

MORE: in greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number, something of greater importance.

The question: Does the Glory of Jehovah fill Jehovah’s house, and am i a member of that house, displaying His Glory?

Jehovah-Jireh:  “The Lord will provide.” “The Lord will more than provide!”

(Genesis 22:14)
The definition of this term  is “The Lord will see” or “The Lord will provide”. For man, this dual meaning seems impossible. However, for the all-knowing God of creation, the dual  meaning is easily exemplified. His pre-vision means His pro-vision. That was Abraham’s revelation given to the  place where He found the ram provided as a substitute for Isaac. This miracle  was not of a normal significance; but rather it was a creative miracle by God for the sacrifice, in the same sense that the Lord created a body through the  miraculous conception for the substitute sacrifice for man.
As Elohim, God demanded the sacrifice of Isaac, but as Jehovah He made complete provision of a substitute for the son Abraham willingly offered. The place of this miracle is important. It is the  first recorded instance in scripture of the naming of a place after a divine manifestation.

MORE: in greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number, something of greater importance.

Jehovah-Rapha:  “The Lord that heals thee” The Lord that more than heals thee!”

(Exodus 15:26)
From Israel, we learn that in times of sickness God heals, for He is our Jehovah Rophi, “I  am Jehovah thy healer”. To express God’s grace in restoring spirit life, He declared that He healed all of our diseases, spiritual as well as  physical. (Psalms 103:3) He also heals the broken in heart (Psalms 147:3),  and for those who are backsliding, He is their healer as well (Jeremiah 3:22). The word also clearly indicates the removal of bodily illness (Genesis  20:17; Matthew 4:23).

MORE: in greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number, something of greater importance.

Sometime last week I shared about getting a song that consumed my listing time. To this day it still consumes me. It plays from the time I get up till I call it quits for the evening. It plays in the foreground when no one is around and then plays in the background when there is. Ann Marie is being held hostage to it as we are most often together. The song is called More Then Enough and it’s sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The theme of the song is about three of the seven redemptive names of God which all start with Jehovah.

While it may not seem like it these three specific names of God all coincide with my metamorphosis and on a broader scale my repositioning an emerging journey with God.

In the Old Testament, God reveals Himself to man in seven names.  Each of these names begins with Jehovah.  To the Jews, the name Jehovah was so holy that it was never said by anyone except the High Priest in the Holy Place on the Day of Atonement.  Seven is the number for perfection and God is a perfect God.  God is called other names but only seven names are His redemptive names.  When God commands that we “preach the Gospel to every creature,” He means that we tell the good news of His redemption.  His seven redemptive names reveal what our redemption includes.

Today let me introduce all seven names. I will high-light the three that I am focused on at this time and that’s not because the others are not just as important. It’s simply a matter of this season i’m in.

Jehovah-Shammah:   “The Lord is present.” 

Jehovah-Jireh:  “The Lord will provide.”

Jehovah-Rapha:  “The Lord that heals thee”

The song covers these three and the chorus says the “He Is More Then Enough.”

MORE: in greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number, something of greater importance.

Jehovah-Shammah:   “The Lord is present.” “The Lord is more than present!”

Jehovah-Jireh:  “The Lord will provide.” “The Lord will more than provide!”

Jehovah-Rapha:  “The Lord that heals thee” The Lord that more than heals thee!”

More on those tomorrow.

Jehovah-Shalom:  “The Lord is our Peace.”

Jehovah-Ra-ah:  “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

Jehovah-Nissi:  “The Lord our Banner”

Jehovah-Tsidkenu:  “The Lord our Righteousness”

It is under these seven names that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. With God revealing Himself to me through these names, i have the right to peace, provisions, righteousness, His presence and even healing.  It wouldn’t be right to change I am the Lord that heals thee, to I was the Lord that heals thee.  God wants all of these names to be sent to every creature.

Psalm 107:20 (NKJV) “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions”

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”   ―     Steve Maraboli

One of the readers shared this story with me after they had read the Measure #6 post Three Little Butterflies.

They are a cashier in a grocery store and while working an elderly gentleman came to check out. His bill was 30 something and he began looking for his credit card. After searching his pockets and his wallet he still had not found it but kept on looking. The line now growing but remaining calm. The cashier offered to get someone to help him look for his card but he just kept on with what he was doing. As the cashier apologized to the lady waiting behind this man she said, Don’t worry just keep on going and that she would pay for it.

Much to the cashiers surprise the elderly mans son was not more than ten feet away buying a lottery ticket. As he came over the elderly man said why didn’t you help me, this woman was willing to pay for my groceries and all I need from you was to help me find my credit card. Then he said, What have I done wrong in raising you? This created a little stir between them and the cashier just kept ringing up the woman’s groceries. As she finished the elderly man found his card.

His response was that he wanted the woman to get a return on what she was willing to do and so he then paid for her groceries which included his. The amount was somewhere around $250.00.

This story is a perfect example of the Three butterflies and the word which instructs us to carry one another’s burdens. We tend to think that’s limited to homeless but not so. This man was just a little disoriented.

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”   ―     Elizabeth Gilbert

Nearly 100 years ago, Henri Fabre studied and wrote about the habits of caterpillars. He noted that these caterpillars have a unique way of finding their way. While making a long trek in search of food, they spread a silk-like glue along the path.

He saw individual caterpillars lowering their heads. One caterpillar would eject silken threads from its lower lip. The caterpillar behind would eject glue from its lower lip, thus attaching the silk threads to the path they would need to follow on the return trip. The one behind would also lay some silken threads of its own.

No matter how circuitous or difficult the road, the processionaries always find their way along it.

Ann Marie and I live life in that way. No matter how difficult the road, we always find our way. The word is our silken threads. As we eject word from our lips, we make a path. for others to follow. Hummm… does that make us as unique as a caterpillar?

Fabre, it seems, was a bit of a mischief-maker as well. In one experiment, he cut the silken thread to see if he could interrupt the procession. Not surprisingly, the first caterpillar to find the disrupted line would pause. Others would join in and, it seemed, debate whether to go in search of the silken threads that had been laid or return home with the mission unaccomplished.

Finally, he noted that one fearless leader almost always emerged. This bold creature would cross the patch of road with no silk and would stretch its own thread in order to reconnect the broken pieces. The procession could then continue.

It is so important as I have said a hundred times, who I hang around with makes a big difference in my life. I need and want bold creatures who will face the obstacles when there seems to be nothing to follow. AND… And the purpose is to reconnect the broken pieces, not grandstand.

And in one more experiment, Fabre arranged the caterpillars in a circle. He then placed leaves and other nutrients in the center of the circle, eager to learn if any of the caterpillars would “break rank,” leaving the circle to reach the food. None did. Instead, they went round and round until their collective death.

Sound like anyone you know? It certainly describes some of the people I know. They are following the wrong crowd, going round and round dying a collective death.

Mary Angelou is not stuck following the collective death in a circle. She says, “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

MEASURE #6 is similar to last weeks in that the application is for each reader to find and apply.

IN THE PAST… i have been over wrought with worry. i have experienced grief. i have stumbled. i know what it’s like to strain under the cloud of my daily tasks. i have felt the guilt of far too many things to mention. At the same time, being bombarded with trials and tribulations of various kinds. With all that it’s easy to see how it can become too much for one person to bear.

But for that reason the people i do life with are important. i need help when i stagger, i can use a steady hand to balance my load. If i’m straining, someone is there to help bear my burden. And if i stumble, those around me lift me up. Helping people carry the weight of their burdens is one of the main duties that ought to consume me as a disciple.

Of course, that concept is contrary to the culture, with the world promoting self-absorption. There are generations which have developed an unhealthy obsession that says, “it’s all about me” and an attitude of entitlement. Part of the problem is that i tend to interact with others in sound-bites or through faceless media.

Galatians 6:2 (MSG.) says “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Here’s a simple story that expresses my understanding of this.

There were once three little butterfly brothers, one white, one red, and one yellow. They played in the sunshine, and danced among the flowers in the garden, and they never grew tired because they were so happy.

One day there came a heavy rain, and it wet their wings. They flew away home, but when they got there they found the door locked and the key gone. So they had to stay out-of-doors in the rain, and they grew wetter and wetter.

By and by they flew to the red and yellow striped tulip, and said, “Friend Tulip, will you open your flower-cup and let us in till the storm is over?”

The tulip answered, “The red and yellow butterflies may enter, because they are like me, but the white one may not come in.”

But the red and yellow butterflies said, “If our white brother may not find shelter in your flower cup, why, then, we’ll stay outside in the rain with him.”

It rained harder and harder, and the poor little butterflies grew wetter and wetter, so they flew to the white lily and said, “Good Lily, will                      you open your bud a little so we may creep in out of the rain?”

The lily answered: “The white butterfly may come in, because he is like me, but the red and yellow ones must stay outside in the storm.”

Then the little white butterfly said, “If you won’t receive my red and yellow brothers, why, then, I’ll stay out in the rain with them. We                      would rather be wet than be parted.”

So the three little butterflies flew away.

But the sun, who was behind a cloud, heard it all, and he knew what good little brothers the butterflies were, and how they had held together in spite of the wet. So he pushed his face through the clouds, and chased away the rain, and shone brightly on the garden.

He dried the wings of the three little butterflies, and warmed their bodies. They ceased to sorrow, and danced among the flowers till evening, then they flew away home, and found the door wide open.

Story by Van Antwerp, Bragg & Co

To each reader today I share Ezra 4:10 “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. i will support you, so take courage and do it.”

The plan is simple… make myself available for, not divine appointments but His divine people this week. That’s what has been revealed so I will attend to that. Referring back to the posts of the last couple weeks.

“The  battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a  struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties  there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.” – Samuel Smiles

Before I begin I want to announce that our caterpillars which entered chrysalis stage about 7 days ago have EMERGED butterflies. I was already somewhat overwhelmed this morning, not as in one of those days but as in one of His days. So much has been revealed and it’s just starting to catch up with in glimpses. In my early morning time I was given a song from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir called More The Enough. You can get it at YouTube. I am literally basking in it. Over and Over I am reminder that Jehovah Jireh is my provider, that He is More Than Enough.

Where i live it can seem like an upside down world. Isaiah said in Isa. 5:20, “How terrible it will be for people who call good things bad and bad things good, who think darkness is light and light is darkness.” i must be careful how i live so that the world’s perspective does not infiltrate my thinking and my choices.

I read recently something that said, “God has given me a certain number of things to do before i die. At the rate i’m going i’ll live forever. my task at the end of each day is to evaluate my use of the time i have been given. Am i just being busy or am i truly effective and fruitful?

So many times my greatest struggles are between where i am and where i want to be.

Thump.Thump. Thump.Thump. Do you recognize what that is? It’s my heartbeat. i think there may be an angel somewhere counting my heartbeats. The thing is, he’s not counting them up, he is counting down. Thump.Thump. Thump.Thump. When he gets to zero, it’s over.

There is no appeal, no 11th hour reprieve, it’s over. Each beat brings me closer to that end. i’ll never get that heartbeat back. So the question becomes, have i put my thump, thump to good use?

I found this in an article and thought it was fascinating. The fertilized human egg is no bigger than the width of a hair, yet think about what it contains. Your sex, the color of your hair, how tall you will be. But wait, if i stop there i have missed the power and majesty of God’s creation. The human body is made up of over 90 trillion cells, that’s 9 with 13 zeros. I go out on a limb here but oh well… those 90 trillion cells are what I believe to be “Imaginal Cells.” They are the image and likeness of God Himself. Inside that single, tiny egg are the instructions for every one of those 90 trillion cells with regards to location, function, interaction, healing and life cycle.

This is so much bigger than I have or can write about at this moment and perhaps in the rest of my lifetime. I know that God did not give this to me to keep for myself, that by virtue that He gave it to me it is for the purpose of giving as well. What that looks like is yet to be revealed so today I will attend to what has been revealed and thus position myself of being most blessed.