…IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST by Dorris Murdock Blough

I recently read an article that I find worthy of posting. I have added it below.

 

Brethren Life and Thought 32 no 2 Spr 1987, p 111-112. Issue Record: ATLA0000179382

 

… IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST

DORRIS MURDOCK BLOUGH

The divorce was only a matter of time. The pain, the frustration, sense of failure … it was all there. But there was nothing else to be done about the relationship … Jim had made that very clear. No more counseling with Dr. Brown … no more painful confrontations …

He had moved out, and that day he was coming back so they could divide their possessions, those collected items of shared experiences. The records, the momentoes from travels, the rocking chairs …

Jim and Jean moved through the house, tense and terse, keeping the conversation strictly on an arms-length basis. He had made that footstool in high school… it should be his, of course. That old book belonged to his Uncle Jim… that cream pitcher to his mother… And the piano, originally a gift from his parents would go to Chérie, their daughter. Jean had spent many pleasant hours playing the piano … but…

In “their” bedroom Jean stood looking at the beautiful handmade dresser. .. crafted in 1856 for another Mrs. Smith, Jim’s great grandmother. Sometimes when Jean dusted it, she had felt close to that other Mrs. Smith in whose name and lineage she followed. But, of course, the dresser would stay in the family… anything that had come from Jim’s family would stay with him …

Thirty-three years of marriage, and nothing belonged to her. Suddenly she could not go on. “Let’s do this another time. I . . . it’s much too hot right now.”

He left very soon.

Jean dropped into the big arm chair in the front room and let her feelings wash over her. As she had done since the beginning of this experience, some months before, she allowed herself to be submerged in the feelings, the emotion of the moment. Fear, anger, pain… all of them. She had discovered that by immersing herself in them, they passed more quickly, and by not denying the deepest level of feeling, she could take from it the gift of learning. And though terribly painful, over and over she had gained new insights into herself and her world.

From Henri Nouwen she had learned to go to her “desert” and there to meet Jesus Christ, the God that was within her. She went to that desert now, letting the thoughts flow without an attempt to organize or impede them.

Talking aloud seemed to help her think.

“For thirty-three years I have been on loan from the McKay family to the Smith family. I have given birth to four children with the name of Smith.

 

Brethren Life and Thought

 

111

 

“Jim does not want to continue the relationship… I have been Mrs. James Smith for thirty-three years. As of the time Jim moved out, Mrs. James Smith ceased to exist. But I WAS Mrs. James Smith for thirty-three years. If Mrs. James Smith does not exist, then I do not exist!

“I cannot go back to being McKay… that was too long ago. I gave up my family thirty-three years ago to become Smith.

“… At this moment I have no name… no family… no roots… no financial base of security… no emotional support system that comes from family. I have no past and therefore no future … because the future comes out of the past.

“And so … at this moment… I am nobody! NOBODY!”

She gave herself to her tears and felt swept into the terrible darkness of nothingness, of being NOBODY.

Finally her sobs lessened, and again she spoke aloud.

“Who am I? If I am not the person I have been for thirty-three years… then who am I?

“… Mrs. Jean Smith … Jean McKay Smith … Jean Smith MpKay…

“… to what name shall I answer … to what name shall I respond?

“… In whose name shall I do the work I have to do?… in the name of Jean Smith … in the name of Jesus Christ…”

Abruptly her tears stopped… she sat up straight. “… In the name of Jesus Christ…” she said again.

And suddenly she knew the answer… the answer to who she was … and, for the first time in her fifty-four years, she knew why the Christian says, “… in the name of Jesus Christ.”

She spoke now with a strong voice. “There comes the time when, because of broken relationships, we discover that we are ‘nobody’… we have no identity … no name of our own… and in our lostness and our aloneness we discover that to do something in the name of Jesus Christ is to take on the image of Christ… special… unique.

“To accept the ‘name of Christ’ as my own gives me identity and personhood.

“I am Jean Christ…!”

She wept again, copious tear, but now of joy. She had a name, her own special unique name… one that no one on this earth… nor death… no, not even death, could take away.

She was no longer “Nobody”!

 

112

 

Volume XXXII, Spring 1987

Invite Him This Season

Last night I had a dream about a man that decided that he wanted to be a Christian, so he thought that the best way was to get up between 4-6 AM and dedicate that time to the Lord. As time passed he noticed that not much had changed except the time that he woke up. Frustrated, he became angry at God and started to yell at him. “Where are you!” Then with a small still voice he heard, “You dedicated the time but you never invited me to join you.”

I woke up thinking to myself, “What does this really mean?” I gather that he was saying what Scripture says.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

and 

that (A)if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and (B)believe in your heart that (C)God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10

I am sure that it has some to do with that, but I think he was talking to me directly. I haven’t really gotten into this Christmas season so far and have not taken the time to include him in on all the hustle and bustle that this holiday season has caused. This Christmas season I want to take some personal time, to spend with my Lord. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate his birth, then to spend some quality time with him. That is the gift I imagine that he wants the most. It is good to love people, but we cannot forget that that command was the second of two. The first was to “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind – then people. -Matthew 22: 36-40” I know that we can love God by loving people, but sometimes I think he just craves us!” I hope this Christmas season, I get a better attitude, Love people, and Take some time for the God who created me. I hope the same for you as well. – Merry Christmas

Friends don’t let friends be call Hypocrite

I was talking to a friend about church. Actually the converstaion started out about whether alcohol should be permitted in the church and went from there. He stated that, “I don’t get into all that religious stuff because I don’t want to be called a hypocrite.” At first I thought it was a weak excuse, and then I realized what he was truly saying. It is probably the only real reason that someone who does believes in Christ doesn’t want to accept him as LORD. What it really comes down to is “If I accept Christ then I cannot continue to do the things that I want to do!” It is mainly just a flat excuse out of rebellion on the part of the sinner. This is an example of someone who does not have “The Fear of the Lord!”

I do however resent the fact that what he was saying is, “that all Christians are just Hypocrites anyway.” I think that it is just an excuse, but also degrades the whole Christian faith at the same time. It is not that the Church is filled with Hypocrites. It is that the Church is filled with People (Sinners) who have been saved by grace and mess up every once in a while. We are all human. The only difference is in whom we are trying to follow. Are we trying to follow the father of this world, or our Heavenly Father, who sent His Son to die for our sins?

Every other religion in the world is about “man trying to get to heaven by what he does.” This is however not what grace is all about. Grace is all about God coming to us to bridge the gap that we cannot fill on our own. It is like trying to jump the Grand Canyon. We can run as fast as we can and jump, but we are not going to get all the way across. Some people are good enough that they can jump a little further, but the fact is that we cannot do it on our own initiative. The only way to get across is getting the Help necessary. Only God can pick us up and place us on the other side. Jesus is like the bridge that connects each side. You just have to choose to take the bridge. Still some try to jump across – the problem is that they are not going to be able to make it on their own.

Essentially the Good News (Gospel) is that God prepared a way to get to him. All we have to do is accept His help. That means trying to follow His direction for our lives. Granted we all make some mistakes, but he will pick us up and dust us off and we can continue on our journey. It is not that Christians are Hypocrites, It is that we are Human.

If you are reading this and want to accept Christ, follow the information provided below and the contact someone that can help you in your new faith Journey.

How to receive Christ:
1. Admit your need – The need for a saviour to help you. (I am a sinner.)
2. Be willing to turn from your sins – essentailly to try and do right before God. (Repent.)
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. (Receive him as Lord and Savior.)

What to Pray:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you want to talk to someone or for Prayer visit:
Clear Lake Baptist Church

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