A Voice in the
Wilderness

site navigation

free newsletter


                           *** PORTIONS ***


Re: 'Intuitive' christianity?
    
                                  -or-
              "No Help Topic is Associated with this Item"

Recently while communicating with a subscriber about formatting the 
VW-edition for the Palm PDA, and also mentioned that I didn't have one, 
thinking I might go looking for a factory 'refurb', or someone who had 
upgraded, and wanted to get rid of their old one, etc; I was 'given' a 
brand new (still in its shrink-wrap) Palm. 

As I am writing this, the new Palm is sitting over here beside the 
computer desk, 'waiting' for me to finish up a couple of other chores 
and projects that have a higher priority on my mental 'to-do' list 
(including the writing of this commentary). Why haven't I yet got it 
connected to a host computer to install its software and take it for a 
test-drive?  Because PDA is a totally new concept to me, and I want to 
-somewhat- have the manual open and follow instructions for setting it 
up. 

I've been using computers, setting up hardware and software for myself 
and friends, and writing batch files for over 12 years. With Windows, I 
get some new software, and start clicking here and there, and 
-INTUITIVELY- begin 'using' the new program. 

But recently I RE-discovered the concept of the 'manual' or 'help' 
system. Back in '96 we had a 'Tidbit' called "Read the Manual - Cool 
Tricks" at a time when I was making the big jump from DOS to Windows 
(3.1) and discovered "Alt-Tab" 
But having been in Windows 95, and now 98 for some years, where so many 
programs often don't have much of a useful 'help' system, nor manuals, 
but are set up to 'intuitively' guide the user around, I've gotten away 
from reading "instructions".  Just install something, or upgrade to a 
newer version, and just...  GO FOR IT.

But like I say, recently -RE-discovered the concept. While fussing 
around with my e-mail client/accounts setup, downloaded Eudora's newest 
version 6.0 to check it out, to see if it had fixed something that 
glitches with 5.1, and RE-discovered the "Tip of the Day" menu, that I 
usually, in disgust (because it's 'in-the-way' of start-up), DISABLE; 
and then 'forget' about it. For some reason this time I sat here paging 
through those 'tips'. Guess what? I learned some cool features that I 
could have been using all these years, even with the older version 303. 
In one case, something I 'wished' that Eudora had designed 
differently...? Well, the one tip provides a means of accomodating that 
'wish'.

Amazing what a person finds when one reads the instructions!

I guess I am towards computers the way most "christians" are regarding 
their life with God...going along "intuitively", not reading 
instructions if not presumed necessary, or barely reading the scant 
little bit necessary to get things up-and-running.  

For the Christian life what are the "instructions"?  "Set your hearts on 
all the words which I am testifying against you today, that you command 
your children to take heed to do all the Words of this Law." (De32:46) 
"...Therefore you shall fix these words of mine in your hearts and in 
your souls, and shall bind them as a sign on your hands, and they shall 
be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your 
children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by 
the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write 
them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates..." (De11:18-20)

Yes, folks, our spiritual "Tip of the Day". When we get up in the 
morning, that tip-of-the-day of God's Word should be popping up in front 
of us.  Thing is, many people do with God's Word, like I do with those 
computer "tips". They "disable" it.  They certainly have their Bibles 
'filed-away' on the book shelf. Indeed, they -HAVE- Bibles. They even 
have the special one that gets dusted off and put on the coffee table in 
anticipation of the pastor's visit...you know, the shiny 'unused' one. 
But God's Word has been 'disabled' from out of their view. Like with me 
and software, they think that it's "in-the-way" of their daily routine. 
After all, I gotta get the kids off to school, and then get myself to 
work. After all, I -am- a "Christian"...the program is 'working'. Like 
one late-relative said to me once, I "already know all that"...I don't 
need to read more.  And so, as a result, they are MISSING OUT on many 
things.

So, if something isn't working 'quite' right, what do I do? Where's that 
"help" pop-up?  Hit F1 and: "No help topic is associated with this 
item". Or like with Eudora 303, go to the "Help" menu, and there is 
essentially 'nothing' there. (But it 'was' in those -daily- 'tips')

The "christian" says: I have a need...how do I get resolution?  I'm 
sad...how do I become happy?  I'm trying to figure out how to make a 
life decision...how can I find guidance? Help me. Give me a "quick fix". 
Yes I know good coffee is supposed to be perked...but don't you have the 
"instant" version for me? (Just add water and stir...) Quick! I need it 
now! At least, give me the "Quick Start" version... Why won't God answer 
me...?!  I'm trying to find some 'quick' answers in the Bible...can you 
help me find -A- verse for this present crisis I'm in?  I hit the F1 key 
and the answer I get is: "No help topic is associated with this item"  

Why?

Oh, I know all about the Christian life... my pastor is "really great" 
and 'approachable' and 'cares' and is a real "people person". Well, 
about this other matter: DON'T YOU THINK....?  Or, this other group 
teaches...  The prevailing view of that is...  I've got this really 
great commentary, and it says...  Have you read the book by so-n-so? 
He/she has some really good things to say about...  But that isn't what 
the 'church-fathers' proclaimed...  I just spend some time 'worshiping' 
and get 'spirit-filled' and then I'm all set-to-go, because  God said to 
me...  As I was meditating, it suddenly CAME TO ME and flooded over me 
like a brilliant light, and an overflooding sense of 'love' overwhelmed 
me...

You say, "but the Bible says..."?  Oh, you're so "judgmental" and filled 
with "hate"; you must have some as-yet unresolved emotional scars from 
your childhood, and self-esteem issues.  I have "The Message" and it 
says it this way...  You read something from the Bible?  Well, to me 
that means....  and all the people I worship together with agree; we all 
'feel' the same way...

But when you look deep within your soul, what you see is 'darkness' and 
confusion. But somewhere in your being you know that "God is not of 
confusion, but of peace" (1Co14:33); so what's wrong?

Are you regularly reading God's Word?  The translation you are using, is 
it God's Word?  Are you -truly- a [C]hristian?  How did you 'become' a 
christian?  Was it through the persuasions of people and their books and 
ideas and "repeat after me" a so-called "prayer"?  Or did it come 
through a meeting with Jesus Christ through the Scriptures?  "So then 
faith is of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God." (Rom10:17)

If you are a Christian, but your life is empty, the same questions come 
to you: Are you reading God's Word?  Or do you merely pick-n-choose -A- 
verse here and there?  Rather than actually sitting down to -read- the 
Scriptures, did you go buy one of those boxes at the Bible book store, 
with little cards with -a- 'daily verse'?  You pull a card, clip it to 
your fridge, and that is the extent of your time with God for that day?

Then, you are faced with major decisions and issues, and you are hoping 
that little 'card' on your fridge will give you the sum of God's wisdom 
to re-direct the entire course of your life..???

Folks, there's 31,102 verses in the Bible. If you stuck one 
verse-per-day on your fridge, it would take you over 85 years to get 
through the entire Bible! Many people don't make it to 85!  So, what do 
you do about all the 'rest' of what God provided in the Scriptures, 
which He commanded, "But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in 
your heart, that you may do it." (De30:14) ??  If you never get around 
to reading all of it, how can you possibly hope to -do- it, and be 
obedient to God?  

"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD OF 
GOD." (Lk4:4)  If you are not reading "every Word", how can you possibly 
expect to "live" for God?  YOU CANNOT!  How can you expect to have God's 
wisdom to guide you and help you?  YOU CANNOT!

You cannot get a quick pop-up "help" screen in a crisis, if the 'data' 
was not 'installed' originally. You've heard the old computer expression 
"garbage in, garbage out"? If you didn't install, you won't get the 
related results; it won't spit out something it was not programmed or 
commanded to do. 

If it is not installed and programmed into your heart through the 
'feeding' on God's Word, as Jeremiah says, "Your Words were found, and I 
ate them; and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for 
I am called by Your name, O Jehovah the God of Hosts" (Jer15:16); then, 
when you hit the F1 key in an emergency (panic 'prayer'), you cannot 
"intuit" God's wisdom; all you will get is...

"No Help Topic is Associated with this Item"

Why?

Because "...you have ignored all my counsel, and have not desired my 
reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your 
terror comes; when your terror comes like a storm; and your devastation 
arrives like a tempest, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then 
they shall call upon me, and I will not answer; they shall seek me 
early, but they shall not find me. Because they hated knowledge and 
chose not the fear of Jehovah. They did not desire my counsel; they 
despised all my reproof. Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their 
own way and be filled with their own devices." (Pr1:25-31)

Amen!