About Me

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Saginaw, Michigan, United States
A sinner who may come before God because of Christ

Friday, September 21, 2007

Santa Claus

From a "This Day in History"
1897 - The New York Sun editorial answered a question from 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon: "Is there a Santa Claus?"

My first thought when I read this today was: wow, and we think Christmas sales start early when the stores start replacing the Halloween sweets with Candy Canes a week before Oct. 31.

Interstingly, though, is that this indicates people, at least Virginia and her friends, started thinking about Christmas well before the snow flies or Wal-Mart puts up the Holiday banners.

As Christians, though, everyday should remind us of Christmas. And Easter.

We define ourselves by Christ, in Christ and through Christ. Every moment should be a celebration of His birth in us and a reminder of His suffering on the Cross and the salvation we received through His resurrection.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...but his name is Jesus.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Men and the Church

A recent article in The Christian Post on the lack of men being involved in the church was rather telling. According to this report, men do not attend (Methodist) church for three main reasons:
"a lack of interest in religion","societal emphasis on individualism/materialism" and "distrust of organized religion". The article said that the church was struggling to reach men, and was developing events and programs to reach men.

I do not attend a Methodist church, so I cannot say why this is a phenomenon in that body, but I do know from other readings that this is not exclusive to that denomination. My understanding that this is a problem in many of the mainline, ecclesiastical bodies as well.

I do attend an independent Bible church. This means that we look to the Scripture first. We see the Bible as inerrant, operating both doctrinally and practically from that perspective. Our preaching is primarily from Scripture (though we do have an occasional topical sermon). Our teaching is based on the Word and its application to modern living. We require membership to be a leader, and our pastor will go to people who have "visited" for a time to inquire about membership. We have "lost" a few people because of this, but do not have a problem with men being involved.

Perhaps the solution for these other bodies may not be in programs or events, but in what they teach, in what they ask of the members. Men want meat, not salad. Men want something to grasp onto, not concepts. Men want meaning and service, not idle chatter. We build our relationships on shared beliefs and shared actions.

This is why men have to be dragged to counseling or shopping or baby showers. We are just not much into "relational" living as women (unless we have been feminized). We want solid concepts, truth, action, meaningful ideas. We want to grow in Christ, not grow in our friendships. We want to become fully devoted followers of Jesus, not expand our social circle. We want to weep for our sins not feel good about our failures. We want the Word to be indwelled in us and for our churches to be firm on that foundation.

So, instead of an event or a progarm, consider going back to the Word, and the men will come back to the church.

For His Glory,

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Its Just A GAME

I am a big baseball fan. It is "my sport". It is the one I love to play (even though I shouldn't)(even though I don't play it well).

I am an even bigger Detroit Tigers fan. I grew up in the Detroit area and they are my hometown team.

This year, the Tigers were in first place, the team to beat, considered by many the best in all of professional baseball. Then, they played a hard fought three games with the Minnesota Twins. Though they were victorious, there was a change. The luster was gone. The spark was missing. The momentum had changed and now, as we end the season, unless something really dramatic changes (and I am hoping for that), the Tigers will not be in the playoffs and they will have to settle for looking towards the next year.

So, what does this have to do with the Christian life? With having a Christian Response?

Well, baseball is just a game. It is not permanent. A year from now, ten years from now, it will mean very little to most everyone that they had an "almost" season. 100 years from now, it won't even be a memory but just another sports statistic. This season will fade away and replaced with next seasons excitements and disappointments.

As Christians, we cannot cling to the past. Our focus is on our future, on where we are going.
We should lick our wounds, but not past the point of healing. We should be less worried about what was said about us yesterday as to what we will say tomorrow.

Our response to life is to live it for Christ. To be so blinded by His light that we cannot see any darkness. To hear his voice so loudly we cannot listen to the noise of Satan.

Our calling in Christ needs to be a life. We are here for such a time as this, to do His will. We can enjoy the sports, but lets not forget it is just a game.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who should pay?

"Universal" health care is a hot topic this election season, warmed up by yesterday's proposal by Hillary Clinton. The debate begins and there will probably now be "bidding" wars amongst the candidate to see who can offer the best deal for the voteres.

Here's the problem. As a Christian is it right and proper for me to impose on one person the cost of taking care of another person. I cannot find this propostion anywhere in Scripture. I can find that it is my own responsibility, as God leads, to do something.

Christianity is a personal faith. It is about you and God and your relationship (and relation) to Him. It is about obeying His commands to you, personally. It is about striving to do good for His Glory. It is about giving up your self for Him, and sacrificing on His behalf.

Forcing a tax to be paid by someone else does not fit within that context.

As a citizen, my contention is that we need to do more about the cost than about the payment. We need to look at the profiteering going on in health care. We need to weed out illegal activities and fraud. We need to encourage health care providers to be good stewards.

As a Christian, it is almost as unfathomable to require someone else to pay for something that I want as it is for someone to go without needed medical care. We are, as a body and as individuals, to care for others, not force someone to do it for us.

For His Glory,

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

"S______ It Jesus"

Kathy Griffins recently won an Emmy award where she pronounced that she would not give thanks to God since she won the award, and did this in a profusely vulgar manner.

The response from the Emmy people was to cut that portion of her speech.

(See the article)

The cry rang out - censorship, censorship.

Actually, it is not censorship. Censorship would have been if the government had said that the speech could not be broadcast - such as an opening prayer announced at a high school football game. This was a case of the organization running the show to decline to air what she said. It was not censored by some evil entities but cut by some sensible editors who recognize how distateful her remarks were. That is their decision.

They could air it and so what. I don't think that this hurts the cause of Christ. Jesus was spat on, beaten, whipped, cursed at and He did not flinch from His resolve. Maybe it was my years of being a non-believer that when someone outside the faith utters a blasphemy it makes me more sad than angry - they are the ones who are lost.

It would have been nice for Ms. Griffins to be respectful to the beliefs of others, but then atheists hear the Christian disrespect every time we mention our belief that they are doomed for not repenting of their sins and receiving the gift of salvation through Christ. I suppose this was Ms. Griffin's way of getting back. So what.

I think we, as Christians, should make a little less ado about this and do a prayer for Ms. Griffin's soul and the soul of all those who are her like.

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