May 26, 2016
As I sit here wondering what to write about this month my mind keeps slipping back to all the little things I have to do in my garden. I need to harvest some of the carrots, pull weeds and the plants that show signs of disease, prune the fruit trees, plant some new seeds, water and fertilize everything. Oh and try to protect my entire garden from the pesky gopher. You know thinking about it; tending my garden is not much different than tending to my spiritual life.
Pulling weeds and diseased plants is like reading my bible daily to keep the message on the for front of my mind and not let the knowledge I once had slip away. My dad would always tell me "Son, if you don't use it you will loose it" and with my memory, he is absolutely correct. Planting new seeds is the planting of the message on the hearts of my friends, coworkers, and just maybe the new couple I met at the car rally last weekend. Fertilizing and watering, well that is simply looking after my brothers and sisters in Christ. Offering a kind word when one of them is down. Celebrating with them when something great happens in their life and taking the time to pray.
Pruning the fruit trees and pulling diseased plants resembles getting rid of the distractions .........
May 26, 2016
Recently writing a paper on God and justice, I said He is deeply concerned about justice for all people. I pointed to His justice laws in Exodus 21-23, Leviticus and Deuteronomy 16:18-20. I impressed that a major reason that He punished Israel was their injustice. I pointed to Matthew 23:23, II Corinthians 7:11 and James 2:1-13, to show that justice must be a central concern for Christians.
Before World War II, most Americans were the working poor. They were concerned about income, workplace, educational and justice system injustices. Changes for the better in these issues began after the war. Today, most people are among the working middle to upper -middle class – including Christians.
As our incomes increase, our justice issues change. Those we had at a lower income are replaced with different justice issues – often regarding our thinking about unjust taxes, or unjust laws for our business. As a congregation’s collective income increases, a biblical study of God’s justice concerns is rarely considered.
Romans 3:19-31 emphasizes God’s justice toward humans. While it’s validates the character of God, it .........
May 26, 2016
As I look and observe the overall state of this world I cannot help but see a weary, chaotic place.
Do you have the impression that beliefs are being altered and rewritten? It’s as if we are desperately looking for a new path that has a one size fits all mentality. Turbulent storms of debate are more often then not predicted on the forefront of life’s daily existence. It’s as if we are the silent deer looking into the headlights, frozen and not sure of which way we should turn for safety.
For many years we have been conditioned to show our independence, and parade our own self-reliance to the point of exclusiveness. It’s as if we fear we will be seen as a failure if we do not appear this way. Are we acclimating to this mentality because we desire it, or because we feel obligated to exhibit it?
When we look into the mirrors of our souls what do we see? Are we autonomously alone? Have we eased into the assertion that we can do this by ourselves? If this is the reflection we see, then we have to ......