In studying what I’ve been calling God’s “Comeback Kids,” my concentration has been on the Scripture. I read quite a bit, and have great respect for Biblical Scholars and Commentators. However, for my purposes here, I’ve read about everything I could find in the Bible about Peter and simply thought and prayed about it. My questions have been: “How did these Bible characters get into such messes? Did they fail, or fall, or get shoved? Were they careless, dumb, arrogant, ignorant? What was the cause(or causes) of their “eclipse of faith?” Then I’ve asked: “How did they come back? What were the clues to their return to fellowship and favor?”
In my opinion, it is very important in study of the Bible that you not have pre-formed ideas. Don’t tell God what He thinks. Don’t try to put words in His mouth, or make Him say what I want to hear. Just meditate. I use the brain and imagination He gave to process the information so it becomes real. And personal. To me. Then I try to make it a part of how I think and live. And, by that time, it seems what I’ve discovered demands to be shared,w ith the hope and prayer it may be of value to someone else.
The one departure I made from that procedure was when I stumbled upon a sermon by Dr. Jack Harnish of Birmingham, Michigan United Methodist Church. It was so impressive I wrote and asked for permission to quote him on this site. He very graciously consented, and then did something even better. . . He gave me the link to his site. I’d thought about posting his thoughts on my site, but you know how easy it is for things to get turned around so it may begin to look as if I wrote it. I think people should receive credit for their own work, so I decided, instead of posting, to refer you to his site so you could read it in its entirety. First hand. Below is the information he sent to me. Trust me. It’s “good stuff.” If the man were to move to North Topsail, he would become my Pastor!
Dr. Harnish wrote: “The website address for downloading or listening to my sermons is www.fumcbirmingham.org. On the site you can also sign up for my free weekly e-mail message called “Monday Memo”. Thanks. Jack Harnish, First UMC, Birmingham, MI”
For the past few days, we’ve been in Atlanta visiting our Grandchildren (and of course, my daughter, Jo.). She’s been such a great joy all her life, and the grandsons are handsome, intelligent. . . strikingly so. And that is from an objective, unbiased, doting grand dad’s pov (point of view. I’m catching up on the “computer speak.”). However, my laptop went blank. And when I tried to re-charge it, I realized my cord was back at the beach. It isn’t exactly like borrowing someone else’s toothbrush or socks, but using someone else’s tools and space is a bit out of my comfort zone. Especially when my grandson, Chandler, has overloaded his computer. Big time. It gallops along like a herd of excited turtles! That, plus being unable to access some of the study notes stored on mine, has slowed this process a bit.
Your comments have provided much encouragement. Your insights have added a lot to my understanding. Before I wrap up the study of Peter’s life, please feel free to post your own observations about his “slip-ups” and his “comeback” to become a ROCK, not simply a pebble.
Stay close to Christ.
God’s servant, your friend, brother, and fellow student