Wild Goose Chase September 10, 2017

Welcome to “The Wild Goose Chase!” The Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit “The Wild Goose” because it was untamed and smarter than any other bird.

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

When I was a boy, I climbed trees. They seemed a refuge to me back then. A place that I could test my strength, and get me up off of the ground. I used to love to climb trees!

As I grew older, I sought other refuge. I learned to scuba dive (and still find great peace 60 feet beneath the waves), later, I learned to fly small aircraft (that became too expensive for me to keep up with), and so it went ... I sought refuge, peace, in places, things I did, in the presence of people ... and still I was restless and unsettled.

Then, at the age of 40 I fell into a peace that did not depend on my own strength and that I had to be strong enough to allow myself to be led. I remember very well, lying on the gurney in the ER at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, and the brief stoppage of my heart in cardiac arrest, I remember the swift action of those around me who restarted it quickly. I lost conscious only briefly, so quick was the response. I recall the days in the hospital before and after the open heart surgery. But most of all I remember that morning in the shower at home several weeks later when I surrendered my future to the Lord of Glory and King of Kings. Nothing can surpass the peace and security of walking hand in hand with the Messiah, our Lord Jesus of Nazareth, NOTHING! So, why worry about things, why not let Jesus bring your worries to an end?

I love the way The Message paraphrase of the Bible puts it:

Philippians 4:6-9 The Message (MSG) "6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. 8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."

Please remember, God loves you and so do I, and all you can do about it is love back.

Still In One Peace,

Stephen

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