Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Meeting Mike

Put a sword in Mike’s hand, toss a bear skin across his shoulders, and you’d have a Viking warrior.

Salt and pepper hair tied back in a ponytail. Muscular arms. Solid stance. Rugged countenance. Chiseled features. Exuding power.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think Mike posed for that picture of the emperor Charlemagne in the history books.

My friend Wes brought Mike over to meet me yesterday and the three of us went to Dave’s Dinner (where else?) for breakfast then returned to my backyard to sit and smoke and talk about Christ.

I hesitate to meet new people. But Mike soon made me feel comfortable as he told about his own journey with Christ. He said that during the Viet Nam war he served America as a machine gunner on a helicopter.

He said that during that war only one of the enemy was killed for every 20,000 bullets fired. As a Marine slogan goes, “When in doubt, empty the magazine”.

Mike referred to his time “in country” as a simple time in his life “because the only thing you worry about is staying alive today”. He said he de-humanized the enemy so he had no qualms about firing on them.

But after the war, he and his ex-wife worked in Canada where he met a Vietnamese expatriate; they visited the man’s home and had dinner with his family. Once the enemy had a face, I had to see him as a human being just as I am, Mike said.

“Wasn’t long after that that I began to read the Bible and pray—you can’t imagine how unusual that is for a guy like me—then I turned my life over to Christ and nothing’s been the same since,” Mike said.

He advised me to pay attention to my instincts. “Your instincts may not always be 100 per cent accurate,” he said, “But they are always good. So follow them”.

The Bible uses the phrase “Mighty man of valor” 37 times, after meeting Mike for the first time Monday, I form a better mental picture of what the Scripture means by that phrase.

The seal of Gedaliahu ben Pashur discovered in Jerusalem

Back on June 26th, I wrote comparing my own hard drive crash and loss of files to how the Prophet Jeremiah wrote a 35-chapter long scroll only to have it cut up and burned a strip at a time by King Jehoiakim.

Well, yesterday’s Google news (at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=71386 ) announced that a signet seal of one of the bad guys in that biblical incident, Gedaliah son of Pashur, has been excavated by archaeologists in Jerusalem.

Gedaliah and his wicked buddies dropped Jeremiah into a cistern to drown, but the water was too shallow so the prophet wallowed in scum, slime and mire at the bottom of the well. That sort of thing was an occupational hazard for prophets.

In His own sweet time, God sent some good guys with ropes to pull Jeremiah out of the well and stand him before the king to keep right on prophesying..

Whenever I hear about any exciting archaeological discovery, it gives me such a kick. I envy the people honored to conduct such excavations. I wish I could be with them.

Oh, incidentally, the Prophet Jeremiah uses the term “Mighty Man of Valor” five times in his book, but he never uses it to describe himself; he only uses that phrase to point to God’s glory:

Thus saith the LORD, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight”.

--- Jeremiah 9:23-26

A deep theological problem I have with the Prophet Jeremiah is that I never think of him without also thinking of the great 1971 Hoyt Axton hit song:

Jeremiah was a bullfrog,
He was good
friend of mine.
I never understood a single word he said,
But I helped him drink his wine.
He always had some mighty fine
Sing it!
Joy to the world...
All the boys and girls now ,
Joy to the fishies in the
deep blue sea
And joy to you and me.

I may not remember that Scripture quotation but that tune’s going to be running through my head all day now!

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 6:07 AM


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