In which I make a mistake – or is it serendipity?

by Craig on June 8, 2011

I was so sure of myself. I was even a little poetic because I had just spent hours penning a poem for Love. But…

I guess I’ll start at the beginning…

The air stood like cold steel.

He only wanted to protect his friend.
His desire was just.
His heart faithful.

His intentions – they were the kind with which the road to hell is paved.

The path led to one place,
up a hill,
through some gates,
into a city,
into a snare.

But to prevent the certain from certainty, to reverse the fortune that would not end well. He simply said not to go, not to walk that road, to turn around – and no trap would be sprung.

Just this,

And in no soft tongue,
no velvet glove,
a rebuke to the Savior,
an order of sorts…

“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”

The eyes of the Apostle, with vision tainted – his rebuke to Our Savior was an obstacle to the path.

Our Lord then speaks of self-denial, and sacrifice, and uselessness of gaining everything that this life has to offer – to gain nothing at all in the end.

And this is the context that precedes the next pertinent usage of “works”.

In between the first one from yesterday – and this one from today – there’s a string of “mighty works” – miracles performed either by Our Lord or by humans. As far as defining the “works” which make faith alive according to James, I think miraculous works are not what he meant.

So that brings me to this next use of “works”.

And this one is pertinent, because this one is linked with the final judgment of God. But this one betrays a mistake I’ve made.

The words of Jesus are simple.

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (MT 16:27)

And here is where, gliding gleefully down Route 54 – that I meet UNEXPECTED RD.

I find that just looking up the word “works” in a concordance, and figuring out the meaning of the word in context, is not as easy as it looks.

Because the Greek word here is not the same as the one used in James,

This one is


pronounced Praxees (emphasis on the first syllable)

It’s where we get our word practice from.

And so my concordance has betrayed me.

Or has it?

It had the potential to be great movie:
filled with twists and u-turns,

I wanted to heart it!
I thought would.

But I didn’t.

But it had a cute name…



Is that what this is?


To understand what James means when he uses the word we commonly translate as “works”, do I have to look at more than just the Greek word that he used.

Peter’s seemingly noble intentions to stop Our Lord from moving forward failed – thankfully. My efforts to define “works” by context, has, by contrast, now screeched violently to a halt.

Oh me of little faith, and big head.

One has to be careful when discerning Scripture – and Scripture has now exposed my carelessness. I have to regroup. I’ll do so by tomorrow.


but maybe Yay!!!!!!


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy Holman June 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Hey I liked that movie! Not so much the message of serendipity – but the soundtrack and the actors in it – but I was frustrated with them all the way through the movie – hoping that they would just get it – WAY sooner than they did – but they finally did. Whew. But I’m female and so I would like this type of chick flick – right? You’re probably right – but my favorites are stories with many layers in them like “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Pride and Prejudice”.


Craig June 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

real quickly – I’ll say that movie could’ve been so much better. I like John Cusack – but he stopped being a romantic lead when he took the boombox off from on top of his head. – just sayin’. I think my serendipity is going to turn out much better than that serendipity. God bless you Cindy.


Cindy Holman June 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Spoken like a true man. John Cusack is GREAT! It was the plot of the movie that was left wanting for me. And Kate Beckinsale I’ve loved her since she played the lead in the BBC production of “Emma” :) She’s a honey.


Dawn June 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Dear Craig,

I’m not quite sure if this twist was a part of your plan or if you are just a real man who can own up to his mistakes. Irregardless, this is intriguing. AND Shelly, my lhasa apso owns a copy of Serendipity. We watch it together–without the boys. I love the snow falling as they “get it” (to quote Cindy).

Oh, and may I say “I” (yes, me and myself) get the poem over at Deep Into Love. I think it’s because it rhymes this time. Interestingly, my blog friend Susan wrote a poem about moonlight today. I think it’s quite good. You were on the same wavelength. I know you build community here, Craig, so I’m posting her blog address for those who may be interested:

He continues His patience as I learn His ways,


Craig June 9, 2011 at 11:58 am

Dawn, let me set the record straight I didn’t NOT like the movie serendipity. I just think it could’ve been a lot better. I was expecting a lot better. The snow falling as they “got it” – that was a good part – but there were so many parts that could have been better – enough movie critiquing for now :-)

And let me know if my poems ever get too deep or too out there. I’ve always been more about one Fish two Fish red Fish blue Fish kind of a guy – I’m just trying to be more literate now. :-)

Amber Haines once told me, “Stop rhyming and I mean it – anybody got a peanut!” – I respect her tons.

And I do read Susan’s blog already. I think for some strange reason I’ve been calling her Tina. Need to fix that. :-) God bless you Dawn.


Craig June 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

pppphhhthththhhthththppppthththththhhhhhh!!! :)


Cora June 8, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Wherever we’re goin’ —- I’m likin’ it!


Craig June 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm

thank you Cora – I think this path is going to lead to a confirmation of what I said about the two kinds of works referring to salvation. But I haven’t done this before, I’ve relied on what I’ve read, so we’ll see where it leads. I heart having you along for the ride. God bless you.


Dawn June 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm


Since Craig doesn’t seem to be around right now, I just want to tell you that you have the joy of the Lord. God bless your sweet encouraging self!



Craig June 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

thank you for stepping in and commenting in my stead :-) had a busy day helping my brother move stuff – in addition to other stuff – in addition to the no sleep thing :-) and Cora is an encouraging little thing – and so are you! God bless you Dawn.


Debbie June 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Craig, thank you for knowing you needed to stop and regroup. Me. . .I am in deep waters here, so hanging onto the edge of the pool. I wouldn’t have known.
God bless you and all that He brings from this!


Craig June 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I remember years ago – preaching – and although saying I didn’t have all the answers – inside I thought I did. Arrogant. It’s a good thing that I’ve been humbled. I’m kind of by the side of the pool with you – this search through the daisy field is a first-time search for me. It will not be as deep as my normal studies are, just kind of a meandering through the Bible – but I’ve got to find out if what I said is right – that there are two kinds of works – and we shouldn’t throw the bad one in with a good one – or throw out the good one with the bad one :-) God bless you Debbie.


A. June 8, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Patiently waiting for your regrouping, Craig, but smiling meanwhile at all the chatter in the comment corner!! :)


Craig June 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

A. I heart all the chatter in the “comment corner”!! God bless you A.


Dawn June 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm

HE’s BAAACK! and I’m laughing out loud! Did anyone ever have so much fun anywhere else in Blogdom in the comment section? Not me.

Holy hallelujah!


A. June 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Dawn, I agree! Greg is the Holy Hoot Host here at times! :) Thanks for keeping the light on for all of us out in the hinterlands, Craig.


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