God's Spirit moving in me is more than my conscience making me feel guilty about late night snacking.. and of this I AM GUILITY.
The Spirit of God leads, the Spirit intercedes. Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Death I will fear no evil, for your Spirit is with me. Psalms 23
I believe the Spirit is that tug on my heart, the gentle unspoken word convicting me of my sins that is truly a gentle touch on my soul.
The Spirit of God indwells in my being when and where I make room for Him.
The Spirit of God will not share my heart with unclean thoughts, and sinful ways like Felix and Oscar from Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. So make room for God's Spirit and to be led by Him.
Savor time spent quiet and alone with the very Holy Spirit of God.
Pray for clarity of mind and spirit, and strength in times of pain and discouragement.
Seek God's Spirit in your life daily, and without exception.
And.. do not grieve God's Spirit with sinful compromise in thoughts, desires, and/or actions.
Pray to hear His words impressed on your very soul, and Lord find us obedient to the promptings of your Spirit, and
Empower us when we are weak for your Glory.
And then truly.. I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
Jeff (quiet in spirit for a change) Larson
I watched a show a while back on the often overlooked fuel of sleep. When I short myself on a proper amount of sleep I compromise my mood ( i get pouty), capabilities, productivity, clarity of thought, and in general my outlook on life becomes negative. Without good sleep any circumstance I face may be tainted with depression, anger, impatience, with maybe more than a smidgen of hopelessness. Admittedly I am kind of a baby.
It is often easier said then done when sleep deprived is to get more sleep, but.. when I do get enough sleep those clouds of confusion and irritation part, and what once felt hopeless is now met with a more rationale and healthy vantage point leaving me scratching my head why I ever thought my situation was hopeless.
Last night was a good example of this. In the summer of 2020 we are in an election year, dealing with Covid-19, and racial tensions are higher than any point in my lifetime. Anarchy is in the streets, and all this while the 24/7 news gleefully gaslights all this into a roaring fire where traditional values are mocked, and in God we trust is questioned if not sneered at.
So this all makes me irritated. I prayed a little, but I mumble more as I find all this reporting is to sell a story, and not offer solutions or positive comments. Well my mumbling and maybe a little bit of a tired brain started me rolling down hill feeling hopeless about society, and very such feeling that way about church in America.
Then comes this morning where I wake up and none of this bad world was overwhelming me. I still believe the evening news is (forgive me) a sewer, but my happiness is not defined by this sewage. Joy is not found either in the very real circumstances of this world but it starts with my relationship with God, and to see the blessings I have and so the sun is shining a bit more in my spirit.
Moral the story so far? SLEEP it does a body good.
Then just as bad, no actually worse is when afflicted by spiritual deprivation where I do not take time for God declaring myself too busy. To miss out on a daily devotional time, and compromise my prayer times with God compromises .. my spirit and perspective on life just like operating on 4 hours of sleep while eating junk food all night. YECH! Yes, spiritually speaking I feel YECH!
I may even confuse my life further by excluding the good life disciplines of exercise, work, and play. AND IF.. I do take time for my relationship with God I find my perspective, attitude, and joy fall short of what God intends and desires for me. In contrast, IF I honor God with prayer and devotional times the clouds of doubt and loneliness part for me as God is now included included in my day as he should be.
Summary: Be sure to get a proper amount of the overlooked fuel for my body of sleep, AND be sure to include the discipline and joy of a personal relationship with God.
May God bless each of you in this journey to honor Him with all your resources.
Jeff (looking forward to a nap) Larson
side note 1: I have a confession to make.. At this point in my life.. I lOVE NAPS. What was the big deal when we were kids and we never wanted to go down for a nap. Now, in the afternoon, I get a little groggy, and then will take a 20 minute (or longer) nap. It simply feels so good.
side note 2: Sleeping in church is still frowned on.. though it cannot be eradicated completely even with the use of SHOCK COLLARS that are tuned into your REM cycle.
I know I am getting older when many have no idea who the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN was.
HE IS NOT.. a 'moderately paid pro athlete'. I am speaking of the TV Show from 1974-1978 about Steve Austin who was in some terrible accident where all the FDA 'doctors', and all the CIA men couldn't put Steve back together again.. so the OSI was called in to install him with ‘bionic’ parts.
Kind of a combination of Humpty Dumpty and Inspector Gadget.
And back at the day of this show the going price for bionic reconstructive surgery was $6,000,000.00! I think it costs about $4000 for Lasic Eye surgery so this to me seems like a SWEET DEAL.
This 6Mil-Man could run 60 miles per hour (though it appeared in slow motion), he had superman like strength, vision better than Lasic combined with 'carrot' steroids, and whenever the bionics kicked into gear, it would make this techy-spring like noise. Not unlike a cartoon BOING.. but a sound that made it clear his 'bionics' were in use.
His bionics were only in one eye, one arm, and both legs. It seems like this would be a serious health risk when one arm can lift a normal weight while the other can lift a … BUICK. Now that I think of it... maybe INSPECTOR GADGET is a more realistic depiction of a bionic overhaul than is the 6 million dollar man.
So how about SPIRITUAL BIONICS? ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’. With a truth like this.. who needs bionics?? For those of you unsure if bionics are for you or being a new creature in Christ is a better choice I have put together a side by side 'scientific' comparison of the Bionic Man v the New Man in Christ..
BIONIC MAN versus NEW MAN
(1) The Procedure...
Bionic Man – Major surgery requires replacing broken down human parts with bionic parts. IT’S GONNA HURT.. LOTS!! Stock up on ibuprofen. Worse than a knee replacement X 10!
New Man – REFINING one's spirit in my opinion would be more painful than Lasic, less painful than bionics.
(2) The Brain...
Bionic Man – Bionic Brain IS NOT available at the time that I wrote this email
New Man – RENEWAL of your mind is one of the major benefits of New Man v Bionics. Some Eastern Religions claim that their meditation techniques are a renewal of the mind but then again.. when I look at Buddah I don’t have an impression of a man/deity who had enough self control to leave the buffet table alone let alone offer me peace of mind... unless he was eating comfort foods.
(3) Strength & Speed...
Bionic Man – Superhuman strength & speed limited to laws of physics and nature but are without a doubt beyond the abilities of any powerlifter or sprinter ever.
New Man – STRENGTHENED by God, New Man is not limited by laws of physics and nature. It is rumored mountains can be moved simply by faith. It sounds New Age, but it's not!. New man can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Bionic Man – Lasic is wimpy compared with bionics. Bionics provide a rev’d up digital camera cranium implant providing better than 20/20 vision.
New Man – GOD’S VISION.. New man has no real improved physical vision, but also the ability of discernment from God allows new man to be sensitive to the needs and hearts of others.
- Bionic Man – There are serious concerns if bionics are exposed to moisture and especially sea water. Also bionics are heavy.. putting you at risk of .. sinking like a 6 MILLION DOLLAR BOAT ANCHOR..
New Man – New man capabilities are very sea worthy. Power to PART SEAS, and WALK ON WATER are all documented attributes of new man. New Man's physical attributes of man (weight & density) remain unchanged, but the power of God allows New Man to defy laws of physics and nature.. without water wings. IN FACT many Baptists take to water like Michael Phelps.
- Bionic Man – I do not recall any brochures on bionics touting linguistics as a marketing strength.
New Man – The pro bionics crowd points to The Tower of Babel as being a linguistic drawback to being New Man, but after further investigation it became clear that the language barriers at the TOB ( Tower of Babel ) had to do with Old Man, and not New Man. Later in the 2nd Chapter of Acts, the linguistic capabilities of New Man were put on display like a linguistic-matrix affect on all involved. Communication in words meant only for God confounded Old Man.. even if he was bionic. This provides a coded language to Almighty God that is only understood by the decoding of the Holy Spirit.
(7) Warranty Related Issues...
Bionic Man – Life time warranty on bionics, but still limited by the typical aging process and life expectancy of the physical portion of the bionic man and/or woman... Also this warranty is limited to our physical realm here on Earth.
New Man – Simply put.. New Man has ETERNAL LIFE . So while New Man is empowered in super natural ways during his life on earth, the best is yet to come. Better than a lifetime warranty, New Man will have a second life of no pain, no fear, and no limits. There is no ENTRANCE EXAM , and you will not be rudely BOUNCED at the gate as long as he/she believes in the God who was their source for life while on Earth.
Bionic Man – Back in 1974 the cost was $6,000,000 for an eye, an arm, and 2 legs. With inflation I do not want to guess what this procedure will set you back.
New Man – As strange as this sounds.. this transition from Old Man to New Man is FREE.
Closing Comments comments come in the endorsements of SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN… and the original WHEATIES BOY Samson.
Have a great day, not limited by this world, but empowered by the one true God who is the source of this life, and the life that is to come. RAISE THE BAR on what is possible with the Spirit of God in your life.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson