Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Answer Is . . .

When I was in the eighth grade or so I first heard of Bob Dylan. I knew that he could not sing; that any success he enjoyed was not based upon good looks or a good set of pipes. And perhaps that's what drew me to investigate further. As I began to listen to Dylan sing, I didn't notice the vocals per se, but I noticed the voice -- the voice of a poet. Here was a "rock star" that had actually said something. The lyrics written were styled, not just statements. Some of the songs told stories of people, and others really made you think -- about life, about others, about yourself, about the state of things. Few of my friends got it, and I liked that even better. I liked what Piper has written, about how Dylan's most famous lyric of all strikes at what we like to call "Postmodernism." (I really hate all these bloggers and commentators using 'postmodernism' as a springboard for all their talk -- like relativists really even care. Its called sin. Jesus said that the natural man hates the light and prefers darkness. What we hipsters call 'postmodernism' to me is simply old fashioned living in darkness instead of light.) Anyway, as Dylan says "the answer is blowin' in the wind." The point is there is an answer, in fact it is THE ANSWER. Most folks don't want to hear about the Answer, they love darkness. My question is why be ashamed to point to the light? Why try to couch everything, package everything, to appeal to the darkness that men naturally love? Why try to keep the light dim to attract. Let it shine, man! Sing it, breathe it, shout it til all souls can hear it, live it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

On The Artic Edge

This is the theme song from our church's VBS this year . . . and once you hear it you cannot get it out of your head, unfortunately. VBS @ FBC has been really good. I am astounded at the effort that goes into the school -- so many people giving so much of their precious time for such a precious cause-- teaching kids about the love of Christ. I am thrilled to be a part of such an endeavor. I only wish more people from our church could/would participate, to experience the joy and receive the blessing. Tonight I was asked to come into the room of the 2 year olds, as they were having "church." It was absolutely precious. Yet, the Enemy will seek to steal the joy of VBS. We must not let this happen! Lives are at stake, souls for eternity, and that is more valuable than any amount of money or any differences of opinion I may have with a brother or sister in Christ. Stay focused. Remember our mission and why Christ came -- "to seek and to save sinners." In eternity will things like interior paint schemes matter? May we be ever watchful NOT to waste our lives.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Honesty Is Such a Lonely Word

I am working on amessage for Sunday PM on Matthew 5:33-37. In this passage Jesus is contrasting the TRUE teaching on honesty of speech with what the scribes and Pharisees were passing off as "honesty" in speech. Honesty goes deep. It is a matter of the heart. Just like murder and adultery, they are matters of the heart. The point is internal, not just external. The Pharisees said "hey, as long as you don't perjure yourself, after you've taken an oath, all OK." And obviously they had some leeway as to what you swore under as to whether it carried a lot of weight or not. Jesus says don't swear at all - all that we say is under God anyway. Let your yes be yes, and no, no. Be honest. It seems like such simple instruction, but it is in short supply. Does anyone teach their children honesty anymore? Perhaps so many parents live lies they cannot teach honesty. Children do not see it - at home, atschool, in elected leaders, in clergy, in sports stars. Man, Jesus' teaching is needed more than ever. We must realize that He calls us to live and walk in the light, as He is in the light. We recognize more than ever that we need His mercy and grace, the indwelling of His Spirit (and our surrender to Him) to live the life that is pleasing to Him. May we be honest witnesses for our Lord, and let it begin with me.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

Last night we had a tremendous storm -- not much hard rain -- but LOTS of wind and lightening. A building here in Monroeton was struck and burned . . . that can't happen too much or there won't be any Monroeton! I do not think anyone was hurt. Power was knocked out for several hours which quieted things down . . . I actually went and visited my neighbors on their front porch . . . of course we had to knock aside the cobwebs from the chairs . . . no one does simple, good things like that anymore, sadly. R and Boys are on their way home from VABVA, and I was pleased to just here from them that they had stopped by some friends' in Northampton. This has been a quiet week here at home, to say the least . . . too quiet actually. I feel for the widowed and childless homes . . the radio/TV becomes your only company . . . and that is sad in itself. Folks have been real generous with me this week, making sure I have been fed . . . like that was really important for someone with my waisteline! Then again out as well as here no one forces me to put anything in my mouth . . . I am totally responsible. Have been reading a lot this week - about Ehrman's book, about the Trinity, about TR, and have periodically enjoyed reading from a Foxfire book about plain livin'. Talked with JKM today, briefly, he was working crop. Next week (Sun) begins VBS -- ohhhh meeee. Heard J Cash's new tune "God's Gonna Cut You Down" - a real, light, pick-me-up kinda song, I am sure will get lots of airtime on top 40 country radio. Nah, it is heavy and good. Preach on John!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wanna Be In Love With You

That song title is the song playing on the aol radio as I type -- by a group called Plumb -- I hope she sings about loving God. Oh well . . .
It is Monday again, and Monday is seldom a great day for me and those in my calling - it is a day to lament and say with the prophets "they have ears but hear not." But the enemy cannot be allowed to steal the joy that we have in Christ Jesus - knowing all that we have in Him. You just want others to have the joy and not be burdened with weights like bitterness.
Press on and be strong