Give Me That Mountain

Influence

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-seven...

“I just found out that your father is the CEO of Acme Construction! They are the largest contractor in southern California, and I've been trying to get my foot in the door as a sub for the last three years. Since we are such good friends, do you think you could put in a good word for me with your dad?”

“Sorry Charlie, but I haven't spoken to Dad in six years. Oh, he tries to contact me from time to time, but I don't respond.”

big construction project

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Potential

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-six...

We need to compile all the amazing relationships God had with His people under the old covenant, and understand that this is the baseline for the kind of relationship possible with Him now—even for the least of us.

Think about Isaac's wells in the time of drought. Think about Joseph's dream interpretations. Think about Moses' parting of the Red Sea or Joshua's parting of the Jordan River. Think about Joshua and the battle of Jericho. Think about Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Think about Elisha raising the dead. Think about Daniel in the lions' den.

parting the sea

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Kingdom Standing

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-five...

As a parent, when I challenged my children to better behavior they would often point out some other kids who acted a lot worse than they did. As an employer, when I challenged my employees to better behavior they too would often point out other employees who acted a lot worse than they did.

When our behavior is challenged we often go for a comparison with others who act worse than we do. But when we're the ones doing the challenging—when the mechanic has messed up our car, for instance, we won't settle for, “I did the best I could; you ought to see what kind of a mess your car would have been in if Joe's Garage on the other side of town had worked on it.”

comparing

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As Intended

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-four

When living in Chicago, I had a musician friend with whom I shared three different apartments—since at the time we were both struggling to make ends meet.

The first place we rented was furnished—a second‐story apartment so close to the CTA's elevated train … I could practically touch the passing trains with a broom handle through my bedroom window.

CTA

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Framing the Debate

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-three...

“Do you believe a display of the Ten Commandments should be required in all public buildings? Sir, I'm waiting for your answer. Please, just answer the question. Give me a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.”

I don't know about you, but I'm not touching that one with a ten‐foot pole. The person doing the questioning is not interested in what I am thinking, but in framing the debate to further his or her own agenda.

debate

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Isolation or Communion

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-two...

Did you ever have a time in your life when you only had yourself to answer to? When you could come and go as you pleased? When you had no accountability to anybody, other than to maybe call Mom or Dad once a month?

I lived this lifestyle in Chicago for a few years. Oh, as a musician I had to make rehearsals and performances. And I had to show up at my part‐time job in order to pay my bills. But there were very few things that kept me from doing what I wanted to, when I wanted to.

trombonist

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Communion vs Isolation

The Law and Grace. Day fifty-one...

In the early days of my furniture manufacturing business, my staff was unable to reach me when I was away from the factory. Then pagers came along, but I was still unreachable until I could get to a pay phone somewhere. And finally the cell phone made communication immediate, if I wasn't in the middle of a meeting.

When cell phones first became available, most of my business friends complained about the hassle of now not even being able to get away from the stress of the office when they were out of the office. But my stress level actually went down, because I no longer had to wonder if there was a problem back at the factory. If I didn't hear anything from my staff I knew production was running smoothly.

cellular phone

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God Hasn’t Moved

The Law and Grace. Day fifty...

I remember, while riding in the car as a little boy, turning my head away from Mom and picking my nose—thinking she couldn't see me as long as I couldn't see her.

As adults, we pull the same kind of stunt on God—believing that as long as He is out of our sight, we are out of His.

boy hiding

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Welcome Interruptions

The Law and Grace. Day forty-nine...

The positive emotions that come from experiencing God's presence are the dessert of life—especially if you've been living on the destructive emotions that come from experiencing a hostile work environment or a hostile home situation.

But while dessert tastes good, it contains no nutrition to help you grow.

dessert

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Not Just Emotion

The Law and Grace. Day forty-eight...

During His teaching from the mountain, Jesus gives us a lengthy description of a way of life that was previously unknown to man—and only possible through Jesus.

This way of life is still unknown to those who have no relationship with Jesus, for the obvious reason that only Jesus makes it possible. But it is my observation that very, very few Christians know of this lifestyle, either.

sermon on the mount

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