Red Letter Review


download

Over the next few weeks we are going to embark on a study of some of the words of Jesus. We’re calling it Red Letter Review: Insights from the words of Jesus.

Most of you have probably seen a Red Letter Bible — that is, a Bible which prints the actual words of Jesus in red ink so they don’t have to be always set off with quotation marks, and so you can readily find when Jesus is speaking.

Continue reading

Posted in Red Letter Review, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

So what now?

thSo we’ve been through all twelve steps; what do we do now? Go through them again.

Did you ever wonder why the steps are all in the past tense? (We admitted … Came to believe … Made a decision … Were entirely ready … etc.) I did. I wondered about it a lot until just now, because just now I finally got it. The steps are in the past tense because that’s the way most everyone will experience them most of the time. You’ll be doing them again much more than you will be doing them. Doing them is nothing. Doing them again, and again, and again, is what it’s all about. So we remind ourselves of what we did, and in reminding ourselves, we do them again. It makes perfect sense.

Continue reading

Posted in 12 Steps | Tagged | 5 Comments

Friend or foe

th-31

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The world is populated with friends. This is because we are all sinners, and most people, deep down in their spiritual sensibilities, know this. So if we think of the Twelve Steps as applying to sinners instead of just alcoholics, then the whole world is a potential AA meeting, or in this case, it would be an SA meeting: Sinners Anonymous.

Continue reading

Posted in 12 Steps | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Show and tell

th-30I’m not one who’s got it all in place

Telling you what you should do, no;

I’m just one old hungry beggar

Showing you where I found food.

 

When I wrote this song, I don’t remember being aware of how I used the words “telling” and “showing,” but I can say now that it has huge significance. “Telling” you what you should do, versus “showing” you where I found food for both of us is a big difference in posture. In my experience of Christianity, there is simply too much telling, and not enough showing.

Continue reading

Posted in 12 Steps | Tagged | 5 Comments

One old hungry beggar

th-28

I’m not one who’s got it all in place

Tellin’ you what you should do, no,

I’m just one old hungry beggar

Showin’ you where I found food.

                   from the song, “Beggar” by John Fischer

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

This last step indicates a major shift in the way in which we let other people know about Jesus.

For as long as I can remember, Christians have had this obligation to lead people to Christ. We call it witnessing. Just hearing that term strikes fear into my bones. Why? Because I’ve had so many bad experiences doing this.

Continue reading

Posted in 12 Steps | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Addicted to the way we were

th-27

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

I took a personal inventory late last night and it was very revealing. Marti made me get up out of bed to write it down lest I forget it by morning which is my standard practice. I have a complicated system of forgetfulness, and no, it’s not Alzheimers. It’s a coping mechanism. I’ve been doing this most of my life. I conveniently forget whatever is too painful to remember. And change is painful.

Continue reading

Posted in 12 Steps | Tagged | 12 Comments

Why being right can be so boring

th-26

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Today we’re going to take this right/wrong discussion to a whole new level. We’re going to give up the whole need to be right and conclude that the only “right” version of what we’re looking at together is what the other person actually sees. In other words, I’m going to give up my need to be right for the more noble cause of taking up the other person’s perspective.

Continue reading

Posted in 12 Steps | Tagged | 11 Comments

Being right

th-25

Being right is way overrated.

My wife, Marti, and I have an imaginary sign we pass back and forth to each other to hold up as needed. The sign simply says, “YOU’RE RIGHT; I’M WRONG.” That we frequently make use of this sign says that we argue a lot and that holding up this sign is the last resort of a wounded warrior. In other words, we’re competitive and we hate to be wrong. We will fight until the bitter end, and only hold up the sign when we get proven wrong or give up.

Continue reading

Posted in 12 Steps | Tagged | 5 Comments