An End-Of-Year Thought: WHADDYA GOT FOR ’22? A 2nd Cup of Coffee for 12/27/21.

We’re all regrouping from the Christmas gathering. If social media are any indicator, wherever we all spent Christmas was crowded. Fun. Catching up.

Now? The little kids are the only ones not worn out. As for the rest of us – if we’re not on the road and heading back home, we’re sleeping in.

Yes – even me. Normally up and around by 4:30 or 5, I slept in this morning until 7:15. If you know me at all, you know that’s rare. Almost unheard-of.

Facebook’s got plenty of memes about not having a clue what to think or do about these remaining days of ’21 between now and New Year’s day of ’22. The truth? All of us are using the occasional serious moments to think about what the new year will hold for us.

I sat for a few minutes, wondering the same thing. I sipped fresh joe. I pondered. As the mental cobwebs cleared a bit, I began my normal early-morning ritual and began some quiet time.

As I sipped, I listened to soft music, and began reading the next passage in Colossians. I’d only read a sentence or two when the words began to step out from behind the curtain like performers at the play’s end. When that happens, it’s time to go back and begin reading again. Obviously, God’s got some stuff He wants me to take to heart.

I’m going to share the passage with you. I can’t think of better suggestions for planning 2022 than this paragraph from this letter of Paul. See what you think.

“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ–the Message–have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail of your lives–words, actions, whatever–be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” [Colossians 3:15-17, The Message]

Wow. Considering everything that’s been swirling around us during 2021, this is some good, sound counsel – don’t you think? Go ahead; read back over it again. Grow gratitude. Spend quality time reading the Bible and let it penetrate. Work together using common sense.

Okay, the singing part may or may not work for you. Depends on your voice, right? But you get what ol’ Paul’s getting at.

So it took me a couple of reads before the best lesson of all popped out at me. No-no; it wasn’t obscured or buried a couple of layers deep. It was right there in plain sight.

First word. “Let”. See it? I’m guessing you hopped right over it, too, like I did.

Anyone can sit and read through Colossians 3:15-17, slap the Bible closed, think “Nice. Great passage. I can share that with ___________.” Whoa, hoss. Not so fast.

“Let” means you and I have something to do. “Let” means it ain’t happenin’ unless I open myself up and intentionally invite it in. That’s what it means for you, too.

In case you’re wondering, there are more “lets” scattered through your Bible. One of the best things you can be doing during 2022 is to be searching ’em out, and including whatever they’re suggesting you do in your daily life: fun, work, rest, whatever.

What do you mean, “How do I find ’em”? You already know . . . Know what else? I’d love for you to toss me a comment or Facebook message when you find those “lets” and tell me how they’re speaking to you and encouraging you to add yet more good stuff in your own life.

I know this will be good for both of us.

I know your 2022 will be the better for it.

I know my coffee’s cold.

That’s my cue. So long for now, 2nd Cuppers. You all rock!

Yep. You can hit the recliner and close those eyes some more.

© d. dean boone, december 2021

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2nd Cup of Coffee for 12/20/21: WHEN GOD’S HAD ENOUGH

It happened in Israel sometime before 561 B.C., but it could be happening here, reported on Newsmax or Epoch News at any moment.

The nation’s people had again turned their backs on God. They had all the historical reports of the early prophets and knew better. They didn’t want to do better. As always happens, their daily living habits had drifted, what personal convictions they had were conveniently left in the dresser drawer, and they declared themselves free to be and do whatever they wanted – all the while ignoring what of their conscience remained by indulging themselves in what passed socially for ‘worship’. It was hedonistic, sensual. But, hey, everybody was doing it . . .

Everyone was comfortable in their exterior religion. Except not everyone was.

Israel had a real prophet in those days. Being by himself, though, it was easy to sneer and ridicule him; to shrug off his strong preaching and teaching against their personal and national sin; and to wink at each other and settle back into their familiar, fun, feel-good worship.

“Who? Ol’ Elijah? Get real! All he does is condemn us and badmouth our prophets. Doesn’t have one good thing to say about us or them. Far as I’m concerned, that ought to be classified as hate speech! I mean, seriously, dude – does that sound like the God who loved us enough to give us our own nation? He’s the one who oughta be locked up!”

Sound familiar? The ones in political power had been busily corrupting all Israel’s personal and corporate life, ignoring the needs of the people while enriching themselves in every possible way. Right was now wrong. There were no longer boundaries of decency or moral guidance. Any worship of the true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was closely monitored to the point the First Lady had put a hit on Elijah because his preaching was revealing her own depraved lifestyle.

That’s the ticket, right? Don’t stop the corruption and vile, disgusting practices you know God’s clearly said He will not tolerate. Change the narrative. Make it woke, even classy to defy God and the Bible. Accuse and make life miserable for anyone claiming Jesus as Lord. If anything, accelerate the destruction. Criminalize Good. Praise Evil and make the compromise as permanent as possible before the people rise up under good leadership and restore their nation.

All ten of God’s original directions – okay, His commands – are casually broken from the highest offices in our land down to your neighbors; it’s looking like all bets are off, and in many ways we have a free-range “Church” in modern America.

If anything, accelerate the destruction. Criminalize Good. Praise Evil and make the compromise as permanent as possible before the people rise up under good leadership and restore their nation. And when God’s had enough and steps in? Bluster on through by blaming His people for being too straight-laced, too good, too ‘holy’.

Maintain the lying, even using God’s name and Word to twist, manipulate, and distort His Truth into proof-texted messages saying the exact opposite of what God inspired the Bible’s authors to write. Make plausible, great-sounding excuses but never clean up the act. Don’t for a minute admit wrong. Instead, go after those shining Light – or, in the case of Elijah and historic Israelites, calling down purifying fire – on the whole mess.

You’ll find the account of what happened back then in 1 Kings 18-19. Many accounts entitle it, Elijah on Mt. Carmel, or Elijah and the 450 Prophets of Baal. Though popular, there were eight hundred and fifty ‘prophets’ on the mountain that day. The popular god Baal’s prophets were officially responsible for what passed for Israel’s spiritual oversight.

Yet there were another 400 ‘spirit guides’ or religious luminaries representing Asherah, whom elitist scholars say was God’s wife and became the goddess of motherhood and fertility. The chief object of her worship? huge poles carved or fashioned like giant phallic symbols and sunk in the ground. The creation and sale of smaller local and home Asherah symbols was big business. And you thought adult gift stores were a recent thing . . .

My friends, the Internet and social media long ago lost its ability to blush. It takes little imagination to understand the nature of how Israelites ‘worshiped’ her.

Most of you know the account of what happened that day on Mt. Carmel:

“Then the fire of the Lord fell…” You’re getting that, right?

“Then the fire of the Lord fell.”

The 450 official Baal prophets/preachers/holy men tried to get away but didn’t make it. The fickle crowd was stunned by what just happened: used to the elaborate ‘prayers’ that were little more than entertaining theater, they’d just seen this crusty, rough-edged prophet of Jehovah God pray a short, powerful prayer He INSTANTLY answered right before their eyes! I imagine they were looking at each other and saying things like, “Hey–isn’t that the way the rabbi used to tell us Jehovah answered in the old days? Maybe, uh—” When Elijah whirled around and yelled, “Don’t you DARE let even one of those imposters get away!”, they obeyed and grabbed them all.

The other 400 Asherah types had somehow lost their appetite for a confrontation with the Living God and had managed to melt back through the crowd and disappear. I’m sure as the day wore on and the Ba’al clergy were bloody and sweaty from hours of screaming for their play god to answer, they decided to retire “to spend more time with their families”, or whatever other convenient excuse they gave. Whatever the case, when it looked like Ol’ Lije and God were going to be publicly humiliated and the busybody prophet killed, the Asherah purveyors were right out there in their finery, lookin’ good, smellin’ good, and struttin’ their stuff.

When it was time to face the music? They weren’t even man eno– woman eno– whatever enough to at least take the stand the Baal guys did. The minute things started going south, the Asherah types began quietly heading for the exits. When the false prophet roundup started, the Asherah brand was nowhere to be found.

Again, looking at current events, doesn’t this sound familiar? Use political influence and ill-gotten wealth to insulate oneself from notice and prosecution? Disappear, keep quiet, and hunker down when the hammer drops?

The point of all this? I’ve held up writing this for several days, waiting on God for direction, and His message seems stark: His fire is going to fall again.

As God’s men and women pray, God’s fire is going to fall again. By what means, or in what amount, or even when? I don’t know. I do know these two things.

If you are a contemporary of ancient Israel’s Asherahites? God will not be mocked. I pray there’s somewhere deep inside where you know that. No matter who you are or what your position, your time of influence is limited. If you retain a spiritual component to your daily life, it is immaterial how popular or socially acceptable it is. The measure by which you will be held accountable is the same one by which we all will be: God’s Word as revealed in the Person and earthly ministry of Jesus, the risen Christ.

If you are a man or woman of prayer, be bold and persistent – and keep praying. I don’t care how desperate the American situation seems, God is God, and He rules the entire created order through the risen Christ. When He knows the time is right, His cleansing, revealing, verifying, purifying, forever-altering fire will fall. God will always honor your prayers. God will always honor His Word.

“Oh, you Bible-thumpers all come off sounding so righteous! You forget we know a lot of you! We know your backgrounds, and you’ve got skeletons in your own closets! Where do you get off trying to—”

With respect, the verse reads that ALL have sinned and fall short of God’s desires for us. Yep – including ol’ Elijah. The thing that makes Christian men and women so passionate about praying for, praying over, our children, our extended family, our cities, states, and nation is because we know what it’s like to be lost and without God in this world.

Every one of us made the choice to confess our sin to God, receive His gift of forgiveness through Jesus’s death and Resurrection, and accept Jesus as our personal Savior. When that happens, God instantly removes the guilt of past living and establishes a personal relationship with Him. As the Bible puts it, we’re a new creation!

Sure, we all have a past. ALL. Being saved doesn’t mean we no longer face tough life experiences and heartache. It doesn’t mean we no longer think, do, or say the wrong things. It means when corrected by God’s Spirit, we do our best to make those things right, clean up our mess, and keep growing.

Oh, yeah, babe. We’re not saying we’re better than anyone else. As the Scripture says, each day has its own share of trouble; we’ve the scars of all sorts to prove it. I’m convinced they’re there to remind us how far God brings us from the lives we once led. Perfection? HERE? Hardly. It took Adam and Eve no time at all to put that accusation to rest. Yet none – no person who has made Jesus Lord of his or her life – has any business trying to use our lack of Earthly perfection as an excuse to not make the daily mission to live every moment for God, to honor His Word by our thoughts, words, and actions.

Well. This is a lot to consider. I don’t know who God will use as the Elijah of Now to help create the tipping point, and that doesn’t matter. What matters is that God is faithful to honor His Word, His Son, and His people. As a mentor of mine often said, we don’t break God’s law; we only break ourselves on it. That Law is found in the Bible.

Keep that in mind. Keep your devotional life fresh, and your personal relationship with God vibrant. Something is coming, and I’ve a sense it won’t be long.

© D. Dean Boone, December 2021

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2nd Cup Christmas: NOT-SO-GREAT GIFT IDEAS for KIDS, 12/15/21

THE GIFTS NOT WANTED

~ The Duncan Yo — Goes down, never comes back. Teaches children about warranties.

~ 5,200 Pick Up — a jumbo deck of cards that lets kids play a larger version of their favorite game.

~ Super Soaker 9000: For use on those hard to reach targets; NFL referees, low flying planes, and many more. At close range it can strip paint, clean rusty grills, and dig utility trenches.

~ Doggie Dentist — Kids learn about dentistry on the family pooch.

~ Fris-Was — Flies straight, and they must chase it. Informs kids about relationships.

~ Cuisin-Art — Turns mommy’s food processor into a spinning paint tool.

~ Chocolate Covered Lead Soldiers.

Christmas blessings to you all! ~ Dan

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Quiet Time Musings: 2nd Cup of Coffee for 12/14/21

Christ! No more, no less.”


“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach *Christ*, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less.” ~ Colossians 1:25-29, MSG


Anyone who’s ever been caught in a dust devil will understand: the swirling miasma of religious opinions *about* God, Jesus, and the Bible gets more murky and confusing with each new variant. The whirling mix only serves to confuse those honestly seeking God’s truth; and equally serves to solidify the objectives, and harden the attitudes and manipulative intent of those who are not.


As a kid growing up in McNary, Oregon, I lived right across from our townsite playground. I was over there as often as allowed; as soon as chow and chores were done, I was begging.


In addition to the tennis/basketball court and obligatory industrial-strength metal-bottom slides, swings, teeter-totters and weather-worn merry-go-round, there was plenty of vacant field area that became every historical military battlefield on Earth. I’ve no idea how often we re-won the West, but it seemed there was an endless supply of Comanches who never did prevail against our tumbleweed forts.


Well, until one of them got the bright idea of sneaking their dad’s lighter out . . . That day was, ah, invigorating . . .


There were few things that would distract us from fighting history’s battles or flying fighters and bombers. Watching Henry Shippentower sink baskets, seeing Ben Bearchum’s older sister Sophia walk past – or a dust devil heading our way. We’d drop whatever we were doing and sort of surround it, since we never knew exactly where it would go next, or how long it would last.


Dust devils – little mini-tornadoes – show up out of nowhere, skim along the ground seemingly in every direction at once, siphoning up dust and dirt, candy wrappers, and whatever else is light enough to be easily pulled into their vacuum. They spin and twist for awhile, this way and that, until they don’t. Then they just disappear, leaving those they’ve visited coated with all the junk they brought with them, and needing a bath or shower.


Paul wrote, “We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity . . . . Christ! No more, no less.” That’s as plain and basic as it can be – unless your design is to kick up SO much of this or that belief or opinion that people are nothing so much as irritated, confused, and ultimately reject it all.


Yeah. Just like those McNary dust devils.


I’m suggesting, friend, you stick with God’s common sense as outlined in your Bible. It may not be flashy and you’ll catch grief from cultural *elites*, along with too many in The Church, whose main stock in trade is to pooh-pooh how you live and ridicule what you believe.


Let me encourage you: you don’t answer to them; you never will.

Stick with the Word’s ‘profound common sense’ and spiritual maturity. It’ll get you through when all the fun, ease, and popularity of cultural dust devil “religion” will eventually recede and disappear into nothing.

© d. dean boone, December 2021

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A Short 2nd Cup: MAKE IT LAST, LORD. 12/9/2021

The phrase from Psalm 90:17 put a hand on my arm and stopped me: “Establish the work of our hands . . .”

There’s always a reason for that, so I laid everything else aside, refilled my cup, and settled down to learn whatever God wanted me to grab onto.

“Establish the work of our hands…” What’s that in Dan-ese? I tried a few different ways of saying it until this shook out.

“Help us (me) be doing what’s going to go on doing good for others long after we’re (I’m) gone.” Okay. A-ight. I’ll say it to you like I said it to myself. In other words, separate “wheat” from “chaff” in your personal life; things that between you and God, you know work for you need to be nurtured. Things that only irritate and hold you back need to be left alone–no matter how pleasant they may seem at the moment nor how wonderful they may seem to others.

You’re not here primarily to please others; you’re here to please and honor God. You’re responsible for YOU and nobody else. What they want of you, what works for them doesn’t ultimately matter.

With God’s help and direction, pursue what works with and for YOU.

Run away from what doesn’t.

© D. Dean Boone, December 2021

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2nd Cup of Coffee for 11/29/21: MAKING IT ALL BETTER

It takes no real talent to tear something or someone down, nor does it take very much time. Anyone can do it. Yet to create something – someone – new takes planning, thought, desire, an eye for detail, and a willing heart. Few do that.

I’ve a classmate friend who does that. She sees design, beauty, and possibilities in old, unwanted, soiled, worn-down and worn-out things, and creates beautiful, unique, often stunning things from them. She takes things others for whatever reason have discarded and gives them new life. She does this with such a loving touch that, even if you knew what they were before and recognize the basic things, the new creations my friend and classmate crafts reflect the hand, eye, mind, and spirit of a master.

At one time I had saved a few pictures of her more amazing artistry. Across the intervening years they’ve been lost to time, but I recall their uniqueness. It seemed to me each new design she came up with had all her focus; it was as if that piece, that object was her sole effort, and all her energy and her creative joy and flow was spent on that one creation.

The application isn’t hard to make, is it? That’s exactly what God does with us. He takes old, unwanted, soiled, worn-down and worn-out lives like ours and creates things in and through us totally new, completely unique, and beautiful.

In my opinion, there’s a little touch of the Divine in anyone like my friend who takes the time and makes the effort to infuse great value in things and people others decide have none.

(c) D. Dean Boone, November 2021

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A THANKSLIVING 2nd CUP – 11/25/21

Being thankful is a choice, and the degree to which you experience gratitude depends on that which most occupies your mind and spirit.

I know you’ve been around whiney types whose attitude seems stuck on NEGATIVE and BACKWARD. It matters little how blessed they’ve been because they don’t see it; you can but they’re blind. They’re not looking for anything positive in their life and all the wonderful things God’s brought into their journey do not register. They could have privilege after privilege, blessing after blessing, to the point anyone looking on would be amazed at how much they have for which to be grateful. It makes no difference. They are focused only on what’s wrong in the moment, and what else may be wrong in the future.

I know you’ve been around the opposite types as well. No matter what life throws at them – regardless of what hard and unpleasant things happen in or to them – they always wear a smile and have something worthwhile and positive to say when asked, “How ya doin’?” When you grin back and search for something encouraging to say to make them feel better, you always walk away feeling better, too, just for having been in their positive gravity.

I know which of the two you would rather hang with.

Right?

The former are embittered to the point nothing satisfies, there’s always something wrong, and every response begins with, “But—“ They don’t like themselves; and if they ever get real, they’ve a hard time accepting why anyone else would. Need proof? Look at with whom they surround themselves. It’s a self-defeating downward spiral. You may pity them, may even want to try encouraging them to make some positive changes, yet you know they’ll not only disregard the attempt; they often deride you and ridicule your sunny attitude.

The latter? You just like being around them. The more you know their stories and what life’s been like for them, bouncing off life’s jagged edges just like everybody else, the more you smile and shake your head at what a strong, positive, grateful influence they have and are.

What a cool coincidence that this morning’s quiet time passage includes just such an attitude.

“I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess….

“Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am….

“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity.”

~ Philippians 4:10-14, 20, MSG

Thanksliving is an intentional, custom-built habit, just like its opposite. George Washington Carver had a favorite poem written by Edgar A. Guest. Carver often read it to his students to inspire them, and by the time they left his tutelage and went out to make something of themselves, they’d memorized it. I’d like to leave it with you on this Thanksliving weekend.

EQUIPMENT

Figure it out for yourself, my lad, You’ve all the the greatest of men have had; Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes; And a brain to use if you would be wise. With this equipment they all began.

So start for the top and say, “I can”. Look them over, the wise and the great; They take their food from a common plate, And similar knives and forks they use, With similar laces they tie their shoes. The world considers them brave and smart, But you’ve all they had when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill; You can be great if only you will. You’re well equipped for what fight you choose; You have legs and arms and a brain to use, And the man who has risen, great deeds to do, Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face, You are the one who must choose your place. You must say where you want to go, How much you will study the truth to know. God has equipped you for life, But He lets you decide what you want to be.

Courage must come from the soul within. The man must furnish the will to win. So figure it out for yourself, my lad; You were born with all that the great have had. With your equipment they all began, So get ahold of yourself and say, “I can”.

~ Edgar A. Guest

From me and those I love to you and those you love, may this Thanksgiving weekend nudge you into a greater, more invigorating and satisfactory habit of Thanksliving.

(c) D. Dean Boone, November 26, 2021

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SO THIS GUY WALKED INTO A BAR… 2nd Cup of Coffee for 11/23/21

A few years back I wrote this short devotional thought . . .

“You’ve spent a lot of time paying little attention to me and who I really am. You’ve been trying instead to force me into being someone you’ve decided in your own mind I should be. I am me, not your notion of who and what you want me to be.”

2nd Cup of Coffee, 4/11/2013

The last year has been used by other men and women to manipulate and remake my heritage, my lifestyle, and my beliefs. They have attempted by any means they could make work to alter my home, my income, my health and wellness, and therefore my very life.

I don’t appreciate that. Therefore, I am stating here a brief about my personal code; my desire as a man, husband, dad, granddad and Poppy.

Being true to one’s self. Being honorable. Being a man of integrity, setting personal boundaries beyond which I refuse to step without a very good reason.

Living life largely on my own terms, not those of others whose arrogance gives them the mistaken impression they know better how to run my life. I chose long ago to give that responsibility to God. I have never rescinded that order.

Setting the bar high and holding myself accountable daily to leave it there. Learning I either must sheepishly duck under it, or make the effort to clear it, remembering that walking into bars is both painful and a bad habit. Having the decency, the moral code to step up and shape up if it becomes apparent I’ve become more often comfortable doing the limbo instead of making the consistent effort to stay in sufficient shape to clear the bar.

We’re almost through 2021 now. The withering pace of year’s-end holidays with wonderful meals and family visits will disguise the swiftness of Time’s passage until we’ll all awaken and it’s somehow January 4th or 5th. 2021 in so many ways has been one huge adjustment to sift through all the din and dustups of the year before.

Let 2021 go, gently and without trying to retrieve it. Use this waning, cooling-off time of year to reset your inner spirit’s gyros. Get balanced once more.

Accept the worthwhile challenge to reset and keep your bar high.

(c) D. Dean Boone, November 2021

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2nd Cup Lives Again! 11/21/2021

Good Sunday morning to you, my friends. This site, along with virtually everything else on the planet, has been violated, turned upside-down, and otherwise bothered and bewildered until my hosting entity, SiteGround, was forced to sideline it until we could ferret out the issues.

The great news is that this blogsite is back, and unless WordPress keeps acting up, I’ll plan to be back with you each Monday morning. I have MISSED being with you.

There is nothing more unstable nor frightful than a writer whose ability to connect with readers has been compromised.

Now, I need to focus on this morning’s worship set and participate in the experience with my great extended family in Christ at Wichita’s Woodland Lakes Community Church. Until then? I’ll be working on yet more articles, and more stories of Granger and friends that, perhaps, you’ll be able to wrap yourself up in. Getting lost in a story that speaks to you, even for a few minutes, is a good thing.

I may not always give you exactly what you’re looking for. I will always give you my best.

(c) D. Dean Boone, 11/21/21

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An Easter weekend 2nd Cup of Coffee, 4/3/2021: “RESURRECTION? THAT WOULD BE ME.”

“Y’know, if you’d done it the way I had it planned out in my script—-“

Unless you’re Biblically challenged, you know the whole Mary and Martha saga when it seemed like Jesus carelessly hung fire until their brother, Lazarus, died. The two sisters were messed up, each in their own way, at this close family friend being so strange and not coming to them immediately at the news his friend was gravely sick.

You saw what I did there. That ‘gravely’ part will figure in this article.

Martha The Reasonable heard Jesus and The Lads were coming, so she headed East on Route 1 to intercept him before the bunch could reach Bethany. It’s a trip of a couple of miles, and on foot it wasn’t a bad side trip. Perhaps there was a C & D service center where Martha and Jesus visited. Whether they did that, or just sauntered along chatting, somewhere along the road from Jerusalem Martha and Jesus had the whole convo mentioned above. You’ll find it in John 11.

It was in the middle of that discussion about dying and living again Jesus dropped the verbal grenade that rearranged Martha’s theological real estate, and forever changed the way EV-rybody would think about him. He said:

I AM the resurrection . . .”

Jesus of Nazareth said it. From the time he was 30, he’d done some unexpected stuff that made likers and haters squinch their eyebrows. He did things defiant of natural, observable, explainable physical laws. This presented some challenges to the haters.

Painting by Philippe de Loutherbourg

They knew the Jews were ripe for revolution; all they needed was the right fuse. Talk to any of them and they’d tell you: the lockdown mandated by Rome would be over soon. Freedom was around the corner and life was gonna be great again. “You’ll see!” No one was sure what that would look like. Yet they all agreed: it was their time.

When the haters huddled together watching Jesus do weird stuff like healing terminally sick people and the water into best-vintage wine thing, they knew they had to act. Time for talking was over. Now Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t just teaching and speechifying about things ruinous to the haters’ decades-long scheming. Jesus was doing things with unexplained, effortless power, making people believe he could make a difference in their personal lives.

The haters couldn’t stop it from happening. Though the popular news blabbermouths they controlled tried to explain away Jesus’s miracles, their explanations were so lame and transparent they kept promising to circle back with the crowds – but didn’t because they couldn’t. Jesus of Nazareth had become so destructive to their agenda they knew they had to do something.

The Likers cheered and said their hope had come.

The Haters sneered and said their nemesis had to go.

Jesus of Nazareth blew them all up when he said through Martha to us, “I AM the Resurrection.

Neither Likers nor Haters could wrap their minds around what to do with that. In this cosmic, intergalactic, world-changing, mind-and-spirit-bending game of Ultimate Plink-O, Jesus of Nazareth’s token wasn’t falling in any of the “right” places.

The Likers did their best to support him – confusedly.

The Haters did their best to export him – permanently.

Neither knew what to do with Jesus of Nazareth. They hadn’t a clue how to take him, and they REALLY weren’t ready for his ‘him’ to transform into “HIM” . . .

Chat with Vera: He Is Risen Indeed!

A tame Jesus suddenly wasn’t – ISN’T – anymore.

And that’s a problem.

A mere carpenter from Nazareth was nothing. Who’d listen to—-? Well, yeah. It was the stuff He did. He never broke a sweat doing any of it, either. Jesus was almost daily proving his HIMness by what he did, right out there where lampmakers, shepherds, physicians, builders, seamstresses and merchants watched Him do it. The Haters screamed and yelled to distract and try to ‘splain it away, but the common folks were tired of being treated as dummies and were having none of it.

And they had the nerve to sit at HIS feet, instead of auditing the classes of the temple priests and Sanhedrin know-it-alls like good little Jews should. After all, hadn’t they been teaching about the Meshiah for centuries? So who does this . . . this woodworker think he is?

Jesus didn’t leave them hanging. “Resurrection? Tha-a-at would be ME.”

John 11:40ff – Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” Then, to the others, “Go ahead, take away the stone.” They removed the stone. Jesus raised His eyes to Heaven and prayed… Then He shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out… “Jesus told them, Unwrap him and let him loose.”

Back to the ‘gravely’ part. The 12 Lads and a bunch of others were standing there with lower jaws dragging pavement because they just observed Jesus raise a man from stinky death to vibrant, Old Spice life. You’d think when the Haters impeached Jesus and set him up for death, THIS crowd would be in the vanguard of total-believing Likers, surrounding Jesus. Right?

Wouldn’t you?

So where were they?

Ah-ah? Don’t be so quick to judge them. You’ve had at least one Bible that’s choke-full of what we all consider miracles that Jesus has done. And if you’re into your adult years, I’d guess you are the grateful beneficiary of at least one miraculous work the risen and soon-returning Jesus has worked out in your life. So, how are you doing in the “I’ll never deny you, Master?” category?

The Rescue Mission — A LifeWords Devotion - Hope 103.2

Here’s the deal: this same Jesus has been spending our Time sitting beside God, interceding for you and me.

Yeah, seriously. Jesus the Christ, 2nd Person of God’s trinity, took up Ultimate Law when He returned to Heaven. Right now, He’s sitting at God’s side in the Court of the Universe, mediating for every one of us who’s accepted His offer of forgiveness and blessing in exchange for our repentance and choice to follow Him. I could give you several references, but it will mean more if you search them out on your own. Look for different forms of ‘intercede’ and ‘mediate’.

Okay, here’s a little taste… “All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the Universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from His rule. And not just the the time being, but *forever*. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the Church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” ~ Ephesians 1:20-23, The Message, Eugene Peterson

That’s the Jesus Whose rising from death we will celebrate tomorrow, and whose return we will also consider as we observe our world. I wish for you and yours a safe, wonderful, memorable Easter Sunday.

Lovi—- What? Oh. Right.

Lucinda in Geneva-On-The-Lake, Ohio reminded me to explain the ‘C & D’ service center.

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Camel and Donkey. Simple, right?

I know you’re SO glad you asked.

Loving you, Dan.

© d. dean boone, april 2021

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