Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: May 2014

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Wanna Know What Scares Me?

I really enjoy blogging - I would even say that I (lower case l) “love” it :) , but if someone were to ask me why I blog, it wouldn't be simply because I enjoy it. As I blog, I truly hope that my LOVE for The Lord is evident and that my heart for the lost is resolute. I also hope to see progress in my writing and stability in my understanding. That’s partly why I blog, but wait, there’s more:

Here’s The Word

Luke 17:26-30 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

When I was younger, I imagined “The days of Noah” in a much distorted context: My wild imagination conjured up scenes of pirates robbing and pillaging and killing anyone who attempted to resist them. I felt bad for Noah as I could see each and every passerby wagging their fingers, ridiculing and scolding Noah for undertaking such a senseless task. And don’t even get me started on Sodom and Gomorrah – That place was Las Vegas multiplied by Mardi Gras with the lights off! Those deeply disturbing images were necessary because somehow my child-like mind had to reason why it was “Okay” for God to destroy so many people – They had to be the epitome of “utterly wicked”.

However, now as an adult having my depiction shaped by what I actually read in The Word of God, I see that the days of Noah and the time of Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah probably didn’t look much different than life today. Although there’s the occasional story of pirates robbing and pillaging; that’s not what EVERYONE is doing. Some people are just living everyday lives; buying and selling, planting and building, etc.

It’s not that they weren’t as bad as I thought they were; they were disobedient and I bet like many today(me included), either they didn’t see it or they didn’t see it as a big deal.

When I look around today, I consider where Matthew 7 talks about entering at the straight gate because there’s a straight gate and a wide gate: The wide gate has broad way that leads to destruction. Many are going that way. The straight gate has a narrow way that leads to life. And it says “and few there be that find it”. I've always pondered – How many is “few”? I don’t know how many people were on the Earth in the days of Noah but I imagine it was quite a bit more than a few. Even on the smaller scale of Sodom…still, more than a few.

Here’s The Word:

1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water

If you ask me “How many is few?” - When I think of a world of seven billion or so, “few” in my mind would most likely hit somewhere around the 2 billion mark. I mean 5 billion people perishing should make us all sick to our stomachs if we have any kind of compassion for people who are all created in the image of God. It’s just that I can more easily accept the idea that it’s less than half. But when I look at Scripture, Wow! I’m sure that I can honestly say that I would NEVER come away with a number as low as eight or in Lot’s case, four (Actually 3, remember Lot's wife). And THAT’S what scares me!

As a minister (as ALL Christians are to be), I try to stay mindful of my duty to love people and point them to Christ, but I can’t save anyone….not even myself. So it becomes all the more important that once we’ve shared the message of forgiveness of sins, that we also convey the seriousness of the matter – and that we all ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’ (Phil 2:12). I believe this to be the healthiest kind of reverential fear. Scripture says that perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment (1 John 4:8), so I hope I’m not conveying “torment”…just seriousness.

In Him,

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Mean Something By It

I (lower-case l) “love” Facebook. I remember the days of MySpace and even at its best; it’s not what Facebook is. Sharing life events, new experiences, beautiful pictures, full-force prayer rallying and encouraging, uplifting quotes and nostalgic memories…For me, Facebook IS ministry! As wonderful as I think it is, I have several friends who don’t “DO” Facebook. Do I encourage them to join? Nah… I believe they know themselves better than I do and it’s easy to see that Facebook is not ministry for everyone. Just like anything put into the hands of a fallen world, Facebook has it’s well-known dark side. But what about its gray side? Sadly and subtly, our nemeses; the world, the flesh and the devil are on Facebook in FORCE and their snares often shade the integrity and consistency of a life that should be marked by “a more excellent way”.

“Ooooh! Did you see the one about the ‘People of Wal-Mart’ where…….?”, “Ooooh! Did you see the one ‘Funny or die’….?”, or “Ooooh! Did you see what this person wore to that function……?”. Now I know I can be accused of being-out of touch, too judgmental or taking on a “holier than thou” attitude. I surely hope that there’s no truth to those accusations. If so, I beg dearly for prayer in those areas. My point is this, I don’t expect any different from the unregenerate, but if you were to confront your average “Christian” as to why they involve themselves in such mundane, sarcastic and even cynical information/behavior, I suspect the quickest response would be “Awwww, c’mon, I don’t mean anything by it – I just thought it was funny”. Such a fine line! And this kind of encouragement, if not ministered with a heart of exhortation and grace can quickly lead away from “freedom in Christ” to a law-based bondage.

“I don’t mean anything by it.” What an apropos phrase that realizes the meaning of the word “futile” or deeper still; no purposeful direction.

Here’s The Word

Ephesians 4:17 (NIV) So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.

Of the many things we receive from a new life “hidden in Christ” that’s sealed by The Spirit is purposeful direction: A life of meaning!

I don’t think we have to sacrifice humor in holiness. Actually, I think Christians should be the happiest, most joyful people on the planet. When the Bible says, “The Lord loves a ‘cheerful’ giver. The root of the word cheerful is where we get the word ‘Hilarious’. (look it up). It’s totally not my hope to saddle you with a heavy burden where you’ll be feeling like “Cros is going to be judging my 'spiritual maturity' every time I post something on Facebook. I don’t condemn you or anyone else, and if it’s just “too little, too late”, I understand if you unfriend me. I’ll still pray that the joy of The Lord be your strength.
Still, I encourage you to raise your standard and strive for (and to encourage others toward) ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ and to live a life of purpose!

At the end of the day, this really isn’t about Facebook…or is it? Maybe my friends who’ve opted out understand something that more of us should take to heart – the strength of our witness. We know to avoid places that exploit our weaknesses (a place you wouldn’t want another Christian see you go into or come out of) but Facebook is very subtle and some of us may not see how our weaknesses may be taken advantage of…because we’re too quick to see it as “nothing”. You have to judge within yourself if its really nothing or not, but even if it really is nothing to YOU - is that a good thing?

Well my friend, allow me to challenge you to break free of a futile life and for Christ’s sake: Mean something by it!

In Him,