Not Acquired

Have any room in your head for a song to get stuck? When I was a country music DJ, I played this song to excess. Jessi Colter sang “I’m Not Lisa” into my brain again this morning. It is among the most haunting songs I’ve heard. The track borders on excellent and is perfect for the lyric.

Legend has it that Colter’s husband Waylon Jennings said “Lisa” at an awkward moment.

(Check out youtube—Jessi Colter—“I’m Not Lisa”) If you’ve got spare space in your head today.

A church sign this morning said, “Your name is on a Coke bottle, but is it in the book of life?” I wondered how many people who bothered to read the sign would have a clue what the “Book of Life” is. The asterisk leads to a footnote that says, “The day his journey began.”

As dominating as Jessi’s singing, Gordon MacDonald has captured my thinking today:

“…the hidden life of character is formed in two phases. The first comes in the first eight to nine years of life when we are most affected by the dominant community around us…. We develop habits and convictions that seem most compatible with the world in which we live. These become, for the most part, our default way of thinking and experiencing the reality around us.

“Then the second phase comes: generally a remedial one in which we spend the rest of our lives correcting or compensating for those things not learned or experienced or those things learned insufficiently.” (Mid-course Correction, Thomas Nelson, 2000) page 180

MacDonald says, “My wife learned as a child to finish things…. For reasons I do not fully understand, I did not acquire the finishing instinct.”

I had a vision some months ago about building a ministry on specific land north of town. I drove out there to see it was a marsh and a flood plain. I knew the authorities would never let me build anything there. It took a later dream to clarify the message. The vision was about people who had built their lives on flood plains, marshes and sand. The mission was to be a community where we could discover what we did not acquire—the deficiencies that send us into quicksand—where bits or large chunks of life contradict the name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I can think of no greater discovery than when we see what we “did not acquire” and have opportunity to be re-parented at that very spot.

Jesus spent his quality time with the Twelve dealing with their deficiencies and told them at the end of each lesson: “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you” (Luke 8).

  • He Taught Them. Somewhere we have to learn that God-given name written in God’s book has a luster we haven’t seen. That can only be revealed in an enriching community.
  • He Modeled Life
  • He Rebuked Them. “A good rebuke remains perpetually active and corrects deficiencies of character over and over.” Jesus’ rebukes never included even the suggestion of “How could you be so stupid?”

My Name is….

©2015 D. Dean Benton Writer, Wonderer.

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