Thursday’s Random Thoughts

1) My hearts tendency to legalism is manifested most clearly when I look in the Bible for what to do, as if Holy Writ was given to me as a self help book. What needs to happen is for me to go to the scriptures and listen for what God is saying about himself and myself and my neighbor.

2) One of the more staggering stats of the young baseball season is Andrelton Simmons having 49 plate appearances with no strikeouts. Back in 1929 Joe Sewell went 115 games without a strikeout. I’m not sure how many plate appearances that was but it was 437 at bats. He only struck out 4 times that season. And averaged only 1 K every 62.6 at bats over his hall of fame career making him the hardest batter to strikeout in MLB history.

3) While April is a little colder than I’d prefer, springtime in Birmingham is really glorious with all the azaleas and lilies and irises blooming and the trees are a blinding green. It’s hard to sit at a desk, you feel like your body is about burst with the need to sit outside and laugh with friends.
Spring is great everywhere but hometown Spring is singular.

4) Obscurity with my wife in a quiet room with a book is preferable over out with the movers and shakers.

5) I got a note this week from a pastor who has been taking his small group through my book. That group has among its members a banker and a plumber. So my week has been made. If those two were encouraged at all it’s worth it. The royalty checks are nice. And necessary. But hearing that? It’s a particular kind of wealth that cannot be earned or bought.

6) Went to a ball game downtown last night. Had a hot dog and an orange drink. We have some serious award inning restaurants in town but I’d chose a ball game, a dog and an orange drink over them every single time.

7) Over the past week I’ve helped a 75 yr old lady with $2 to her name and another elderly lady in tears, who lost a daughter in law to the long battle of cancer. I’ve sat between two broken marriages. And I’ve spent 2 hours talking with a woman whose drug-addicted son has been stealing from her and she has to bolt her bedroom door from the inside when she sleeps at night, when she can sleep. I would not have chosen this preparation for the pastorate, but it is the wisdom of God.

8) The Psalms are full of the Blues and sometimes you can hear Mississippi John Hurt and Son House and Big Bill Broonzy in them.

9) I long for a vacation the way a fat kid longs for cake.

10) It sounds like some tired cliche but work is far more tolerable when I am praying for my fellow employees and my bosses. Sometimes those prayers are more like the groans of creation waiting for redemption, but still.

11) The songs sung by the characters in the The Lord of the Rings are very different than the songs sung after the adventure begins.

8 thoughts on “Thursday’s Random Thoughts

  1. Becky April 17, 2014 / 10:17 am

    Most excellent, Matt. All of it, this. But what I love most of all is the spaces in between where you found yourself at work. What a joyful gift wrapped up in unexpected wrapping paper.

  2. JoelG April 17, 2014 / 11:18 am

    Pondering #1….Once we read what God says about Himself, myself and my neighbor, isn’t that basically telling us what “to do”? Therefore, couldn’t the Bible be seen as a kind of “self help book”? I know this is a stretch, just thinking out loud.

    • mattbredmond April 17, 2014 / 12:29 pm

      Just as we can confuse good things with ultimate things, we can confuse use with purpose.

      • JoelG April 17, 2014 / 1:28 pm

        Ok yes this is true. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal the ultimate story of who God is and what He has done for us (everything). As a result, we then respond by means of faith. Its this faith in Him that changes our perspective on life. Then we read Luke 17:33 and John 10:10…. therefore our “self” is “helped”…by dying to “self”, ironically.

      • mattbredmond April 19, 2014 / 7:50 am

        I think that says it even better. There is no denying the the helpfulness of the Scriptures. But I tend to go to it for the help God can give and hope to feel better. Sometimes feeling better and having something to do though are at cross purposes with what God is saying to me, though. Actually it’s often.

      • jstug April 19, 2014 / 10:13 am

        You are not alone my friend. Maybe that’s why He gave us the Psalms….so we can sing the blues while trusting Him in hard circumstances.

  3. Pam Burns April 17, 2014 / 1:31 pm

    I love to read your thoughts. It’s like a breath of truth and real life mixed together.

  4. alfredtheo April 30, 2014 / 5:24 pm

    Your book was recommended in a sermon at church on sunday, by a young pastor who is outstanding. His two greatest sermons (IMO) are “Insignificance” and “Just a Boring Day”. As a result I’ve just started reading you book “God of the Mundane” and wanted to say how great it is – so far 🙂 Thank you. (Not a plumber nor a banker, just mundanely retired.

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