Fluffy not Stuffy

Blog post Fluffy not stuffyIn 1972, Three Musketeers released an add campaign for their candy bar claiming it was, ‘fluffy not stuffy.’ It was an unusual idea for a candy bar. I thought of this add campaign when I heard someone say that God must want her fluffy since most of her efforts at exercise were dashed before they could begin. I laughed and thinking I might claim the line for myself.  Later, I found myself trying to explain to an occasional believer and dear friend, why the line tickled me so.

My friend was appalled at the lengths many believers would go to blame God for our lack of will power, and remarked, “You people are so eager to give yourselves excuses.”

“No you see it’s only funny because of that very reason,” I began, but I smiled and shook my head. Before I could get far into the conversation, I realized that the comment was funny to me because it frivolously embodied several arguments/apologies, the fruits of the Spirit, free will and God’s will, and to some extent, false humility.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. The casual comment implied that God had not gifted the woman with that particular fruit. To my mind, that was a charming jumble of human-ness. While the fruits of the Spirit can be considered gifts of God, they are more closely the harvest in humans of a right relationship with God. In this passage in Galatians, Paul tells us what to expect as we humble ourselves before the Lord. He also tells us what we might look for in others to deepen our joy and quicken our hearts. Paul begins by calling us free, and gives us a discussion of the considerations of our free will, within God’s will. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery,” Galatians 5:1. He is speaking of being a slave to sin. In the comment about fluffy, we can see that we have sinned in so many ways, sinned by blaming God for our silliness, sinned by acts of the flesh which Paul lists, see Galatians 5:19-21, and sinned by using our free will to appease our appetites rather than seek a stronger relationship to God.

As for false humility, in claiming fluffiness, we are confessing our lack of perfection by the world’s standards. But fluffiness is a cute way to describe something ugly. We are confessing, but not really. In his book, Humility, Andrew Murray puts it this way. “The call to humility has been too little regarded in the Church because its true nature and importance has been too little apprehended. It is not something which we bring to God, or which He bestows; it is simply the sense of entire nothingness which comes when we see how truly God is all, and in which we make way for God to be all.” If God were truly all in our lives, our fluffiness would not be an issue because our self-ness would not be an issue. Whether we were fluffy of stuffy, would not be an issue.

For me, the over-arching point of Galatians 5 is that we are freed by Jesus. The Gospel message is true. Sometimes it is light as a fragrant Spring dawn. Free will in side of God’s will is a concept best explained empirically and demonstrated in the fruits of the Spirit. We are free, but our will is lessened as we grow closer to God. Our petulant demands to do what we want to do, become memories. Our rights inside of God’s will delight us. We are identified by our choices, good and bad and yet God loves us so, that He sent Jesus. We can make a joke at our own expense. We are free to laugh at ourselves knowing that what we mean is, God I long to do better and be better, but thank you Jesus for my freedom. Our gratitude overwhelms us.

(This is re-posted from justonebeggar.net)

What are You?

Beautiful thanks Eva

Choosing Ebenezer

I have asked my students to define their own culture.  It’s tricky, isn’t it?  Culture and race are different, at least to my mind.  Your race you inherit.  You have nothing to say about it.  Your culture you can bend.  You can embrace parts and leave others behind.  Your grandpa was a racist?  You don’t have to be.  Your grandma had eleven children?  You are not required to have any.

Here are the things I embrace about my culture.  I am a third generation New Mexican.  That means I like green chile on everything except the stuff I prefer with red chile.  I do NOT believe in rain (it’s just a myth) unless I am drenched by it.  I think Texas has an overblown sense of importance, but I like Texans, sweet and simple as they are.  I do not believe in following people closely on the highway.  Give all…

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For the Reader

Excellent Glad for the post and thank you for the Joy Reader

Choosing Ebenezer

This month the JOY Writers are having one of their two yearly public readings at the Roswell Museum and Art Center.  It will be held in the Bassett Auditorium on January 21 at 2:00 pm.  The reading is free and refreshments will be served.  As part of this yearly tradition, we are bring out The JOY Reader, a collection of work from the group that will be available at the reading in January and at a reading in February (the 18th).  The collection will also be available online at LULU.com.  I’ll include a link in this blog post.

Anyway, I have a contribution to the reader that I am including here.  The group read it, gave me some feedback, I’ve revised it, and I offer it here.  It was fun to write.  It’s titled “Numinous.”

Some years ago, I’m not sure how many, but over thirty, my oldest cousin…

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