“Dead Come to Life” by Jonathan Thulin

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A perfectly fitting song for this blog, but the video for the song is a beautifully told parable. I dare you NOT to spend 10 minutes watching this extended video.

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“So Help Me God” by DC Talk

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An oldie, but a goodie.

If you really think about the lyrics in the chorus, it is a bit of an interesting paradox. Essentially, it is asking for HELP from God to put FAITH in God. At first glance, that might seem strange, but in reality, building more faith in God is something that is really beyond our natural, human capabilities. In essence, we have to have faith that God will help us have more faith in Him. It is a beautiful cycle if you really let it sink in.

Dear Super-Angry Zimmerman Trial Watchers (From Either Side)


Dear People Who Are Really Angry About the Verdict of the Zimmerman Trial (or People Who Are Angry at All the People Who Are Angry About the Verdict of the ZImmerman Trial),

I guess you could call this an open letter, although this missive is probably going to be shorter than the salutation above. I watch with a certain morbid fascination the vitriol that spills from both sides of this case (both the supporters of Zimmerman and those who wanted him to hang). I am constantly amazed at the hate-filled invective of people who have no material connection to this case or the families involved.952313_79933908

All right, before I get to the “meat” of this post, let me get a few things off my chest that really don’t aim at the heart of this entry:

1. Unless you are a criminal lawyer, or are educated as an expert in tort law, you are NOT an expert and are not qualified to make judgments on the fine details of the case.

2. Unless you were an eyewitness to the alleged crime, you really have no idea what ACTUALLY happened that night. If you had such information, you would have been called as a witness.

Okay.

We’ve got those two things out of the way.

I’m speaking to people who are angry that Zimmerman was acquitted. You know how much anger, perhaps even hatred, you feel towards George Zimmerman, the defense team, maybe even the jury? As much as this might pain you, if you are a believer in Christ, it’s about 48 hours past time to let it go. This probably will also chap your hind-quarters a little bit: those people towards whom your angst is directed? They deserve God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness just as much as you don’t. God offers it freely to all of us, in spite of our inability to deserve it.

Or, if you want to think about it another way: God views you as an equal with George Zimmerman, the defense attorneys, the jury, etc, in terms of your inherent goodness (or depravity, whichever way you want to look at it).

That’s right. God loves you just as much as those people you are cursing at on your 24-hour news channel of choice.

Okay, now I’m speaking to people who are angry that people are angry about the acquittal. You know how much anger, perhaps even hatred, you feel towards all those who are crying foul that the US judicial system is racially biased? As much as this might pain you, if you are a believer in Christ, it’s about 48 hours past time to let it go. This probably will also chap your hind-quarters a little bit: those people towards whom your angst is directed? All those people who are protesting and crying foul? They deserve God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness just as much as you DON’T. God offers it freely to all of us, in spite of our inability to deserve it.

Or, if you want to think about it another way: God views you as an equal with all of those who are screaming for blood over the acquittal in terms of your inherent goodness (or depravity, whichever way you want to look at it).

For those of you who don’t care and wish everyone would just stop yapping about it? Well…

…God loves you too.

When “This is TOO Easy!” Equals Death


“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it.  How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14 (HCSB)

Being something of a “brainiac” is a blessing and a curse. Yes, I can still do complex mathematics in my head, even years after graduating with my Ph.D. But, it also has a tendency to make a person lazy. I had learned to “skate by” without really thinking about things substantially.

So it was with my “Christian” persona. I had learned every conceivable method of prestidigitation to make myself appear to be the Christian everyone thought I was. I was a regular David Copperfield (the magician, not the literary character), using a very crafty sleights of hand (and mind) to make myself appear as something I was not. I could call upon my vast knowledge of scripture, biblical history, and Christian “language” in order to prop myself up as a “humble brother in Christ.”

But one of the many many many MANY (read: “many”) things that constantly set my teeth on edge was how “easy” things felt. Like I had in so many of my high school and college classes, I was skating by on the so-called Christian life with very little resistance. Yeah, as a family we had PUH-LENTY troubles, but I also realized that the bulk of those troubles were not the result of “Spiritual warfare,” but rather, a result of my own internal disobedience to the Word of God.

I was a pretty crummy husband.

Certainly not a great father.

Spent lots of time pursuing my own interests and almost none seeking after the heart and will of God.

And it all came so easily. In fact, it came so easily and naturally that I had fooled myself into believing my own bill of goods. I had convinced myself that I was a phenomenal Christian, serving Him in as many ways as I could find.

That probably should have been a huge red-flag. Why was everything so easy? Jesus was very clear in Matthew Chapter 7 that the way to life eternal was a long, narrow road, and the road that leads to destruction is exactly the opposite: broad, smooth, probably even a slight downhill grade for lazy people like me.

But that’s exactly what Satan wants. He wants our spiritual muscles to atrophy by guiding us down the path of least resistance. Body builders use resistance training to focus on certain muscles (or groups of muscles) that they wish to build. When the resistance isn’t strong enough, the result is little to no improvement in strength or muscle tone. When there IS no resistance, muscles can actually weaken through atrophy.

Christians who aren’t experiencing any resistance should start to ask the most important question:

“Why not???”

We Are the Hem of His Garment

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“Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe. For she said, ‘If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well!'”

Mark 5:27-28 (HCSB)

I had a friend of mine share this scripture on Facebook yesterday (thanks, Kyla!), and I was struck by something that I never had even considered before. This woman was changed by an encounter with Jesus Christ, but this was no ordinary encounter. She had such faith in Jesus, that she believed that merely touching His robe might heal her.

And, of course, she was right.

But here’s the thing. What struck me is that she didn’t have to touch JESUS HIMSELF. She just touched something that was in CONTACT with Him.

Isn’t that US as Christians? Aren’t we the hem of his garment–constantly in contact (or we should be) with Him?

And shouldn’t people who we interact with on a daily basis be fundamentally changed through their contact with us, just as this woman was by touching the robe that Jesus wore?

If not, does that mean our connection to the Savior needs to be repaired, reinstated, or recharged?

“The Proof of Your Love”

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If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

 

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

 

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere.

 

So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (The Message)

 

If you read this, Paul clearly defines the “whitewashed tomb” that Jesus referred to in speaking about the Pharisees, the religious elite of His day. They said all the “right” things, performed all the “right” rituals, hung around with all the “right” people.

The problem was, without LOVE, being “right” didn’t equal being “righteous.”