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What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

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What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by AnneKristy on Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:50 pm

I've been reading my dad's journals.
For those of you new to my blog, dad died last August. Dad had made his home with us the last eleven years of his life. Dad and I were more than father and daughter, we were best friends.
Dad began writing in what he called his "daily log", on November 12, 1973. Dad was fifty and I was nine.
Each entry is a paragraph long; however, they are filled with information on the stresses of his job, he and mother's relationship, my siblings, my commitment to Christ and baptism, President Nixon's resignation, gas shortages of the early 70s, carpool problems, a piano purchase, teaching a new coed Sunday school class, duties at church, should he stay a deacon or go on the inactive list, family vacations, struggles to provide for the family, worrying about a certain pain in his chest, a Mohammad Ali fight, his mother's death, constantly busy and yet not knowing how to say no, and a question he often pondered: "is he where he should be in his walk with Jesus." 
So far I've read from late 1973 through August 1975. I have a long way to go. There will be several journals he kept while mother was sick with Alzheimer's. I'm not sure how many there are, nor the dates of them.
I wrote the last entry a few days after his death.
How does my dad's journals or daily logs, tie in to: "What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?" It has everything to do with it. When dad had diphtheria as a child, Jesus was with him. During the Great Depression when dad didn't have a coat to wear, Jesus was with him. When dad stormed the beaches at Normandy, Jesus was with him. When dad's first wife died and he was left with a young daughter, Jesus was with him. When dad married a woman with three children, they had a child of their own, plus a new mortgage, Jesus was with dad. When my siblings and myself broke dad's heart from selfish and destructible choices, Jesus was with dad. When mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and was sick for eighteen years, Jesus was with dad. When dad gave up his independence and could no longer live alone, Jesus was with dad. Throughout all of dad's lengthy health history, Jesus was with dad. And when the moment, the exact moment, when it was time for daddy to go to his eternal home, Jesus was with dad.
In every moment of our lives Jesus is with us. We think about the significant moments in life, but even in the quiet unobtrusive moments, Jesus is with us. It seems simple, but so many don't get it. They want to live life independent of a God who allows bad things to happen to good people. I've read this is the main cause of people not believing in God, they do not understand why a loving God allows people to suffer. Many responses have been given in regards to this weighty question. Famous sermons have been delivered. Numerous books have stirred the minds and hearts of readers.
Life is hard. It is difficult and confusing. Questions are a plenty, but answers elude us.
But, I am only flesh and bone, as strong as I am there have been events to happen in life which have left me with the stark lesson-God is what I need and must have. It is to God and Jesus which I turn to, not myself.
What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus? It means to let go. Take our rigid hands off our temporary life, and give it to God.

On an interesting side-note, dad was fifty when he began writing a daily log or journal, I am fifty now. I don't believe in happenstance or luck.

AnneKristy
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Re: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by Thena on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:21 pm

What a special gift your dad left you. My mom and I used to stretch out across the bed in front of the breeze that made the room so perfect and talk about God, about Heaven, end times, etc.,. He loved to study prophecy and now I wish I had the gift with it that she did.

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Re: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by Lora on Fri May 23, 2014 1:51 pm

Wow! That's amazing. What a blessing to have a father who followed the Lord. I continue to pray for mine. I pray the Lord comforts you in your loss.

With all of those journals you could write a pretty in-depth memoir about you and your family, as you'll have the point-of-view of your dad too.

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Re: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by s.t.mann on Fri May 23, 2014 3:04 pm

yes...wow - what  a gift! 

things i have wondered about my own dad, but will never know...sigh...

sounds like you are gonna start keeping better track of what goes on in your life, miss AK!  bravo!  you know, our loving heavenly Father exhorts us to do just THAT!  in numerous places!  for example  - psa 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.

He WANTS us to keep track...to 'keep score'...of His work!

most of my writings describe the past direct activities of Jesus in my own life...and one of the most important purposes of my writings is - to encourage myself!  (particularly when i find myself in one of lifes inevitable valleys!

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Re: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by s.t.mann on Fri May 23, 2014 3:18 pm

and to me, our 'plan of education' is all wrong! pay someone ELSE (a 'professional educator') big bucks so that they will educate our children!  in contrast to solomon's plan - proverbs 23:26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe MY ways.... and the longer version -

Prov 2:1 My son, if you receive MY words, And treasure MY commands [insight and instruction] within you,
2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding;
3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding,
 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;
 5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.
ives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding....

and 'fear of the Lord' - to what end?  well, there is - Pr 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.... and Pr 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom... and  Pr 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.... and Pr 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches and honor and life!

s.t.mann
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Re: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by s.t.mann on Fri May 23, 2014 3:23 pm

miss AK, something tells me you will absolutely relate to this  -



My Barber
 At the appointed time on the appointed day, my brothers and I went down to the barber.
 
Wise.  Handsome. Tall.  Athletic.  Strong, yet with the gentle touch and dexterous hands of a surgeon. 
 
To cut the hair on the far side of my head, he didn’t spin the stool, and he didn’t walk around the chair either.  Rather, he snuggled my head over against his chest so he could reach over to the far side,  Working from above. 
 
I could hear his breathing.  I could feel his breathing. 
 
I could feel his heart.
 
When the whim struck, he blew away the loose hairs from my neck or face with a burst of his own breath.
 
Once finished, my barber would stand back, gaze proudly at his work, and then proclaim ‘not bad for an amateur!’
 
How the years went rushing by!  Looking back past all those years, I wish my dad still cut my hair.
             
 The glory of children is their father….
 
 03 - S.T.Mann,  This story is offered under Creative Commons license; it is permissible to use the story as long as an attribution bio is included.

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Re: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by slybelvedere on Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:41 pm

That is such a cool gift! I want to start journaling my life now.
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Re: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by s.t.mann on Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:25 pm

you know, Sly, our loving heavenly Father TELLS us to remember the awesome stuff He does in our lives!  (psalms 77:11 for one place, and probably at least a dozen others!)....partly as our testimony, and partly as a pick-me-up for when we find ourselves in one of the seemingly inevitable 'valleys' of life....

[hint - keep a blank tablet and pen and flashlight by your pillow at night!]

glad to see you contributing a lot on here! keep up the good work!

grace and peace, bro...

s.t.mann
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Re: What Does It Mean To Follow Jesus?

Post by Lora on Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:24 am

So true, S.T. Great reminder!

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