Friday, July 31, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Ring Around a Rosie
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.”
I heard some kids singing that the other day. I looked around and saw them holding hands in a circle – and then flop on the ground after singing the last phrase. Laughing and giggling, their enjoyment was contagious. No video games, no cell phones, no toys, no nothing. Just a nursery rhyme and some friends. Simple.
Remember when life was that simple. It seems that when you get older, life gets more complicated. For me, that particular nursery rhyme got complicated. You see, here’s how I learned it:
“Ring around a rosie, a pocket full of posies.
Red bird, blue bird, we all fall down.”
So, which way is right? If you are like most people, you’re thinking, the way I learned it is right! Why? Because that’s what I was taught. My momma said . . .
When we get older, we find ourselves defending lots of things – more important than nursery rhymes – by saying Because that’s what I was taught. My momma said . . .
As followers of Christ, we need to move from my momma said to that’s what the Bible says. The problem is that most Christians don’t know how the Bible applies to everyday life. How to raise children, how to operate a business, how to be a friend, how to have a great marriage . . .
It is the responsibility of each Christ follower to follow Christ. That means it is our responsibility to know the Bible and to live like we know it.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Anyway, the other day Amy and I both jogged 5.4 miles. Amy’s longest run ever, my longest in quite sometime. The next day we ran 2 miles, and then the following we ran 4. In our little three days of jogging, I learned several things:
- Knowing the goal each day made it easier to reach that goal. When we ran 5.4 miles, we were mentally ready to go past the 2 mile and 4 mile marks. On the 2 mile day it would have been tough to switch to 5 miles at the end of the 2 miles.
- Each time we ran, we ran without stopping. I know for me, if Amy hadn’t been jogging, I probably would have walked some. I really didn’t want to be walking and see her jogging. So, her being around helped me keep going.
- Each day we got up early, not real excited about being up or about exercising. But, our best part of the day was the hour after exercising. Cooling down, relaxing. Realizing that we have just done something that was right, good and healthy.
- The toughest part was getting out of bed and out the door.
Our spiritual lives are very similar. It is very easy to get lazy. It is a whole lot easier to get and stay in spiritual shape if we have someone who is our “jogging” partner for our spiritual lives. Most of the time, there is no glamour in the day to day. However, living your life connected to God and others who are connected with God, can change a mundane life into one with purpose and adventure. May you connect with God and each other . . .
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Before I do, let me say a few things. First of all, this isn't meant to be a dissertation. It's a blog. Secondly, I'm not nominating all of our founding fathers for sainthood. Having said that let me say this: there is a lot of revisionist history that totally ignores or distorts the faith of our Founding Fathers. A lot of them were motivated by their faith in Christ.
Here's some back story on some of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence. Most Americans know next to nothing about these fifty-six heroes who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the cause of freedom.
John Witherspoon was an ordained minister and authored several books of sermons, as well as editing America's first family Bible in 1791.
Charles Thomson served as Secretary of Congress and was a Biblical scholar. He helped edit the first American translation of the Greek Septuagint into English.
Charles Carroll, the last of the fifty-six signers to pass away at the age of 95 in 1832, wrote out hisdeclaration of faith at the age of eighty-nine.
On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for my salvation, and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.
Another Founding Father, Benjamin Rush, is considered the "Father of American Medicine." He personally trained three thousand medical students. Dr. Rush also founded "The First Day Society" which was the precursor to the Sunday School movement, as well as founding America's first Bible society. It was Benjamin Rush who said the Constitution was "as much the work of Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament were the effects of divine power."
Francis Hopkinson was a church music director and edited one of the first hymnals printed in America in 1767. He also set 150 psalms to music.
Roger Sherman is the only Founding Father to sign all four of America's Founding documents: the Articles of Association in 1774, the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Articles of Confederation in 1778, and the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Roger Sherman was also a theologian. He wrote a personal creed that was adopted by his church:
I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.
I could share story after story, but the bottom line is this: many of our Founding Fathers were motivated by their Faith in Christ. They wrote sermons and creeds and hymns. They founded Bible Societies and Sunday Schools. They served God's purposes in their generation. And I, for one, am grateful.
Hope that adds a spiritual dimension to your 4th of July celebration!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Faith is a Substance
I like this post on Steven Furtick's blog:
I like the old King James translation of Hebrews 11:1:
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is not an abstract theoretical proposition. It’s not wishful thinking. It’s substance. It’s action.
Most of my life I imagined faith as some kind of force field. And the way we talk about faith dematerializes it. By most definitions, faith is synonymous with hope.
The more I study Scripture, the more I detect a sharp distinction between hope and faith. Hope is a desire. Faith is a demonstration. Hope wants it to happen. Faith causes it to happen and acts as if it’s already done.
Faith is not content to want it really, really bad. Faith consults the drawings and gets busy building. Hope is the blueprint. Faith is the contractor.
Some of the things we’re believing God for will never happen in our lives because we stand in hope instead ofwalking in faith.