Was Jesus a Space Cadet?...part 6

Writer Author  Jerry Lee Kay Sr.
Christian Article : Christian Living  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren... Luke 22.

I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
1st Corinthians 16.

There once was a farmer who owned a mule. This mule was much valued because he was especially good at plowing. But the mule got very sick one day. So the farmer called in the veterinarian. The vet looked the mule over, diagnosed the malady, and prescribed some very large and foul-tasting pills. "Give the mule one pill, three times a day, and he'll recover. But the mule won't like the taste of the pill and will likely spit it out. So I am going to give you this long tube-like cylinder, with a diameter just slightly larger than the pill. Put one end in the mule's mouth. Slip a pill into the other end. Then blow. Before the mule will know what is happening, the pill will be down his throat."...The next day the farmer was already waiting in the office when the veterinarian came to work. "You look awful," said the vet to the farmer...."What in the world happened?" To which the farmer replied: "The mule blew first."......And that's the way it goes some days. Life does us before we can do it ... and there are large and bitter pills to swallow. The life of the faithful is not an all-night victory party, nor is the testimony of the people of God limited to an endless anthology of success stories. Theologically speaking, "every day with Jesus may be better than the day before." But every day with Jesus does not always feel better than the day before.

There are times when you may feel as though your life is being swept up in a tornado of bad things and you are helpless. Sometimes you may get exhausted from worry because your whole life seems to be teetering on the edge, and you assume that things will turn out for the worst. Or your mind races while you are trying to fall asleep, and you may even have a panic attack thinking of what is probably gonna happen!...And then someone starts quoting scripture to you, or the minister preaches a beautiful sermon to you...And you receive all this as truth...but nothing is changed....And It still feels the same!....

The word here in Luke 22 by our Lord is very pointed. I am well aware they were spoken before Peter received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire. However, notice the Master said, "After thou are changed", "strengthen thy brethern". I am of the opinion that His word 'brethern' is making it clear that even after the Fire falls, Hell will be waging a war on the children of God!

If you have read my offerings you know I grew up with Native American people. One of my dearest friends once told me he made a trip to the place his people started from. Cherokee, North Carolina, he asked the Indian tour guide a follow-up question to a statement she had included in her earlier remarks. She had said that almost all the Cherokees in that area belonged either to the Baptist, Methodist, or Assembly of God denominations. He was curious so he asked, "Is anybody still worshiping in the 'old ways' "No one," she replied. "In fact, our children are no longer taught the Cherokee language." He said he noticed she "wore a strange face" as she answered. There was bitterness, hurt, disappointment, and a peculiar expression of displacement, like one who is a stranger in her own country, whose native tongue is a foreign language to one's own kind, whose customs have been erased by outsiders, whose teachers of religion have long since gone into the nearer presence of the Great Spirit. The beautiful, silent forests which once were the home of Tsali, Junaluska, Sequoyah, John Ross, and the eastern band of the Cherokee are now lined with souvenir shops and tourist attractions. and some earn their living by hawking "tips" from photographs made with tourists. The mountain river which winds its way through the reservation is now strewn with bottles, beer cans, paper plates, and other debris left by the tourists. A past generation remembered how things used to be. The present generation cannot remember at all. By their own admission, the mysteries and functions of roots and herbs now lie buried with their forefathers. The meaning and method of tribal dances have become obscured. The language is all but extinct, and as if the cost had not already been great enough, the Cherokees have had to buy back their own land from the United States Government...The "Trail of Tears" (or literally, the "trail of much weeping") ended at Tallequah, Oklahoma for the Cherokee, but the time of weeping without tears continues. Indeed, she wore a "strange face."

The remnant people are a living example of what occurs when a culture becomes stifled. The culture around them has overwhelmed their own. The result has been at best, moral genocide....And now it is happening to us. The only difference is that we are being stifled by a culture that we have created ourselves. In the midst of it all are a Christian people. Remnants - who more and more are unable to tell you anything about their book, know less and less about the backgrounds of the great hymns, and whose origins have become so obscured that we cannot even agree among ourselves. The Sunday School, the primary teaching form, continues to decline at an alarming rate.....Like the Cherokee, we have the "shops," the buildings, and the relics, but they are poor substitutes for the real article. The remnant is there, but it is becoming progressively obscured as we come more and more to resemble the culture about us....The Bible speaks of Christians as sojourners, pilgrims, and "strangers in their own land," but regrettably, as time continues to create its distance, Christians have also come to wear a "strange face." My friend told me with tears in his eyes, they can do as they want. But Poppa you can write this down if you like, I am a Christian Cherokee and being Cherokee may be a hard thing to do these days, but they can never take being Christian from my inward man!..I have found my place inside of me where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. My sacred space is where I can find myself again and again. That is what a true sacred place is Poppa. And then he preached me a Cherokee Christian sermon....

" We were created by a loving, omnipotent Creator who designed us for a life of joy, not fear. We were rescued by His Son, Christ Jesus, who lived for us, died our death for us, rose again as a prototype of our own rising, and guarantees our forgiveness as our personal intercessor. Our needs matter to our heavenly Father. And The Father's kind wishes for us are carried out by legions of holy, mighty angels who leap to do his bidding. We are loved. We are safe. We are immortal! The Word of Creator, in Philippians 4 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus"...He said, " We must let go of the life we have planned, so we can accept the path that He has waiting for us. We're so caught up in getting things of outer value that we forget the inner value, and the peace of the "Way" that is associated with being alive in Him, that is what it is all about."

Christianity is not a formula.. Christianity is not a flavor of ice cream, you know, where one likes this flavor and another likes that flavor...Christianity is not religion.. Christianity is not a teaching or practice or procedure. Christianity is a Person that becomes the Way. It is not Christianity’s business to preach doctrines, nor to set up systems to practice. Christianity’s whole business is to bring Christ alive and into view as a living Person to the world. That is what makes Christianity the Way. You can have all the formulas you can dream up, and people may never find God or come to new birth. And after all is said and done, can fail in its ultimate responsibility of bringing about a union between man and God as the Father. He said, "Poppa Christianity is a Way a Way provided for us... a Way to live.....a Way to have spiritual provision for our journey."

You can have all the other stuff and fail. What Christianity really is, is Christ Himself in His church, His Body, making Himself and His presence known. If Christianity is to make real Christ as the Way and so embodying all that Christ is and has done, then Christianity must become those things which were true of Christ, that makes Him the Way. That Way is not just a theory. You see, the Lord Jesus brought men to God not in or of theory or doctrine, but spiritually. The thing that drew people to God through Jesus Christ was that this Man has rest, this Man knows what rest is, this Man speaks, preaches, and teaches, contentment, God’s contentment. God's peace, God's comfort, God's pleasure and sense of well being. He speaks of joy and bliss, and happiness, there is no strain in this Man’s message of life. In His message of the Way. The Lord’s servants should know what it is to be in the contentment of the Father, no matter the battle that may be raging.

Everyone of us are different, not only in personality, but our circumstances. And so in a sense we are on a journey that no one else is on. And sad to say we don't have a clue what is ahead, what is around the next curve, the next valley, the next mountain, we haven't been given a charted course or detailed map of what lies ahead. We can rest assured in the end the trip will be worth it all....but in the meantime we journey.....and we live in the now.

I have crossed the prairies and the plains, the Mojave Desert and the great salt flats of Utah, I have driven through the Badlands and the Grand Tetons, and crossed the Sierra Nevadas and the Rocky Mountains and the Smokies and the Blue Ridge many times. I followed the trails of the pioneers, the Mojave, the Wyoming, and the Santa Fe. I traveled on good roads in a good automobile with a good road map. I have been coast to coast and from border to border many many times, but when I first started out I had never been in any of that country before, but I was never lost once, nor did I ever miss the road and have to turn around and go back.

And often as I traveled, I thought of others who had traveled there before me, pilgrims and pioneers who had ventured into a land that was then unknown. I thought of their struggles to locate the river crossings and find the mountain passes, their confrontation with the unknown which always lay just around the next bend of the river or beyond the next hilltop. I had my road map to guide me and to alert me to what lay ahead; but they had neither road map nor road. They always stood at the edge of the unknown, at the borderline of the unexplored.

And I thought of life, our life, yours and mine. Like pilgrims and pioneers, we, too, always are standing at the edge of the unknown. No scout has gone into the future and returned to tell us what is out there. We must move into it not knowing. It hasn't been charted yet.. nobody has been there to photograph it and bring back the picture. And if we are going ahead...and we must...we will be doing it with a spiritual un-mapped way.

Looking back over the road we have chosen, we can see somewhat clearly.. but as we turn the other way, from whatever vantage point we look, there is nothing that we can see. Yes, we can form our images and paint our pictures, and we must.. but tomorrow is not yet unveiled and cannot be until time pulls aside the curtain and lets us see. It is very true that we "do not know what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1). We are living constantly in a continuous encounter with the unknown.

When my daughter was a small girl, at the beginning of her learning process, she said, "Poppa, do I know as much as I don't know?" I doubt if any of us does. Whatever the number of days we may have mastered and logged, tomorrow is still a mystery, its unexplored expanse as yet unmapped; and when we enter it - and enter it we must...we must go by faith, the faith of the pilgrim and the pioneer. The road that is as yet untraveled is always an unanswered question, and sometimes it may appear to loom as an insoluble problem.

Have you ever considered what surely must have been the terrible trauma of Joseph of Nazareth when he first learned about Mary and the Baby? You know he was engaged to be married to Mary. And I think Joseph was a good man, hard-working, honest, gentle, kind, and clean. How intense must have been the pain within him upon learning that a baby was growing in her womb...the reverent and beautiful Mary, pregnant! This quiet and respected young woman of their village, soon to bear a child!...It must have appeared to Joseph, something was terribly wrong. His pastoral and placid image of tomorrow must suddenly have been struck by storm.

Joseph was an ordinary carpenter type of man, good with tools and at shaping and smoothing wood. But I doubt if he was well read in philosophy or if his mind was at ease wrestling with the vast imponderables of life and time and space and God. What then must have been the awesome impact of the vision which came to him in a dream that night. You know about that dream, don't you? You know, as Joseph slept, an angel appeared to him and said to him, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20-21).

Think, my friend, of awakening from a dream like that! Think of the thousand intermingled questions and hopes and fears which must have immediately tumbled over one another in the humble carpenter's mind and spirit. His plans for the future had suddenly been injected with vast and unprecedented elements of mystery, with dimensions of meaning and impact far beyond his power to understand or even guess.

But what did the carpenter do? He did precisely what the angel said he should. He took Mary as his wife, waited for the Child to be born, and when he was, he named him Jesus. Joseph didn't panic in the presence of the unknown; he moved into the future as though he believed in it.

Well, you and I, struggling with the problems of the day and the unanswered questions concerning tomorrow, do not always have an angel to come and tell us what's happening and what we ought to do. We have to move into the future without the benefit of angels...at least the kind of angels that visit us in our dreams and show us which way to go. Yes, perhaps we have our angels that speak in other forms and other ways, and I'm sure we do. But, whatever the source and mode of the guidance we get, we have to move into the future by faith, the faith of the pilgrim and the pioneer, the faith of one who walks where no one has ever walked before, the faith that is for the un-mapped future of our living in the now.

No, the Christian Way is not the answer to all the quesions of the universe. It does, however, offer an answer which renders most of the questions unnecessary. The Christian Way is not a solution to all the mysteries of life.. but it does provide a solution and the mysteries are no longer seen as enemies, but as our friends and allies....This Way is not an automatic answer to every question, but is rather a way of making the questions tolerable and meaningful and helpful.

We live the book of life page by page, and wait.

Here, however, is what the Christian Way does... It lets us know that if we add two and two correctly, we will get the right answer. It lets us know that if we work through the problems, we won't need to worry about what the answer page will say. And, of course, this Way lets us know that if we don't put it together rightly, we'll be judged by what we find when we turn the last page. In other words, this Way fixes it so we don't have to know all the answers now..the end is not yet.. all we have to know is the Way, and we can trust the end. This Faith is assuring us that if we can hear Jesus as he says, "I am the way," and take him as the way, and know that he has overcome, we'll not ever have to worry about the outcome.

For a time I was in theology classes and one of my teachers had a unique way of looking over his glasses at us students and saying, "Young men, you don't know what you are preparing for. You may think you know, but you don't. You are actually preparing for the day when your great test will come. Prepare well." He was right; it is true; we never really know what we are preparing for....except that it is to walk in paths unknown.

The voice of time is also calling us on. Changes will come. For time to stand still would stop experience; the passing of time is the one prerequisite for anything happening. The far voice of age also is calling us on. It is the inevitable by-product of our having lived long enough to reach it. And it is a reward or a penalty as we let it be. The far voice of pain is another which is forever calling us on. Inescapable, it calls out of the darkness yonder, and says come on and meet me here. But there are other far voices, too...voices such as the voice of glory and of joy and of home. And they call us out, and on, and up. And the most wonderful of the far voices calling is the voice heard by the Apostle Paul and described to us as "the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

And this is life: we know where we are only in relation to where we have been, and we never know how far it is to what....But we don't have to know. If we make our voyage with this Way as our guide, let our logbook show that "This day we sailed on" and that every sunset finds us looking forward to another dawn.

One great explorer on his voyage to the North Pole. At one point in the ship's log, made this entry: "We let down 3,500 fathoms and touched no bottom." In our voyage of life, sailing through strange waters, we don't know how deep they are either. But we don't have to know...for the depth of the water doesn't matter when you're on top of it.....

And the Way can also walk us through danger...Herein is one of the great values of this Way...for there is a lot of danger. Some people walk this trail and some that. There are divergent ways, and some are purposeful and some are pointless. On the rear bumper of an automobile I saw a sticker with this message: "Don't follow me; I'm lost." Being lost is not a condition to be proud of, but no doubt a lot of people are lost. And some of them are born again believers.

There are paths that criss-cross and intersect and wind and twist this way and that. There are broad ways and narrow, high ways and low, mountain trails and valley roads. There are trails that are crooked and highways that are straight, and some lead here and some yonder; some climb and some descend; some go somewhere and some just go round and round. Some trails are crowded and the travelers nudge and shove one another along the way, and others are lonely. But all are trails; and some people walk this one and some walk that...but there is one trail that everybody walks, and it is the trail of uncertainty, insecurity, and peril. Someone said, "We walk on a thin edge of danger." The Old Testament psalmist was aware of this: "I am a stranger and a sojourner as all my fathers were" (Psalm 39:12); "My soul is continually in my hand" (Psalm 119:109); "I walk in the midst of trouble" (Psalm 138:7); "My soul is among lions" (Psalm 57:4). Most of us know this, and we know it well. We know something of what is meant in Amos 5:19 where it is said that it is "as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him."....We do indeed walk on a thin edge of danger.
This fact is most apparent to most of us; sooner or later we can assemble many personal illustrations of the truth of it. Job, in the midst of his grave afflictions, went so far as to say at one point: "Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7).

I like the story of C. D. “Bigboy” Blalock, a boxer back in the 1930s. Blalock once fought against an unnamed boxer from Mississippi. The only reason we remember Bigboy is because of a dubious distinction that he earned in that fight.
Bigboy was a powerful man with a devastating roundhouse swing. He decided to try this move against this boxer from Mississippi. Unfortunately, when Bigboy swung his famous roundhouse blow, at that very moment his opponent stepped too close. Bigboy’s arm swung all the way around the man’s head and Bigboy ended up hitting himself in the face instead of his opponent. Bigboy fell back and was down for the count. He is the only boxer in the history of boxing known to have knocked himself out...Thankfully, most of us are not like Bigboy. We win a few in life, we lose a few, but we hang in there and keep fighting. Now let us be serious beloved, sometimes it can be discouraging. And It has nothing to do with our salvation. However we can get in such a state of mind that we do as "BigBoy" and knock ourselves out if we are not careful, and before you know it you will be wearing a "Strange Face"....Beloved it is imperative that you find that place inside of you where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. And your sacred space is where you will find yourself again and again and again, that is the Way. ......continued....

God Bless You

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Email: jerryleekay@suddenlink.net
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