Archive for September, 2011

Portrayal and Views

Posted: September 29, 2011 in Life

I’ve been watching British murder mysteries again. If I were to use these shows as a litmus test of British culture I would say they hold a very dim view of marriage and Christianity. In only one show have I seen a married couple portrayed in a positive light. The rest are either miserable people who are merely existing in the same house or else outright enemies of each other, purposefully going out of their way to make life horrid for their spouse. As for Christianity, it’s either depicted as a cold and dead religion whose adherents are self-righteous and judgmental or as a fanatical cult who’s members border on the insane.

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See You At the Pole

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Faith, Life

Just got back from a See You At The Pole event. Another youth minister in town and myself brought donuts for the kids. While the students gathered around their school’s flag pole, the adults gathered across the street to support them in prayer.

I Sponsor Through Compassion International

Posted: September 26, 2011 in Faith

After graduating from High School I went on the road with a theater company.  One of the dilemas I faced was how to tithe my meager income.   For some reason I didn’t want to just drop money in the plate of whatever church I happened to be at on any given Sunday (I don’t remember why).  One day I bought a music cassette (probably Petra) and inside was a flyer about Compassion International.

I began to mull that over and the more I considered it, the more it seemed the way to go.  That was eighteen years ago and I’m still sponsoring children through Compassion.  Right now the boy I sponsor lives in Ethiopia which is being affected by the famine in the Horn of Africa.  Please pray for people there.  Frankly, I’m not sure what to pray for (weather, peace, etc.) so I’ll leave the details in God’s hands and simply pray for their lives and well being.   In the meantime we can support relief and development work in hard hit areas.

Following God

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Faith

Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Numbers 11:4-6 ESV

When I was a boy I received a digital watch for Christmas. This may not seem like a big deal now, but in the early 80s, living in a developing nation, it was a tremendous gift. I was proud of my watch. Then one day I noticed my father’s watch. Not only was it digital, but it had a calculator on it. I coveted my father’s watch. One day I left my watch on his night stand with a note that said, “I don’t want my watch. I want yours.”

Even now I can only imagine the kind of hurt his caused my father.

The People of Israel had slaves for generations. They were finally free. God had delivered them with amazing signs, wonders and miracles. Imagine the wonder when God parted a sea and created dry ground for the people to cross on. Can you picture walking between two towering walls of water while a giant pillar of fire blocks the most powerful army of that time from swarming down upon you? You’re starting to get an idea of the awesome power of this God of your ancestors. Can you now imagine yourself looking on as all the people have finished crossing and the pillar of fire is lifted? Suddenly the Egyptian army rushes headlong between the walls of water. You can hear the thundering hooves of the charioteer’s horses. Suddenly the walls of water begin to collapse and in less than a minute, that grand army, all of Pharaoh’s military might is swept aside by an almighty God. Can you imagine the exultation that resulted?

God had lead the people out of Egypt and protected them. He also provided for them. When they complained about a lack of food he provided something called Manna which appeared each day (except the Sabbath). While we don’t know exactly what it was, it could be made several different ways and provided for their nutritional needs. Yet in Numbers 11, 4-6 we read that the people complained. They were tired of this manna stuff. They wanted meat.

You and I may think, “If I had to exist on basically one food, no matter that it could be prepared different ways, I would complain too.” This is, however, more than a complaint about a monotonous diet. It is a yearning for the pleasures of Egypt. It is a desire for the easy life (which is ironic since their lives in Egypt were anything but easy). It shows a blindness we all suffer from when we long for the “good ol’ days.” It is a rejection of what God has given them. It is a rejection of God’s plan. It is a rejection of God.

Lord, help us to see where You are at work around us. Help us to surrender ourselves to Your plan. May we be grateful for what You give us and not covet that which You haven’t. May we follow You first, foremost and always. Amen.