Aug 112017

Late yesterday afternoon I had a telephone conversation with a good friend.  He’s awaiting surgery.  His gallbladder is inflamed and there is an issue with a kidney stone as well.  When I asked him when the surgery would be scheduled, his reply was that although he is in line, if there was someone else in worse condition, he was willing to wait and have them go first.


The conversation moved on to theology.  We talked about theologians we love and admire – +Ramsey, Packer and a host of others.  He told me that he was becoming much more interested in the lush grass in the pasture where he was feeding than in the fences others put up to define the space.

We discussed my friend’s blog.  I mentioned a recent posting that had caused a good deal of reaction.  He replied that he liked to post things that would allow people to reflect and, most importantly, ask questions.  Asking questions, he felt, was really the way we had to approach theology in a meaningful way.

As we talked, I heard the sound of car doors and beeps in the background.  My friend was picking up his godson from work.  With real pride in his voice, he told me how the fifteen year old was learning about what it meant to work and be responsible in a job.

Finally, we had a chance to talk about the future, ours and the Church.  My friend indicated that no matter what came his way, he was looking forward to future ministry. We both agreed that while there are no guarantees for the future at our respective ages, there are always opportunities for ministry.

We said good-bye and God Bless.  I had the feeling that I had spoken with a Christian.

As my friend likes to say… “Make your own application…”

Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

The Project

  38 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. Thank you and bless you, my friend.

    I’ll be offline for the duration of this weekend…prayers appreciated.

  2. Praying for you Michael…..

    Love the thought of enjoying the lush green pastures rather than the ‘fences’ of division. Amen.

    love you

  3. Michael…prayers continued from me my friend!

    Blessings and comfort of God to you!

  4. Very nice Duane, prayers for you Michael.

  5. The lush green pastures may be great to frolic in, but a good shepherd (and I will say The Good Shepherd) still put his sheep within the fences for protection.
    No boundaries within Christianity can be quite dangerous for the Christian — at least that is my application.

  6. God bless you Michael and I pray things go well for you during this difficult time.

  7. #5 MLD

    Keep working on the fences… I’ll keep working on the pasture.

  8. And I’ll provide the fertilizer 🙂

  9. Duane, I will … in Jesus style. It was Jesus who spoke of the sheep fold (fences around the sheep) and the enemies of the church who would try to breach those fences.
    Jesus was very concerned about the open range and the Joyce Meyers, Benny Hinns and Todd Bentleys who wander the pasture. — so am I.

    But hey,as I have learned of late we are all allowed our theological opinion and they are to be accepted equally.

  10. #9 MLD

    As Michael said, “the fences others put up”… I think we are quite content with the sheepfold that Christ (and not others) provides…

  11. There is a gate because there are fences. Fences are necessary to keep wolves from having free reign. Careful out there, my good man.

    That is a precious friendship it sounds like you have. God bless.

  12. Should say There is a (G)ate…

  13. #11 Descended

    Indeed, because the shepherd tends to the fences and makes himself the Gate we can devote our attention to the pasture.

  14. Then what are the hirelings for, if not to mind fences and wolves?

  15. #14

    Ah, they’re not the Shepherd… it’s why they run away!

  16. ‘Zactly, and the wolves get in the fences!

  17. Two in the fence is worth one in the meadow

  18. Well, have a nice day guys and gals.

  19. Praying here too for Michael, sending my love as well

  20. “Two in[side] the fence is worth one in the meadow” that’s how i feel about my daughter’s two horses, but i feel so sorry for them as they watch the deer meander in and out and drink their water and enjoy their salt block and then go on their way up into the hills… or out onto the road to cause an accident… those faithful horses must feel much like we do as we watch the godless prosper, while we endeavor to obey the Master and stay within His boundaries

  21. For anyone on this thread, I would ask you to pray for our brother Michael. Additionally, consider some measure of active support for what he does, day by day and week by week, for the upbuilding of the Kingdom. It is simply important.

  22. John 20:29

    And as the deer bounds from the meadow down the cliff to drink from the abundant springs of life she lands in front of the grill of my 4×4 as I’m late for the wedding rehearsal. Some trucks aren’t meant fur bein’ fenced in… 😉

  23. Duane

    I will pray for him. God bless

  24. Duane, will hit the donate button up there in the left corner…. hoping others can spare a dime or two now also… prayer continues… Lord, please move that medical system into action on Michael’s behalf down there in Oregon

  25. #22 – i think that all who come here are blessed by the posts and the comments – the shepherding of this site that i’ve watched Michael keep for quite a few years now… we, most of us, are uncomfortable with seeing the supernatural in the world around us… too many opportunists and henny pennies color our view and rightly so, but….
    that said, we must not discount that this thread of rational and reasonable Christianity has an enemy that wants it gone
    anyone not praying for Michael should be ashamed of themselves (this is your granny speaking) and…
    a pox rests on those who want the Phoenix Preacher gone… 🙂

  26. Thank you all for the kind words and prayers.

    I just got word that my surgery has been scheduled for the 25th of this month…that’s a huge answer to prayer.

    My meds just caught up with the pain and I’m resting comfortably.

    Blessings on you all.

  27. #27 Michael

    Do let us know if there is any way in which we can be of help and support to you…

  28. is Michael the victim of the eclipse? such a long wait for someone as sick as he is…
    i heard on the local news that Oregon’s hospitals are laying in supplies and making plans, gearing up for the influx of eclipse viewers… for some reason they’re expecting casualties?
    say what?
    Dr. Duane, amen to your #28 and keep us posted

  29. I’m ok….better this morning.
    My doctor is going to make sure I have pain meds until they cut it out…which is another miracle.
    They don’t like prescribing this stuff for that long.

    Hopefully, we’ll miss the brunt of the eclipse crowd down here…it’s going to be one hell of a mess up north.

  30. i don’t know how you’re doing it, Michael… they were ready to cut my gall bladder out right away, but i had to wait until family could break free to help me… i was lying low, literally in a recliner, for just one week and that was enough… as some here express it, God have mercy – indeed

  31. Getting upset about it will just make it worse…so we’ll go one day at a time.

    I just have to remember not to eat anything I like…my food list is now oatmeal and watermelon. 🙂

  32. Do you need to travel to see the eclipse? Don’t you just look up wherever you are? If you are on the daylite side of the earth.

  33. MLD,

    All of the daylight side of the Earth sees the light radiation coming from the Sun due primarily to the fact that light travels in multiple directions. However, an eclipse is a one directional event. It is a specific straight alignment that can only be fully viewed from one end of the straight alignment to it’s opposite end. Naturally a portion of the eclipse can be viewed from various angles but the climax event of the eclipse can only be viewed by those that are directly aligned themselves with the alignment of the eclipse.

  34. Paul, thanks. It’s just that the comments made it sound like Oregon was ground zero. I know it can be viewed here in AZ.

  35. MLK,

    I am unaware of where the ‘Ground Zero’ will be, but it is my understanding that the ground zero location here on Earth at the time of an eclipse is the only spot that will observe the diamond ring effect.

  36. I could be and probably am wrong about my #36.

  37. Also, what I said about the diamond ring effect is only during a “Total” eclipse.Total or partial makes no difference, during either one there are many stupid people who try to observe the eclipse by looking at it directing with their naked eye, which can and does cause eye damage. It is my belief that the reason why Oregon hospitals are preparing for the eclipse is preparing for eye damage and not for “casualties” as questioned by John 20:29 #29.

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