Sunday, April 20, 2008

Following God

As a believer in Jesus, the goal of life is to "know and follow God through the Lord Jesus" and yet, what does that mean? The truth is that everyone seems to have their own version of what this means.

For some, it means to live good, treat others good, take care of your family, be kind to nature, and generally be a good ole boy (or girl).

To others, it means to add "love" into the equasion. The confusing thing about this (at least for me) is that "love" is either undefinable or is subject to much debate. Suffice to say that most who believe following God constitutes being "good" and having a "loving" spirit would add that this type of love is just a "live and let live" or "go along to get along" or even "peace at any cost" type of thing. This is a pretty interesting concept.

The reason this concept is so interesting is because it is totally opposite of the life and lifestyle of the one who followed God more closely than anyone else ever has or ever will. Jesus of Nazareth knew God intimately, followed God's will sacificially, and loved completely, yet His example is far different than anything we seem to promote today.

Jesus was indeed always loving but He had and held to a set of standards. In fact, not only did Jesus keep the standards God laid forth in the Ten Commandments, but He "raised the bar" to a new level. For instance, in the Ten Commandments God writes, "Do not commit murder." Jesus said, "If you hate your brother, you have commited murder." In the Ten Commandments God says, "Do not commit adultery," only to have Jesus follow with "If you look at a woman to lust after her, you have committed adultery in your heart."

All of this being said, the concept of following God is not left to our imagination, our concepts, or our guesswork. God has given us His word, His plan, and His method of following Him. What kind of God would make His creation "guess" at how to know HIM? The Bible is God's Inspired truth to us. It reveals life. It reveals a plan. And it reveals a purpose for each of us. Following God is made much more simple when we "read the instructions."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Roy Morgan

His name was Roy Morgan. For over 60 years he has been a "preacher." He was a spiritual giant with a heart about the size of Texas. I've only known him and Miss Jean for a little over 2 years, but have loved every minute that I have spent with them.

Bro. Roy was a man of "dry-wit" and an incurable desire to preach the word. It's official, he retired from the active pastorate 3 times!! During the past 2 years he has been a member of Hueytown Baptist and has spoken for me on several occasions. Each time our congregation was blessed by the wonderful wit, the deep spiritual truths, and sincerity of character with which he communicated.

Last night, God called him home. The Bible says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints." Certainly this time God has called home a true saint.

Years ago I wrote a song for which the words are the chorus are appropriate today;

When I walked through the gates,
He was waiting for me,
The sweet son of God,
Lamb of Calvary.
When He opened His arms to bid me welcome,
His nail-scarred hands were all I could see.
When I walked through the gates
He was waiting for me.

I know the Lord Jesus welcomed Roy home and with a smile said, "Well Done."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Moses Is Dead

My great memory of Charleton Heston is seeing him "part the Red Sea!" As a child, I remember how awesome it was when he raised his hand, God's rod, and that powerful voice to say something like, "See the Mighty Hand of God." (What followed was and is a great tribute to a great God.) During his lifetime, Mr. Heston portrayed several Biblical characters and it always seemed that he did it in a very authentic way. As we all know, this past week at 84 years of age, he passed from this life into eternity.

Reading the article of his passing - saddens me as I considered the passing of something more important than an actor. It seems to me that as this generation passes from the scene so have many of the moral and principles which were the foundation of our culture. Mr. Heston and his wife were married 50+ years at his death. (How long has it been since this has been the norm instead of the exception?) It is a sad note which reminds us that a few years ago a well-known actress stated on a talk show that she believed any marriage was successful if it lasted 3 years. Ouch. How times have changed.

Here's my point for the day. The Biblical character Moses came down the mountain withthe 2 tablets in his hand which contained the law of God. The screen version of Moses (Charleton Heston) did the same. Those Ten Commandments have served as the centerpiece for every legal code which has been penned and today in our "enlightenment" we have chosen to discard that which has guided us for so long. As I have said before, it is more than a little interesting to note that this decalog is engraved above the head of the Supreme Court Justice's chair who presides over a "Court of Judges" who have decreed that no "other" government agency could display this important set of principles.

Seems to me that more than Moses have now died. Maybe we should have a day of mourning for Mr. Heston because of his keeping the truth alive on the big screen. But perhaps it is fitting that we have a day of prayer, mourning, fasting, and repentance about the neglect of the Ten Commandments.

Monday, April 07, 2008

What's Next?!?!

If you are over 45 years old, you (like I) may have difficulty believing what is happening in this country. For the better part of 200 years in the good ole USA we had a commonality of belief about the guidelines for a healthy culture. Candidly, not everyone was a fully-committed and developing follower of Christ, but society enjoyed some basic tenants of belief which guided public policy with respect to ethics and morals.

About 45 years ago it began to change, and change it did! When my children were growing up they used to sing a song entitled, "Living Life Upside Down." At the risk of sounding like an OLD FUDDY-DUDDY that song epitomizes the culture of our day. Consider this; THAT which was, for thousands of years, considered evil, today is not only acceptable but expected. In fact, if you talk to the right people, this aberant behavior is not just expected and accepted but it is unavoidable!! Wow! How far we have fallen.

Honestly, I thought we had experienced the apex when the "FORD MOTOR COMPANY" chose to financially support the "Homosexual Agenda" to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. After many months of declared boycott by the American Family Association which paralleled months of decline in sales, I am glad to say that Ford (America's Auto) has changed their policy in this regard and has now stepped back from their strong support for this agenda. The word is YEAH!! We have come a step closer to protecting our children, right? WRONG!! Just when you think it cannot get any worse, IT DOES!! Okay, here it is; Exit the money from the Ford Motor Company and;

Enter the money and influence from the fast food giant of the world, McDonalds!! It will serve each of us well to see the amount of money and influence they are giving to this same Homosexual agenda. Not only is it surprising, but it is sad.

Back to thinking about the USA of days past; there was a time in this country when we knew it was our divine assignment to protect those who were unable to protect themselves. I hope you will do your homework on this issue, write a nice but very firm email to McDonalds, and let's work together to protect our kids. IF we don't get this movment halted, wonder what will be next?!?!?

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