drop the blanket part 2

The Rest of Linus’s Story from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

To read part one, click here: https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/12/14/fear-not-or-the-moment-linus-drops-the-blanket/

“After the epic, blanket-dropping recitation of Scripture given by Linus in response to Charlie Brown’s quest for meaning, he picks the blanket back up. Isn’t that anti-climactic?

A few days ago, I* wrote down some thoughts about a beautiful moment that has been hidden in plain sight for 50 years in ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’

As a pastor, I am thrilled at the encouragement it has given, and as a former literature teacher, I am thrilled that it has started a firestorm of film analysis! Many of you have pointed out that at the end of the scene, Linus picks the blanket back up, and have openly wondered why.

After the epic, blanket-dropping recitation of Scripture given by Linus in response to Charlie Brown’s quest for meaning, he picks the blanket back up.

Isn’t that anti-climactic?

Why would Linus pick that old security back up after so boldly proclaiming an end to fear? Why does he leave the stage with that security blanket still in his hand?

We first must realize that we all carry that same blanket.

Just like Linus, we may stand tall in a moment of faith and conviction, a moment when Scripture hidden in our heart comes to life, and all else is flung aside as we experience and proclaim the true freedom and security that only Jesus can give.

But at some point, out of habit, we reach down and pick that thing right back up. Faith, while powerful, is also delicate.

Linus clearly knows the truth, and clearly proclaims the truth. The knowledge is there and the wisdom is there and the passion is there. So why does he pick it back up?

I think the answer is strikingly clear. It is because we all do the same thing.

We know. We feel. We proclaim.

Yet we gaze in the mirror one morning to find that tattered old blanket draped over our shoulder yet again. And we realize that we have become so used to it being there that we hardly even noticed it.

But that is not where this blanket story ends.

The show ends with the Peanuts gang not just singing, but clearly and unquestionably singing in worship. Even the musical style at this point is different from anything else heard previously.

The obvious song choice here could have been ‘O Christmas Tree,’ the notes of which have already been playing gently in the background.

But the focus is no longer the tree. The focus has become bigger than the tree. The focus is Jesus.

With this new focus, the kids instead slide effortlessly into “Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the Newborn King,” and what we are now witnessing is essentially an impromptu worship service.

But before any of this happens, Linus parts with that blanket yet again, and lays it down for good at the base of that beautiful Christmas tree, just as we should strive to not just lay our blanket down just anywhere, but leave it forever behind us at the foot of that cross, for our own good and the good of others.

Linus and friends have moved from speaking truth and hearing truth into a deeper place of worship, where they finally respond to that truth, much like those shepherds who were instructed to “fear not” so very long ago.

It is here at the end of the show that Linus lays that blanket down yet again, and this time? He doesn’t look back.”

That is what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. Christ came to fulfill His purpose; we need to seek to fulfill ours in faith expecting the impossible and never looking back all the while worshipping the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Amen – so be it. Now, go help others understand all that has been read as you daily strive to…

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Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” Matthew 5.17

*written by Jason Soroski

As a writer and musician, Jason Soroski strives to communicate in a way that is insightful, meaningful, relevant, and mindful of the small things that we may otherwise overlook in our everyday lives. He effectively taps into his experiences as a worship pastor, classroom teacher, husband, and homeschooling father of five to relate poignant stories from real-life experiences. Jason holds an M.Ed. from Missouri Baptist University, has been featured in various print and web publications, and currently resides in Houston, TX. Read more from Jason at his blog The Way I See It.

Published: December 21, 2015

https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/christmas-and-advent/drop-the-blanket-the-rest-of-linus-s-story-from-a-charlie-brown-christmas.html

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

what is faith

Faith is believing in something beyond yourself. Something you can’t see or smell or touch. It is like having hope but mixed with love.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11.1

Maybe you have let your faith go. Know it is never to late to realize what is important in your life and to fight for it. Everyday we are alive can be considered a miracle. Have faith that today God hears you, cares for you, and is in control.

If you have never trusted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior why not do that right now.

Simple say: “God forgive me, thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross in my place, I accept You as Lord and Savior and will do my best in faith to follow You all the rest of my earthly days. Amen

The Bible says the angels rejoice when one sinner comes to Christ. If that is you, do let us know in the comments so we can congratulate you and welcome you to the family of believers.

I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15.10

If you are already saved, perhaps there is an area in your life you need to put your full faith in to. Trust God with all the details.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3.5

Here’s some more verses to boost your faith:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13.8

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15.8

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26.3

“…all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9.23b

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9.24b

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10.17

Read The Word, build your faith, and

be.the.church

*inspired from the words of the minister in the movie Premonition

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

a summer without floaties

The idea of a pool seems to just fit the family now that the kids are older rather than actually desiring to swim in it. I am doubtful it was even used more than 10 days all last summer. It was the easiest summer maintaining ironically. I wonder what this summer will be.

But still, if you are going to swim, you need the floaties, right? Who doesn’t love lazy rivering around a pool. I sure do!

The problem is the floaties were never brought down from the storage space above the garage. I asked all the other men folk in the house to help me but that never happened. It was on one son’s list to do before returning to college. Nope didn’t happen. Another was traveling for work so it didn’t happen with him. And last was busy finishing his thesis as well as raising support for his upcoming assignment so no go there as well. And it is ok, they were all busy or preoccupied with other priorities; I will give them a pass. I was just frustrated as I couldn’t maneuver the leader to do it myself.

You see, something is under the crawl space window to reach the storage and I don’t trust myself opening up and extending the ladder to get there without knocking something over, hitting my head, or both.

I needed help.

Help I asked for that didn’t come.

Just a little help and a few minutes of time and summer fun could have been had by all maybe even resulting in more swim days.

But here’s the thing, how often do we think of God in those same terms – like when we pray, we might have asked for help that doesn’t come or desire help from someone stronger than ourselves and equate a not quick enough response as non-help.

He is there and He is stronger.

Yet, His timing may not be on our schedules or what we think it should be, but it doesn’t mean the help isn’t there for the asking.

Perhaps I could have been more persistent in the asking or looked to someone else for the help, but no worries fun could still be had.

I had 5 kids in the pool recently and we went old school with jumping contests, made up games, and a few balls that kept us in the pool for over 4 hours.

I know the floaties and extra towels and other toys are all there waiting to be used, but how often do we leave things that are more important tucked away like a dusty Bible waiting to be read. Now we know there is power and strength within the pages, but why do we leave the book on the shelf? How about taking some time to talk to God. We know He is there waiting, but we get so busy and don’t invite Him into our daily moments.

So, what’s the point? We can have a summer without floaties, even though I like you might wish they were around to use, but a summer without God will leave us tired, weak, and feeling alone.

So don’t go “floating” along in life without God intertwined in your days.

He will keep you afloat (pun intended) and keep you strong.

Don’t waiver in your faith.

Let others see it clearly as you…

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Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10.23

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Ps 27.14

Look back at this post to see how our week should go: https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/04/07/the-days-of-the-weak/

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

what will you do with the 242

That’s how many days are left with this year.

I have been busy counseling, consoling, mourning, and encouraging others in their faith walk this week as another client senselessly died of an overdose.

He had been doing so well. He had completely turned his life around, and had done a 180.

Then, after many, many months sober, he dies.

Shocking.

Heartbreaking.

Devastating .

Confusing.

Angry and sad all at the same time.

These were the feelings many processed this week me included and will continue to in the days ahead.

Yet, God cares for us all and all our feelings.

Perhaps a few bad days led to one bad decision to use which cost him the ultimate sacrifice of his life.

I wish I could have helped him that last day he was here on earth.

So, again I ask what will you do with the 242?

  • Learn to number your days.
  • Use your time wisely as it truly is our greatest commodity.
  • Counsel others if need be.
  • Console and mourn.

But, above all else, encourage others in their faith walk as that is the only thing we can take with us to heaven – others’ souls who join the fold.

Find your purpose.

Live it out loudly.

And, help others come to the knowledge of needing a relationship with Christ as Savior.

Then you will…

be.the.church

If you are struggling with addiction, please seek help. We were made for community and God desires none should perish without knowing Him so get yourself into a faith based recovery program and start walking in sobriety today.

If you are a family member of someone needing help, don’t enable their habits; get them help. Call adult and teen challenge or see what faith based program is in your local area.

Addiction is no joke and people are dying out there so take any cry for help serious.

Also, don’t ever feel you can’t ask for help; there is always someone willing to listen. Me for starters. Been helping those in their recovery walk for close to 3 decades and am willing to listen to your story, pray with you, and help you win what can be the daily battle of sobriety. Take it one day at a time.

The song “One day at a time sweet Jesus” sums up our walk this side of heaven regardless if you are steeped in addiction or just plain sin. May we day to day live out what God has called us to do fulfilling our mission one day at a time.

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

am i my neighbour’s keeper day 2

Do you have an elderly neighbour or know a shut in that is just waiting for a visit?

Be the light to brighten up their day.

May we be reminded we are to be diligent visiting the ones who perhaps need it most, but when we do, often it is us that walk away enriched.

It is a win win opportunity where both parties are blessed. It just takes a little extra time and commitment on our part to make it happen.

James tells us to take care of widows and orphans in their distress. How often do you think of them as your neighbour? Well, know that they are!

And if God has brought someone to your mind today, go and be your neighbour’s keeper.

Check in on the shut in, visit with the elderly, drop a bag of groceries off to the widow or single parent.

What other practical ideas of being the Lord’s hands and feet extended can you think of?

Comment below so we all can have more ideas on how to…

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Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1.27

Lord, thank you for saving my soul. Now help me share my faith so others can come into the fold. Amen

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

am i my neighbour’s keeper

Over the years we have had some crazy things happen to our neighbors. One drowned in the pool from a seizure while we were all home and had no idea help was needed. Another couple had a domestic violence dispute in front of the kids where both husband and wife were arrested. And it was so sad for me to learn our next door neighbour committed suicide and it was not discovered for weeks.

Each of these situations I grieved.

Each I wondered if there was something I could have done to help.

Each I wished I had shared more or done more to help them all know the Jesus I know and love.

We have a responsibility to share our faith. So in that sense, yes, we are to be our neighbours’ keepers or at least steer them towards the saving grace of Christ.

Have you heard this old saying? “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today!”

I think this is so true not just in procrastinating tasks but in choosing not to share our faith.

You see that neighbor who drowned I know I was suppose to share the gospel the night before the tragedy happened. I had an urgency and know it was God prompting me, but I decided I would wait and make a point to talk the next day. The problem is that day never came. So the saying “don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today” surely applies to sharing our faith too especially when we are promoted to do so.

I am glad we serve the God of second chances (and third and fourth and one hundred and two!)

But we must constantly consider this: What is the Lord prompting me even now to do? Don’t delay, do it today!

Please share your story in the comments below so we can learn more ways to…

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as we strive to be our neighbor’s keeper.

“…love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 22.39

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

Romans 15:4 NIV

Let’s give that hope away to our neighbours and not delay for we may not have tomorrow to do it.

What will you say to your neighbors today?

Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today!

Be bold and take that step to share your faith before time is no longer available. Let an urgency rise in you for we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Act today and be the keeper of your neighbor’s soul. Amen!

be.the.church

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved