We must wake ourselves up! Or somebody else will take our place, and bear our cross, and thereby rob us of our crown. - William Booth
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
I don't know if anyone else watched FOXS Trading Spouses last night or not, but I was floored by it. The two women were a perfect picture of two types of Christians that one will encounter in Churches. The reason we have so many empty chairs in our churches is because we have a host of those California vegan types and a dearth of the Bayou girls. God help us that environmentalist-nut was insane. Give me an alligator eating loving mama over a judgmental, self-centered, hyper-anal, painfully caustic acetic any day! it was a perfect picture of walking in law or grace as I have ever seen.
I cannot fail, however unwilling, to see much that is dry and unlovely in the style of Christianity around me. It has no attraction for me. I do not like the people who illustrate it; and the reason is, not that they have got too much of Christianity, but that they have not got enough of any thing else. Flour is good, but flour is not bread. If I am to eat flour, I must eat it as bread; either milk or water must be used to make it bread. If a little milk is used, the bread will be dry and heavy and hard. If a good deal is used, the flour will be transformed into a soft and plastic mass, which will rise in the heat, and come to my lips a sweet fragrant morsel.
Christianity is good, but it wants mixing with humanity before it will have a practical value. If only a little humanity be mixed with it, the product will be dry and tasteless; but if it be combined with the real milk of humanity, and enough of it, the result will be a loaf fit for the tongues of angels. -Timothy Titcomb, Lessons in Life
Monday, November 29, 2004
I learnt the lesson on non-violence from my wife, when I tried to bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will on the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering my stupidity involved on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of myself and cured me of my stupidity in thinking that I was born to rule over her. - Gandhi
The Presbyterian clergy are the loudest, the most intolerant, of all sects; the most tyrannical and ambitious, ready at the word of the law-giver, if such a word could now be obtained, to put their torch to the pile, and to rekindle in this virgin hemisphere the flame in which their oracle Calvin consumed the poor Servetus, because he could not subscribe to the proposition of Calvin, that magistrates have a right to exterminate all heretics to the Calvinistic creed! They pant to reestablish by law that holy inquisition which they can now only infuse into public opinion. -Thomas Jefferson
It was Augustine's habit to think during the day about the sermon he was going to preach the following day. Perhaps he even made it the subject of his meditation the night before. But when it came time for him to speak, with no notes, no prepared text, as was the custom of the time, he delivered it ex tempore. In the body of some sermons he even admitted that he'd tossed away his first thoughts in favor of an idea from the Gospel just read aloud to the congregation. Needless to say, because he always preached on materials that where dear to his heart, he was never at a lost for words.
"Just as in well equipped houses one need not go downstairs to fetch water but has it up there on tap, under pressure--one merely turns on the faucet-so also is that person an authentic Christian speaker who, because the essentially Christian is his life, at every moment has eloquence present, immediately available, precisely the true eloquence."
-William Griffin in his new book, "Augustine of Hippo: Sermons to the People.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Tonights message: Kicking the Dog (Phil. 3:2). I have been doing a series of messages from John chapter 4, talking about engaging those in our culture at Jacobs well. Tonights message deals with the gospel of grace and why grace is so central to reaching todays searching Samaritians.
Friday, November 26, 2004
They pressed with such force through the strait gate,
they left their flesh on the posts.
I read this on an Anabaptist site and just thought this was such a graphic description of self denial. I marvel at such words being used to describe someone's walk, I wish that such thoughts could come to mind when I was remembered. But I fear I love myself too much. I am sure I will be looking at my feet and not in the eyes of far too many saints in the dawn to come.
Clouds above, as white as wool,
Drifting over skies as blue
As the eyes of beautiful
Children when they smile at you;
Groves of maple, elm, and beech,
With the sunshine sifted through
Branches, mingling each with each,
Dim with shade and bright with dew;
Stapling trees, and poplars hoar,
Hickory and sycamore,
And the drowsy dogwood bowed
Where the ripples laugh aloud,
And the crooning creek is stirred
To a gayety that now
Mates the warble of the bird
Teetering on the hazel-bough;
Grasses long and fine and fair
As your school-boy sweethearts hair,
Backward roached and twirled and twined
By the fingers of the wind;
Vines and mosses, interlinked
Down dark aisles and deep ravines,
Where the stream runs, willow-brinked,
Round a bend where some one leans
Faint and vague and indistinct
As the like reflected thing
In the current shimmering.
Childish voices farther on,
Where the truant stream has gone,
Vex the echoes of the wood
Till no word is understood,
Save that one is well aware
Happiness is hiding there.
There, in leafy coverts, nude
Little bodies poise and leap,
Spattering the solitude
And the silence everywhere -
Mimic monsters of the deep!
Wallowing in sandy shoals -
Plunging headlong out of sight;
And, with spurtings of delight,
Clutching hands, and slippery soles,
Climbing up the treacherous steep
Over which the spring-board spurns
Each again as lie returns.
Ah! the glorious carnival!
Purple lips and chattering teeth-
Eyes that burn-but, in beneath,
Every care beyond recall,
Every task forgotten quite -
And again, in dreams at night,
Dropping, drifting through it all!
-James Whitcomb Riley
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Jesus needed flesh and still does today. In fact that is a cornerstone of Christianity's doctrine that Jesus came in clothed within human flesh. The truth needed to be enfleshed to be apprehended.
I think we have swung to far towards heaven in our attempts to get free from the sins of the flesh. We seem like ghosts to the world around us. We are frightening more than curious to most. Because we are spirits without bodies.
We need to come back to earth.
I know it's a balance but the imbalance has made us far too unapproachable.
The seventh rule...if this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight. -Tyler Durden.
So are you fighting or simply watching others fight?
Why do we allow it in our club?
Maybe we create the very thing we bemoan because we start wrong?
Monday, November 22, 2004
The photograph above shows 27-year-old Lt. Col. Felix Sparks firing a pistol into the air, while at the same time, he is holding up his left hand as a signal to the American soldiers to stop shooting.
In 1989, Lt. Col. Sparks wrote an account of the role of the 45th Infantry Division in the liberation of Dachau. His description of what happened at the wall is as follows:
As I watched, about fifty German troops were brought in from various directions. A machine gun squad from Company I was guarding the prisoners. After watching for a few minutes, I started for the confinement area (the concentraton camp), after taking directions from one of my soldiers. After I had walked away for a short distance, I heard the machine gun guarding the prisoners open fire. I immediately ran back to the gun and kicked the gunner off the gun with my boot. I then grabbed him by the collar and said: "What the hell are you doing?" He was a young private about 19 years old (Private William C. Curtin) and was crying hysterically. His reply to me was: "Colonel, they were trying to get away." I doubt that they were, but in any event he killed about twelve of the prisoners and wounded several more. I placed a noncom on the gun and headed towards the confinement area. Read a lot more here.
"The killing of unarmed POWs did not trouble many of the men in I company that day for to them the SS guards did not deserve the same protected status as enemy soldiers who have been captured after a valiant fight. To many of the men in I company, the SS were nothing more than wild, vicious animals whose role in this war was to starve, brutalize, torment, torture and murder helpless civilians." Flint Whitlock, The Rock of Anzio, From Sicily to Dachau: A history of the U.S. 45th Infantry Division.
The poker game...or Texas Hold Em to be precise. What is it about the poker game that men love so much? It is a part of the American male folklore. There is a comradeship in it, a nostalgia even. I held my first one last night with four other young adults I know. We had a good time.
When humans attempt to justify themselves through works (regardless of the religion), they become inhuman. Humans were not meant to somehow elevate themselves in order to become more god-like. The goal of humanity is not to become God. We were created not to be God, but to be humans in relationship with God. Hence, when religion takes works and puts them in between God and humans, it obscures the chance for those people to have a relationship with God. Furthermore, if humans were created to exist in relationship with God, and the fall broke that relationship, the only way to become truly human is through the restoration of that relationship, which is what Jesus did by becoming human and then dying in our place. (-some author, sorry forgot where)
What a potent post. Humans were not created to become God...wow, there is a lot that could be unpacked from that morsel.
I know that a whole lot of my frustration over the years as a Christian has revolved around learning that I can't be God. A revelation that seems so simple but in the intricacies of outliving this inner life of Christ, has proved to be quite challenging. In fact, discovering what it means to be human in Christ has started to be a liberating truth.
I've starred at the Son for so long that I have been blind to how to live that light in mortal realities. I've had sun spots...and they have hampered my relationships, ministry and my inner life.
Coming to understand that He doesn't want me to be Him but live His life out of me is a difference that has been a long discovery.
Early morning on the Snake river, the sun just starting to rise and we are fishing. It just does not get much better than this. We left at 3am, started fishing at 6AM and ended at 1PM and did not catch a single fish. A guy down the river from us caught a 14 pound Steelhead that would make any fisherman drool. It stoked the fires to fish but we still did not catch anything other than a few bait stealers. But it was still a beautiful and refreshing day out.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Mustaine just seethes with truth on these tracks. His newfound belief in God has either sharpened his teeth or giving him a sense of vengeance; whatever the case he has never sounded better. Justin Press from the Dallas Music Guide reviewing: MEGADETH - THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED. Hummmm very interesting...
"There's cathedrals and the alleyway in our music. I think the alleyway is usually on the way to the cathedral, where you can hear your own footsteps and you're slightly nervous and looking over your shoulder and wondering if there's somebody following you. And then you get there and you realize there was somebody following you: It's God."
--Bono in The New York Times
Todd Smith, CD ALIVE is great. He is a member of SELAH but this album is not like anything you would hear in that band. This is hard rock with some fantastic lyrics. We used thesong -Turn To You- in youth church last night and brought the roof down! Great cd! Not trying to slam SELAH Dad, I know you dig them.