Our heartfelt prayers go out to those suffering in Houston. Tens of thousands are in shock. Their homes are shattered, their cars underwater, their places of work inundated, their keepsakes waterlogged … and some have lost family members. All seems lost. Hurricanes are vicious monsters of circumstance. They come not just in howling winds and fifty-one inches of pummeling rain. They’re also life’s reality. “Oh, storm-tossed believer,” says Charles Spurgeon, “troubles that drive you to your father are a blessing. Now that you have only God to trust, see to it that you put your confidence in him.”
“The lowly caterpillar,” says Charles Spurgeon, “is only the beginning of the matter.” [i] Caterpillars live in a chrysalis of death for a season, but then burst forth into a new life chapter of life. As a butterfly, they’re a whole new creation, radiant with beauty, freedom, and new life purpose. “The end of a matter is better than its beginning,” [ii] says Solomon, though the meaning and purpose of life largely escaped the Bible’s wise man. Life is all about beginnings and endings … and embracing the realities of life experience, life change, and life purpose.
Hey Friends: Metamorphyx Conversations has for a season given way to the book, Metamorphyx: Embracing Life Experience and Life Change for Life Purpose. It will be published later this year. I never imagined writing a book would be easy … well, let me just leave it there! ^_^ If you ever decide to write one, give me a quick call so I can pass on some calendar wisdom and ‘Deep Work’ hints – a great book by that title opened my eyes to the incredible power of distraction.
Some things can be simply stated. For example, Scripture teaches Hand-in-hand truth. This is a recurrent theme in Bible Study Fellowship’s (BSF) focus in the Book of John … and in Metamorphyx, the book I’m writing. God chooses us in His sovereignty and grace; yet we are responsible to receive and believe (see John 1:12)
This can be a confusing statement if not an outright riddle; you can go a lot of different directions with it. But in a John Chapter 4:43-54 context, it’s a key life application principle yielding great wisdom.
My thoughts on this originated in a recent Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. This year we’re studying the Book of John which probably like you, I have read chapter-by-chapter a dozen times. But the phrase above leaped off the class notes page and demanded to be un-riddled.
“Eternity: it’s a powerful word that penetrates deep into the soul of every human being,” advises Harvest Bible Chapel Pastor, James MacDonald, in his book Vertical Church. “It’s a deep and abiding sense of something outside the boundaries of the senses,” adds the Chicago Pastor, “and every time we make a choice that detours our search for fulfillment, Eternity shouts within us, ‘You’re getting colder.’”
When I first read the Obituary Jan wrote about her mom, I took a deep breath! Even though I’ve known Jan’s mom for almost 35 years – and baptized her into the Family of Christ at Fellowship Bible Church – there was SO much I had forgotten about my remarkable mother-in-law.
I’m amazed, blessed, and encouraged by the diversity of Metamorphyx followers that responded to the June 16th post. Planted within each of us is an Eternal Seed that God grows and uses over time to bring glory to Himself – and comfort to His people. (More on that topic in a future Metamorphyx discussion).
Today is the 24th anniversary of our daughter, Vanessa’s death. It’s never an easy day but we have some very special routines built into every June 16th. One of those, of course, is to visit Vanessa’s grave site and just reflect on her life. As we sat there in the morning heat, Jan broke our private silence. “You know,” she said, with a couple of snags in her voice “this was the beginning of our Metamorphyx.”
Some things I read just leap of the page like a coiled viper lying in wait! Frequently the source is a Bible verse or passage, but not always. Here’s an otherwise non-exciting headline from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC) that snared me, “Again, Denmark Tops Happiness List.” Hmmm, we’ll get to that in a second, but first, here’s the concluding punchline from Psalm 106:20 quoted above “They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull that eats grass.”