Well, thereÕs no question my last post elicited response! Best of all, I got a phone call from my dear, dear friend who is the one who introduced me to Shorewood in 1991—Daniel!!!! We hadnÕt talked in a whole decade (I remember the last time I saw him was at the summer Bible conference at Trinity right before 9/11).
For those old-timers (and he was surprised to hear just how many thereÕve been) who still always ask me about him, he is doing fine and is still very much an accomplished student of the Bible.
I have to admit I felt a lot of angst about what I wrote Sunday. It was cathartic, though, and I guess I donÕt regret it. As much as I considered asking my friend who does the website to take it off yesterday and the day before, I will just let be what it was.
Daniel even asked me when I expressed doubt about what I wrote, ÒWell, was it Ôin the fleshÕ that you wrote it or was it really just you pouring your heart out?Ó My answer was something like, ÒI was just feeling such sorrow and it sort of came out.Ó
I must say I paid for all the crying I did over the weekend. I have had a bad headache and for awhile my right Eustachian tube making a clicking noise in my ear, if you know what I mean. Thank goodness it went away!
Too bring back some lightness to the site, I thought I would pass on an old sermon passage from Jordan that IÕve kept in a file waiting for the right moment to slip it into any article.
Here it is:
Jordan: ÒI asked my neighbor who is a Muslim, ÔDo you really fast all day long? Are you sure on Saturday when youÕre in there watching the ball game that you donÕt absentmindedly go over to the frig and pull out a bottle of water and suck it down? He said, ÔWell, Allah understands.Õ Allah understands nothing! He understands you messed up!Ó
ÒThere was an Italian beef stand (near Harlem and Irving) called ÔWhatÕs U R Beef?Õ A (friend of mine) knew the guy that ran the place so he went into the back one day and was going to make himself a beef sandwich and you know who was sitting back there? The Monsignor and you know what he was chawing down on? A big old MaxwellÕs. A big Polish.
ÒIn Lent, of course, youÕre not supposed to eat meat but there was the Monsignor back there eating that thing. Well, you know, you get to wanting it real bad and 40 days is a long time not to have something you really want. He made it through about 35 of them so ÔGodÕll understand.Õ
ÒMan, if you canÕt even lay off groceries, what about the more weighty matters?! The real sinful things?! Not those cheap little easy things. ThatÕs what religion does. People absolutely confident they can do it and thatÕs who PaulÕs referring to when he says, ÔFor as many as are under the law are under the curse of the law.Õ
ÒYou gotta all the time continue in all the things and you canÕt do this little, ÔWell, God will understand.Õ Yeah, He understands. Under the law system, He understands you didnÕt make the cut.
ÒI had a neighbor once who was the first BaÕhai I ever met. You know, they got that (architecturally revered) temple on the lakefront near Evanston. BaÕhai is a cult of Islam. They worship the Bob and the Bob is the John the Baptist that Muhammad said was coming. Muslims threw him out, heÕs from Persia and itÕs a branch off of Islam.
ÒThis neighbor got converted to that from Catholicism when he was in the Air Force in Colorado Springs and they went out into the dessert once and he said he had a religious experience and that he was thoroughly committed to his religion.
ÒYou know, the bottom line to any thing like that for me is how to have my sins forgiven and have eternal life in heaven when I die. I mean, if you got a tape player and it wonÕt play tapes, you donÕt get mad at it because you canÕt watch TV; you get mad at it because it canÕt play tapes. Because thatÕs what itÕs for! An electric can opener that doesnÕt work you throw it away. ItÕs of no good.
ÒI donÕt get mad at the can opener because I canÕt go out and cut the grass with it; thatÕs not what itÕs for. But I donÕt just keep it around when it doesnÕt do its job. And I look at religion that way. What else would you have a religion for other than to help you get your sins forgiven and tell you how to have eternal life?Ó