The Remodeling Project

The Remodeling Project

Anyone who has ever taken on a remodeling project knows that there is much prep work to be done in order to ensure a final product that is functional as well as aesthetic.

Awhile back I took on a project involving retiling a bathroom floor. I had to remove the plumbing fixtures and a water filled radiator to begin with. Next came the removal of the old flooring and creation of a new subfloor in order to provide a level surface on which to lay the new tile. This required measuring, cutting, and mortaring to the floor below and then securing it with stainless steel screws to prevent possible future corrosion. Finally, after all of this prep work, I was ready to begin actually laying the new tiles. Now that the project is finished, we have a safe, sturdy, floor to walk on that is also pleasing to look at.

In the same way our lives in Christ require a sturdy foundation upon which to tread. One of the key ingredients in this process is study of the His Word. There are many ways to approach this. But the ones involving shortcuts and minimal prep time are generally not able to provide the sturdy foundation necessary for a lifetime of tread and wear. A vigorous study of the Bible takes time and effort. However, it is well worth it in exchange for a foundation of truth upon which one can tread for a lifetime.

Those who seek speedier and more entertaining forms of Bible study may wind up with an attractive looking product, and the process will certainly take far less time. But without a firm foundation underlying all, eventually what appears to be a stable surface will begin to shift. Small cracks will begin to appear. As one walks on this “truth” without a strong subfloor, it becomes evident that it is insufficient to support the weight of all of life’s great issues and concerns.

When it comes to study of the Word, skip the shortcuts and the gimmicks. Take the road less traveled. Build a firm foundation. Find a teacher or a class dedicated to a methodical approach. This way you will not have to spend time filling in the cracks because of flaws that were not evident at the time. The quick fix society in which we live runs counter to this approach, but the distinction here is important. If we cannot sacrifice the time necessary to prepare our hearts and minds to receive God’s eternal truths as revealed in His word, can we then sit back and lament the “crackpot theology” that seems to have taken over to a large degree our churches and our nation? The answer seems fairly clear…….

Getting Started

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I began to follow this living Christ in 1972.  Standing alone in the field behind my barracks in San Antonio I looked up and said to God, “I am not leaving this field until I have what they (the people I had met several months earlier at a Monday night Bible study) have.”  In that very moment He was there, within me and I knew it.  This was a new and fresh step in a marvelous, the most wonderful journey any human being can undertake.

But this is a winding road.  The scenery can be breathtaking and heartbreaking in the same moment.  Along the way there have been wonderful companions and stunning surprises.  One constant through those years has been that I often “see” a new truth in the form of a metaphor.   Jesus called them Parables.  We are told that He never spoke to the people without them.  Now a pastor for more than 20 years I have discovered time and again I “see” some truth I am struggling to explain to another in such terms.

In October of 2007 while in Scotland following a wedding of a dear family friend I was staying in a home and one evening I was overwhelmed with the urge to write.  I have journaled my entire Christian life but this was different.  I felt as if it was a command.  But God does not drive but rather leads His children.  He is the Great Shepherd.   Filled with excitement and anticipation, for I know God is Light and only Goodness, I struck pen to paper.  In that moment I felt as if I had closed an electric circuit and power previously unseen flowed from an unseen to a visual world.

Since that moment I have sought to carefully preserve the moments of my life when He speaks in order to lead others to His Light.  Often after a conversation I have scribbled down notes in the notebook in my back pocket or even a napkin on the table after dinner.   What I will place here are these Parables which I believe as long ago are gifts from above intended to guide us safely through this world to our true Home above.

I have been given the gift of a dear friend who has offered to help select and edit these and for this I am profoundly grateful.  None of us lives life alone.  We are surrounded by a vast array of companions in our journey some seen others unseen.  At just the right moment I have been,  I believe, invited by the Father to share these things with others.  All gifts from the Father of Lights and Goodness are intended to be generously shared.

As I begin this part of my journey I invite you, as fellow companions to come alongside.  Whatever you find upon these pages which may profit you I hope you will share as you are led with the hope that it will bring clarity, guidance and hope as we continue ….