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Posts Tagged ‘richardstwoshekels’

Yee-haw! My New Open Bible arrived!

For a high school graduation present, my pastor gave me a New Open Bible, King James Version. It was leatherbound. I had it all through college, marking it up with notes and even having a page reserved for autographs from various ministers (Dr. Johnny Pope, Dr. Jack Hyles, Jim Schettler, to name a few). I also kept a record of those I’ve led to the Lord.

And then, during a move, it was placed in an unknown box in the basement. The sump pump quit working, flooding the basement and ruining the Bible.

I was very saddened, angry and frustrated.

A few visits on Ebay and Amazon have resulted in unsuccessful bids for New Open Bibles, cringing at how expensive the new ones are and then ordering one, only to learn it’s an Open Bible and not a New Open Bible. The newer version contains study notes I like, and, for sentimental purposes, I really want a New Open Bible.

Found one on Ebay on a buy option.

Received it in the mail. It has a hard cover and a few notes here and there. Otherwise, excellent condition.

Richard is very happy. 🙂

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

When God tries to get your attention

A few Sundays ago, I was woken up at 8 a.m. by a text message. That morning, due to not having done laundry and being too tired from working a lot, I was planning to not take my sons to church. Again.

The text was from a Christian friend, a lady who’s in her mid-twenties but conducts herself like she’s in her mid-forties. Very precocious spiritually and socially. She told me she felt the Lord leading her to contact me to see how I was doing.

We texted back and forth and I told her about my frustration of being out of church due to being very tired all the time. She politely suggested to me that my responsibility was to raise my sons up to be in church.

Wow.

We did not make it to church that morning since the boys had no clean church clothes, but I sat there and thought about this friend. It really was if God was using her to talk to me. And to get my attention.

Last weekend, while work kept me from church, I arranged my sons to get a ride to church. Both said they had a good time.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Do cliques exist among Christians? Yep

April 26, 2012 3 comments

For those reading this who don’t know me, here’s a quick description of who I am: a quirky writer who sees the world differently. I’m clumsy. Convention often bores me, and for some my sense of humor is far too esoteric. I am lousy with my hands, don’t smoke, don’t drink or don’t do typical “guy” things.

I became a Christian in 1981 at eight, but over the years still struggled to find acceptance. I wore clothes that weren’t stylish. I didn’t wear my hair in stylish ways. I was still discovering myself and often told non-sequitur jokes or made non-sequitur comments. I had strange obsessions (ducks, pens, certain movies, baseball). I didn’t know it at the time, but I’m actually a mixture of both ADHD and Aspergers. Attending Baptist churches in my teen years, I always felt there were some people who didn’t accept me because I didn’t behave in patterns they were accustomed to.

After attending a public high school and often feeling out of place outside my close circle of friends (Bob, Lorin, Joe, Valkena and Sean, to name a few), I shifted gears and attended a Christian college. Even at Pensacola Christian College, while I made many wonderful friends, I also felt a strong sense that some there did not accept me or even try to, simply because I’m different. 

Years after PCC, as I began to understand more of who I am and why I say and do the things I say and do, I decided to re-connect with lots of former PCC classmates at a website that was a chat board. Everything was open for discussion. And some of the biggest things open for discussion were how bad the administration had been, how many backstabbers there were and how wrong the college had been in its rules, doctrines and theology.

And after a few years of being on the board, it became apparent to me that I would always be an outsider due to my different sense of humor, my perspectives. Some were kind, many were very antagonistic. I left, concluding that in their overall rudeness and condescension, they were no different than the elite, “evil” administration they condemned.

And so was the case in other Christian circles. My soon-to-be ex-wife a few years ago told me my sense of humor caused some at our church bewilderment and wondered how she put up with it all the time. Well, if they’d bothered to get to know me or ask, they would’ve learned humor is my stress reliever. And at the time, I had a lot of stress in my life. They didn’t ask, because, well, men aren’t supposed to be high-strung or exhuberant. They are supposed to be assertive, be able to fix things, go hunting, and so on.

During my separation, I did something I’ve always wanted to do and got involved in a local theater. Currently, I am a member of the Clio Cast & Crew and for the past month or so have been rehearsing for a part in the play A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.

And for this amount of time, I have had the time of my life as I’ve been surrounded by wonderful people who seem to accept me for who I am. Some are Christians, some probably are not, but what I enjoy is that I feel far more at ease among my fellow castmates and director and assitant director than I do among many conservative Christians.

And, yes, many of the above lean more towards the left politically while I remain an independent conservative.

It’s amazing to me just how easy it has seemed for me so far to gain acceptance in this group despite my issues, and how frustrating it is that I could go into the average church and probably be labeled different almost immediately. It’s almost like among thespians, diversity is not only accepted, it’s celebrated.

I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising: one song says that if Jesus showed up in the average church today, some parishioners would gripe that His bloody foot prints were staining the carpets. As my friend Lisa pointed out, others would gripe that Jesus’ disciples reeked of fish.

I take comfort knowing from the Bible that God often worked with the outcasts. Abraham had trust issues. Moses hated public speaking and probably stuttered. Jacob was a con man. David was the youngest son who probably wasn’t taken seriously by his older brothers, and later he would become an adulterer and murderer. Jesus’ ancestral bloodline contained incest, prostitution, murder, ungodliness. Paul had anger issues while Peter was very impulsive. And yet, God loved them and worked with them all. What is important to God is that we desire to follow and serve Him and make Him first in our lives.

The Bible gives us a set of clear rules to live by, and while these rules are important, sometimes the lines blur and subjective views of conformity magically turn into Biblical convictions, God wants a relationship with us, and as we get to know Him, we start to see things from His perspective.

And one thing I believe is God loves us despite all our quirks and flaws.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian for 30 years and is still learning. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Reading the Bible, finishing Job, Psalms and Proverbs thoughts

January 18, 2012 1 comment

To paraphrase the famous Wolf Brand Chili commercial: How long has it been since I’ve updated this blog…[brief pause that’s not long enough for anyone to respond]…well, that’s too long.

2011 saw me do something I hadn’t done probably since graduating from Pensacola Christian College in 1995: I read the Bible completely through. About 66 percent of the time I read daily and the other 33 percent I either didn’t read or had to catch up and read several days’ worth.

It obviously is better to read every day so you can focus on quality rather than quantity.

I’ve read of some Christians who read 20 chapters a day and others who read the Bible cover to cover in a month. Perhaps someday I’ll try that, but at this stage, the more I read, the far less I retain and comprehend. After all, the Bible’s not a Archie comic book. When you read in Romans about faith and salvation, each chapter seems like it should broken down over a week’s time…

Today, I finished reading the Book of Job as, in 2012, I’m reading the Bible chronologically. Fascinating book. Job was a godly man who lost everything, wrestled with the question “Why?” while his friends accused him of having unconfessed sin and pride. After all, God never punishes the righteous, does He?

Wrong.

I think of one godly friend, Terry, who while in his early 30s died of cancer. He left behind a wife and young daughter. I don’t know why and won’t know until eternity. Maybe this planet simply didn’t deserve him.

Job learns two things from a discussion with God: 1) Job isn’t not God and 2) Job is going to have to trust God. While the first two chapters indicate why Job went through what he did, nothing at the book’s end indicates Job knew why. It’s possible he did, but it’s also possible Job had to wait until heaven to find have his “Why?” question answered: Because God simply wanted to prove to Satan that humans serve God out of love for God and a desire to know Him rather than how much money and possessions He gives them…

A friend suggested I read Psalm 5 recently. It reminds me of that advice from PCC given to us from Pastor Jim Schettler about reading through a Psalm or Proverb every day. I figure through diligence you can read through both books twice in a single year. Granted, the Psalm 119 is long, but there are several Psalms that are shorter than I am (for the record, I’m about 5’8″).

Richard Zowie is a Christian writer who feels it’s best to be a Christian first and a writer second. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Caught up again, then a little behind

August 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Sometimes I think my Bible reading could be summed up by this television theme song

I was about two weeks behind at one point on my Old Testament reading, then got completely caught up both, and then the procrastination and sleep bugs hit and tonight I’ll have three day’s worth to read to catch up.

One thing I am looking to add is reading from the Psalms each night. Starting next year, I may even break it down further and, every day of the year, read a Psalm or Proverb. Psalm 119, of course, would be split up into about four days.

What is it that makes it so difficult to maintain consistency? We just get too busy in our own lives, perhaps. And, of course, the devil is always there to let us know of the many other things we could be doing with our time…surfing the internet, sleeping, eating, relaxing, watching TV, visiting social sites.

In an effort to get caught up on my reading, I “read” through the entire Book of Joshua. No, I don’t recommend that. The quantity versus quality approach to Bible reading never is successful. Spiritually, you feel far better when you relax, focus and read.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

An Aussie friend talks about how witnessing can be effective

July 14, 2011 5 comments
It’s been a few years since I did door-to-door evangelism, and it’s because I got spooked.
 
About 15 years ago, I and a gentleman from church visited an apartment in Beeville, Texas and witnessed to the young man who answered the door. I presented the gospel to “Juan”, who seemed very receptive. He then prayed the sinner’s prayer.
 
Juan nodded when we asked him what he’d done. I recorded his name in my Bible as one of the people I’d led to the Lord.
 
Great news, right?
 
About 10 years later in the public records of the newspaper, I saw Juan’s name mentioned in a crime.
 
Now, it’s possible he received Christ but backslid, and it’s possible we never properly discipled him. It’s also possible he just said some words because that was the path of least resistance.
 
It made me think that door-to-door evangelism is completely useless unless there is a solid method of follow-up and discipleship.
 
Recently, I spoke about this on Facebook with Lyndee, an Australian Christian who also attended Pensacola Christian College. (We never met, but I knew who she was).
 
I told Lyndee: “You know, one thing life has taught me is that there is a very wide spectrum in Christianity. God needs people everywhere. I mean, do you really think an Independent Fundamental Baptist fresh from Pensacola Christian College would succeed trying to pass out gospel tracts at a biker bar?”
 
Lyndee replied with a thoughtful respose:
 
“why waste your time passing out Gospel tracts when they will only end up littering the parking lot. Rather use that money to buy a couple of biker mates a round of beer and sit down and talk with them… not about Jesus at first, but about them. Everyone loves talking about themselves. Find out who they are, what they love, what they hate, and eventually where they hurt. Prove to them you care about them and not some notch in your christian belt (which i know is not what you want, but is how they perceive many witnessing Christians). Witnessing is not a numbers game, its a life long process of relationships in loving people exactly where they are, not where someone else thinks they should be.”
 
You know, even though I don’t drink beer (to be honest, I hate it immensely), I honestly cannot find anything I disagree with in Lyndee’s assessment.
 
It makes me think that if there’s a Christian who prefers this approach, go for it. Bars aren’t my thing, but I’m sure God has others He can use.
 
Tell me, Richard’s Two Shekels reader, is what Lyndee suggests really radical or is it radically filled with theological common sense?
 
I believe it’s definitely the latter.
 
Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Interview with blogger and fellow PCC alum Nolan Bobbitt: Part 1 of 2

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Nolan Bobbitt, a fellow Pensacola Christian College graduate, is a great example of someone I knew of at college (but not on a personal basis) but have, in recent years, exchanged e-mails with him every so often. I remember at PCC he had a reputation as a friendly, wonderful guy who loved people and wanted to serve in the ministry.

After I graduated from PCC and spent time in the proverbial real world (which included a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Army, where so many forbidden things at college were done by most as an afterthought), I began to discover the internet and websites that were both favorable and not favorable to PCC.

On one website I discovered an essay by Nolan titled: “ISOLATIONISM: The Gospel of the Fundamentalist Movement.” Sometime in the near future I will post it on my blog, as it is much-needed reading about how Christians should be insulated but not isolated from the world.

Nolan Bobbitt

These days, among Nolan’s ministries is a website, where he blogs. As I’ve read his blog I have grown to admire both the content and the design. Just a few years ago, I learned what a blog was, how to choose a server, how to post, how to create one working within the allowed parameters. And, yes, how to deal with angry readers who think I’m far crazier than I actually am.

Since blogging is still relatively new to some Christians, I decided to ask Nolan a few questions about blogging, how he got into it and how Christians can use it as a ministerial tool…

Richard Zowie: When did you first start using the internet?

Nolan Bobbitt: I started using the internet back in the dial-up days, around 1995.

RZ: When did you start blogging?

NB: Wow, it’s hard to believe, but I started blogging back in 2005.

RZ: What types of growing pains did you have when you first started blogging? Do you still find yourself wanting to tinker with your blog’s layout, format and what you write about?

NB: Sure I went through the typical blog growing pains, and the funny thing is, there are still some pains there from blogging, but they are a different kind. In the first couple of years, I was really consumed with growing an audience and trying to get high-profile “celebrity Christian” bloggers to read my stuff or write a guest post so that I could have their readership come my way. I obsessed over having a cool blog layout and header.

These days, it’s a little different…I obsess over writing something of substance and value, rather than growing a broad readership. I actually have taken an unintentional break from blogging. I was getting into a really good rhythm and posting at least 4-5 times a week, and then, I just stopped writing. At this point, I really need to update the “look” and layout of my blog, but I’d actually rather just have something that’s worth reading posted there more consistently.

RZ: Do you run across Christians who are opposed to blogs or to being on the internet? If so, what do you tell them?

NB: Oh, I am sure that there are a few Christians who are opposed to blogging or the internet, because they think that it is too “worldly.” I would tell the opposed that the internet may be one of the greatest evangelism tools that the 21st century will see if harnessed to further the Gospel in a compelling way!

In Part 2, Nolan will discuss his thoughts of how blogs can be used for Christian ministries.

Richard Zowie has blogged at Blogspot, Livejournal and now primarily uses WordPress. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Caffeine and Bible reading

March 29, 2011 1 comment

Caffeine is a drug. One friend told me it’s fatal in its purest form. Thankfully, what we drink in sodas, tea and coffee isn’t in a fatal form.

However, caffeine consumed excessively is not a good thing. I do not see any harm, though, in consuming it in the form of above drinks as a way to get up in the morning.

I thought about this around 6:45 a.m. as I read passages in Isaiah and Hebrews while my sons got ready for school (my wife and I take turns driving them in the morning for Early Bird session). As I read, I found myself re-reading the same verses or reading and not remembering what I read or not comprehending.

One evangelist once said that once he wakes up in the morning, he turns over and gets his Bible and starts reading. It’s commendable he has the energy and discipline for that.

I’m concluding that it is best to read the Word of God in the morning after you are alert and awake. If that means drinking coffee, tea or a soda (or a “pop”, as it’s called in Michigan), fine. If it means getting in some exercise–such as a nice walk–fine. If it means taking a shower, fine.

So, tomorrow morning I will do that–read the Word after I have gotten myself nice and awake.

Richard Zowie is well aware Satan does not want him reading the Bible. Post comments here or e-mail richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Another successful day of reading the Bible

March 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Got up this morning, took a shower and then returned back to my bedroom and read passages from Isaiah and Hebrews.

Wouldn’t it be great to make a habit out of this? I thought.

Indeed, it would. To start off each day reading the Bible is a wondrous accomplishment. Still, I expect many battles along the way. Satan hates Christians and wants to throw as many obstacles as possible into their paths. A person said if you are having an easy time living as a Christian, then Satan must not be too worried about you. No ego intended, but I think that’s a good statement.

So now, as I read and am caught up, I relax and focus on reading what God’s Word says and thinking of how I can apply it to my life each and every day.

As I read now, there is so much that is difficult to process since it has, sadly, been years since I’ve read through the entire Bible. I trust that in future readings the passages won’t seem as daunting.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian for 29 years. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

A Tale of Two Pastors

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Of all the churches I’ve attended, two pastors stand out in my discussion of today’s topic.

At one church, the pastor ran into a problem. Besides his duties as pastor (preaching, teaching, counseling, ministering), he also wanted to to be directly involved in virtually all of the church’s programs and advisory boards and have them answer directly to him. (I believe he even tried to have a seat on every single committee). To many, including myself, he wanted total control. When the church did not give that to him, he resigned and took up a pastorship elsewhere. He has since resigned from that church and is now at yet another church.

At another church, I felt led of the Lord to use my love for perusing used books to ask the pastor if the church library needed any books that I could donate–should I find them–while looking around at yard sales and Goodwill stores. The pastor told me to talk to the library committee since they handled that.

This second pastor had his priorities right.

Pastoring isn’t just a full-time job–it is 24/7. One college friend and Facebook friend named John told me his Dad made himself available to be reached at any time by his congregation.

I am reminded of the story of Moses and Jethro in the Old Testament. Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law) in Exodus 18 told Moses he would burn himself out if he tried to handle all the matters before him regarding the Israelites. Put men in leadership to hear the cases and only hear the ones that they can’t solve, he told Moses.

Just as Moses did this and could focus on what needed to be done, I suspect a pastor needs to do that. Find godly, talented men and women in the church and place them in leadership over the church’s many ministries. If there is a problem, have them talk to you about it. If not, let them do their job so you can focus on–yep, you guessed it–preaching, teaching, counseling, ministering.

Richard Zowie wonders what real ministers think of this thought of his. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Remedy for heartache: get involved in your church

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Thank God for First Baptist Church of Vassar, Michigan.

A few wise friends, such as Jeremy E and Lance B, have told me that now is the prime time to get active in a church and serve in any way possible. Later this year or early next year I will become divorced after 13 years of marriage (my wife and I will hit our 14th year on June 30, but I’m not sure if I really want to count that). It was very tough at first, a lot of emotional anguish. Someday I will bawl my eyes out when I get past my anger and disgust. It’s in the Lord’s hands.

In the meantime, I have my good and bad days. Saturday was a bad day as I just felt very in the dumps. There were a few people I really wanted to talk to, but my schedule prohibited it. And one high school friend I really wanted to talk to was busy that day, and I didn’t want to intrude.

I texted a few friends and asked for advice about dealing with the sadness and presented a list of ideas.

Several responded. Jeremy and Lance both told me now is the time to get active in church.

When I’m not working on Sundays, I’m there on Sunday mornings with my two youngest sons. Sunday school, Sunday morning. I plan to start attending Sunday night services when I can and soon I will be going to new member services. On Wednesday nights I attend Bible studies. One lady at the church, a fan of my From A to Zowie column, suggested I be responsible for doing the church’s newsletter.

At this stage, I’d be happy doing anything.

FBC is the first non-IFB church I have attended. It is considered a Regular Baptist Church, and its style reminds me of the non-denominational churches I’ve seen. Very friendly, laid-back with lots of great teaching on the Bible.

Ahhhhhhh…

Richard Zowie is thankful he found a nice church and encourages those who are heartbroken, lonely or sad to do the same. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

A puzzling question about Isaiah 14…Satan or Nebuchadnezzar?

March 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been reading through Isaiah and came across Isaiah 14. It reminds me of a discussion I had with one guy who told me two things about the “Lucifer” passage:

One: Lucifer refers literally to the planet Venus.

Two: Lucifer is actually a reference to King Nebuchadnezzar and not to Satan.

For years in the Baptist churches I attended, it was accepted that Isaiah 14 referred to the fall of Satan and what led him to rebel against God. And now, this gentleman (whose intellect I respect highly) proposed it was simply about Nebuchadnezzar and the judgment against his kingdom and how he would eventually be humbled.

As I read the passage today, I wondered if perhaps this guy was right. Or, perhaps the judgments against Babylon, Egypt and other nations could be in the distant future. In Revelation, we lean that Babylon will be destroyed and that Satan, possessing the body of the anti-christ, is the head of Babylon. Satan, we learn, will eventually suffer the humiliation of humiliations.

Is this what the passage is referring to or is it indeed simply about Nebuchadnezzar?

I will say that if the passage is simply about King Neb, his ego and arrogance mirror what Satan had when he chose to rebel against God.

What are your thoughts, reader?

Post comments here or e-mail Richard at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Poetry, courtesy of Richard’s Two Shekels

3-6-11

Explaining shades of blue to Stevie Wonder.

Teaching calculus to a toddler.

Neither remotely compares to

God explaining the majesties of eternity

To our finite minds.

3-6-11 — God and Time

Time

Is a human concept.

Clockmakers and watchmakers

Will be bored

In heaven.

To God,

A thousand years is a single day

One day is a thousand years.

No watch on His wrist

No clock on His wall.

Seiko, Timex, Casio, Rolex

Are meaningless.

I imagine…

To God,

All of earth’s events

–all natural occurrences

–all events of everyone’s life

Occur in a gigantic matrix

And happen all at once.

Right now,

Adam and Eve are in the garden

David is slaying Goliath

Jesus is feeding the thousands

Luther’s at the Diet of Worms,

The American Revolution rages,

Reagan is telling Gorbachev to tear down this wall

And I’m writing thi spoem,

The antichrist is being thrown

Into the lake of fire,

Eternity future is dawning.

God already knows the day

When time won’t matter anymore.

My battle with procrastination and other observations

I’ve said it over and over and it bears repeating: procrastination is the eighth deadly sin.

Not sure if I originated that saying, but it’s an observation and I believe it.

I’ve been lousy lately at getting up in the morning to read the Bible. Very difficult to maintain consistency. Part of my problem is, I tend to be a Night Owl. Lately I have been on Facebook talking with various friends as I try to heal during what will still be a painful transition in my life. Thank goodness for godly counsel and listening ears…

…This year, I have been doing my devotions out of the New King James Bible. And to think that around 18 years ago, I took copious notes as Dr. Al Lacy preached a sermon about how we should read only the King James Bible and how even the NKJV was a counterfeit. My studies into foreign languages, observations about how the English language evolves have led me to conclude that while my first Bible to read is the King James, I also like the NKJV. At present, I have two Bibles: a KJB Zondervan Study Bible, a New King James slimline and I hope in the future to add a KJB New Open Study Bible to my collection…

…I read a Facebook account of a school classmate’s testimony. I knew this gentleman since grade school, and I am thankful he is now a Christian living for God. Life has taught me that God will go to great measures to get people attention to try to lead them to Him (again, I am not a Calvinist), and this man’s testimony is proof of that…

Richard Zowie will turn 30 years old as a Christian this October. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Time Management and God

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

An odd title for a blog posting, when you consider that if God were to come to earth in some corporeal form, we would not see a watch on his right wrist (the left-hander in me likes to think of God as a southpaw). Watches are for those who are restricted to 24-hour days. God is above time. 2 Peter 3:8 tells us a thousand years is but a day to God, and a day is like a thousand years.

I imagine it like this: God can see every single event in human history happening at the same time. To humanity, we’ve been around for thousands of years. To God, it’s irrelevant.

That being said, since we are bound by time, it’s best to make the most of it.

Very difficult, indeed. I often succeed at getting up and reading my Bible, but often I fail. Procrastination is my weak spot, and, admittedly, I loathe getting up early in the morning. At college, when I’d try to read the Bible on a few hours sleep, I’d end up reading the same sentence over and over and over and over again.

What is the solution?

Get sleep and purpose that before your day begins, you will make time for God. Even if it means cutting back on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or other distractions.

God wants to spend time with us, to reveal Himself to us, and when we don’t make the time to spend time with God, I believe it hurts God far more than we can possibly imagine.

Richard Zowie has many opinions on Christianity, some of which just might be correct. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

2-10-2011 poem: ‘Richard,’ God Says

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I had this written in another notebook and wanted to post it.

2-10-2011 — “Richard,” God Says

“Richard,” God says,

His voice

Soft as bright white fleece

Yet

Powerful as the raging Colorado River.

“I’m so eager to talk to you.

“There is so much to share with you.”

Yesterday, I was

An eight-year-old

Brand-new-Christian.

Now I’m 38,

A Christian for 29 years.

Time blinks like restless eyelids.

God waits patiently

Through my sleep,

My daily schedule,

My procrastination,

My endless excuses.

Point of Grace reminds me

In one song I heard

During one drive to Michigan:

“He’s dying to reach you.”

God tries to explain

In our limited languages

How He desires

A sacred romance with us.

I wonder if,

For me to understand that–

Truly understand–

Is like a baby learning calculus.

God is God.

Omniscient, omnipotent,

Omnipresent, eternal.

And he wants a relationship

With me, you,

All of us.

Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

2-15-2011 poems: Loving Yourself, Richard

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

2-15-2011 — Loving Yourself

Learning to love yourself

Is not the greatest love of all.

(Sorry, Whitney Houston)

But if properly processed,

Understood,

It is crucial.

I look at myself

And see things I’d love to change.

Where do I even begin?

My hazel eyes to blue.

My big nose.

My height

My weight

My body, my mannerisms

My style

My listening, attentiveness

My introverted ways.

The things best described in an orange band

Or

A yellow band with multi-colored puzzle pieces.

The thing that makes me cringe

And makes me wonder if…?

There are two ways

To resolve this.

Give to God

The things you can and must change.

And be content

With what you cannot change.

What you must change,

Do not leave it up to a

Future girlfriend,

Fiancée,

Spouse.

2-15-2011 — Richard

Relying on God

I fear nothing.

Christ is my Savior.

His death, burial

And resurrection

Reveal God’s

Divine love for me.

Richard Zowie is a Christian writer who finds he enjoys writing poetry much more than he imagined. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Joe Isuzu and trying to get into spiritual shape

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Maybe you remember how, back in the 1990s sometime, Isuzu decided to briefly resurrect the Joe Isuzu commercials. You know, the guy who in the 1980s would make hyperbolic claims about Isuzu that could not possibly be true.

Joe Isuzu at his best…

In the 1990s Isuzu showed a few commercials where they called Joe (played by David Leisure) out of retirement. He went out running in a sweat suit, large belly jiggling, dark sweat patches at his chest and armpits, as he worked to get back into shape.

The return of Joe Isuzu

And, more recently, several months ago I dreamt i re-joined the Army (I was honorably discharged in 2000). At the time I was about 100 pounds overweight and in the dream I went on grueling long runs as I worked to regain my 160-pound figure. Very strenuous, and I was out of breath. My chest felt like it would explode as I tried to run and chant cadences at the same time.

That’s a little how I feel at times when I read the Bible.

Since late November, I have been consistent in reading the Bible daily. It has been eight years since I’ve read the Bible through in a year, and now I’m back on track to do it again. Alas, there are books I’ve forgotten what they spoke about and as I read, there is so much information that seems to zoom by.

I tell myself as I keep reading throughout the years the information will become warmer, more familiar and will start to click more. Keep reading, keep praying, keep asking for God’s guidance and keep asking how each day’s reading can be beneficial to me and what it can teach me.

Yes, eight long years have been wasted, and I pray that won’t happen again. Ever.

Richard Zowie works as a writer and as a gas station clerk. This post does not mean he intends to work as a car salesman. To comment, post here or drop Richard a line at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Richard’s next poem: Twenty-nine years

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

2-14-11 — Twenty-nine years

By Richard Zowie

Twenty-nine years

As a Christian

Have taught me

One iron, firm, dense, immutable fact:

I still have much to learn.

Still, I fret not.

When I read and struggle to grasp

Romans, Galatians, Corinthians, Psalms.

I well know

Daily Bible reading

As the years go by

Will make the combination locks’

Numbers and sequences

Easier to see

Easier to grip

Easier to turn

Easier to pull at the right time.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian for–yep, you guessed it–29 years. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

A poem about wanting to be someone else

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

2-8-11 — Somebody Else

Pink said it very well

When she sang, frustrated

Of her looks

Of her actions

Of Britney Spears.

“I wanna be somebody else.”

When I listen to that song

It’s often as if it’s my voice

On the radio.

I think of my strange accent

That can’t decide between

Kansas, Texas or Michigan.

I think of all the places

–too many to list–

That I’m dying to go.

I think of all the

Impulsive things

That I’m dying to do

And I wonder if I’ll ever

Go or Do.

The hobbies,

Discovered and undiscovered

That may do little more

Than collect dust

In the bored bright blue playground

Of my imagination.

I think my ever

Exponentially increasing

“To do” list

And how it’s like

Sprinting in a swimming pool

Chest-dep in water

Trying to get it all done.

I wanna be somebody else

So I can have

An empty to-do list.

The freedom

To travel

To do

To explore

To learn

To know.

But…

I well know those dreams

Come naturally.

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes

Man’s duty is to glorify God

And be content in his labor.

Being busy and happy

Is the key

To traveling

To doing

To exploring

To learning.

To knowing

That somebody else

I wanna be

Is really

The godly person that

God knows I’m capable

Of becoming.

Richard Zowie hopes too many Christians won’t be offended at the reference of pop star Pink on his Christian blog. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.