Posts made in March, 2013

The Baptism of Water

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Burnout | Comments Off on The Baptism of Water

The Baptism of Water

If I asked you, “What are we washing off with the Baptism of water? What had been added to us that needed to be washed away?”

You would answer correctly, “What was added in the garden! The deadly knowledge of good and evil!”

Yes. We’d all agree, evil must be washed away.

But can I ask you to consider that the knowledge of good must also be washed away?

John the Baptist cried to the so-called goodness experts, “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:9

The ax to all faux goodness had come! This exquisite blade discerns between the two sources of all behavior, the knowledge of good and evil and the Tree of Life:

The knowledge of good and evil promised to make us like gods but instead produced shame. It’s bullying drove us to cover-up an awareness too bare, too lacking.  “And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Genesis 3:11

Or, another source,

The Tree of Life, Christ, Who also stood in the garden we didn’t choose. But now, we can choose Him. He proclaims to those washed by His blood of their knowledge of good and evil, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15

Good isn’t something we inherit or can put our minds to becoming.

Good isn’t something we do, act, or are told we are by others.

Goodness is sourced from the Source! Source is everything in this new kingdom!   

True and good fruit springs from the Life of Christ within, naturally, organically, from the One Who gave life by giving His.  “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1John 4:9

Dearest Beloved, doing good outside of the Spirit’s living leading is as deadly as doing evil.

When this is settled within, you will find no goodness burnout. You will find “His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” Matt 11:30

Rejoice!

Binsey

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Social Justice Burnout

Posted by on Mar 16, 2013 in Burnout | 1 comment

Social Justice Burnout

In 1986 I was 26 and very busy serving the needs of the teen moms in our rural county.  This younger me, the one sure of the answers, the one full of confidence and the one who possessed a small bit of talent had founded Bethesda Pregnancy Services and I was proud–of myself. 

My calling, as I called it, had begun much earlier when I gave my first ever impromptu speech as a high school freshman. My impromptu subject? Abortion. I had just five minutes to prepare but I knew exactly what I would say because I’d been pondering the abortion debate from a young person’s perspective.  I mounted the small platform, faced my peers, and made the case that Christians cannot oppose abortion without meeting the needs of those who choose abortion because they are needy. Righteousness and mercy mixed with reason–in my way of thinking–the perfect marriage. My speech teacher agreed.

When I quit work at 22 to raise our first child, the opportunity to practice what I’d preached became an organization which I called Bethesda Pregnancy Services because Bethesda means “House of Mercy.” Over the next four years, dozens of volunteers from several local churches came along-side and Bethesda became what I’d intended. We staffed a 24 hour hot-line, met needs for housing, clothing, food, information, and local services. Whatever the need, we did our very best to meet it. We even saved a few babies.

But after four years of running Bethesda Pregnancy Services, the day came. It always does for social justice Christians.

It hit me in the face like the contrast between life and death. It came in the form of a petite little seventeen year old that we’d taken care of when she was fifteen and carrying her first baby. Pregnant again, she wanted another baby shower, another this and another that and the cycle unbroken by repentance became a darkness filled coffin that I’d helped to build.

We mean well. We do. No one can fault the energy and vision with which we dispatch our own good plans. In meaning well we hope to do good. And in doing good we hope to re-frame the world’s perception of Christians but in time, our mixing the temporal with the spiritual muddies the waters and the face of Christ loses its distinct features. And after more time spent burning our social justice selves out, the face of Christ begins to look like every other go-to-get-something-god.

In the end, burnt-out and disillusioned, I had to confess my great plan didn’t work.

It never does.

It’s the treating of the sin cancer with pain reliever. The tumor still grows and spreads and takes over vital functions until death finally gets his way.

Let us not be ashamed of the Life Eternal that resides within. The miracle of the new birth should not, cannot, be muddied. It’s all we really have to offer that is life-giving. There, the death-cycle is broken once and for all by Him who gave His life once and for all.

So I’m thrilled that in a recent blog post on Holy Experience that the boy got all that Ann Voskamp had at the moment–the Children’s Bible. And I’m glad that even in lieu of the Gospel in print that we can preach unashamed, “Give your life once and for all to the God of Love and don’t look back. Leave your old life in the dust where it belongs and walk in newness of life.”

Rest in this one message Beloved!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

Rejoice!

Binsey

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Worry Dethroned

Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Articles | Comments Off on Worry Dethroned

Worry Dethroned

I’m a natural worrier.

The twist of my gut, the contortions of my mind intended to untwist the gut, the acceptance of my good plan, then the knowing there is no good plan, not really. The twist of my gut, the contortions of my mind intended . . . around and around. Minutes, sometimes hours.

A few mornings ago, a truth came to me through that little portal, the one we all possess. The one where the Spirit whispers, “Look!”

“W.O.R.R.Y. doesn’t work. You know it doesn’t, even when you think it does. It’s entirely backwards: Y.R.R.O.W”

I jotted down the letters on a piece of paper and the acrostic was decoded:

YOU

REVERING &

RELYING on your

OWN

WISDOM

Hmm. Yes. This is truth!

Then came searching questions:

“Can you kick yourself off your throne and confess that you don’t have any wisdom without sourcing it from Me? Can you admit that your mental contortions only wear you out? Can you agree that time invested in trusting in worry is not trusting in Me? 

My answer took four seconds.

“Yes, Lord. I can.”

I can kick that dictator worry off its stolen throne.

I can because through that portal the truth shines holy, making my path clear.

I can embrace the exhortation, “Lay it all before Me. Let Me take it and work My perfect will. The will you might never consider.”

I can lay it all before my Father’s throne and rest.

I can rest.

Binsey, Administrator of Tree Thoughts

 

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A Night in the Chestnut Tree, John G. Paton

Posted by on Mar 8, 2013 in Quotes | Comments Off on A Night in the Chestnut Tree, John G. Paton

A Night in the Chestnut Tree, John G. Paton

Out of all our experiences on this earth, none will transform us like that of being met by Christ in the midst of our pain, our fear, our need.

John G. Paton describes one such occasion he experienced while fleeing the clubs of the natives who sought to take his life:

“I climbed into the tree, and was left there alone in the bush. The hours I spent there live all before me as if it were but of yesterday. I heard the frequent discharge of muskets, and the yells of the savages. Yet I sat there among the branches, as safe in the arms of Jesus! Never, in all my sorrows did my Lord draw nearer to me, and speak more soothingly to my soul, than when the moonlight flickered among these chestnut leaves, and the night air played on my throbbing brow, as I told all my heart to Jesus. Alone, yet not alone! If it be to glorify my God, I will not grudge to spend many nights alone in such a tree, to feel again my Saviour’s spiritual presence, to enjoy His consoling fellowship.”

Paton wasn’t removed or transported to safety by the Spirit. Instead, Christ overcame his temporal terror by His loving presence.

Is this enough for you Beloved? Will you be satisfied with Him only or with only what you think He should do for you?

He offers you the the nonperishable rubies of fellowship. He longs to adorn you with the eternal.

Cry out to Him Beloved!  Tell Him all your heart. Rest in His arms right in the middle of the war which rages all around you.

Rejoice Beloved! When He is for you, nothing can be against you.

Binsey

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The Fringes of Victory, John G. Paton

Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Articles, Quotes | 2 comments

The Fringes of Victory, John G. Paton

Does loss haunt you?

Does it cause you to be insecure about your relationship to God?

John G. Paton (1824-1907) suffered losses beyond the experience of most. A month after establishing a mission station in the heart of the warring and human flesh eating people of the islands of Vanuatu, his wife died from complications of malaria. Two weeks after his wife’s death, his newborn son also died. Alone but for native helpers, Paton suffered great losses for the next three years: bouts of malaria,  constant death threats, frequent native wars, a serious outbreak of measles purposely brought by a sandalwood trader to the islands to wipe out the natives, the suicide of a fellow missionary, and at the end of those three years, the total loss of his mission station and possessions when he was forced to flee  the natives’ campaign to rid the island of all white men.

Years later Paton wrote, “Often since have I thought that the Lord stripped me thus bare of all these interests, that I might with undistracted mind devote my entire energy to the special work soon to be carved out for me, and of which at this, moment neither I nor anyone had ever dreamed. At any rate, the loss of my little earthly all, though doubtless costing me several pangs, was not an abiding sorrow like that which sprang from the thought that the Lord’s work was broken up at both Stations and that the Gospel was for the time driven from Tanna.  In my darkest moment, I never doubted that ultimately the victory there, as elsewhere, would be on the side of Jesus, believing that the whole earth would yet be filled with the glory of the Lord.”

My dear Brothers and Sisters, resist the shame-filled perceptions of the anti-sufferers who accuse you. Loss enables you to open the door and peak into those eternal things God treasures for you. Are you able to be courageous and let go of what you judge to be evil and what you judge to be good? I’ll pray for that faith-filled strength to overcome all doubt of His love for you.

Rejoice!

Binsey

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