Checking My Pulse
I hate to use tired old cliches (and yes, saying "I hate to use tired old cliches" is itself a tired old cliche), but life is full of surprises. I never thought I'd find myself
a) attending a charismatic church and actually getting along with folks,
b) earning USD while I work at home in Malaysia from my bedroom, and
c) buying land in Canada.
But that's exactly what I find myself doing right now. The church thing has been a unique experience... I don't think I can ever be a true charismatic, but I've found it encouraging that there are charismatics in Malaysia who want to balance their mega-spirituality with a desire to know what scripture says, just like there are evangelicals in Knoxville who are desiring more and more to follow after the unction of the Holy Spirit. I don't think there was ever a complete abscence of either the Word or the Spirit in any true facet of the church, but I guess I've seen or heard of extremes of one or the other. I'm just glad I don't have to speak in tongues to be part of this bunch. I'd hate to choose between the joy of fellowship and good ol' evangelical theology.
Earning USD from home is something my father always wished I could pull off but which I wound up doing almost without any conscious effort on my part. I guess I can only be grateful for that. It helped me save up a bit, which allowed me to do the land-in-Canada investment thing. Of course I'm back to square one after paying the downpayment for that. I still need to save up some to make sure I got money to set up shop if I do go back to the States. But I'm about to own land in Canada. It's not a specific piece of land, but a big piece of land carved up amongst me and a bunch of other people I don't know. But still, that's just plain weird.
There all a few of things that have me kinda down and in a prayerful mood these days. There always are. My relationships with various people, family and friends, are being tested and new lines are being drawn. I've never been very sentimental about relationships, but it's still a trying time for me, since I'm not sure if I'm getting everything right. I'm doing my best to be true to what I believe... but I think in a lot of cases I have screwed up or I am going to screw up. There are days I wish I could just be left alone.
Gretchen did introduce me to a great piece of old testament scripture that's completely passed under my radar all these years, and it's been a source of some comfort to me. From Zephaniah 3, here's an excerpt:
The LORD has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
"Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
The book actually start out really depressing, which is why I feel an affinity for the message of this book, because I was in pretty bad shape last year. I'm not sure I'm quite at Zephaniah 3 yet, because all that excess rejoicing seems a little disorderly to a crusty old churchgoer like me, but like the old hymn says: "I feel the promise not in vain".