Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Think Your Ideas are Horriible, Let's Debate!



I grew up in the 80's...it was a great decade.  In my estimation, nobody really thought about anything, we just went along with our Flock of Seagulls hairdos, and our heavy eyeliner, and everything was just fine, because we had the Safety Dance and all.

I'm pretty sure no one argued about politics or religion because we were all just a happy bunch.

Today, I am nearing...an age that I don't like to talk about, so we'll just call it kind of old...but not REALLY old.

There are polarizing arguments that go on today.  They have gone beyond whether or not Cindy Lauper or Madonna is more talented.
They are competing ideologies that are heading in very different directions.

They are left, right, atheistic, moral, political and fierce.
I have been called to the table for my views, I have been called stupid, I have been ignored, I have had a person simply refuse to speak to me because I made it known that I was a follower of Christ.

In the world of ideas we must be able to debate our views without personal attack.  We must have logical reasons for believing what we believe, and we must discuss these ideas with a mind that is willing to think through others ideas, as well as our own.

I am afraid our differences have demonized those who oppose us, and this must stop.  Just recently a disabled white man was brutalized for near 48 hours by four black young people.  Not more than a year ago a white man shot nine black Christians while the were at a bible study.  What have we lost that these things can happen? 

It is my thinking that we have lost the idea that humans are intrinsically valuable.  That is, the value they hold within themselves cannot be taken away by our human estimation of them.
Where does this value come from?  As a follower of Jesus, I have to point to a loving creator who assigns to each of us an infinite value.  A value that is so enormous that God himself laid his own life down for give us access to his kingdom. That is the value he has placed on us.

We are worth the life of God.

That humbles me, and forces me to think that he did not lay his life down only for me, and those that are of the same belief as I am, but for every human being whether or not they ever move towards this God who stepped out of his powerful place to reach us.

All people have worth to God, and so they therefore have worth to me, because I love God's ways.  This thought therefore leads to value their thoughts, even when I disagree with them.

I don't know if you know the God that I know.  But, if you are disturbed by the anger that is exploding in our world, think about where the worth of people might come from.  Perhaps it will lead you to this God of love, perhaps it will not, but either way, we might be able to get along better.

The End



Thursday, November 10, 2016

TRUMP

This is not the normal sort of post that I would write.
While a am very opinionated as far as politics goes, it is a subject that I tend to stay away from because it tends to be divisive.

Also, I experienced something ten years ago that made me realize that politics can be to personal.
I tend to put politics in the arena of logic, the cerebral and debate, but I have realized that many people make politics  a matter of the heart.

Let us take for instance the amount of crying that has gone on since the victory of Donald Trump over his rival Hillary Clinton
It's true that we are all disappointed when our candidate loses, but while it is a matter of sadness for a day or so, there really is a time to put on your grown up pants and get on with life. 

Here is what I would like all of you sad people to do.  I would like you to sit down for an hour or two with a copy of the constitution of the United States of America.  It's not a terribly long document, but it has genius in it  that might relieve your suffering.

Here is the preamble:
(Just a note, this Christian conservative has memorized it)

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, to ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America.

Please read the rest of this valuable and genius document.
It allows for the PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER!

This is something almost unheard of for most of history.  (You should read world history too).

The whole of Europe followed suit with this kind of government, most African nations, almost the whole of South America, some of Asia, Australia, and Canada.

In short I would like to say, YOU WILL GET ANOTHER CHANCE TO TAKE POWER IN FOUR YEARS!  IN CONGRESS IT WILL ONLY BE TWO YEARS!

So stop your whining, get educated, and thank God that the people who created the incredible document that allows for this.

No worries about us having a female president either.  It will happen, it just has to be the right woman.
I'm thinking me.

 




Monday, October 24, 2016

I don't even want to think how this could have turned out.
I'm no Thelma, nor am I a Louise.

But I am guilty of this, there is a road that I spend a large part of my driving life on.  I drive on it at least a 4,562 times a week.  

Driving might not be the right word.  Zipping by, zooming, okay, okay, SPEEDING...I speed by because it's one of those roads where the speed limit is 100% out of touch with reality.

Do I need to say more than that, because you all know THAT road.

This road gets more humorous because half way between  my town and our neighboring town lies a sheriff station.

AND, everyone speeds by that station. 

I have never seen anyone pulled over on this road, though I have seen a few sheriff cars cruising.

But, the other day there was a sheriff car ONE CAR BEHIND ME.....and I was speeding.

I though to myself, he's already seen that I am speeding, what should I do?  Should I slow down? He might pull me over if I pull down.  Should I speed up and hope I loose him?  But that would be so wrong!

What would you do?  You would do what I did.
I SPED UP.

Yes, it's true, I sped up.  This road has a lot of turns and hills and I know if I could just distance myself...well, it might be out of sight, out of mind.

And guess what? 



I lost him.


I had commited an illegal act and I ran from the cops.

It's true.

I turned onto a new highway, and knew I was home free.

But what should I see?  The Newark police.

I was sure the sheriff had radioed to him, I was sure I'd be pulled over.

But, I escaped AGAIN!  Not by speeding this time, but I coolly kept the speed limit and drove on by the police.

By this time I had a pretty guilty conscience.
I had done wrong, I had run away intentionally, and faked innocence in front of the one who could judge me.

This is my spiritual story really.  I knew there was a God who wanted me to do right. 
I could not do right...I did not do right.

When I found out that God's gift was forgiveness, I was too proud to admit I didn't already know God.

So I lied, and said told a camp counselor that I knew Christ, but if someone didn't, how would they accept him?

She was very gracious and told me that I only need to ask and God would forgive me through Christ.
That night I accepted the Lord...

A prideful, lying, brand new baby Christian was born.

He has been faithful to grow me.







Monday, August 29, 2016

There are those times when you can't figure out why certain things are happening.
The times when you are supposed to be asking, "What are you trying to teach me here God?"

The answer is certainly difficult to find...or hear sometimes.

Thankfully, I'm not alone.
A guy named King David had that same problem, and his problems were WAY worse than mine...at least so far.

The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart.
Sometimes I think, "Yea, right on David! You are a man after God's own heart!"
Sometimes I think, "What's wrong with you David?  Clearly you haven't a clue how to live a decent fellows life."

Often, I want to get judgemental about him.
Often I put on my E.R.A. hat and have a hissy fit when I read about him.
(No, I don't really own an E.R.A. hat).

Then I look at my own life which I like to think of as super great and godly...and sometimes, it is.
Sometimes I think,"Yea, way to go ME."
Then sometimes I think, "What's wrong with me?  Clearly I have no clue how to live a decent life."

Then I become very thankful for that ancient king.  He is just like me, plus, he never had the advantage of Christian self help books and 2000 years plus of scholarly research to help us all live a life pleasing to God.

Thanks for telling us a very human man could capture your heart.

That means that maybe I could capture your heart too God.

I love you God.
Thanks for sending Jesus.

 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So What?

 
 
I Corinthians 5
 
This morning I was reading 1 Corinthians.
 
Those people were pretty "out there".
 
I'm not sure what they were thinking in chapter 5.
Paul wrote to them in part to deal with a really bad situation.
 
A man was sleeping with he father's wife and the church at Corinth was apparently okay with the whole situation.
 
Now, we aren't told if this woman was his mom or step-mom, but either way this is a case of something gone terribly wrong.
 
The majority of people even in our culture would say that a person should not sleep with your mom or step mom.
 
Now, remember, these were people in the church, so they were held to the standard that God says is good....and Paul was kind of taken back by the behavior not only of the guy and his mom, but also that the people in the church there didn't say anything to these two about this love interest being problematic.
 
Well, so what?
 
What does that have to do with anything?
 
Well, the truth is, that if you are not a follower of Jesus Christ you really don't have any reason to care about this at all.  You are not obligated to follow God's moral code and there is no reason that this scenario should bother you.
 
But it might anyway....
 
This brings me to my next and more relevant question.
How should we decide what "sleeping arrangements" are okay and which ones are not?
 
This is a big topic today.
 
If you don't subscribe to God's way of doing things, then frankly any arrangement is alright.
You may marry your mom if you like.  You can marry John and William as long as everyone is okay with the arrangement.  I have even heard of a woman who married the Eiffel Tower which is pretty weird, but if you're not a follower of Christ...well, you know....
 
But if you name the name of Christ then you should feel a tension to line your life up with that which he says is good and right.
(God will work through you to do this by the way...you really can't do it by self will).
 
You will never be able to do it perfectly, we come to Jesus as we are and he sheds his grace on every part of our lives.
 
But, when we are involved in something that God says is not good (there's a short list in 1 Corinthians 5)
AND you're a follower of Christ...well, somebody who loves you ought to say something to you about it.
 
And that's all I have to say about that.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fishing

 
It's been a long time since I have written in Purchased.
 
This morning I was reading John 21.  It's where Jesus appears to the disciples after he has been resurrected.
 
He stands on the shore of the lake of Galilee and asks Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel,  and four other disciples how the fishing went during the night...because it had been a bummer of a fishing night again.  There weren't going to be any great fishing stories because they hadn't caught a single fish.
 
The first time Jesus asked about the fishing was the day he called Peter to follow him.
 
Jesus was coming full circle.  Visiting some of the guys again after another unproductive night of fishing.
Both times Jesus pulls in the mother load of fish for them, and both times the massive amount of fish are left and we don't know what happens to them.
 
I imagine in a culture without a stock market and retirement plans that someone claimed the fish...but it wasn't the guys who pulled them in.
 
This could be a lesson in itself, but that's not where we are headed today.
 
After a great reunion the guys sit around a fire with Jesus and roast a couple of fish for breakfast.
 
And Jesus starts to question Peter.
 
You know the story right?  Jesus asks Peter three times:
 
Do you love me Peter?
Do you love me Peter?
Do you love me Peter?
 
Peter gets kind of angry, but in the final  response he gives Jesus the answer for which he has been "fishing".
 
The first two times Peter answers, he uses a word that in the Greek is phileo (I am your great friend) but Jesus isn't looking for a great friend.
The last time Peter answers Jesus, he uses the Greek word agape (I am wholly committed to loving you no matter what happens).  When Jesus hears this, he is satisfied and gives Peter his life assignment.
 
This is what Jesus wants from us.  Full commitment, full trust, and that we love him more than anyone, anywhere, at any time.
This won't come as any surprise to most of us.
 
The surprise may come when we find out that Jesus loves us this way.  He loves you more than a mom and dad love there kids, more than the love you felt when you fell in love with your spouse.  Yep, Jesus is massively in love with you.
 
He loves you enough to give you everything you need.
He loves you enough to give you a purpose.
He loves you enough to care about every tear that falls from your eye.
 
He loves you enough to cover your sin with a costly sacrifice so that where he is, you can also be some day.
 
Yep, it's all true (I've been reading up on it for a while now).
So go ahead and ask him to show you if he's for real.
If you are looking for him honestly, he will show himself.
 
 
 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ravens

I spent time with a new friend of mine today.

Anxiety had gotten the better of me today and I burst into tears in her kitchen.

She hugged me and began to pray for me.

She prayed for me and asked God to send the ravens.

The ravens are birds that came to Elijah in the middle of nowhere-ville and brought him meat and bread twice a day while he was hiding from a king and his wife that wanted him dead. 

That's kind of an unusual way to provide for someone.

But I don't mind unusual things, especially when they are yummy.

Then tonight on the radio I heard a woman talking about the ravens...AGAIN.

An obscure passage reference twice in the same day?  Really, nobody references these ravens.

Okay, God, I'm listening.

Perhaps the ravens are on their way already.