What’s past is prologue. —William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Background of HisKingdom.Us
In July 2018 I “graduated into retirement” 48 years after receiving my MD degree, 45 years after completing my post-doctoral specialty studies in Family Medicine, 44 years after making a life-changing faith commitment, 42 years after marrying my life partner and raising a family together of four now wonderfully grown children with spouses and children of their own, and 40 years after embarking on an adventure in faith-based comprehensive community health care ministry called His Branches.
It’s been a marvelous “ride” and we’ve all been blessed with good health and strong hope for the future. This is no time for us to stop, pull back, and spend the rest of our lives primarily seeking recreational outlets for ourselves when we’ve been invested with so much life experience and there is so much left to be done. I prayed and asked, “What now, Lord?” and received the sense that, yes, the best is yet to come. “Keep your fork; there’s another course coming, followed by a dessert that’s out of this world!”
Since then I’ve been drawn into an ever-deepening study of the so-called “Kingdom of God” about which the Scriptures have so much to say. Along the way my interest has been piqued by many questions, including:
- Where did we come from?
- Where are we going?
- Why do things get so messed up in our lives and in the communities and world around us?
- How can we be part of the solution to the problems we see instead of part of the problem?
- What does His Kingdom have to do with Us?
- What does the future hold?
- Is Heaven real?
As I indicated a couple pages ago, after getting just so deep into my studies over the first several month after my recent “graduation,” I was taken with the idea of assembling a website to collect, organize, and share my thoughts and meditations on these subjects; not to answer them for you but to stimulate our thinking together. The following quote by David Wells strikes to the heart of my search:
Our understanding of God, of ourselves, of the world – comes so slowly, so painfully slowly, that life’s summer passes and the winter arrives long before this fruit is ripe to be picked. Or so it seems. God, however, is not a quantity that can be “mastered” even though He can be known; though He has revealed Himself with clarity, the depth of our understanding of him is measured, not by the speed with which theological knowledge is processed, but by the quality of our determination to own his ownership of us through Christ in thought, word, and deed.
Clearly, the questions I’ve listed are not only incomplete but universal and continue to open up a broad range of human speculation. The origins of our universe and the final destinations of our personal lives and humanity as a whole are matters of wide-ranging and ongoing conjecture. There is no purely “scientific” way to find completely solid or satisfying answers to questions in these realms.
How much can we understand about the past or future by extrapolating from the now? What have others thought? Where do we put our trust? To borrow a famous phrase from Pontius Pilate uttered two millennia ago, “What is Truth?” My seeking for wisdom and insight into these topics has been, for better or worse, guided by prayer and the writings of the testaments of the Bible as these relate to contemporary understandings of the world around us. In this I’ve been encouraged by many promises that speak to my mind, heart, and motivations like the one below:
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, which are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him“ – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians:2:6-14
My trust and hope is that you will enjoy joining me in my journey as outlined in the following pages as they unfold.