It’s time… time for philip to “ride off into the sunset”… I believe the Lord wants me to spend whatever days I have left, just “walking and talking with Him in the garden of my life”... a phrase I have often used up here in my “Musings”….
I felt that an appropriate way to leave would be to share once again, the most significant things He has said to me since my pretty dramatic collision with Him back on June 24th, 1968…. I will be celebrating 50 years of walking with the Lord just 10 days from now.
The first thing He said, after 32 years of working very hard trying to “serve the Lord” was after my pity party at the fence in 1999 when He said so gently and lovingly… “Philip… I never asked you to do anything for me… all I ever wanted was a relationship with you…”
It took me 10 years to even begin to understand that that is actually exactly what He meant. But the “doing of things” was so ingrained after all my years of “religious activity” … that in 2009, even after gaining this incredibly different understanding of God and what He is really after… there I was again, asking Him… “So Lord… you have taught me all these wonderful things… what do you want me to do with them?”…. once again… that sweet, loving voice said so very simply… “Philip… just be who you are… where you are”.
Still needed another almost 10 years of walking this out to finally realize that entering His rest truly meant to cease from “all my works” and just let the Father do whatever it is that He wants to do.
I will be trying to walk this way for the rest of my days, doing the above things, together with the most recent things I have seen about “doing what is in my heart to do” … each day… knowing that what I want, is whatever He wants…. and He is the one putting things into my heart. Your will be done Lord…. not mine.
“So far as it depends on me”… this is the way I will live. My “Musings” have ended.
Happy to interact with any one, any time… just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking up where I left off yesterday… He showed me what I was doing… took me back to my own history of trying to do the next big thing for God and finally realizing that all those “things” I was doing, were just opportunities for Him to show me how I was loving being important, getting lots of praise for being a great man of God, etc. etc… so… the assumption was that would be the response of any one in any place of responsibility, in any large ministry operation.
So here I was listening to the speaker and analyzing where he was at, in his journey with God… looking for what was wrong in his heart… sitting out there “being as God”… and deciding what was right and what was wrong with the speaker’s heart. Ugggh…
Yet one more repentance… and the revelation that it has nothing to do with the bigness of anything…. God will use whatever we are doing to mold us into the image of His Son… and He is the one that does that… not philip.
The second thing that happened on that weekend when I read the book “Dream Big” … was a guest speaker at the church we attend…. where Jen and Dano and family are involved… I was working very hard to try to hear what he was saying… my hearing amplifier wasn’t working, the microphone system is not very good there, and the acoustics are pretty bad… so… I was catching bits and pieces….
He started with the same scripture I have been talking about for a long time now….. “…..so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” Romans 12:18 He had my attention.
Actually… he was saying a lot of things that I have been saying… except… it was all about a very big (spelled H U G E) ministry, where thousands and thousands of young people are reaching out to other young people to bring peace… in countries where there is very little peace. They are basically a Christian organization but are not doing this to convert people… but n to bring peace to places like the Congo and a bunch of other such countries… and… it is working.
I am not pushing their ministry… I am simply sharing my response to what the man was saying.. it was a very BIG ministry… and… of course… that could not be good.
What did you say Lord? It could be good? No? It is good?
I’ve mentioned the little book “Dream Big” a number of times now…and… how I was reduced to “mush” as I read thru it. It is all pictures and short sentences… a kid’s book… the guy’s personal story of his “dream” to be a professional athlete… He was short… skinny… the last guy to be picked in a pick-up game of anything… he was pretty discouraged… even asked God to “make him grow” … he started running and began to dream of running the Boston Marathon…
His grandfather encouraged him… told him he would be at the finish line… waiting to cheer for him… but the young man hadn’t put in the “hours of training drudgery” necessary to run a marathon… and crashed around the 20 mile mark… with grandpa still waiting at the finish line… but… his grandfather continued to encourage him… challenged him to keep putting one foot after the other… the hours and hours of running every day… that are necessary to prepare for the next Boston Marathon… and promised him once again to be there… waiting for him at the finish line…
Grandpa died before the race. Philip came unglued. The young man went on this time to finish the race. Today Dave McGillivray organizes the Boston Marathon and inspires young and old alike to dream big… as he continues to challenge himself as well, to accomplish his next personal big dream.
I hope to be able to encourage Nate to dream big and will try to be there for as many of his finish lines as the Lord has left for me.
“I have a dream!” He did have a dream… MLK had a very, very BIG DREAM... it was a dream that was deep in his heart. He pursued that dream. He gave his life for that dream.
I had missed that part…. God had used all my great big dreams to reveal so many things that needed to change in Philip… not the least of which was the self-importance that came from doing something big for God… the recognition that came with that… the adulation of the people it touched and on and on… my whole lifetime of dealings with character issues that needed to be replaced by the life of the Son of God.
So Philip threw the baby out with the bathwater… he made BIG wrong… when the issue was Philip’s character… not the bigness of his dreams. I am so thankful that the Lord finally revealed this to me. I am always the issue… regardless what I do… be it big or be it small... He uses whatever I do, to mold and shape me into the image of His Son… inch by inch… and row by row…
still more coming… 🙂
Oswald Chambers: “We are not meant to be seen as God’s perfect, bright-shining examples, but to be seen as the everyday essence of ordinary life exhibiting the miracle of His grace. Drudgery is the test of genuine character. The greatest hindrance in our spiritual life is that we will only look for big things to do.”
“Jesus…took a towel and…began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:3-5).
The last thing we men want to do are all the minuscule tasks of daily living… ask any guy from the 40’s and 50’s what their wives did… raise 6 to 8 kids, do the wash, ironing, shopping, cooking, cleaning, scrubbing, etc…. all the minuscule tasks of life that we guys hated to do… we men did all the important, significant things… we were the breadwinners, the heads of our house, responsible for the finances and other important decisions that needed to be made.
That way of life is long gone… now we can all discover the joy of doing the drudgeries of every day life. The Lord has brought me to a place where I have embraced all the small repetitious things that are so much a part of my life… whatever they look like… (nothing like owning a restaurant to help with that) … cutting the lawn, digging out dandelions, climbing ladders to scrape and paint the house, (everyone should own a picket fence)…
🙂 …. just ‘washing feet’... wherever and whenever….
After reading the book “Dream Big”, I saw how dreaming big is a good thing…. actually a very important part of life…. what a thrill it was to talk to Nate about it after he read it… more next time….
I have been a part of several big movements in my Christian journey…. when I had my collision with God, I was sent directly into “fundamental evangelicalism”…. soon had an experience with God that sent me on into “Pentecostalism” … from there into “Para-Church-ism”… then the “Charismatic Movement” …. and finally the “Shepherding and Discipleship Movement”…. now I simply walk with Him , enjoy His fellowship and watch Him do all the work… one person at a time.
I not only became very anti-religion-anti-religious in whatever shape or form it appears, but became totally against anything “Big” being done for God…. that is… until that weekend I wrote about back on June 6th … about those 2 experiences that I had.
One was a little kid’s book I read… that I had bought for Nate’s birthday… the title was “Dream Big”.. written for children of all ages… especially this almost 83 year old child… 🙂
It was written by the 63 year old director of the Boston Marathon.… here is a link to the story of how it came about… Dave McGillivray
I was total mush after I read the book. I can barely begin to tell you how it challenged all my previous thinking… but I will give it a whirl… of course… you already knew that.