Category Archives: REFLECTIONS ON THIS AND THAT

Sweet Seeing-eye Dog

“Shut up! Will you shut up?!”
It didn’t make a button of difference.
In fact, it only made matters worse. He went on and on.
There was a great crowd and the shouter couldn’t see the one he wanted to see.
But he knew He was there somewhere.
He couldn’t see Him but it wasn’t because of the crowd.
He knew He was there somewhere because he had heard He was passing by; that’s when he began to shout .
He couldn’t have known it but this was the last time David’s Son would pass this way.
This was Timaeus’ boy. Poor thing. But blind or not he believed the stories he’d heard about Him and that’s why the crowd couldn’t shut him up and why he was calling Jesus the Messiah (David’s Son).
Was Jesus impressed by the ceaseless calling and His being recognized for who He was when so many didn’t? Was there a note of desperation in the tone? Who knows! What we do know is that Jesus stopped and asked that someone bring him to Him.
“What do you want me to do for you?” He asked him.
“Lord, I want to see,” he said as he looked out of sightless eyes the way we’ve seen blind people do. Maybe his eyes were closed. (Try it! Look in the way such dear people do as if they were trying to do what they know they can’t do. Did you try it?)
“Lord, I want to see,” he said.
“What if I gave you a white cane that you could use to pick your way past obstacles?”
“Ah no. I don’t want a walking cane. I want to see, please.”

“How about a dog? A sweet-natured seeing-eye dog that would guide you through difficult places and around crowds?”
“No thank you, my Lord. I don’t want a seeing-eye dog—I want to see!
“Maybe a good job, well-suited to your affliction; a job that would give you some dignity, some self-respect.”
“Ah, no my Lord; I don’t want a cane! I don’t want a dog! I don’t want a job and self-respect!—I want to seeeeeeeeee!

Smiling, happy Lord Jesus, “Receive your sight! Your faith has made you whole.” (Mark 10:52, Greek. “Your faith has saved you.”)
Gracious, powerful, compassionate adequate, searching Lord Jesus! He walks through all the Jerichos and El Pasos of the world asking, “What would you like Me to do for you?”
Sigh.

Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit (Part 20)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
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Will I Find God There?

“As the deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1.

If I ask you what that “means” you can easily tell me. That’d be a very good question but a better question would be: “What do you SEE when you read it?”

There he is standing in the middle of the stream chest heaving and heart thumping like a runaway train speeding downhill. His wide-eyed and wild-eyed look scours every foot of ground around him but there’s no sign of them. Maybe he finally shook them off but his legs are trembling, throbbing and weary from miles covered at breakneck speed, his ribs are aching from the pressure of lungs expanded to their limit in sucking in great gulps of air, his throat is on fire and his mouth though foam-flecked is absolutely parched. He can wait no longer, danger or not he must find the nearest stream and drink or die.

The long chase, the fierce pack, the cunning way they pursued, always keeping him running full tilt with a single leader dog while the rest waited until he tired and then they’d take his life. This time he outwitted or outran them but the strain and the effort has been close to overwhelmingHe pants for water. No sipping, no little desire but a desperate and unquenchable thirst. He finds the stream and sinks his muzzle in the ice-cold water and swallows it down in big life-giving gulps.

The psalmist might have seen that from some high place, have seen the drama of it all and rejoiced at the escape and felt like rising to his feet and applauding. That’s the picture the psalmist paints for us in Psalm 42:1. “As the deer pants for the flowing stream so my soul longs after you.”

How could he not be thrilled at the “great escape”? Did it not remind him of the days when he was pursued long and hard, like a frightened deer, a period in his life when he heard the ‘dogs’? There he was, hemmed in by circumstances beyond his control, his strength almost gone, his friends not within reach, the effort to stay on his feet having drained him and driven him to the edge of the abyss. He must find GOD. “My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me continually, ‘Where is your God?’” [42.2]
As the deer at the limit of his endurance instinctively knows he must find water so this little human knows he must find God for it’s only in God he has reason to hope! He tests every offer of help with the question: “Will it help me to find God?”

“Here, here is good advice and counsel.”
Will it help me to find God?

“Here, here is an offer of friendship.”
Will it help me see the face of God?

“Here, here is a place you can run to.”
Will I find God there?

“Here, here is a book you should read, a movie you should see, a seminar you should attend, a habit you should develop.”
Will they bring me to God?

(Holy Father, help us to see you in the words. Help us to see you EVERYWHERE. Help us to WANT to see you everywhere. And though you are not far from any one of us sometimes we’re so tired and afraid that we feel the need of something more “face to face.” We’re giving you no ultimatums Holy One but so many things frighten us and take us to very dark places and in our weariness we need your nearer presence. We are brave, because you have made us brave and we see gallantry in so many fine people. But sometimes, don’t you know, we feel like just sitting down. This prayer we bring to you in Jesus Christ and by His Spirit.)

Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit (Part 19)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
Watch on Youtube via IFTTT

MR. BOJANGLES

Who are these two in Acts 3:1-6? Indeed, they’re Peter & John.

Yes, but who are they? Who or what are they filled with? And if we know the answer to that what drives them? What “leaves them no choice” to engage in their commission and purpose in life? And if we know the answer to that, what will they offer the crippled beggar?
The beggar thought they were going to offer him money.

And we’re tempted to think they were offering him physical healing. There’s an element of truth in that, of course, but with the treasure they had to offer, to offer only that would have been robbery.

To physically heal him so he could dance joyfully would be no little thing but the years would go by and aging—the approach of Death—would enfeeble him and finally Death would rob him of his dancing. They didn’t want to give him less that joyful ‘dancing’ they wanted to give him more! They wanted to give him Jesus, immortality and the power and reason to dance even a world of pain. A dance that Death couldn’t end! They were offering him DEATHLESS LIFE as a gift from the Living Lord!

The government may provide health through medicine, good income through economic structures, national freedom through military might, education via educational systems and society may give us pleasure through movies, literature, partying, music, art and other fine things (and some not so fine). But Death trumps all these. Only the Lord God trumps Death and He shows that in Jesus of Nazareth who is now Lord of All and conqueror of Death (Acts 10:36; Hebrews 2:14-15). With HIM to offer, they couldn’t and wouldn’t offer less!
And in light of the Lord of Glory they offered him a new vision of the WORLD. His world had been a world of beggary and disease, rejection and helplessness and they offered him a new way of seeing it, a new way of experiencing it. It’s true there was still beggary, injustice and the poor; but now GOD was in it for him. And since God has no “pets” this man is an assurance that He sees all and cares for all of the helpless. God hasn’t died since Acts 3. They offered him a new experience of God! God as one who had heard his prayers, as One who saw his being carried every day and as One who heard his daily begging that had so little success that like many others he just uttered the words without looking (cf. 3:4). What they offered this man was an experience that really did change the world!
In Wasserman’s stage-play, the imprisoned Cervantes is mocked by a lawyer when he heard Cervantes was a poet. The sneering and “realistic” lawyer accused him of spinning nonsense out of nothing and said that people should “see life as it is.” Cervantes snarls back:
Life as it is. I’ve lived for over 40 years and I’ve seen life as it is.
Pain. Misery. Cruelty beyond belief.
I’ve heard all the voices of God’s noblest creatures. Moans from bundles of filth in the street.
I’ve been a soldier and a slave.
I’ve seen my comrades fall in battle or die more slowly under the lash in Africa.
I’ve held them in my arms at the final moment.
These were men who saw life as it is,
yet they died despairing. No glory, no brave last words,
only their eyes, filled with confusion, questioning “Why?”
I do not think they were asking why they were dying,
but why they had ever lived.
When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?
Perhaps to be too practical is madness
To surrender dreams – -this may be madness;
to seek treasure where there is only trash.
Too much sanity may be madness!
And maddest of all—to see life as it is and not as it should be!

( Holy Father how vast is the host of suffering humans that were and are compelled by the savagery of life that they couldn’t and can’t take their eyes off “life as it is” for them? Only you know. They were never given an occasion to dance and still in their millions they can’t dance and hard people rule over them and won’t allow them to dance. One Mr. Bojangles and his lovely story doesn’t seem enough, surely it isn’t all you have to say; You will do what is right and beautiful. And so it is that even now I have seen some of them smile and dance even in a world of abuse and heartache and heartbreak. Did you do that?  Did you empower them to dance? Even though they don’t know it? I believe you did. Will you thrill us with the teachers the cripple met, won’t you thrill us with the Lord Jesus they gave to him and won’t you enrich and skill us so that we won’t offer people less than the joys of this life but more! Help us also to offer You and change someone’s world. This prayer in the Blessed Savior’s name, Jesus of Nazareth.)

Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit (Part 18)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.

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