Thursday, March 27, 2008

Road to Serfdom

The headline caught my attention -- "Ten Days That Changed Capitalism" by David Wessel, appearing in the 27 March edition of the WSJ. In the body of his article we read, "The past 10 days will be remembered as the time the US government discarded a half-century of rules to save American financial capitalism from collapse." He later quotes an economist as saying that the US government has acted to stave off Great Depression II.
This should frighten the US citizen. But I fear that it will not.
It seems since Great Depression I, in the 1930s, the people of this country have looked to the government to bail them out of all troubles. When trouble, disaster, strikes -- we look to the government to rescue us. Why is this?
I recall after Katrina hit, in that cesspool of New Orleans, one man screaming at the TV camera, "Where is the government to help me?" I wanted to say back to him, "Why can't you help yourself?"
I think we have created a dependent nation. Now it is a credit crunch, a housing bust, people can't pay back loans they've taken out -- so what do we do? "Government, come save us!"
Slowly, and here recently not so slowly, our freedoms erode, erode, erode. But hey, if I am comfortable -- got my party and my i-pod -- oh well.
Before long the only ones who will be comfortable will be the commissars who rule our lives, as we let them. We become serfs; the state our master. We're done.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Wonderous Cross

Today is Good Friday. As I meditate on the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour, there is no other way to come to Him except with humility. Who am i that the Son of God would leave the glories of heaven, to come to this wretched sin-stricken world, to be despised and rejected, mocked and ridiculed, to be sinless yet become sin and take on Himself the sin of fallen men like me, to take on Himself the wrath of God, the punishment due my sin, all that I might live?

I must say with the hymn writer, that when I survey the wondrous cross I must pour contempt on all my pride.

In this age of emerging churches and emerging theology, of seeker-sensitivity and man-centered worship -- I WILL cling to the old rugged cross, I will wash my filthy rags in the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb that died upon that cross. I must cherish the old rugged cross, for apart from it I am a sinner bound for hell and separation from God, instead of a sinner bound for heaven and fellowship with God.

Thank you, dear Jesus, for going to the cross. Thank you for bearing my sins and my shame and for dying my death. Thank you for loving me, Jesus. May this life that you have saved bring you praise, glory and honor. Amen.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Very Disney-esque

"Very Disney-esque." That was the description given by a local pastor for the new children's wing they have built onto their worship center on their campus. The article also stated that the church had built a coffee cafe to go along with the playground so the adults can sip while the children slide.

Give them Disney --- and they will come.

Give them Starbucks --- and they will come.

The pastor is also quoted as saying, "hey, this is the world we live in." So, by all means let's give the world what it wants; lets try our best to be like the world to attract the world; and before long we just might be accepted by the world.

Does this not all sound a little too worldly for you?

I'm not wrong am I, but I thought the church of Jesus Christ was called out of the world, to be different from the world, so that the world might know that God was different from the world (holy).
Yes, God loves the world, so much so that he sent His Son to save His people from the world. He calls out to be His own special people, a holy people, like He is holy.
We are called to live separated lives. "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." -2 Corinthians 6:17

I thought church was to be about God, not man. We gather to worship God, not man. The church is to be pleasing the Lord, not man. Churches, as well as individuals, have to decide -- will we serve man or God? Is my life God-centered or man-centered?

Do we want to give our world more Disney or Jesus?

Will we build more "Chuck-E- Jesus" playgrounds or will we seek build our children and families up in the training and admonition of the Lord, our holy God?

But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." -- Matthew 17:23

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Rough Week

Last Wednesday morning, early, we received a desperate call from R's mother that we should come to her house -- quickly.
On Monday we had gone to Sycamore to see Rachael's dad and mom. We had a nice visit and even shared some laughs. Upon leaving I told Rachael that her dad really looked good, as strong as I had seen him for quite awhile. He had been off of his experimental chemotherapy for about two-three weeks as he battled infection. We hoped that he was getting stronger for the next go-round.
On Wednesday morning, he died.

It has been a long, yet all too quick 7 months since his diagnosis. He fought with tremendous courage and we are thankful for the time we have had with him. He was my wife's hero. He was the light of my mother-in-law's life. At his memorial service I shared this verse as I began my remarks about him, " . . . that you aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing." (1 Thess. 4:11-12)

In the week that has passed since he left earth for heaven, my anchor has been 2 Cor. 4:14, "knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus . . . Therefore we do not lose heart."

Praise be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!