Friday, January 28, 2011

The Word

We have been reading the Bible nightly. We pray before we start. We read one chapter. Then we talk about the chapter and make observations and ask questions. Then we close with prayer. The children love it. It is quite a blessing to watch them learn and discern.

Come you children listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord. (Psalm 34:11)

Friday, April 24, 2009


Recently, I was sitting in this church listening to the sermon and trying to determine if this was our family's new church home when the pastor said something that totally moved me.

He said, "Rest."

Actually, he said it more than once during the course of the sermon, but the first few times he threw it out there he did it so casually I barely noticed.

He said it again; "Rest."

That's when it hit me:


Just like that, I did.

He wasn't really commanding me to rest, but in the context of his sermon (not on rest) he would tell the people to rest, or rather remind the people to rest, so we could recognize and appreciate the word, will, and love of God.

I am always so full of my concerns and machinations, regardless how noble, and I often find myself striving to see God's will be done; when all I really need to do is rest.

It was a wonderful reminder, and an immediate blessing.

So, you there, take it from

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Consideration of Christianity

I was doing some research on Barack Obama's profession of faith and I came across a blog with a few comments in it, and a comment sprang up from me.

I was struck by what seemed to be indignation that Christians would seek a leader who reflected Christian values. There also seemd to be an assumption that for Christians to want the nation's leader to be a Christian was evidence of Christians wanting to institute a theocracy. I was obviously compelled to respond.

Now, I'm sure I do not represent all Christians (I have enough trouble adequately representing myself), but I pray I have at least represented the truth.


I don’t think Christians expect a theocracy, and I’m pretty sure the New Testament never advocates such government, but to tell Christians they should not expect a Christian President is the same as telling non-Christians they should not expect a non-Christian President.

It’s true on both counts, but the point is you have a right to your expectation, your beliefs, and your vote.

Christians feel that faith is a virtue; therefore they will (as is their right) consider the presence, lack, or pretense of such virtue when casting their vote. To assume this means all Christians vote based on some judgmental measure of their fellowman’s righteousness is about as logical as assuming all non-Christians vote based on a selfish, prideful resentment and rebellion of God. It’s just not so.

Many people are trying to vote according to what they feel is best for the nation. Is it always best for the nation? No, but you can’t reserve credit for the attempt to only those who vote like you.

When it comes to Barack Obama’s faith, would you call someone who cannot swim a swimmer? Or someone who runs once every two months a runner? Yet, our culture regularly celebrates as Christians those who do not believe in the standards God set or his Son, the Christ (the foundation and identity of Christianity).

In case you’re missing the point, imagine how indignant you might feel if Obama regularly attended a Bible believing church, surrounded himself with a Bible believing cohort, carried a Bible everywhere he went, and was known to regularly read and quote scripture and voted according to God’s standard of morality, yet he claimed to be of no particular faith and professed to represent all non-Christians…as well as Christians, of course.

It’s only reasonable that you’d be skeptical of his professed life philosophy. You would scrutinize his claim to the non-Christian religion, and where you found evidence that that claim was erroneous, you would cry, “charlatan!”

In a country where freedom of religion reigns, why should the religion of Christianity be any less welcome in politics than the religion of individualism, homosexuality, or feminism (yes, though not theistic in nature, they are religions)?

It is not my place to judge Obama’s relationship with or profession of faith to the one true God. It is my calling, however, to look at Obama’s fruit and test it against the Biblical measure. In my humble opinion, he comes up short. Does that mean he is damned, that’s above my pay grade; but it does mean I reasonably assess his beliefs and his politics to be incongruent with mine, and I will not vote for him…as is my God given right.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Vocation Is Not Salvation

Can a godly woman serve as Vice President?

Yes, it’s that time again; time to ask some religious questions within a political forum. Of course, on this blog it’s a religious forum and the question is political. Believe it or not, we’ll sort through the confusion before it’s over.

So, the question of the day: Can Sarah Palin, or any woman, serve as Vice President of the United States, or in any government leadership position, and not betray the biblical roles and relationships ordained by God for women?

I believe that the simple answer is yes, but since it says in the Bible to test everything, let’s not settle for the simple answer.

Does the Bible say that a woman cannot lead? No.

While the Bible does seem to indicate that women are not to be the heads of a/the church, we see in the Old Testament that women, on rare and obviously special occasion, were judges over Israel. Proverbs also lays out the responsibilities of a woman, specifically a wife, which clearly indicate that she is serving in a leadership capacity, but that same woman is called to submit to her husband (and ultimately her family) in all those things.

So, does that mean that a woman can only serve if there is a man over her? Does that rule out President of the United States? No on both counts.

I think (and I’m no biblical scholar) that the Bible makes it clear that faith in and service to God is first for men and women. God calls men and women to humbly serve Him and one another before self, and the hierarchy within the family helps to maintain the purity and heart of faith and service. For this reason, I think as God addressed the hierarchy within the family He also addressed the hierarchy within the church. God never, however, addresses the hierarchy of secular government.

When God gave Israel the kings that they asked for, He told them it was a bad idea and that they would regret it. Just as God differentiates between good and evil, He differentiates between His rule (good) and man’s rule (evil). If man rules apart from God (almost the definition of the US government), what does it matter who is in charge; can man alone do good (for all you dreamers and schemers, the answer is no…sorry)? If a man (women included) serves God and serves as a leader as unto God, again, what does it matter who is in charge; will not God bless such leadership?

The Bible makes it clear that women are valued equally in the sight of the Lord, women are more than capable of bearing significant responsibility, and a woman, with God’s calling and blessing, can serve as a leader of the people.

If we say that a woman must stay in the home to serve her family in a godly manner, we are merely translating God’s call for a woman into a legalistic mandate. There are plenty of women who stay home and completely miss the mark.

Career is a religion and the office is the temple, in both the private and public sector, for men and women alike. The world is an incredible temptation promising deliverance which it cannot provide; “you will not surely die.” So, while it is prudent to avoid legalism, it would be horribly misleading to say that women can serve their families in a godly manner outside the home…if you do not also offer this singular caveat: by the grace of God.

If Sarah Palin is without God, there is absolutely no difference between her and any other run-of-the-mill politician. If she is with God, what man (women included) can be against her. Either way, make no mistake, the next leader of this nation is there only because God allowed it, and regardless…

His will be done.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pro-life = Anti-war?

Cameron Strang of Relevant Magazine made a statement in a FOX interview in which he seemed to indicate that pro-life for Christians means not only anti-abortion, but anti-war as well.

(Note: In Mr. Strang’s defense, it was a limited sound bite, so I may have misunderstood his meaning or caught it out of context, but it’s definitely an issue worth tackling.)

The first things that come to mind are the obvious…or seemingly obvious…exceptions to the rules. In the case of medical situations where it is reasonably certain that the mother, the child, or both will die, is abortion, the intentional killing of an unborn child, a moral alternative? As Nazis ravaged Europe and Asia, murdered millions, and threatened to expand their evil footprint across the globe, was war (a definition here may be the crux of the argument) a moral alternative?

In this particular case of abortion, we can say what we would do, but we cannot say what is moral. Our worldly and human sense of compassion might say it is an acceptable path to abort the baby, but maybe this is what God meant when He said he who tries to save his own life will lose it, but he who gives his life for another will gain it.

It is not our place to decide what is right, we can only attempt to discern what God has deemed right. We pray and fast and meditate on the word, and then ask for God’s wisdom and guidance to help us do His will, and we ask for His mercy and forgiveness if we fail. If you are genuinely seeking His will and giving it all up to His judgment, I have faith that He is faithful.

In the not so particular case of war, what biblical basis is there for refusing to violently oppose such evil? Also, when the soldiers asked the Christ what they should do (as righteous soldiers), he told them not to intimidate people or accuse them falsely, and be content with their wages. He did not tell them not to go to war, or to resist their leaders' direction to war.

What we see in the Bible is not an opposition to war itself, but more likely an opposition to the misuse of military might. Here again, we do not decide what is right, we attempt to discern what God has deemed right.

To say war in and of itself is wrong does not seem to be biblical, so to say a Christian has to be anti-war is legalistic at best.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not of the Body of Christ

Anyone who says that there are other paths to God, is not of His Christ.

If you do not believe … “the word of the Lord” … “I am that I am” … “the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” … “so loved the world” … “gave His only begotten Son” … “the way, the truth, and the life” … “no one comes to the Father except through Me” … “narrow is the way which leads to life” … “in Him we have redemption” … “through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” … “He will come again” …

…if you do not believe, can you still profess to be a Christian?

Which of the above truths can you denounce and still be a Christian?

Test everything!

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)

The word of the Lord!

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Service of Love of Service of Love of Service of...

It’s been a long and hectic while….since I blogged…that’s my excuse anyway.

I was in church this morning (the long and hectic while inhibited that as well), and the pastor had a wonderful message, straight out of the Bible. Imagine that.

Getting to the point, he referenced Christians who are saved, yet we do not serve. One of the reasons I (we) have been church hunting is because I wanted to find a church where we could serve as a member of the church family.

I’ve used the “busy-ness” excuse to justify not reading my Bible and not praying or meditating on the Word, and now I realize that I’ve used the very same excuse for not serving.

Note, I said “not serving,” instead of “not serving in the church,” because service goes beyond the church.

Obviously, we are called to serve in our church communities, but just as the Christ was sacrificed for all, so that all might be reconciled to God, if we are to imitate or reflect Him beyond our church communities, where He is needed most, we are to serve beyond our church communities as well.



I do not swear or use crude language around my children or family, because I love them far too much to denigrate their ears (or personalities) through the use of such language, so why would I use such language at work? I must take the same love I show to my family, in Christ, to those for whom God gave Him.

We are all undeserving of God’s grace, but that is exactly who He has extended it to, everyone. In the same way, we as Christians are called to love and serve all, according to God’s will, for His glory.

One meager act of service is this blog, and I have neglected it.

Give us a servant’s heart, Lord, and help us to give of ourselves cheerfully and generously, so they will know we are Christians by our love.