The voicemail is an unambiguous celebration of 29 years as one flesh, and a continued appeal for reconciliation as the Lord demands of us both. I will reiterate that the person who loves you is not your dad or institutional leadership, but me, your husband. I think you knew very well 29 years ago that I was a flawed man, but by the grace of the Lord, in pursuit of Him. I remain a flawed man, and much closer to the Lord.
I often think of Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” Clearly our context is very different, but the disdain shown to Joseph is a reminder of the disdain shown to me. Perhaps that is why my middle name is Joseph? These years have indeed brought me closer to the Lord and perhaps allowed for preparation for other things. But the fundamental is the evidence that the Lord has me since I do not seek revenge but reconciliation. That is not the norm but the grace of the Lord which I celebrate.
I’m sure you have no idea how much I dwell on 2nd Peter 3:15 and desire your dad and I could use those terms “just as our beloved brother” toward each other. But we need to be followers of the Scripture and not the Talmud. We need to be willing to engage in dialog. Consider the passage in Acts 19:
“8And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”
Verse 8 has some words that I have taken very seriously. The “spoke boldly” is “parrhēsiazomai” which is based on “parrhēsia” which I have used in videos, and I think you can see I have attempted to live it. Then there is “reasoning” or “dialegomai” where it is easy to see we get the English “dialog” as in a conversation or discussion. This is the model of the Apostles, and even of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not the model of Jim Cross, Render Caines, or Chris Bitterman, all of whom claim to follow Christ. There seems to be a bit of inconsistency. But again, there is the hope of grace, and the model of the Paul and Peter’s reconciliation.
The evidence of “parrhēsia” is the three of the top four videos on BitChute: “Young Earth Creation – Don’t miss the obvious”, “Obedience to Christ or Social Security”, and most importantly “Marriage Defined and a Commitment Beyond”. Consider what it takes to produce those. Not the technology or the delivery, but the reasoning from Scripture. Do you see a man whose reference is the Scripture or popular opinion? Do you know why people in leadership of the institutional church run from this? The answer is in Matthew 23. Can any of the men mentioned, by using the Scripture, point to any error I made in the videos? Can they do so rationally and lovingly? Do they understand the meaning of “dialog”?
Dorothy-Jane, 29 years ago you committed your life to me with the traditional “for better or worse”. Seven years ago you walked out of that commitment. You married a flawed man that remains flawed, but has also remained faithful to you and you alone. See “Marriage Defined and a Commitment Beyond”. If you want to love our kids, point them to the Lord by following 1Co7:11, 1Peter3, Ephesians 5, and let me use again Titus 2:
“3“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
You know beyond doubt that without reconciliation you cannot follow those verses. Without dialog the lord being offered to our kids is the lord of the state. That is describe in “Proverbs 1984”, another video in my top 10. But just as grace is available from the Lord to allow the previously mentioned gentlemen and I to reconcile, so can the same happen to us. I invite you again to open communications with me, and start a real effort toward reconciliation and let our kids see love lived out in front of them. Let our kids see that both of their parents are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There will be a lot of bumps in the road and many mistakes will be made, but there is no other option. When 1Co13 is our guild, especially verse 8 “Love never ends” then there is a lot to offer and a lot of hope. Do you want that hope?
Yes, it will be difficult as I start my mornings with kefir made with raw eggs and typically eat 3 cloves of fresh raw garlic like candy. But you can get used to that.
It is my hope to walk the trails at Johnson Woods on Sunday with my friend Christ Prince. That is 4.2 miles unless we go beyond our typical. However, the plan is to first meet him at the north end of the Greenway, which is 2 miles to get to the south end and then 4.2 miles on the Greenway. Some time ago my best time was just shy of 4.5 MPH and it is time to beat it. I do this for several reasons. One is I can. Two is that I would rather be sharing the day with my wife, so I need something to get out a bit of frustration. And three is that it continues to show that I am attempting to live to be 90 as I said I would. You are invited to join me in that attempt.
Do you remember long ago when we were watching the movie Ben Hur? There is the obvious that it was what spurred us to consider the name Tirzah. But then there is the intense joy seen near the end of the movie when after such difficult trials, restoration occurred. Let’s live that, shall we? Let’s not respond like the Roman soldier who said “no water for him” to Jesus. Do you remember how well the actor portrayed what it is like to go against the Lord Jesus Christ? Instead, let’s be able to utter the line from Judah “I know this man!”
I have photos of you all around me as you remain the joy of my heart, and really cute. It includes the photo ErikaLeigh used of our hands together. Let’s do that again!
Dorothy-Jane, my lady, I love you, I love you, I love you!