Yesterday, someone discovered the post on my personal website, from 2011, which shared a link of a podcast by the name “Water in the plan.” I was a guest on Kyle Massengale’s “iQuest” program, and that was the title for the subject of the day. We spent about an hour talking mostly about baptism in all its rich and varied teaching.
Since yesterday the post has received over 50 hits. On my site that’s a significant number for such an old post. So somewhere on the internet, the link was undoubtedly shared, with lemmings falling over the podcast cliff. I thank whoever it was.
I pray that the person who shared the link was giving it a recommendation, that it was being pointed out as a positive resource. The occasional critic out there breathes out condemnations of the faithful while spouting the love and grace doctrine. We’ve been targets before, so we know how they rant and rage. It might have been used as an example, in their mind, of legalism.
Our present setup with WordPress software doesn’t identify where specific visits come from, so we have no way of knowing who shared the link. It might even have been included in an email, so attempts to trace the source would be futile.
At the time of the iQuest podcast, I did not recall—and Kyle did not mention—that the title, “Water in the plan,” harks back to a famous sermon of Marshall Keeble’s. Against so much religious teaching that diminishes or denies that baptism is necessary for salvation, Keeble, along with many proclaimers of the gospel, sought to show the clear teaching of Christ and his apostles on the subject. That need continues and likely always will, as Satan, in his strategy to keep people from God, creates clouds of confusion on this and other spiritual topics.
A friend and a family member recently expressed interest in doing biblical or spiritual podcasts. This is a worthy effort. I tend to be more of a text person than audio or visual, but every method of sharing gospel truths is valid and important.
Some people say they have a face for radio, meaning they’re not attractive enough to be seen. I belong to that category, plus another: I have the voice for text. So maybe it’s best to leave the audio to better sounding voices. I have enough trouble making the words line up on the page.
¶ Human relationships run the gamut, among them friendship being essential. We need friends. Jesus called his followers friends, Lk 12.4; Jn 15.14-15. John called the saints friends, 3 Jn 15. Abraham was called the friend of God, Isa 48.8; Jas 2.23. “A friend loves at all times” Prov 17.17. “[T]here is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” Prov 18.24.
Some friends aren’t worth much, says the first part of the latter verse. Time reveals the value of the true friend. Blessed is he who can count on a friend.
¶ The minimalist movement has a saying, that we ought not to collect possessions, but experiences. It may not be the healthiest philosophy that drives this movement, but moving a body away from materialism is a good thing. Now to help people define the proper experience, of entering and living in union with Christ.
¶ Not only songs have refrains. Poems, too. A refrain is a “phrase, verse, or group of verses repeated at intervals throughout a song or poem, especially at the end of each stanza.” Psalm 136 contains perhaps the most famous of the Bible, in every other line: “for his loyal love endures.”
Less well know, Psalm 107 also contains a three-fold refrain: “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his loyal love, and for the amazing things he has done for people!” vv. 8, 15, 21. It even gives a clue to the structure of the psalm, most likely.
In Brazil, when people want to say that somebody harps on the same thing all the time, the phrase is, “He keeps beating on the same (piano) key.” Of course, it’s a negative statement. But some things deserve repeating. Reckon God’s loyal love is a refrain for the entire book of Psalms, and maybe even the whole Bible?
¶ It’s not common in Brazil, what with brick and mortar construction mostly, but in other countries, it’s not unusual for a house to catch fire and burn down. To lose all one’s earthly possessions at once can be devastating. I can’t imagine it. Jesus taught us,
Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, Mt 6.19-21.
I’ve had bugs eat books and papers, even recently. That makes me sick. I’ve lost a car, with the coolest sound system ever, that was totaled in an accident. Though coming out of that one alive left me feeling more grateful than peeved.
Perhaps such losses teach us to hold our possessions lightly and our hope of heaven tightly.