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October and the Inner Grizzly Bear

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012, at 5:07 PM

In case you haven't noticed ... October has arrived!

Yep -- October, that magical month that brings with it all of the usual autumnal fare: hot soups, homemade breads, baked squash, pots full of chili, hot cider -- you get my drift.

And it seems to be causing quite a problem.

You see, I've been trying to get my weight under control (stop laughing!). The problem is (with a nod of shame to my at work fitness guru) at this time of year I tend to be like a grizzly bear storing up calories for the long, hard winter ahead.

The scent of pinecone decorations and cinnamon sticks and freshly picked apples and homemade oatmeal cookies hot from the oven and wood burning in the fire pit on the patio and the dust and smells of the harvest all combine to make an all out assault on my inner bear.

Not to say I haven't been giving it a hearty try (wait a minute -- isn't hearty a word that usually goes along with beef stew, potato soup, chicken and sausage gumbo, and the like?).

I've eaten lots of salads lately, I've eaten a lot of lean meat and chicken grilled or baked. I have limited my intake of hot homemade wheat bread dripping with sweet cream butter to about half of what I used to eat per setting (and no -- I will not tell you how much that is -- a man has to have a few secrets when it comes to his culinary habits), and I've even taken to eating hot dogs without the buns.

I've increased my exercise levels, walking more and riding a stationary bike nearly every day. And I've lost a bit of weight. Not nearly enough, but a few pounds here and there.

But now it's October.

It's as if October rolls (... mmmmmm ...) around and my appetite hits a high level and just waits there for me to catch up. Cooler weather and shorter days just flat out make me hungry!

All of this set me to thinking ... It's too bad more of us don't have that kind of hunger for the Word of God. You know, an insatiable appetite for the Word and for time spent in His presence. We might just find that His Word is sustenance for us; that it is the one thing that can fill the void -- not in our stomachs, but in our spirits.

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I'm with ya on that one Shep. Every fall my belt seems to get tighter - and I can't for the life of me figure out why!

-- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 10:52 AM

As with the hunger for food, the hunger for God can be satiated by a variety of sources. Some of those sources though filling, are not as nutritional as others. Some may be no more than junk food for the soul. Just sayin'. ;)Good stuff again Rev.

I have been meaning to pose a question to you for some time. No tricks, a sincere question.

As a child I recieved the message of Jesus. Since that time I have in my opinion carried that message in my heart, and my mind, trying to follow what I consider his direct simple messages. At the same time, I don't consider him the son of God the father, I discard the Holy spirit as well. No triune for me. For that matter I do not even consider Jesus a God. I consider him, whether man, or myth, the exemplification of the perfect human, thus the one that I should emulate to the best of my ability. In a very real sense I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Am I not in a broad sense of the word a Christian? If not what am I? A Jesus Freak? At what point does a follower of Jesus become a Christian? If I followed Karl Marx (who delivered some of the same communal messages as Jesus) I would be a Marxist. Does it follow that I am a Christist?

Watcha think?

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 11:30 PM

OKR - Let me first say I believe you strive to carry out and live the best ideals of what Jesus taught while he traveled the earth. I do, however, question how one might follow the lead of Jesus (in relationships with others) while not accepting his teaching about the father and the holy spirit. If you received the entire message of Jesus as a youngster, you no doubt heard that he spoke of and to his father quite often. He also said that when he left earth he would leave "the promise" - a comforter - the entity many call the holy spirit. Jesus pointed to the father in all he said and did.

As far as what to call you - I kind of like the term Jesus Freak (may even be one myself!) - but I'm not so sure about "Christist" in the "Marxist" sense. I think a follower of Christ becomes a Christian when he believes what Christ said. He said that no one comes to the father except through Jesus. Pretty plain. Seems like you received the social - communal teachings of Jesus without accepting the spiritual portions of his teachings.

Please remember that I realize a firm belief in the Christian Bible is needed to believe such things. Obviously - I hold that belief.

Again - I write this all with the upmost respect.

But you asked.

Thanks for reading The Shepherd's Heart by the way.

Your friend


-- Posted by shep on Wed, Oct 17, 2012, at 10:46 AM

Thanks Shep. I wanted a Christian perspective that I would respect, and as I expected you delivered. I wasn't seeking expiation (I know you don't pretend to be in that business), nor support for my own rationale.

I reckon, for now any way, I will remain an old goat standing at the edge of a rocky precipice, looking into the valley below, smiling as I chew my cud, and hoping the best for the shepherd, and his flock. All the while I'll be taking some comfort that there is some kinship between goats, and sheep. ;)

Your friend,


-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Oct 18, 2012, at 2:39 PM

I reckon we are just all old goats (or maybe old sheep) standing on a rocky precipice ... There's always the possibility that one might fall. And therein lies the rub.

-- Posted by shep on Wed, Oct 24, 2012, at 10:21 AM

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Bob Stewart is pastor of Union Baptist Church. His long-running column ranges in topic from matters of faith to observations about life in Saline County, politics and the sights to see in travels throughout America.
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