I started writing with a fountain pen (in fact several of them) in July 2013. At the time, I had no idea what it involved, nor did I realize the cost that could be accrued. Then I participated in an online expositors conference in March 2014 and I heard three pastors/preachers mention how that writing with a fountain pen slowed down the process so much that you retained so much more than if you were pounding out words on computer keyboard. I had reached the place where that I almost never wrote things down and when I did, my handwriting had deteriorated so horribly that my hieroglyphics could hardly be deciphered. So around March 2014, I got in earnest about handwriting.
Last year as I floundered through writing out the Pastoral Epistles in a journal with a fountain pen (all in the great hopes that my cursive handwriting would improve), I found an intriguing quality that was listed by Paul. He instructed that a man who was desired the work of a bishop (KJV), overseer and bondservant (ESV), servant (ESV), and superintendent and overseer (Amplified) be “apt to teach”. I was particularly struck by this phrase as I wrote the words from Weymouth. He translated 1 Timothy 3:2 as “with a gift for teaching” and in 2 Timothy 2:24 as “a skillful teacher.” The Amplified Bible also had a remarkable rendering also for in 1 Timothy 3:2 it is “a capable and qualified teacher” and 2 Timothy 2:24 it was “he must be a skilled and suitable teacher.”
I am certain that all students have at one point had a teacher or two or three who really stood out from the rest of the mix as someone who pushed your life in a direction of excellence. I personally have had some who did that very thing for me as I have navigated through my years of education. I have been incredibly blessed to have taken part in a wide range of education both in the classroom and clinical setting. What I have realized is that of all the teachers that I ran across there were just handful who could fall into the category of being an excellent teacher. It is apparent that Paul fell into the category of exceptional. You can see his excellence coming through in a variety of ways when you read the account in Acts and scattered throughout his epistles.
I am quick out of the chute this year having already finished a book in the first week of the New Year. This book is not a particularly new book with an original publishing date of 1972 but it has gone through at least thirteen printings of the original edition. Furthermore it has gone through a revision in 2005 and I have the second printing of that copy also. Last year, I wrote several lengthy posts of some personal Bible study notes as I trackedthrough Kay Arthur’s book, Lord, Is ItWarfare? Those are still available although I did not complete them because I had started writing with a fountain pen as described in the first post of this year. I do have those notes written in another journal and perhaps may need to revisit them and post the rest of them.
Spiritual warfare has always been an interest of mine and I have more than 100 books in my personal library that deals with this subject. The only subject that I have more single volumes about is holiness which logs in at more than 150 books devoted to that subject. I have discovered over the course of the years that when you read and study about personal holiness and spiritual warfare together that you will have to come to grips with the very close link between to the two. A commitment to personal holiness gives a Christian great power when he is dealing with the attack of the devil. Indeed! A real live devil who is not a concept, theme, or ideal planted in the human consciousness but an arch-angel who fell from heaven to lead a rebellion against God. Spiritual warfare operates in zones that attempts to weaken the commitments that we make toward personal holiness and when we fall in the battle, we suffer and those around us suffer.
What a horrible way to begin a New Year! I am speaking of beginning this year with an excuse. However, this may not be so much of an excuse as an explanation. As the year faded from spring to summer and then to fall and finally to the winter, I began to have inquiries as to why I had stopped blogging. In fact the last post I had put on the Barnabas Blog was way back in April when I was in the midst of the series on spiritual warfare from Kay Arthur’s study guide, Lord, Is It Warfare? So the questions that came my way were reasonable as to why I had “gone dark” on the Barnabas Blog. This is why I had nothing to post. . .