Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Lesson in Humility

" My car died on a desert road and I found myself having to walk 2 miles in 100 degree heat to the nearest town. I walked into the local diner there to get a glass of water and was completely stared upon by the locals. I was dripping wet with perspiration from the extreme heat and my shirt was completely soaked. The townspeople perceived me as being some kind of homeless person who had just crawled out of a dumpster in some back alley."

"From that moment on and for the next couple of days I was angry. I consider myself a good Christian Man and was angry at God for allowing all of this to happen to me. Not just my car breaking down on a desert road, but the embarrassment and humiliation I went through when stepping foot into that diner."

"And then I realized what God was teaching me. Even though I am a Christian, there were times where I would find myself judging others based on their appearance or way of life. This was a defining moment in my life. A lesson in humility."

I heard a Christian DJ tell of this experience on the radio last week. And it reminded me of how often it is us Christians who are the biggest offenders when it comes to judging others.

We judge others by what we see without ever really knowing that person's background or lifestyle.

We judge or critique other Christians and their beliefs and base it upon what we believe or have been taught,and simply forget that they pray and worship the same God as we do.

And we tend to judge the everyday common person, whether it's a homeless person living on the streets,a junkie on the street corner, a teenager with tattoos and body piercings, or even a co-worker or fellow parishioner and the gossip spread about that person.

I believe that is why God was so adamant in His Word about Christians not judging others:

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with what measure you use, it will be measured back to you."

The mark of every Christian is to be a strong and noble love toward others. Let's face it,we all could use a challenge by God to rectify our judgement of others.
I, for one, would welcome that or any other challenge that comes my way as long as it humbles me to the point of making me not just a better person, but a better example of Christ.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Tale of Two Songs

On my ride to work the other morning I began searching through the pre-sets on my car radio, like I usually would do on a Saturday morning. One stop was the country channel which brought me this little ditty:

I work sun-up to sun down

ain't to proud to be sweeping the floors

Bank has started calling

and the wolves are at my door

Four dollars and change at the pump

cost of livin's high and going up.

Thank God I only caught the end of this "whoa is me" song.

The next pre-set on my radio brought me this:

Your picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time

Matching up socks, sweeping up Cheerios that got away

You put a baby on your hip, color your lips and head out the door

Wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?

Maybe your that guy with the suit and tie

Maybe your shirt says your name

You may be hooking up mergers, cooking up burgers

But at the end of the day

Little stuff,big stuff, in between stuff

God sees it all the same.

The chorus to this Steven Curtis Chapman song and the reason why we should live by these words and not the latter "whoa is me" song, is simply this:

Whatever you do it all matters

so do what you do

don't ever forget

to do everything you do to the glory

of the One who made you.

Cause He made you

to do every little thing you do

to bring a smile to His face

and tell the story of His grace.

It is important to remember that what you fill your mind with through your sight and hearing has an adverse effect on how you live and respond to life and it's struggles. We need to remind ourselves that,

"...God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind." (2Tim. 1:7)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

There is Only One Real, Definitive Answer

Within the coin change I received from a sales clerk the other day was a shiny new quarter. And on that quarter I was surprised to still find the words
In God We Trust.

I always found it humorous when certain groups go to great lengths to take the name of God out of everything, but never make it an issue on the dollar bills they so willingly spend.

America has been making a habit of it lately in it's continuance to omit the word God from just about anything it can find:

1. The mayor of New York City banned all religions and any type of prayer from
it's 10th anniversary memorial service for September 11th.
Thankfully the President and former Mayor of New York quoted scriptures.

2. The Washington National Cathedral excluded Christians from their
multi-religious memorial service. But the service did include: Buddhists,Hindus,and Muslims.

3. Pepsi Cola came out with some commemorative cans to remember September 11th.
They omitted the word God from the Pledge of Allegiance inscripted
on their cans.

4. Thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation,
another school district,this one in Mississippi,was banned of
any prayers over the PA system at their sporting events.
To no avail, students and parents complained, then hundreds took the
initiative and recited The Lord's Prayerbefore their school's next football game.

The schools case against the Freedom From Religion group is being looked at
by the Liberty Institute,which has a legal division staff of Constitutional attorneys.

One of these attorney's simply states:

"The Freedom From Religion Foundation is misinforming people.
You have a right to speak a religious thought,
even if it's over a PA system that's government owned, even if it's on
a public street, a public park, which are also government property."

If we continue to slowly take God out of everything in America, then what will She stand for?

Besides having all Christians uniting, standing together and making a difference in our society, there is only one other answer:

If my people, who are called by Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2Chronicles 7:14)

We as the Church still have a long ways to go if we truly are going to be a Nation transformed. But standing together in prayer is a good start.