Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Faith Blog

Good deeds can keep on giving...........
A friend wrote me and others this week asking for any encouragement for her grandmother, 88 years old, who's been given 4-8 months to live.   They're a family of very strong Christians, but they're very sad, of course. My friend wants to help lift her family up so she emailed some of her friends asking for particular words of encouragement and scripture that would help.

The next morning at 3 AM, I woke up and thought about a bag I'd received from our friend and blogger Elmer's Brother (Ray) and his mother, wife, and children, after Mr. Z and I first learned of his diagnosis of incurable Amyloidosis 2 years ago now. 

I found the manila envelope and poured its contents on my desk and out came the thin strips, little squares, and folded notes all of which had encouraging, inspirational Bible Scripture on them.  Some were embellished with stickers and other little things and I remembered how it cheered us up no end just to think of people in a different State who we didn't even know that well working so hard typing and cutting and gluing and spending so much time for us.  It was a treasure to us then and it is a treasure to me still.  

In that melancholy mood, under my desk lamp glowing brightly in the still-dark morning, I picked the scriptures I thought were right for someone who knows she's going to be leaving this earth.  I typed about 15 of the them on an email to my friend and sent it off with compliments of myself and Ray's family, including the story of how we'd received such words of encouragement from them.   Doing that lifted my own spirits dramatically.

My friend emailed me later that morning with thanks to me and to Ray's family...she included
"I think this (going through the verses she got from me and others) is building MY faith, so I know what you mean when you say you enjoyed typing yours up."  and "I'm blessed to know it was a great comfort and encouragement to you and Mr. Z."

 
I spoke to Elmer's Brother (Ray) yesterday on the phone and thanked him again for giving me those things with which I was able to help my friend and he said his family's going to do another bunch soon as encouragement for his Pastor....they prepare them and take them in the night to friends' homes and lay the little papers of Scripture on their cars so, when they go out in the morning, they have all those words of encouragement to make their day!   I thought that was a great idea and one worth passing on!



"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2:13

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  Ephesians 2:10


Have a wonderful Sunday........I'm going to try do something nice for someone, like Ray's family does;  you never know just how far it might go.

Z



49 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Such "Christian care packages" are so important when a household is struggling with illness or impending death!

I wish that Mr. AOW and I had gotten more such packages. We didn't -- although we got prayer intercession and meals delivered. And, of course, TMW came to help out for six weeks when I was about to collapse.

Z said...

AOW, something I got driven home to me was who I can count on when things go badly. I am rather surprised at people who haven't done things and even more floored by people I'd never have expected to SO be there for me.
I'd like to write a lot more but I just did and deleted it because, no matter how I wrote it, I sounded whiny, and I hate whiny.

suffice it to say you'll hear really good friends saying they're going to dinner with other good friends and it won't occur to them to say "Hey, why don't you COME?" they don't mean to hurt; it doesn't OCCUR to them. (How, I don't know!! :-)

SO, let me leave it at that....being alone isn't fun, kindness really helps, and we grow more understanding when we really accept the truth that the slights aren't mean to be slights; people just don't think.

my husband's death has revealed a LOT.....but, mostly, how important it is to be there for people when they need us.

I hope this post, your comment, and mine here, all help someone else in need.... because someone read this and acted.

See? Even your comment can be a gift to someone we don't even know.

God bless you and Mr AOW...

Elmers Brother said...

I'm grateful that God's word is such a blessing and comfort and especially blessed if this can be passed on. AOW, I'm sorry for all that you're going through and pray for you.

nicrap said...

@ EB
I am grateful that God's word...

Christ as Logos

nicrap said...

...and, perhaps, to the detriment of our Liberal friends:

Renowned theologian N.T. Wright characterizes "Word" (logos) as being incomprehensible in human language ... According to Wright, John's view of the Incarnation, of the Word becoming flesh, strikes at the very root of what he terms "the liberal denial...of the idea of God becoming human...." His assessment is that when the "enfleshment" and speaking Word is removed from the center of Christian theology, all that is left is "a relativism whose only moral principle is that there are no moral principles, no words of judgment (because nothing is really wrong, except saying that things are wrong), no words of mercy (because you're all right as you are, so all you need is affirmation)."

(Wikipedia article on Logos) ;)

Elmers Brother said...

And to as many as received Him, He gave the right to be called the children of God.

John chapter one is a powerful chapter.

sue said...

Z - What you said about receiving the little bits of Scripture, and how it made you feel good, and then sending them to someone else -and that made them feel good also, reminded me of how I often think of one of the many benefits of prayer.

The person who prays feel that he is doing something good, and it has been 'proven' that the recipient of the prayers benefits as well.

Of course there are many other reasons to pray also.

Have a good Sunday, z.

Elmers Brother said...

Interesting that you mention this Nicrap...I had a conversation with a misssionary friend who mentioned to me that certain notable mission organizations are considering 'theological innovations' in an attempt to not offend those they're trying to reach. One of those innovations is to tone down that Christ was the Sone of God. This makes Wrights characterization all the more noteworthy.

nicrap said...

The Ballad of Joking Jesus:

—I’m the queerest young fellow that ever you
heard.
My mother’s a jew, my father’s a bird.
With Joseph the joiner I cannot agree.
So here’s to disciples and Calvary.
If anyone thinks that I amn’t divine
He’ll get no free drinks when I’m making the
wine
But have to drink water and wish it were plain
That i make when the wine becomes water
again.
Goodbye, now, goodbye! Write down all I
said
And tell Tom, Dick and Harry I rose from the
dead.
What’s bred in the bone cannot fail me to fly
And Olivet’s breezy ... Goodbye, now,
goodbye!


;)

nicrap said...

...I would risk Mrs. Z's wrath, but it's too good to miss after the ballad: Fundevogel. :)

Z said...

nicrap...no problem. It's all in good fun; but you left quite a few stanzas out, which is fine, since I must admit not being fond of huge, long copy/pastes here at geez

Why would I have a problem with the German fairy tale??

Wright is right, of course........and we're now hearing of Bibles printed with "sent one" instead of "Son of God"...to mollify Muslims, mostly; make it more appealing.
Sadly, it dilutes the Belief to the point of no salvation, but...c'est la guerre, n'est-ce pas?

WomanHonorThyself said...

pay it foward..yes indeed Z! Have a beautiful rest of the weekend~!:)

Silverfiddle said...

This is a nice post that reminds us what our true calling is as human beings: To help other human beings.

Always On Watch said...

Z,
something I got driven home to me was who I can count on when things go badly. I am rather surprised at people who haven't done things and even more floored by people I'd never have expected to SO be there for me.

I've had that same experience.

But in the past several months, many who unexpectedly did reach out to us have peeled off.

I do find it dismaying that family were among those who did next to nothing. The rift in the family is palpable. Yes, I'm angry.

Always On Watch said...

EB,
Thank you for your prayers.

Z said...

AOW, you should be angry! People think "you're over it" now...as if Mr. AOW's constant struggle and YOUR work in that struggle has stopped?

I firmly believe people just think "Z's OVER it now...well, it's been nearly two years!"

Ya, sure...as if.

In your case, the continuance has numbed them and yet it's still so acute for you both. I'll be continuing my prayers for you both.

And that GOd kicks those relatives in the rear and gets them there for you for help, emotional and physical

nicrap said...

@Mrs. Z
Why would I have a problem with the German fairy tale??

...the bird motif? Especially as it has figured in Leo Taxil's writings:

—Qui vous a mis dans cette fichue position?
—c’est le pigeon, Joseph.

(-Who put you in this damn position?
-It is the pigeon, Joseph.)

nicrap said...

...I think the fault lies partly with the church fathers, as well. They sought to introduce reason into matters of faith, whereby opening themselves to attack ... As pascal puts it, Custom should be followed only because it is custom, and not because it is reasonable...

...Re the Virgin Birth, for instance, Basil of Caesarea thought he could explain it by means of an ancient Egyptian belief: Egyptians believed that there are no male vultures and that the females of the species are impregnated by the wind ... Their young are, in other words, begotten, not made. No wonder they were "found out".

nicrap said...

P.S. The story of the myth (re vultures) is found in Freud's essay on Leonardo da Vinci, as well ... which, but for a detail (or, IMHO, in spite of it), is the 'the only beautiful thing I have ever written' (Freud).

Beth said...

This is a beautiful Sunday Faith Blog that I didn't read until Monday, but it still inspires, thanks!

Thersites said...

Custom should be followed only because it is custom, and not because it is reasonable...

Every portrait of Dadelaus requires a nail to fasten it and keep it from flying away, even portraits of Stephen Dedalus (Plato, "Meno"). Keep that it mind, Perdix.

Thersites said...

Epiphanies and revelations cannot happen w/o them. Even "common" modernist ones

nicrap said...

@ Thersites
Every portrait of Dadelaus requires a nail to fasten it and keep it from flying away...

...True. And yet, if only reason were that nail! But, no, that nail is what we call faith - what Pascal is driving at essentially. :)

nicrap said...

P.S. ...I don't want to wax philosophical here but, in the ultimate analysis, reason may also prove to be a matter of faith.

Z said...

Heb 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

John 20: 29
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Thersites said...

reason may also prove to be a matter of faith.

Both represent life-preserving powers, one based upon the seen, another upon the "yet unseen".

True opinion can get you to Larissa. But so can returning after having once visitted there.

Thersites said...

Of course, His ray-suns are not always as obvious as my own. ;)

Thersites said...

;)

nicrap said...

@Thersites
Both represent life-preserving powers, one based upon the seen, another upon the "yet unseen".

...Like i said, FJ, I don't want to wax philosophical here - goes without saying that you will forgive me. I will say only this ... even if reason were to reveal the truth of things, it cannot give value to them. For that, you will still need faith.

Truth is a kind of error, remember. :)

Thersites said...

Indeed, it's much like "faith".

Nietzsche, WtP 493 (1885) - Truth is the kind of error without which a certain species of life could not live. The value for life is ultimately decisive.

For Thine is the Power and Glory, Forever. Amen

Nietzsche, WtP 534 (1887-1888) The criterion of truth resides in the enhancement of the feeling of power.

Thersites said...

Plato's Allegory of the Sun preceeds his "Divided Line" epistemology in "Republic", for good ray-suns.

Thersites said...

Plato, "Cratylus"

SOCRATES: Nor can we reasonably say, Cratylus, that there is knowledge at all, if everything is in a state of transition and there is nothing abiding; for knowledge too cannot continue to be knowledge unless continuing always to abide and exist. But if the very nature of knowledge changes, at the time when the change occurs there will be no knowledge; and if the transition is always going on, there will always be no knowledge, and, according to this view, there will be no one to know and nothing to be known: but if that which knows and that which is known exists ever, and the beautiful and the good and every other thing also exist, then I do not think that they can resemble a process or flux, as we were just now supposing. Whether there is this eternal nature in things, or whether the truth is what Heracleitus and his followers and many others say, is a question hard to determine; and no man of sense will like to put himself or the education of his mind in the power of names: neither will he so far trust names or the givers of names as to be confident in any knowledge which condemns himself and other existences to an unhealthy state of unreality; he will not believe that all things leak like a pot, or imagine that the world is a man who has a running at the nose. This may be true, Cratylus, but is also very likely to be untrue; and therefore I would not have you be too easily persuaded of it. Reflect well and like a man, and do not easily accept such a doctrine; for you are young and of an age to learn. And when you have found the truth, come and tell me.

Thersites said...

Ever hear tell of the holographic principle?

nicrap said...

@ Thersites & Mrs. Z

...the majority of men will always need a 'miracle" to give value to things. Even reason, for instance, has had not a few of them, e.g., electricity, airplane. It is like the Grand Inquisitor says re Christ's Second Temptation. But, remember Christ's response to it:

Thou shalt not tempt the lord thy god.

...in other words, Christ would that men believed in Him out of their own free will, and not because he could wrought some miracle, or give them bread (First Temptation). He valued their freedom more than anything else, for that freedom is the beginning of "true faith". ;)

...which is why, "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Thersites said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thersites said...

Science once again mapping the interiors of the human mind, just as the ancient Athenians and Egyptians did.

Thersites said...

for that freedom is the beginning of "true faith"...

...Thy Will be done

A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery. --James Joyce

Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them. --Salvador Dali

beamish said...

Science once again mapping the interiors of the human mind, just as the ancient Athenians and Egyptians did.


>...and the Hindus long before either of them...


;)

Thersites said...

Indeed. Mirror's of the abyss, "If you stare into the Abyss long enough the Abyss stares back at you." --Nietzsche

Error is acceptable as long as we are young; but one must not drag it along into old age.
--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. --Thomas Jefferson


No one who lives in error is free. --Euripides


The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error. --Voltaire

Thersites said...

The freedom to err would appear to be essential to increasing mankind's store of knowledge (and construction of new Towers of Babel).

beamish said...

"Once is a mistake, twice is jazz." - unknown

Z said...

"Once is a mistake, twice is jazz." -

THAT is EXQUISITE, said the pianist.

beamish said...

Figured you'd like that Z :)

No one learns to play jazz. They merely learn to make their mistakes more pleasing to the ears.

Z said...

"No one learns to play jazz. They merely learn to make their mistakes more pleasing to the ears."

actually, that's not true, but it's a cute way of describing it!

beamish said...

Well, there is a mathematical formula to jazz where one note determines the next three or four, but the best jazz players improvize within that formula :)

Z said...

Beamish, I play jazz, though I play more classical and sight read most of it. Improvisation isn't 'mistakes', it's putting to practice theory/chords/etc. It's actually a lot more difficult than sight reading sometimes.
Very rewarding, though.

beamish said...

;)

hehehe

nicrap said...

@ Thersites
The freedom to err would appear to be essential to increasing mankind's store of knowledge (and construction of new Towers of Babel).

Every place has its moods, especially if it has been cultivated with such care as this one ... which is why i am taking this discussion elsewhere. :)

Pris said...

Testing