You know how computers and printers have a queue for print jobs, you know, to process electronic orders? Well, the more I get to know myself (that looks strange) I’m thinking my brain has a “thought queue,” a processing center for various thoughts and opinions. Every day five or six major thoughts come to my mind, from theology to sports to politics to daily living. Can you relate? I’m never at a point when I can write down my thoughts immediately, so I rely on my faulty brain to remember those thoughts until I’m at home and can type them up. Usually, I manage to retain maybe one of the thoughts and those become my blog entries. Today I’m dealing with multiple thoughts so I figured I’d write them down right away, if you don’t mind. It’ll only take a second. Can I? Thanks.
• SELF IDENTITY — This is a major subject that came to the forefront of my mind yesterday evening. I won’t say what brought it up but a conversation started the thought train rolling. On the subject of self identity, all I’ve ever heard in church circles is how to be sure of one’s identity in Christ. Who am I? A Christian, child of the Most High by adoption, and beloved by Him. And that’s awesome to know! But there is another self identity that seems to be ignored in the church, one that I’m thinking may affect daily life just as much. It is identity as a person. As a man. As a woman. As an adult. The thinking goes like this… I may know who I am in Christ, spiritually, but if I don’t know who I am as a human being my ability to live and enjoy life will suffer. But how does one find their personal identity? How does one get others to treat them according to their personal identity? These are the questions related to the subject. Another question is: when does someone develop their personal identity? In the church we’re really good at helping people find their spiritual identity but we often fail to help them figure out who they are as people. How can we do this? I’m not sure. The thought ended there. I’ll chew the cud and get back to ya.
• CALLING — Another big subject. Are ALL people called to ministries or missions? If not, are FEW called? If so, how does one know if they are “called” to a particular ministry or occupation? What is the definition of a specific call? I was re-reading Os Guinness’ book The Call the other day and he never goes into detail about what the “specific” calling of a Christian looks like. In fact, he focuses on the general callings of all believers to follow Christ and be on mission for Him. But there are at least two types of callings recorded in Scripture — general AND specific. But Scripture is not clear on whether or not every believer is called to a specific ministry, mission or people group. At least, I haven’t yet found a verse or passage that answers my questions. I want to go to Scotland to help meet a need. Am I called? The Lord has opened doors for me. Does this indicate calling? Or is this just part of His blessing for being His child? Either way I’m happy. But still I am hesitant to use the word “called” when I haven’t seen an angel, had a vision (Paul, Constantine), or heard voices that aren’t there (Augustine). And nobody has come up to me and said, “John, you’re called.”
• That last thought wasn’t in my thought queue today. But my brain added it to the order. Honestly, I lost the real second thought when writing the first thought. I’ll hit the reset button tonight and maybe it’ll show up tomorrow.
• DIVORCE & MARRIAGE — I just decided to write a position paper about this most difficult and, sadly, relevant subject last week. I’ve been studying the Gospel of Mark this month and I came across the subject of divorce in Chapter 10. I talked to a pastor friend of mine about my desire to hammer home a solid, biblical theology of marriage, divorce and remarriage and he agreed that it would be important, especially in this day and age. I’ve had the subject on my mind for years now, coming to the fore after one of my best friends and his wife parted ways suddenly after eight years of marriage. He was a fellow pastor and is a good man. But his wife thought different and left him for another. Within 16 months, though, my friend had moved on and got remarried. There is a belief out there that Christians who are divorced should not get remarried. I want to study this theology and come up with what I hope is a solid position on the subject. And with ministry to younger folks heavy on my heart, I really want to have a good foothold on the subject.
That’s all I have time for right now. Lunch is over. Back to the daily grind!