Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 318 From Decay to Deliverance

Dear friend,

Isn't maintenance the unending theme song of our days on this mortal plain? The super terrific Kevin K., ace handyman, came to my house today to do some needed repairs. Some of those repairs have been a long time coming. Smitty is the world's best husband, and sharp as a tack, but not exactly Mr. Fix it. He can do some things, but he now has the additional limitations of a body that won't cooperate. Thankfully, there are other fellows in the world with the mind and body necessary to take care of things like leaking toilets, broken closet lights, and fireplace stones badly in need of regrouting (is that a word?) The fact of the matter is everything in this world is on the fast track to decay. We keep it all up as best we can, but no toilet will last forever, no matter how many times we fix it. Those fireplace stones will eventually crack and the light in the closet will wear out too. In particular, these flesh and blood houses we live in will perish. No getting around that one. I don't care if you are a octo vegan work out master vitamin swallowing health guru. You are going to die. Period. And nobody knows when. Stephen and Hannah survived by the skin of their teeth, and he's 49 and she's 15. Both in wonderful health. Both nearly killed. Still, someday the part of them that's made of matter will stop working for good. Sorry to be so blunt. But it's an incredibly important fact that nobody wants to talk about.

Here's the deal. I am no philosopher or prophet. There is so much mystery to the unseen part of us, I spend good amounts of time puzzling over it all. But the Great One has made it abundantly clear that our life is a limited proposition. We live once. Then, it's time for the eternal part of us to kick in. And what will that mean? What offer does God make about our mysterious future? All I know is heaven won't be heaven without Jesus, because He says "I am the way, the truth and the life." So knowing Him, and accepting His dumbfoundingly generous gift of forgiveness of sin would seem to me to be step one on the pilgrim road, which ultimately ends at the "celestial city". Don't get all bound up with arguments about secondary matters. I'm doing my darndest to keep it as simple as possible. Love God. Love people. Take the Savior at His word. Most of all, don't be deceived by that seemingly correct but wrong doctrine that being a good person is what buys us a ticket to heaven. Forget that. According to the scriptures "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." So God provided another way to "get clean" - because He really, really loves us and wants to live with us forever. But He can't say sin is ok, or He wouldn't be the Just One. His Son paid the whole price, and our only part is to accept the truth of that. To believe. That's pretty simple, but some of us (including me) wrestled with that thing for a long time before the light bulb went on. Now I cling to that truth for all I'm worth. Lest I sink into either the extreme of self righteousness or self loathing. May the Great One, the Only Wise God, be forever praised!

While we're still in these mortal bodies, though, lets live! Some of that includes celebrating, and that was a not-so-great transition into reminding you to sign up for the Dessert Nite on October 23. All the info is on the blog sidebar. I am so looking forward to seeing you all and personally thanking you for your prayers and service to our family.

Outwardly we may be wasting away, but inwardly we are being renewed day by day! I love you folks like crazy…

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


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