Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The Many-Sidedness of Christ

This morning I was reading in The Way, a devotional book by E. Stanley Jones.  Jones is so incredibly insightful and intuitive that it doesn’t take me long to get into deep thought about one of his topics.  Today this one caught my attention:  

“The straightforward, open proclamation is the best method. Jesus appeals to the soul as light appeals to the eye, as truth fits the conscience, as beauty speaks to the aesthetic nature. For Christ and the soul are made for one another.” – E. Stanley Jones

I began thinking about how Christ appeals to us in our differences, our gifts, and the purposes He has called us to, and the questions began to fill my mind.  So how does the landscaper consider Christ?  How about the cook, the writer or the educator? If God is the Creator of all things and has a plan and purpose for us, then how does He expect us to see and understand Christ through the lens of our gifts and interests?

Not more than two hours later, my daughter and I were cleaning out some storage bins and I happened across an old news clipping from the Gospel Advocate dated January 22, 1925.  I found the clipping years ago in an old book and tucked it away in a file.  I’m not sure what attracted me to the clipping then, but this day it spoke right to the very questions which lingered in my mind earlier this morning.  As you read, consider who Christ is to you in your gifts and occupation.

Jesus challenges the attention of the world by his many-sidedness.  He meets the needs of all classes and conditions of men.  As deep answereth unto deep, so does He respond to the movings of each soul of man.

Call the roll of the world’s workers and ask, “What do you think of Christ?” Their answers amaze us by their revelation of the universal appeal of Christ.  Someone (whose name has been lost) has collected the following examples of this universality.

  • To the artist He is the One Altogether Lovely.
  • To the architect He is the Chief Corner Stone.
  • To the astronomer He is the Sun of Righteousness.
  • To the baker He is the Living Bread.
  • To the banker He is the Hidden Treasure.
  • To the biologist He is the Life.
  • To the builder He is the Sure Foundation.
  • To the carpenter He is the Door.
  • To the educator He is the Great Teacher.
  • To the farmer he is the Sower and Lord of the Harvest.
  • To the florist He is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
  • To the geologist He is the Rock of Ages.
  • To the horticulturist He is the True Vine.
  • To the judge He is the Righteous Judge, the Judge of all men.
  • To the jeweler He is the Pearl of Great Price.
  • To the lawyer He is the Counselor, the Lawgiver, the Advocate.
  • To the newspaper man He is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
  • To the philanthropist He is the Unspeakable Gift.
  • To the philosopher He is the Wisdom of God.
  • To the railroad man He is the New and Living Way.
  • To the preacher He is the Word of God.
  • To the sculptor He is the Living Stone.
  • To the servant He is the Good Master.
  • To the statesman He is the Desire of All Nations.
  • To the student He is the Incarnate Truth.
  • To the theologian He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
  • To the toiler He is the Giver of Rest.
  • To the sinner He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
  • To the Christian He is the Son of the Living God, Savior, Redeemer and Lord.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, and was taken from what appears to be an interview of many people over a course of time in the mid-1920s.  How did this information strike you?  Who is Christ to you?

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5k Inspiration

One of my goals before my next birthday is to run a 5k. Honestly, I don’t much like running, but I’ve always been intrigued by it and I do like how it makes me feel when I’m finished. So I’m torn every day between the going and the staying. There’s always plenty of work here for me to do and I can always use that hour to delete something from my task list (or add a couple more). But I have a goal, and October 16th’s 5k is quickly approaching.

On my ride to the gym today I was thinking of these numerous deadlines, trying to sort out which ones can slide for a couple of days while I accomplish the more pressing ones. It’s a constant juggling act. And as I was just considering taking the next exit to ditch the workout and head home to my computer, a bug flew in my car window and landed on my steering wheel. It took him a moment to get his footing, and just as I was about to shew him back from where he came, he was off and running the full circumference of the wheel like a true athlete! I laughed out loud, and half expected him to tuker out and fly away. Amazed, I watched him take another full run around my steering wheel and then another! He didn’t waver, and he didn’t let the cruise control button distract him, he just ran his little heart out. He finished his little 5k at the top of the steering wheel, turned toward me and flexed his wings. I respectfully congratulated him. He slowly walked half distance around the steering wheel again and landed at the bottom, as if to say, “I’m staying here  until you get to the gym. We’ll ride this out together.”

I parked the car and quickly got a snapshot of him before he flew away. It’s my inspiration for the day. Don’t you love his athletic colors? There’s untold beauty in that kind of resiliency.


A New Attitude of Gratitude

“Give thanks in all circumstances!” I Thessalonians 5:17

My friend, Paul Daniels, is a high school teacher in a nearby town.  He sent me this note on Monday, and I was so inspired by it that I asked if I could post it to my blog.  I pray it inspires you, too, especially during our season of Thanksgiving.  Paul writes:

This afternoon I translated a thank you note from a 7 year-old girl in Burkina Faso who had received a shoebox from a CAL elementary student via Operation Christmas Child.  Anne Wegert wanted to use the letter in elementary chapel.  Here’s the letter.

June 5, 2009

I have the great pleasure of hearing from you.  My name is Guedraogo Safiatou.  I am in an elementary school class in the village of Toba in the department (county) Yaba of the province (state) Mayah.

I am the oldest girl of a family of farmers.  I have 5 older brothers and 5 younger brothers.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all the wonderful gifts that you gave us here in Toba.

I want to send my greetings to all your family and friends in America.  I hope that your friendship will continue forever if God wills it so.

Thank you!

Guedraogo Safiatou

I got to thinking as I returned the letter back to the elementary office.  In saying thank you, Guedraogo had spent about $2 between the cost of paper, stamps and the photo.  It doesn’t sound like much to us until one realizes average person’s yearly income in Burkina Faso is about $320.  She spent a small fortune or about 0.6% of the average Burkinabe’s income.  For one of us to say thank you in an equivalent manner as this little girl, it would be $196 (about 0.6 % of $31,800, the average US worker’s income).

It’s kind of humbling.  Would I say thank you if it cost me $196?  And how often have I forgotten to say thank you?

Towards a new attitude of gratitude,

Paul

“Give thanks in all circumstances!”  I Thessalonians 5:17