david maxey

January 4, 2008

Baby Sense

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 6:43 am

There are two things that I observed about babies, while watching Meghan the other day as Inga was out shopping. No, my revelation doesn’t have anything much to do with diapers and eating, so if that’s what you were expecting, read no further. Rather, the revelation that I got while observing Meghan is deeply spiritual, and I don’t mean in the “roll around on the floor, float through the air” spiritual. I am talking about the real deal. So, here goes…


1. Meghan is Inga’s and my daughter, period. “What!” you exclaim, “I thought that you said that this was going to be something super spiritual.” Well, just hang on and let me develop my thought here. 


No matter what Meghan DOES or DOES NOT do, she is our daughter by virtue of her birth. If Meghan grows up to shake the world with her mighty talents, or, God forbid, she was to sink to the bottom of society, she would still be our daughter. Her birth in our family is an irrevocable fact, that is in NO WAY dependent upon her actions. Whether naughty or nice, Meghan is a Maxey, period. 


I wish that more Christians had at least this much confidence in the new birth, the Fatherhood of God, and their salvation. We are saved because we were born into God’s family. We were not born by something we did. We were born by God’s grace through faith. No matter what we DO we are God’s children. Now I know that some people turn bright red and scream at such statements. I don’t mean to offend them, but I refuse to budge an inch. This after all is an eternal issue at stake. 


Why would we put more faith in a biological birth than in the spiritual new birth which is authored by God? Is God somehow less then us? Is the birth that He instigates inferior to human effort? If there is nothing that Meghan can do to change her biological makeup, which is what makes her Inga’s and my child, then why is it that some think that the new birth can be annulled at the slightest mistake? No, once you are born of God, you are God’s child period!


2. Meghan believes in her parents without any effort at all. We have never taught Meghan the ABC’s of faith. She has not yet attended Bible school. Yet, her trust in us is complete. Worry and concern have not yet once creased her tiny brow. Her faith in us is perfect. 


Never once, have I seen Meghan begging us to give her more faith so that she may believe us better. Never have I seen her accusing us of some kind of injustice. Never have I seen her struggle to believe. Now this may shock you, but she can’t even talk, yet her faith seems to do just fine even without confessing, “My mom and dad are faithful.” forty-two times a day. 


How then does Meghan have such unshakeable faith in us? She understands once simple thing – we love her. Since birth she has been held close and surrounded by affection. Every need she had was met. When she cries, someone shows up and comforts her; when she is hungry she is fed. Mommy and daddy constantly affirm their love to her every hour of the day. 


I firmly believe that love us the foundation of strong faith. “But,” you say, “the Bible tells us that faith comes from hearing the Word of God.” Yes, it does and we get to know our great God of love through His Word. God is love and God Himself is the source of faith. When we know how much He loves us, believing Him will come naturally. After all, why should it be a struggle to believe the Creator of the universe? It is only a struggle if we don’t know Him, and know that He is love! Again, the primary way we get to know Him is through the Word. 


Let me also say, that I strongly believe in confessing what I believe. I also believe that confessing what I truly believe is something that is natural instead of mechanical. If you really believe in something, chances are, you are going to say something about it sooner or later. 


I challenge you to focus on God’s great love for you, and that is what will cause you to have child-like faith. 

January 3, 2008

Secret Agent

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 7:44 am

“Pastor,” Sveta’s, voice rang from office room adjacent mine, “a policeman is on the line and he wants to speak with you.” “Find out what he wants first,” I yelled back. A few seconds later, her voice came wafting into my office again, “He says that you haven’t done anything wrong,” she informed, “he just wants to meet you.” “Get his phone number and tell him we’ll call back to schedule a meeting,” I responded. 


Sveta, our church’s administrator, is used to dealing with tough people and tough cases, but I could tell that this phone call had ruffled her feathers. “So, who is this guy?” I queried, “Do we know anything about him? Any motive as to why he wants to meet with me?” “I don’t know. He just said that he wanted to make your acquaintance. He said that he knows some of the other pastors in town.” “Well, let’s see if we can find out something about him before I meet with him. I at least want to know who I am dealing with,” I reasoned. 


Several phone calls later, things all fell into place. One of the pastors that I called and questioned concerning this “mysterious” policeman answered my question as to “whom” we were dealing with. “He’s secret police” the pastor said matter-of-factly. “Just act normal when you meet with him. You haven’t done anything wrong,” he advised. 


The next day the policeman came for a visit. Even though I really hadn’t done anything wrong, I still felt nervous. The particular agency he works for was infamous for persecuting Christians in the past. Even though things have changed since then, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the apple tree”, as the Russians say…


When we met, I was amazed by this agent’s appearance and behavior. I expected a doughty old man with salt and pepper tinged hair and a thick, black uni-brow to complement his perpetual scowl framed by an outdated sport coat, starched collar and cheap polyester tie. However, I was amazed to see a dapper young man in a beautiful, dark blue, pinstripe suit, white Oxford shirt, and a stylish silk tie. He had nicely parted, thick dark hair piled atop a slightly plump, cherubic face. Most of all, he had a very ready smile and a soft sincere voice. “Wow” I mused, ” these guys are good, really good.” 


“I must confess,” he began, “I told a little white lie on the phone. I am not just an average policeman. I work for the federal security bureau.” He paused for a few seconds. ” We are a different organization than we used to be. Our main concern is to protect from harm. I just came to make your acquaintance and make sure that you are secure and sound.” As our conversation continued I found myself unconsciously beginning to like this guy. His charm was very subtle and he seemed genuine, though in the back of my mind an alarm was ringing “intruder, intruder, intruder”. I was upright and honest with him at all times, yet I chose each word with special care and didn’t tell too much, something which Americans are famous for. 


An hour later, our conversation came to an end and our guest rose to leave. “I was pleased to meet you,” he said, “if you don’t mind, I plan to drop by from time to time.” Of course, whether I minded or not meant nothing at all. He left and his parting comment was that he was pleased by what he saw and that everything was OK. Praise God, we got a passing grade.  


It wasn’t till I got home, that I realized how stressful that meeting had been for me. At the dinner table, my arms suddenly went limp. It was the grace and strength of God alone that helped me through such an ordeal. Things have changed in Russia, but the federal security service is real and has real power. It was resurrected under the leadership of president Putin, who incidentally made began his career in said agency. As Inga wisely observed, “They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.” For some perspective, can you imagine an FBI agent coming to your church and interrogating your pastor, just “to get acquainted”? Even so, the Word of God instructs us to respect authority and obey those in authority. I plan to do just this. The favor of God surrounds us and will save us from the schemes of ungodly men. 


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