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

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.

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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

…and I’m still in awe of You

Hebrews 3:3 “…just as the builder has more honor than the house.”

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This part of Hebrews chapter 3 stuck with me after I read it. It connects with how I feel about walking through a forest, standing on the ocean shore, even watching my dogs dig. You see, I am often enamored with nature. Most of it, even the scary things, fascinate me. I’m sure I’m not alone in this because for one thing, the Weather Channel exists. If people weren’t also fascinated by our environment, a channel about weather wouldn’t exist. It’s important, though, to not let our enchantment end with these “products.” Let the love we have go all the way through to the producer of these amazing things.

That’s what this verse in Hebrews means to me. Have a super day! Get out there and honor the house (whatever it is for you), but give even more honor to the builder.

-Out of the Wilderness

Our bodies: the little space heaters that could!

You want to hear something crazy? Our human bodies are warm. Now before you laugh and think, “Ok, so what!” think about it… these complex, fragile-yet-durable bodies we live in are warm but not only that, we emit heat. I know that’s probably something we learned in elementary school, but that doesn’t make it any less fascinating. This body heat is why a room of people will get warm and you sometimes need to open a window or crack a door. It’s why we wear coats in the winter, to keep as much of our own heat close to our body.

I’m not a scientist so you’ll have to forgive me for that, but what is it in or on our bodies that produce heat? Well, a quick Google search shows that it comes from cells, organs, chemical reactions, etc. You can look it up too, if you want, but my point is this… the heat created inside our bodies somehow gives off warmth outside our bodies so others can feel it. It’s amazing.

So as I was pondering this not long ago, I wondered how an evolutionist would explain it. Wouldn’t a person or race of people who lives in a tropical climate eventually evolve away from this body heat characteristic? And perhaps folks in northern climates evolve into beings that produce more heat?

I believe in a supreme creator, God, and He’s the most amazing designer. The human body is mind-boggling in it’s complexity, and yet we go about our days thinking about a million other things. Have you ever thought about how we are waterproof? Water doesn’t just gush into us, or pour out of us… and yet we can sweat, and absorb water through our skin. My goodness. And don’t even get me started on how we can easily walk on two legs but what if we were dogs? I can’t imagine being able to manage 4 legs everywhere I go! But my dogs haven’t stepped in poop their entire lives.

Anyway, this whole heat thing is just another seemingly small detail and yet at the same time, affects a lot of things we do. Gee wiz, He’s thought of everything, hasn’t He?

-Out of the Wilderness