Bob Rice

An internationally famous speaker, musician, and writer, Bob Rice looks at the beautiful and the bizarre of life through a Catholic perspective. Also includes articles and excerpts from books he's working on.

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Location: Steubenville, Ohio, United States

My desire is to share the love of God to everyone I meet through the many gifts God has given me. My full time job is teaching evangelization and youth ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH. About two or three times a week I travel around the country proclaiming God's word or do a concert/lead worship. I've published many articles and I'm working on my first novel. 12 years ago, I married the love of my life and now we have 5 beautiful children. You can find out more about me and download lots of free stuff on my webpage- http://bob-rice.com

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What can I do for you?

The “check engine” light came on in my car yesterday, and I hate the “check engine” light because I’m never sure what to do. “Low gas” and “low oil” I understand, but “check engine”? I open the hood and take a look. There, I checked it. It’s still there. But the light remains.

So I take it to the Honda dealership and really only look for two things to happen: 1) I want the light to go off, and 2) I want a free car wash. “Free” is a relative term because it costs me $80 for them to do whatever they do, but the car wash is a nice touch and the real reason I go there.

As I pick up the car, there is a man in greasy overalls who tries to explain in great detail what they did to update my car. Something about belts and filters. I nod at the appropriate moments, act like it was a great thing they did whatever they did in time before whatever happened to it, but in my mind I hope they left the big pieces of paper on the floor mats because I can pretend that I just bought my car.

This is not a great way to treat an automobile, but the world seems to have enough mechanics that I can get away with it. And after all, the light comes on to tell me when I need take it back. For all I know, it’s connected to a remote control at the dealership and when business is bad they hit the button and in I come for my $80 car wash.

The real problem is when I treat my spiritual life the same way. I know something is wrong, but I don’t want the details of why I feel the way I do. I just want it fixed, with a clean and shiny soul at the end.

That is not the way that God deals with us. In Mark 10 is the story of blind Bartimeaus, who cried out to Jesus as he was passing by. Jesus calls him forward and asks a ridiculous question.

“What can I do for you?”

The people in the crowd must have looked at each other in shock. Can’t Jesus see he’s blind? His problem is obvious. Why not just heal him?

But God is not interested is showing his power, but his love. His question gave great dignity to Bartimeaus, and allowed him to participate in the moment of healing. It became something they did together, as opposed to a mechanical action Jesus did by default.

Reading the Gospels, Christ always looked for moments to connect with those He healed. When the woman who touched the hem of his garment was cured, He wanted to know who it was. He touched the leper before He healed him. He could have waved His hand from a distance, but Jesus wanted to be close, to be intimate.

He still does. The “check engine” light of my soul shows itself when I lose my temper, stop making time for prayer, become self-centered, or fall into my old patterns of sin. In my frustration, I just want God to fix me so I can get “back to work”. I cry his name, and He comes, with those piercing eyes, and asks, “What can I do for you?”

I’m impatient at the question. We’re wasting time. “You know what’s wrong,” I reply. “Can’t you make me better now?”

He smiles and looks at me with love. “Of course I know what’s wrong. The bigger question is... do you?”

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Blogger Anders Branderud said...

You wrote:” You wrote: “Reading the Gospels, Christ always looked for moments to connect with those He healed. “

I want to comment.
[To differentiate,]First of all,
The historical Messiah was a Ribi named Yehoshua.

His authentic teachings were written down by his apprentice student Matityahu and were later redacted into the “gospel of Matthew”. In his true teachings one finds that he taught – just that which is written in the Tank’’h – that humankind is required to do their utmost to keep the directives in Torah non-selectively. The followers of Ribi Yehoshua were called the Netzarim and their message was always antithetical to Christianity [note 1].

Furthermore, the historical Ribi Yehoshua – ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) - was not an “incarnate man-god”. [2] The Netzarim never accepted the “NT”, because its teachings contradict Torah. [3]
The teachings of Ribi Yehoshua is the antithesis to the teachings of the “NT”.

Ribi Yehoshua was educated in how to care for other persons sicknesses.

Relating to the Creator exactly in the same way Ribi Yehoshua did – i.e. observing the Creators directives in the Torah – leads oneself into an intimate relationship with the Creator, which is very meaningful!

1.These statements are proved in the website of Netzarims website [the only legitimate Netzarim, located in Ra’anana]
2. Read more in the website in note 1; History Museum; Mashiakh-section (top menu)
3. Proof in this link on my blog: Link

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