2005-11-29 - IHFHBOH
Several have asked me what IHFHBOH means, and others have taken guesses. I have told them each privately, but because I love to tell what IHFHBOH means to me, I thought I'd write a short article about it.
I began using standard Christian closings when writing several years back. I started out using things like "Your Brother In Christ", "Love In Christ", "In Christ," before wanting something unique of my own. After developing a long closing, I shortened it to an acronym. When I think of IHFHBOH, I read it as a single word in my mind, pronounced "IF A BOW" as in "If a bow could shoot water, would it be a rainbow?" (Sorry, that's the best sentence I could come up with.) So now that you know it's an acronym, let me tell you what it means - but first, a brief history lesson
Way back in 1971, I was born. I was born and raised in the church as a Baptist. I had a head full of God from my earliest days, but never had a heart full of my Savior until my freshman year in college - 1989. It was then that Jesus Christ came to live in me and I in Him. I fell short of God's standard, and was owed death for all my efforts. But I found redemption in Christ (Romans 3:23-24).
I know I was saved at that time, and felt it in my heart without any doubt - but being away from all my roots, as it were, I went astray and began living for myself. I am grateful that God didn't give up on me. I'm grateful for His promise in Romans 8:38-39 that nothing ever separated me from Him. I spent many years living for myself and doing things that weren't at all pleasing to Him. But God didn't leave me alone; He chastised me from time to time, as any good father will do with a wayward child. (Hebrews 12:6). Eventually I heeded the message and returned to living for Him.
Since my return to Him late in '97, I have tried to live as a faithful servant. All that I do, I try to do because of Jesus. My heart's desire is to give my all to Him because he gave His all to me. All I do, all I can do, is because of Him.
In that testimony is the secret of IHFHBOH is an acronym for my testimony and how I wish to spend my days - In Him, For Him, Because Of Him. I used to write it out, but it was long, and using a cryptic version meant people would ask me - and I could tell them as I am telling you now, all about my fantastic Lord and Savior, my God Who came as one of us to pay the price of sin for all of us.
In Him, I have all I need. My eternal salvation rests solely in Him - not a smidgen in what I may do. In Him, I find a source of strength able to do anything and overcome all things. If God is for me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31) In Him, I have redemption. In Him, I have a refuge. In Him is all my sustenance and my strength.
That is why all that I do, I should do for Him. It is not about me. This is not my life.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
And since it is by Him that I have life, all honor and all glory for anything I may accomplish is for Him, and Him alone.
It's not because of who I am but all because of Him, because of His love, because of His sacrifice. That is the only reason I am worthy to serve my God and King. And it's not really me, but Christ in me and through me. I am just a fool willing to be used.
1 Corinthians 1:24-31 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
After shortening it to an acronym, I also began thinking of it more and more myself, and realized that having it as a closing before my name wasn't what I wanted. I realized that who I am is not important, but Who I write about is - so most of the time, I drop my name from it to leave IHFHBOH standing alone. I still use my name after it when writing personal notes, but for articles like this, it's not about me. It's about my wonderful Savior, my mighty Lord, my awesome God!
If only one word could be used to describe me, I pray that the word would be IHFHBOH. Ok so that's cheating, but I always want to be ...
I hope your life is also IHFHBOH!
For some of my earliest thoughts on IHFHBOH you may also read http://groups.msn.com/thecainfamilygeorgia/ihfhboh.msnw from my personal home page since I rarely get around to updating much there.