This is rocking my world right now

51YZhSQhAjL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve written about a book I picked up from Thriftsmart here in Nashville, a book by William Barclay in the Daily Bible Study Series- the Letter to the Hebrews. You can read that post here but as odd as it may be, I can’t help but write about it again.

Just in the past few days I came across inspiring words from Mr. Barclay. Of course, the true greatness is the actual book in Bible- Hebrews- but just check out these thoughts from the study book:

Finally, the writer to the Hebrews says that our Christian duty to each other is all the more pressing because the time is short. The Day is approaching. He is thinking of the Second Coming of Christ when things as we know them will be ended. The early Church lived in that expectation. Whether or not we still do, we must realize that no man knows when the summons to rise and go will come to him also. In the time we have it is our duty to do all the good we can to all the people we can in all the ways we can. 

I took the liberty to make bold the last sentence because, as the kids say, that line hits hard. I love it, and in a sense that is the simplicity and yet the impossible challenge of Christianity. For me, it’s most difficult when it comes to drivers like this and this. But we all have areas we struggle in, right? It’s like Needtobreathe sings in their song, “Who Am I?”… (scroll down for more about the Hebrews book!)

While I’m on this road you take my hand
Somehow you really love who I really am
I push you away, still you won’t let go
You grow your roses on my barren soul!

The next line in the book by William Barclay is this:

The appeal of the writer to the Hebrews is one that could be made to every man. In effect, he says: “Be what you were at your best.” If only we were always at our best, life would be very different. Christianity does not demand the impossible; but if we were always as honest, as kind, as courageous, as courteous as we can be, life would be transformed.

Rocking. My. World. Hope y’all are having a great week!

-Out of the Wilderness

Hebrews book review by William Barclay will make you a better Christian

I randomly came across a book at Thriftsmart a few months back and it might go down as the best few dollars I’ve ever spent! The book is called “the LETTER to the Hebrews” by William Barclay. Click that link to find it on Amazon and I’ll tell you right now, 100%, you won’t regret it. I’m not a Bible scholar, in fact I don’t even like to read much although I go through phases where I enjoy reading. So if you’re anything like me, you’ll still enjoy reading it even if you don’t like reading that much. Side note: thanks for reading my blog today, I know it’s probably too long. 🙂

51YZhSQhAjL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_This little book has such amazing insight into why the writer says the things he (or she) says, why certain words are significant, and has shown me a depth in the Scripture I haven’t known before. And all of this is just for the book of Hebrews! Mr. Barclay’s explanations are so meaty I can only read a few pages at a time, and sometimes need breaks for a day or two just to process. After reading, and again this is just for Hebrews, I feel encouraged, astounded, amazed, and in awe of the details of God’s story, my story, Jesus’ story, and our story as humankind.

I don’t often write to you and tell you to go out and buy something, but this is one you should go buy. Or if you’re in the Nashville area, I’ll pass along my copy to you as soon as I’m done. Well, since we’re talking about buying stuff now, also get one of these. You won’t be sorry. 😉

-Out of the Wilderness

Is being a Christian really this easy?

There’s a talk radio host in Nashville I love listening to and one day he had this most simple yet profound thought summarized below…

As a kid, all you really need to do is get good grades and obey your parents.

If you do those two things, the world will open up to you in ways you actually really want. Is your friend having a party? Want to go on that trip with your friend and their family? Dying to get that new Playstation game? Well, those dreams can be reality if you just behave and do well in school. This sort of blanket statement obviously has exceptions, but just imagine the trust between parents and kids if this was the norm.

I often think of my beagle, Piper. If you have a beagle you will totally relate to what I’m about to say. She follows her nose. Sometimes that nose gets her in trouble. It’s why she absolutely must be on a leash outside if she’s not in a fence. I can call her all day long but she will not come to me when she’s hot on the trail of [insert animal here]. There have been too many times to count where she’s gotten out of the fence, or escaped from a place of safety and been gone for hours. What she doesn’t know is that if she were to behave, she would actually have MORE freedom, more time off the leash. But without a doubt, if she’s off-leash, she’s off and running. I wish she knew that if she obeyed, she’d have a lot more freedom.

It’s a simple statement about Piper, and about a child getting good grades and obeying their parents. For each one, a lot of their life would be better and more fun if they just follow a few rules. It sounds so simple.

Then I connected this thought with the Christian life. God knows we are people prone to complicated webs of rules and jealousy and bossiness and selfishness and, well, I could go on and on… but in the Bible He laid it out in such a way that’s easy to grasp:

Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind… and love your neighbor as yourself.

Now I know that’s not as easy as it sounds but isn’t it pretty amazing that there isn’t a gigantic rule book to follow? Heck, even the Old Testament only had 10 rules (which were easy to break, might I add).

Even these two commands, loving God with our whole selves and loving our neighbor, is hard to follow because of our human nature but it’s a lot easier to give ourselves a chance and some grace knowing that with a bit of submission and trying to obey, we can actually have more freedom than if we try to do things our own way.

What are your thoughts on this? I’d love for you to share in the comments below, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

His bow

I was driving towards a rain storm the other day and as soon as I turned on to the highway ramp my eyes beheld the most vibrant rainbow I’ve ever seen. You know what they say, pictures don’t do it justice… but here are a few anyway.

IMG_20200520_191157

It reminded me of the covenant between God and the earth, and mankind, talked about in the Bible (Genesis 9). This moment driving on the highway became worship as I admired the rainbow and the Creator of this art…. while listening to this song:

It was a moment, to say the least!

-Out of the Wilderness

What the Bible says about the coronavirus, sort of not really

Who knew something in the Bible would still be applicable thousands of years later 🙂 But please note, these verses have been taken way out of context. For the full meaning, open up your Bible and check them out. Or just go to BibleGateway.com.


HOW TO AVOID GETTING THE CORONAVIRUS…

Wash your hands, you sinners (James 4: 8)

Cover your face (Ezekiel 12:6)

I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands (Genesis 20:5)


SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR…

His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him (Exodus 2:4)

They stayed at a distance (Exodus 20:18)

The people remained at a distance (Exodus 20:21)

You are to worship at a distance (Exodus 24:1)

my hand will not touch you (1 Sam 24:12)

do not touch anyone (Ezekiel 9:6)

spread out (Isaiah 54:3)


SIGNS YOU MIGHT HAVE IT ALREADY…

my body burns with fever (Job 30:30)

The boy sneezed seven times (2 Kings 4:35)


IF ANYONE HAS SYMPTOMS…

isolate the affected person for seven days (Leviticus 13:4)

isolate them for another seven days (Leviticus 13:5)


HOW STATES HAVE HANDLED IT… 

governors placed a heavy burden on the people (Nehemiah 5:15)


2020 IN A NUTSHELL…

disaster or disease may come (1 Kings 8:37)


That last one… uhhhhh yep! 2021 can’t get here soon enough! Thanks for stopping by and feel free to comment below with any additions.

-Out of the Wilderness