Weekly Thought – February 27, 2018
Fred and Mary Alice began reading My Utmost for His Highest each day in 1953 after it was given as a gift to them. Over the years they wore out several copies. He was often asked about favorite books. This is one of his answers from 1983.
Continue praying for Jarvis Christian College and the team: Hartzel Black, Kevin Bullard, Gwen Burno, Craig Morgan, and Brenda Smith. March 2,3 are the dates for the What’s Next Roundtable sponsored by BWFLI.
I find no difficulty in naming my most significant book. It is My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. This book has influenced my thinking and convictions more than any other book authored by man.
Mary Alice and I received our first copy from Grand and Orean Howard. They began a chain of gifting that continues to this day. My friend and mentor Maxey Jarman wrote in 1979, “I’ll always be grateful for the introduction that you gave me to Oswald Chambers.” We plant seeds when we give vital books. After all these years we are seeing a fruitful and delightful harvest among our friends.
(Editor’s Note: In later years Fred introduced hundreds to “his friend Fenelon” and The Seeking Heart which began similar ripples in the brook.)
The thinking of Chambers has become part of my reflexive thought. I quote him so often as an authority or simply a shared experience he first coagulated for me. As the mind of Christ is in us, so is the mind of our favorite authors. They take up residency.
Let me give you five examples of thoughts which continue to shape my attitude toward life:
1) Sit loose to things: Recently I received a phone call that cost me thousands of dollars. My first thought was “sit loose to things.” Enjoy them, work for them, use them, but sit loose to them. I hear people of affluence say, “this is living,” but it isn’t. It should be I am living and I do my best when I sit loose.
2) Lust is I must have it now: My psychiatrist friends tell me one of the tell-tale signs of immaturity is the inability to delay gratification. We live as spoiled brats. Too many satisfy a want before they can afford it. In our emotional life we refuse to take the long-term view and try to fill up the emotional valleys with alcohol or drugs. We want relief NOW. Lust is refusing the normal rhythm of life and failing to mature in it.
3) The improper use of scripture is a plague. Chambers says “so often we sharpen a verse of scripture and jab another with it.” I see those who pridefully know chapter and verse and use the knowledge to intimidate the less instructed. Scripture is not a weapon. We are to be known by our love for one another.
4) Maturity means standing strong in the small as well as the large. It is so easy to think we would be true and courageous in the weighty matters while waffling in the smaller issues.
5) Experience the “white funeral.” Chambers says before we ever go through the final or black funeral of physical death we must go through the white funeral of dying to self. Out of this comes the resurrection of life, unhampered by the problems of human ego and self-righteousness.
This week think about: 1) Who are the authors who influence me? 2) How can I gift books to others as an invitation to grow? 3) Which of these Chambers thoughts strikes me?
Words of Wisdom: “I hear people of affluence say, ‘This is living’ but it isn’t. I am living and I do my best when I sit loose.”
Wisdom from the Word: “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. “ (Proverbs 2:6 NET Bible)