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Dec

26

When The Words Don’t Come

By pastorbillwalden

With the advent of the internet, blogging, and social networking, much of humanity now has the ability to share their thoughts and feelings almost instantly.  That is not news to most of us. 

On a humorous and slightly sarcastic note, someone wrote, “Just because you have an internet connection doesn’t mean that you have anything important to say”.   I suppose “important” is in the mind of the writer, and not always the reader.  I’ll leave that statement alone.

I find myself in a season of life where the words are not coming easily or clearly.  There are different kinds of concerns on different fronts.  There is instability from the human perspective.  I am wondering about the future of certain people and not sure what to think or say.

I am purposely not going into details to try to explain things, because sometimes the words just don’t come.  I am learning not to be bothered by that. If you know me, you may know some of what I am talking about, but I am not really looking for people to understand me.  Please don’t feel that you need to respond.

It is a strange sensation for us humans to feel things very deeply, but not be able to clearly understand those feelings, or be able to communicate them.  If we are fortunate enough to gain some clarity of thought, we then have the challenge of trying to express clearly what we are thinking, and then having the right person to share those thoughts with.

When we are struggling with the issues of life, though there can be people that are sympathetic, some dear people actually make life a bit harder for us.  They try too hard to fix things.  They give off the cuff advice without thinking.  They offer up a quick “prayer of faith” that is more confusing than healing.  We can appreciate such intentions, but sometimes we find that we avoid such help.

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Nov

7

Is That Really Living?

By pastorbillwalden

My friend Roby Duke (now with Jesus) once said this to a group of song writers: “Your inspiration is perfect, but your songwriting needs work”.

We can be wonderfully inspired to express ourselves, but not quite have the ability, time, or energy to rightly say what we are trying to say.  Perhaps the inspiration is fighting against good common sense that would tell us to slow down and think it through.  Now is such a moment for me.  The inspiration is perfect.  I am rushing ahead.  I hope this comes out O.K.

QUESTION: “It is easy to live vicariously through others, but is that really living?”

Let’s start with one of many definitions for the word “vicarious”.
“Felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others”: a vicarious thrill.

There is a place for such experience in moderation, but our world is making it increasingly easy for people to feel emotions that don’t have any corresponding personal experience.

We can dial up, Google, Net Flix, read, browse, or Pay Per View our way to any emotion we want, without ever having to actually “do” something that requires dedication, effort, commitment, or faith.

If there was ever a generation that could become addicted to “feeling without doing”, that generation is now.

One might ask what the danger or problem is with living vicariously through the great accomplishments of others. Some of that might be O.K., in that it might inspire us to aspire to do great things.  Plus, it certainly feels good to feel good.  So what’s the problem?

The problem is this: That kind of living, if it becomes the habitual lifestyle of a person, does nothing to produce in them the quality traits needed to actually enjoy those emotions from first hand accomplishment.

I understand that some of the things that “thrill” us are only for a few to actually experience.  We can’t all go out and win gold medals, climb Mt. Everest, or do world tours singing about changing the world.

But I wonder, if vicarious living comes to satisfy us to the point that we don’t pursue what we COULD BE DOING, then has it gone too far?  I say “yes”: then it has gone to far.

So….what is it that you are actually supposed to be doing?

I submit to you that actually desiring, struggling, sacrificing, and dedicating one’s self on a personal level is far more important than taking the vicarious route of simply feeling the goose bumps from someone else’s accomplishment.  The satisfaction that comes from personal accomplishment is much more valuable than enjoying someone else’s “bigger than life” accomplishment.

Finally, if you are a follower of Jesus, then He wants to live through you. Your part is to surrender, seek His will, believe His promises, walk in holiness by His power, and take small and big steps of faith in responding to what He wants to do through you.

That process has been the most satisfying part of my life, whenever I have actually gotten out of the way long enough for it to happen.  The small victories of having my life so bound up in His life have been the most satisfying experiences of my life. My experiences may not compare to some of the great accomplishments of others, but they don’t need to.  They are my experiences with God, and I can have first hand satisfaction from them.

Rich Mullins said it well: “Jesus, write me into Your story…whisper it to me.”

May

2

“I Can’t Handle It”

By pastorbillwalden

I spoke with a dear saint of God recently who is going through a very difficult time in life.  This person has been very much wronged as of late, and negative things seem to be piling up one after another.  

In the course of our conversation, this person said a couple of things that I often hear.

“I don’t know how much more I can take”.  “I’m not handling this well”.

How we view the “handling” of our problems is very interesting to me, and I think we (Christians) get it wrong a lot.

I think we often feel that we aren’t handling things well for the following reasons:
1. We are very emotional, experiencing feelings of anger, resentment, revenge, sadness, despair.
2. We resent that we feel such emotions.
3. On occasions, we say or do things that we regret.
4. We find ourselves complaining to God or to others.
5. We are not ourselves. We are easily distracted, struggle to read our Bibles, and can’t concentrate in prayer. We say things like, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me”.
6. We are tempted to stay away from church or fellowship, because our emotions are depleted, and we can’t stand to talk to one more person.
7. Overall, as Christians, we expect that we ought to be much more in control of our emotions, and not feeling so out of control.

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Feb

26

Those Allowed To See

By pastorbillwalden

Mark 5:22-24, 35-42 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him…35While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 40And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.

There are many lessons to be learned in this narrative.

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