This morning I took my son and his family to the airport to begin their journey back to Japan. It was so great to have them here for two weeks.
Next, I finished the task that I had promised to do for my neighbors that we recently met, in cutting down the two doors they had for their storage area. I am still looking forward to meeting more of my neighbors that they know and told me about. It seems like I should have already met them but even after two years of living in this neighborhood, I still only know a few of my neighbors. This is something that I need to work on. People are so important.
My plan for today is to spend some time on the new study that I will begin tomorrow evening. As I sit here writing this blog, I am eating some fresh blackberries. I really love them. My favorite desert is blackberry cobbler and my wife fixes it for me in preference to a birthday cake. It reminds me of God. He loves fruit more than I do. He wants us to bear fruit. Our fruit is named in Galations 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. In Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) it is referenced again. This fruit cannot be produced by ourselves but is the product of our relating to life in the Holy Spirit. To those who say the the fruit of a Christian is another Christian, I say that the additional christian is not our fruit but is the fruit of God working through you and not you working for God. If additional Christians were our fruit then it becomes a works religion and not a faith response to God. The drawing of people is God’s work not ours (John 12:32). Our job is to lift up Christ. If we do that then He will draw them. We lift up Christ by reflecting Him in our character and actions, which consequently, produces our spiritual fruit. So in the words of God, “Be fruitful, and multiply”.
The plan for today is to post another article, as well as this blog post and to spend some more time on the Wednesday class on Holiness as a lifestyle. The theme of the introductory lesson is on Your Body As The Temple of God. Many look at holiness as either an extremest position or as something out of the ordinary christian walk. It is for the super christian or the professional but not for ordinary person. There may be many reasons for this but one reason that I think predominates their thinking is that they see Christianity as an attachment to their lives rather than an all together new life. Their view of life ends at death and they are just getting through it the best they can. They do not see that this life is only preparation for what lies beyond this world. They do not see God’s plan for man as God preparing Himself a place for Him to dwell, for eternity and that place is in us. We are the Temple of God and as such we are responsible for culling out the things that do not represent Him. That’s it in a nutshell. Holiness is not for only a few but it is the norm for all Christians.
This is the last day for my son and his family to be here before they return to Japan. This trip has been super beneficial as it has not only provided time for us to be together but also the imputes to get my website moving again. Also, bonding with the grandchildren that we don’t get to see very often. We do Skype, and that helps but there is no substitute for getting together.
Also, today is our oldest son’s birthday so we will be eating out this afternoon in Celebration of his 52 years. We will also be taking care of last minute details for my son and his family’s trip. Then it is up early in the morning and off to the airport.
Today I worked on my website. I have been learning how to navigate through the operations to add post and to correct my mistakes. Figuring out how to correct a problem is more work for me than making an entry because I am still learning how things work. I hope that you will be patient with me and overlook my mistakes. I will try to help you walk through it with me.
In a little while I will be working on the first lesson of a 10 session course I am teaching at my church entitled, Holiness as a way of life. I would suggest you read the article on this website entitled Fruit Bearing. What is true for a fruit tree is also true for us. Just as a tree will try to produce limbs and leaves rather than fruit, so we try to do works rather than become like Christ. Limbs on a tree are necessary just as works are necessary for the Christian, but left to itself the tree will not produce juicy, sweet fruit nor will the Christian produce the fruit of the Spirit. We desperately need for God to care for us as the Gardner cares for the fruit trees. Our spiritual fruit will become small and bitter without Holiness before God.
The big project that the Lord and I are working on is expanding the scope of the book that I have written entitled, The Mystery of Faith. It is currently being translated into 4 other languages beside English, which is Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. The Chinese translation is now in chapter 6, the Japanese is now in chapter 5, the Russian is now in chapter 3 and the Spanish is now in chapter 2. More on this later. I plan to add information on this site about the book and where you can get it.