Friday, February 22, 2008

Choices

Many years Christian Singer Luke Garrett sang these words, "Some say life is just a series of decisions. We make choices, we live and learn." Others reminds us that our life is a sum total of the choices we make. Literally, we make dozens of decisions or choices every day and with each choice we make a direction, a path, and a course is charted.

Additionally, each decision invokes its own consequence. The truth of this is found in the Biblical laws of sowing and reaping. You know those laws, there are three of them. First, you reap exactly what you sow. Next, you reap later than you sow. Finally, you reap more than you sow. The seed we sow in this life is directly impacted by our decision or choices.

Sadly, we spend most of our time focusing on things which have little significant and little meaning. Yes, these things "SEEM" to be important at the time, but candidly those things which are seemingly "SO IMPORTANT" noone will even remember in 6 months.

We are faced with a huge choice today. This choice is "what will I do with the Lord?" Will I simply give Him my Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and maybe even Wednesday evenings? Or will I develop a personal relationship with Him?

As I have said many times, though I don't understand it---Jesus literally died to have a relationship with me and now He's left it in MY Hands. I have a choice in the matter, it is my decision to make. (Now, everywhere you just read "I", "ME", and "MY" can be substituted with your name. My prayer is that we will make the right decision.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Unity and Harmony

Since announcing that I am blogging every Monday and Thursday, it seems that world makes a valliant attempt to "fall apart" on these days. While I am not making the grade by being unquestionably consistent in my postings, at least I am becoming more frequent in my posts. I hope they offer some word which enlightens or encourages.

Recently there was a meeting of "a New Baptist Covenant (NBC)" in GA which boasted some very "high profile" leaders. Among the more recognizable names were two former US Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. In President Carter's address he called for "unity around the gospel." This has proved very interesting for me because it seems that any true unity must have ONE GOSPEL at its center. With all due respect, it would seem that the message of the Bible is very much dissimilar from the gospel of President Carter.

I am sorry to say this meeting of the NBC is made up of people who have already left the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The SBC is a cooperative group of believers who are identified by their conservative belief on the Bible. To state it simply, "the SBC believes the book." If the Bible says, "homosexuality is sin" we believe it. If the Bible says, "A deacon must be the husband of one wife," we believe it. If the Bible says, "Life begins at conception," we believe it.

Some may ask "why can't you make exceptions in the non-crucial issues" and the answer is found in a simple question. "Here it is, "Once we start changing one word of God's book, where do we stop?" And the answer is, "we would never stop." Either we believe it's God's word or we believe it's not God's word. If it IS His word, then it is holds all the secrets, principle, and needs for life. If it is not His word, then it needs to be completely discarded.

For me and my house - we choose His word. My hope and prayer is this; before anyone dismisses the Bible as the "ramblings of many men of days past" they will investigate the truth found in the history of the Bible. Everyone who has made this investigative journey in an honest and open-minded way, has walked away with an awareness that the Bible is God's and was written by the God of the Bible.

If we desire unity, harmony, and peace, we must unite around the TRUTH that has never and will never change. Our task is not to change it to fit our culture but rather to change our culture to fit it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Really Disappointed with an Influential Leader

Admittedly, the politics of this presidential campaign added to what might be called a "lack of real options" is disheartening. From the top 4 candidates who are battling for the 2 nominations, it appears that those who have a passion to see this country restored to her former glory have been all but left out. Candidly at this point of the process, I have no clue who will get my vote. Lookinig down the list of candidates, each one of them seems (at least to me) to have serious flaws in their philosophy and direction. In other words, "their views do not fairly and accurately represent my views."

While this may sound a little narcisistic, the truth is this; everytime we cast a vote we attempt to elect someone who represents our way of thinking. THIS IS, after all, the American way. Those in Washington are merely a "representative" of us in the "heartland." Let us keep this thought in mind this year.

Now, for my disappointment. One of the people I have come to highly respect, admire, and truly appreciate has now, I believe, initially sent out the wrong message to his literal thousands of watchers (followers). For me it was both saddening and disappointing to read that Dr. James Dobson made the announcement that if a particular candidate became the Republican nominee, he would probably NOT VOTE. Maybe I agree with Dr. Dobson about this candidate (we certainly agree on most of the others) but for him (and his followers) to refuse to participate in this American process is to abandon the very country which he has for so long, attempted to restore. Even if we don't have our first, second, or third choice, on the ballot, to totally by-pass voting is out of step with what the Bible teaches us about being good citizens.

Years ago a close friend "informed" me that I "wasted my vote" because I chose to vote for an individual whom I knew would probably NOT win. I was astonished to say the least. When we reduce our participation in the election process to only "vote" for the winner, we have taken much away from the process. Voting for the winner should not be as important as voting one's conscience. BUT WHATEVER THE CASE, WE MUST VOTE!!

My prayer is that Dr. Dobson (and his multitude of followers) will NOT abandon the American process, but will participate, even if the prefered individual is not on the ballot. My prayer is that anyone who reads this blog would NOT abandon their personal responsibility and priviledge. My prayer is that we work our best to be assured that this great nation has the best of the leadership available. Candidly, whether I like it or not, when we step into a voting booth the only leadership which is available is on the ballot. All the rest have been, for one reason or another, been weeded out. Is our process perfect? NO! Does it sometimes seem unfair? Without a doubt. Does the best person always receive the nomination? (What a question!!) Absolutely NOT!! However, with all its warts, wrinkles, and blemishes, it is still OUR PROCESS. (Just a reminder; many countries would love to have this luxury) Let us mae the best decision possible. It will only happen when we stay engaged (even IF "OUR" candidate didn't make the final ballot), remain true citizens and believers (Romans 13), and do OUR BEST to make sure the WORSE doesn't come. BLESSINGS.

Monday, February 04, 2008

What this country really needs is................

One of the things that I have NEVER been is a political activist! In fact, you might think me "un-American" or something, but I don't do politics. When I think of politics and Christianity the joke which I enjoy with one of my friends who is a politician. (Sorry Mike) The joke goes like this; One day at lunch a man stood to speak to a civic group. He began, "I'm a Christian Politician." From the back of the room, he was interrupted by a gruff voice saying, "Make Up Your Mind!!" (yea, I'm grinning)

Make no mistake. To be a believer in the politcal area is (in this day of time) a decision to put your life on the line. Yet, being a Public Servant is exactly that. Over the years we have watched as one politician after another has fallen prey to the lure of "special interests". Honestly, the most "special" of these "interests" are "self", "number one", "me". Sadly, in the past 50 years many politicians come on the scene with great promise and then be snatched off the scene by one type of personal struggle or another.

Today I submit that what this country needs is fewer professional politicians and more "Statesmen"! It is worthy of note that the founders of this great country conceived a system of government whereby a man would represent his state or district for a few years and then return home, having fulfilled his "public service". It would seem that those deep thinking Fathers of Democracy never dreamed of "Public Service" being a career, and a lucrative one at that.

The Politician (at least it seems to me) is all about "winning the election". As we have witnessed in days past, most of the time it does not matter "what" you have to do to achieve the win, just as long as you "get the win". And once in office, it is almost as if, the politician has no opinion of his own. More than once have we heard the commentators speak of an elected official who seems to "stick his finger in the wind" and then goes the way of the latest poll.

The Statesmen, on the other hand, is one who can be counted on to cast his vote for the "greater good" instead of personal gain. He is one who not only looks "into" an issue, but does his best to look "through" the issue to discover what is best for our Nation, State, County, City, or even Community. My prayer, in this year of presidential election, that God will raise up some true statesmen. Candidly, the options we have are quite frightening.

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