Someday, you kn…

Someday, you know who you are, I pray the mountains will move and you will humbly receive His salvation. Then righteousness will be your way, and grace your footstool. Upon His word you will thrive, and you will give even more than you receive. For you will know Him as I know Him; the love in our faith, and the power in our prayers. – Bob Graham 2013

Regrets

Even on our best day we are far short of who we ought to be; regrets are humbling, and profitable if we do them not again and again. So when the door to heaven seems shut, and I seem to be living on Jobs dunghill, I will remember what Christ has done for me.  But there are some here who will say, “I have no regrets. I have no need of religion.” Of them Spurgeon has said, “The day shall come when you will envy the least and most trembling believer. To you careless, Christless sinners, the day shall come when you will cry to the rocks for mercy, and beg them to conceal you from the eyes of him whom now you dare despise. I beseech you be not high minded, lift not up your horn on high, speak not so exceeding proudly, bow before the Christ of God, and ask him to give you the new life; for even if that new life have declined and become sickly, it is better than the death in which you dwell. Go and seek grace of him who alone can give it, and he will grant it to you this day, for his infinite mercy’s sake. Amen.”

Are Guns Going To Hell?

Are Guns going to Hell? Oh Lord, act for thy name’s sake. Truly, have our creations sinned against Thee? Surely you will call their sins to account. Those rebellious Guns, with smoke in their barrels, deceived by the evil one, they have disobeyed you! And now they are following their own thoughts, their own ways. And those wicked assault weapons and their leader the AK-47, deceived by the devil, should they not be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and should not they be tormented day and night forever and ever?

Or is it not man who murders and repays evil for good? Every day I come across somebody who believes his view is the right one. Of course your view is right to you, or else it would not be yours at all. Therefore, in the immortal words of G.K. Chesterton, “Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic?”

I trust that you will see the good logic here. The deeds of evil men are what we should fear, not guns. Immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, jealousy, outbursts of anger, envy, disputes, drunkenness, and strife, dissentions, factions, things like these, they separate us from good; things like these cause innocent children to be killed. There are not laws against love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, but we cannot teach such things in the classroom. And we are failing to teach such things in our culture, in this generation, because we are legislating God’s laws out of our nation. “What we sow, that we shall also reap.” Those who try make a good showing in progressive politics also try to compel you to believe that can they change evil hearts, but only the cross of Christ can do that. We have become arrogant because of our trust in our own achievements and treasures.

But like a lion we should come from the thickets against evil and like Christ we should love our neighbor. If you lived next to that “creepy looking loner kid” Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, would you have befriended him? Would you have invited him to dinner? Helped him meet your friends? Maybe you have the next Adam Lanza living right next door, do you know someone like him? For God’s sake let him know you care about him. These are things we can all do that can be far more helpful than banning inanimate objects to hell.

How do you love?

Do you love your neighbor? What does it look like to love? Do you love like Jesus loved?
Look at me, look carefully. Listen to me, listen carefully. Watch me, observe my ways. Is there something worth loving in me? What if I’m not a “good” person? I lie, I steel, and I lust. Maybe I smoke, cuss, wear gangster clothes, and listen to rap music. Or maybe I smoke some pot, drink, and live a rebellious life; I use women, look at porn, don’t work, and always look angry. I know I’m not very cool in your eyes. I don’t care what you think. I’ll believe what I want to believe; your God is not real. Do you still love me, really love me?
What does your love look like? Do you talk to me? Am I a stranger to you or do you know who I am? Did I attend your church at one time, did I go to school with you, or maybe you just see me on the streets. Do you go out of your way to see me, to talk with me, or help me? Do you leave me encouraging notes on my Facebook Wall? Will you smile at me, and introduce me to your friends? Do you call me and ask me to do things with you? Will you include me when you’re getting together with friends? Will you help me move or fix things for me? Do you invite me to church?
Or do you just pray for me; is that love?

Gifted and Worthless

We all know someone gifted and talented, destined to be great they are. Usually a huge vocabulary is associated with such a person. Their knowledge about certain things is exceptional. They can be great writers, musicians, academics, athletes, public speakers or simply great thinker’s. They captivate our desire to be just like them.
But why did God give greater gifts to some and not others? Are they really greater gifts? Are you jealous of their gifts? Beware there is a danger in puffing yourself up and imagining yourself to be some brilliant or talented person. With great gifts comes great responsibility.
So maybe you are gifted in one capacity or another. How do you use your gifts? Maybe you’re a great athlete or a great entertainer. For what purpose do you run? For what purpose are your exceptional talents used?
Can you say truthfully that most of your gifts, great or average, are used for selfish purposes? Do others exalt you; do you make more money, get better jobs, and take higher level classes, for what purpose? So why did God gift you the way he did? Do you think he did it that you could be exalted above others? That you could be praised or esteemed at least above your peers? Your gifts are for us, not for you. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:2, “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” Paul also writes in 1 Corinthians 8:2, “If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.” When you fully understand your giftedness in the light of God’s word, you will know better, and you will use your humble blessings to love and praise the giver of gifts.
There are others whose gifts and talents are not being used. What shall we say about them? Most of these are unable to stop thinking about themselves long enough to comprehend their giftedness. The moment is all that is important. The high of drugs, sex, hate, or power disables their usefulness. “It’s a shame, he had so much talent,” the common cry we have all heard. A worthless life, spent on selfish lusts; such a pity it is.
Wake up we plead; know Jesus we pray. Leave pride and self behind, stop thinking your gifts useless and unappreciated. Exercise them. He died for your sins and by faith if you are one who trusts in him he will give you a worthy purpose for life. In fact he has already done so; use your gifts to serve others.

Family Guy – Corrupting Influences

Obscene and filthy conversation prevails everywhere in society. So universal is this that almost every Christian finds common conversation corrupt and defiling. Especially contaminating is the media. For example, obscene and offensive cartoons like Family Guy are training our children to disrespect themselves and others.

“Speech is an invaluable gift; a blessing of inestimable worth,” said Albert Barnes, and I agree. The act of rendering indirect or even worse openly offensive speech toward fellow human beings is having tragic consequences on the families of this generation. A depraved, even evil force seems to shadow this corruption. So speak always to do good to others. Give information; impart consolation if needed; elicit truth in friendly conversation, or admonish kindly those who are going astray. For if we talk only for the sake of talking or being funny, we will certainly say foolish things; but if your aim in life is to benefit others, we will not likely say things that we will have occasion to regret. Obscene and filthy conversation prevails everywhere in society. So universal is this, that almost every Christian finds common conversation corrupt and defiling. Especially contaminating is the media. For example, obscene and offensive cartoons like Family Guy are training our children to disrespect themselves and others.

“Speech is an invaluable gift; a blessing of inestimable worth,” said Albert Barnes, and I agree. The act of rendering indirect or even worse openly offensive speech toward fellow human beings is having tragic consequences on the families of this generation. A depraved, even evil force seems to shadow this corruption. So speak always to do good to others. Give information; impart consolation if needed; elicit truth in friendly conversation, or admonish kindly those who are going astray. For if we talk only for the sake of talking or being funny, we will certainly say foolish things; but if your aim in life is to benefit others, we will not likely say things that we will have occasion to regret.

The Plain of Faith

Few care to listen to those who come late to the party of internet discussions. The topic tempts passions only for a moment, days at best. Come late to the thread and nobody cares; the thread is dead, only to be revived once again in another context, another drama. It seems little is ever learned or solved in voicing our views, just vented venom or frustration. All do it I presume to support some dogma. Some are happy either to confirm or to increase their professed circle of reason; others compete to deflate the wicked doctrines of another.
At first glance it may seem judicious to look at life this way. Consider that most unbelievers view existence of purpose in meaningful circles of rational reason or strength. They live in subjective small circles or big circles, always competing; the victor must express eloquently or fight ruthlessly to enlarge their portion. For some their words must be considered important in their field, for the others their power lies in self-importance. A true genius they say must be published or at least celebrity; a true success must possess more than another.
For the man of faith truth lies not in the circle of knowledge or power, but in the eternal plane of infinite faith. What is possible for the circular thinkers is dependent upon their diameter. What is possible for those of faith is present. For those of this world are always pursuing larger circles, God Bless them for trying, but with each unit of increase comes ever more self-importance. The little circles are thought politely quaint or ignorantly feeble. The prideful pity the feeble and give them their second best, or a good tongue lashing internet experience. For the ignorant and feeble, the small circles, they make the self-important feel exceptionally good.
Wealth seems to be able to buy a larger circle and the comparisons become visibly stark. The wicked doctrine of politics and power often gathers a steam that inflates. Pride corrupts her brother’s value and self-respect. With achievement, possession, and pleasure, dignity becomes arrogant and the circle becomes larger than life itself. Accepting the praise of others without making effort to obtain the worthy praise that comes from God is the futile endeavor of the ever expanding circle of being.
While most of society lives in their own bubble, there are a few who see a life of freedom. There are no distinctions amongst those who live on the infinite plane. Wealth, knowledge, eloquence or physical ability cannot hold back the possibility of miracles; G.K. Chesterton called it magic or the belief in fairies. He grouped rational thinkers with the potentially insane; thinking only inside your circle can only make life monotonous. Freedom only comes to those who can believe in the miracles of God, through faith. It’s nice to believe in facts, say’s Chesterton, but when the brakes fail on the train the engineer can only hope for a miracle. The data can be cruel, natural laws have consequences. Both circles and infinite planes experience the laws of nature. Oxygen is needed to breathe: gravity, hot, cold, light and darkness are all physical laws. Hate, love, good, evil, are moral laws that transcend all distinctions.
Life on an infinite plane is not selfish and has no boundaries. Sure it can be lonely and many try to stake out homesteads. But I don’t believe God wants us to live that way. The life of faith has no boundaries. We don’t die each day and wake up unaffected. We sleep and wake up changed, refreshed. The horizon seems far off and each hill or mountain seems insurmountable at times, but when crested the view goes on, the journey never ending. My wife and I tried to find a shortcut through the logging roads of the Canadian Rockies many years ago. When we made our last attempt to find our way we saw an eternity of mountains ahead. We turned back. Not because the journey was impossible, but because we were not prepared. If our goal as Christians is to ever expand our circle we shall never live in the possibilities outside it.
Step out of your bubble onto the infinite plane and the journey will be exciting for sure. In faith there is freedom, mind blowing freedom you’ll find, unlimited potential. It’s a change from inward thinking to outward thinking, linear, eternal.

Reaching Out

When was the last time you invited the uncool, the not so perfect, the lost to your house for dinner? You know who I mean. The guy who smokes or the one with the weight problem. Worse yet maybe he does not belong to your social class. He could be richer or poorer than you, for one reason or another we judge and avoid. I know we all want to hang with our own kind, it’s natual. I’m guilty of such behavior. I judge quickly, and shy away too easily from meeting others less like me. It’s much easier for me to converse with educated, well dressed, good looking people (that’s the kind of person I think I am, right!), and I’m certainly more likely to invite them to dinner. But is that what Christ did? 

Courage – Tebow Style

For far too long we have not had a public figure like Tim Tebow. I believe Tim has come to us not in vain, but after suffering much public mistreatment he has the boldness in our God to speak to us the gospel of God amid much opposition. Christian, we also have been approved by God and entrusted with the good news; we also should speak boldly, like Tim Tebow, not as pleasing to men but God.