Nothing like coming to the USA to be without Internet! Have been in two different locations lately where access is non-existent and even cell phones don’t connect well. Seems a bit ironic that in the Homeland of Connected People, I’m most unconnected.
Maybe in that unconnected state, incommunicado, practically, and after some warm chats and visits with friends, it occurred to me to jot down my memories (see below on memory) about people I’ve met and known and appreciate and who have had an important influence in my life. To feel more connected, I suppose. I’m doing it in my personal TiddlyWiki, offline. I’d love to share these memories sometime down the line, but it probably wouldn’t be much of a bestseller (like my Choose! book). I had titled this collection “People I’ve Met,” but that wasn’t memorable (see below on memory), so I renamed it “Pillar People.” Catchy, no?
¶ Here’s a verse to slap you upside the head, as it did me, when I wrote about it for our Portuguese devotional site a couple of days ago: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing” Pp 2.14 NET. The word for everything is in first place in the Greek text, which means it receives the emphasis. No fudging on everything. It means what it means, and stands as is.
Is it even possible to do absolutely everything without grumbling or arguing? Paul says it’s not only possible, but necessary. Required. Remember (see below on memory) the Israelites in the desert? They got it in the neck for their grumble-mumble. Only this way can we be lights in the world.
While I’m away from Brazil, I challenged myself to write the devotional every single day. I chose a chapter with 30 verses, for the 30 days of travel, Philippians 2. So far, so good. About half-way through. Pray that I make it through the second half without missing a day. The thoughts aren’t always profound, nor are applications always dead-center, but maybe somebody somewhere will get something out of them.
¶ In my personal devotional reading this morning, several thoughts came to mind about the passage of the fishing miracle in Lk 5.1-11. Since my Corollaries segment is shorter this time, I thought I’d share some of my notes with you.
1-3. Jesus never lacked for someone to teach. On the contrary, they were “on top of” him (literal meaning of verb, LGD; also in Lk 23.23). Many, of course, were drawn by his miracles. Here, they came to him “to hear the word of God.” On this occasion, at lakeside, he enters Simon’s boat from which to better reach the crowd with his teaching. “Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.” While our circumstances are different from his, perhaps we should question our approach if we claim that no one wants to know the truth.
4-7. When man comes up with nothing, the Lord Jesus Christ fills his nets to the point of breaking. He fills our need with an overabundance of blessing. He does not need to do a miracle today in order to replicate this action for us. The fullness of God is in Christ, and in him we are supplied with more than we can handle.
8-11. Jesus calls the man conscious of his need, aware of his lack of holiness for the presence of Christ. He gives us a higher and greater purpose of life. Jesus’ calling is to abandon fear and transform every activity into one of “catching people” for the kingdom. Though we may not physically leave our activities and places of work, we are to surrender our loyalties to all but Jesus and follow him in every way.
¶ I’ve never been a good rememberer, but the old memory banks of the mind weaken with age. If I’m this way at 39, what will I be like at 69? Day at a time, right? Don’t worry about the morrow, did not the Lord tell us? “One step at a time, dear Savior.”
¶ Without the Internet, I’ve been writing more on some projects. So that’s a good thing. Maybe being unconnected that way allows us to be better connected to other things. To other people. Wouldn’t that be a novel thought?
The word wifi reminds me — and I just read that it was created as a takeoff on — the word hifi. The latter means “high fidelity,” for high-quality stereo sound. But there is high fidelity in other areas as well. Just maybe a lack of wifi at times allows for high fidelity to your objectives and even to your Lord. Can that be right? After all, we can’t be connected all the time to the world and to the Lord, can we?