Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Many, if not most of the Christian leaders today seem to be content to take Christianity as it is, for what it is, and worse, for where it is.
Is today's level of Christianity worth building on? ...
Planning, building and working on the existing sand of Status Quo. Seldom does anyone question where Christianity should be, or for that matter where the Church should be ... or could be.
The truthful answers to these questions are uncomfortable indeed.
I feel we have done a great disservice to true Christianity by accepting "Status Quo" as our norm and working from there.
It seems that we're quietly adapting to reality by changing our definition of heat and remaking our spiritual thermometers; It's much easier scratching out the old Biblical increments and changing them so that tepid reads hot?
If indeed, Godly "hot", is an un-reachable goal why not change the increments to read more realistically.
It seems the Churches have already re-set their thermostats to comfort! The temperature most want.
How many times have I've heard "Don't with the church thermostat!!!"
Good question. Why keep stretching toward the call, if I'm never going to attain to it?
Lets be realistic and adjust to lukewarm reality ... as we look around we can find loads of cold Believers, and warm ones too, and the "lukewarm".
But let's be honest where are there any hot Believers today? Where are the Believers with a burning passion for God? Where are the Believers who are out doing it?
The movers and shakers!
Where are the lighted Believers who are recklessly running into darkness to illuminate the truth?
Believers are doers of the Word! I want to be out there doing it to the max, until God says ... "Time up!" May I be hot ... until my body turns cold. You don't find thermostats in ... caskets!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Every kid grows up wanting to be an adult. Kids consciously and sub-consciously study the behavior of adults. I remember little girls in my neighborhood dressing up like "Mamas" trying to walk in a pair of mother's big shoes, with mama's dress and sometimes jewelry. Boy's dressed up like "Daddies" finding father's shoes and coat a little too big, but ... Oh! And a lunch pail.(Daddy went to work.) Of course that was way back when there were homes, Mama's and Daddies and you even knew who they were.
Today it's so different.
Have you ever thought about this ... If a kid actually acts like an adult, before he is an adult, he is castigated and on occasion imprisoned. This creates a rather frustrating and confusing environment for teen wannabe adults.
It reeks of hypocrisy.
Wow! At the magic age we can enjoy the vices and drugs reserved for adults and not feel guilty.
Until then ... mom and dad will say ... "Honey, your too young to use the "F-word," next year it will be O. K., you'll be eighteen". "You know better Bobbie, no beer or whisky, your really too young, wait a few years, remember your father and I are adults". "Johnnie, you know you're not to be looking at porno, you're simply too young, you'll enjoy it more as adult." "Bruce, what are these condoms doing in your pants? ... remember your only twelve. Now be careful "
Adult language, adult toys, adult shoes, adult videos, adult games, porn, all off limits to a long line of impatient wannabe adults.
Especially the years of teens standing there full of hormones with their tongues hanging out ... ready for adulthood; and mature vices.
Mom and Dad handle it something like this: "Now Jeanie, when you get older you'll learn to use vice ... well ... responsibly, until that time you'll just have to wait. Sorry honey."
Being adult today pretty well centers around what we used to call vises. Immorality!
Vice in our world is the starting increment of adulthood. Vice becomes legal at the magical age of eighteen.
It seems too much to ask for us Christian adults to display a maturity as a virtuous end. Adult behavior that would highlight wisdom, character, honor, loyalty, humility ... Oh and lest I forget, modesty. (The other day I saw a fourteen year old girl in a bathing suit that would make a stripper blush!)
I can hear the kids now ...
Wow! I'm eighteen and now I can open the adult door and enjoy all the vices! Life become the trinity of alcohol, sex and party.
We're doing a great job with our kids!
Monday, May 23, 2011
Well, my body and I got of to a bad start this morning. I thought we were going out for exercise but my body simply said "No!"
From time to time my body and I have our disagreements. The direction we take tends to be a matter of who out shouts who. My body seemed more determined then ever.
It seems the more years we spend together, the more diverse our thinking. Sometimes I think we're becoming strangers.
"What do you mean no?" I asked my body. "Well," my body replied, "I'm simply too old to do what you're asking of me! Von it's time you realized how dumb this is! You don't see other 80 year olds out exercising, walking in a cold wind, doing push-ups and chin-ups; that's just plain nuts!" My body continued on it's tirade passionately pushing the virtues of a more sedentary goal.
"For example, look around at other 80 year old bodies, they're sitting in a big warm comfortable chair watching T. V. and munching chips. That's what I want to do at this age. It's only reasonable"
"Von, think retirement!"
My body had a point, and I was duly tempted. "What's wrong with doing what everyone else does? Give in. Give up!
I Pushed my feelings aside, and countered with a reasonable argument. "Hey body! Look at what these "couch potatoes" look like. Bald, bloated and fat! Contented and constipated!"
I followed my body out the door and we did our thing!
Friday, May 20, 2011
The older I get the more I think of pity or compassion as an emotion that is gradually fading away from our Christian ethic. I wonder if this is true or maybe just my observation. Is compassion or the willingness to pity seen as a weakness or maybe an irresponsible emotion in the black and white world of reality?
Maybe it's that the ability or tendency to pity tends to makes me vulnerable to an action or giving I really don't want to commit to?
Can the ability to emote become calloused in time or because of experience? Am I protecting myself against compassion ... against pity? Have I, in time, developed a defense mechanism against pity and the obligation it may present?
I struggle with compassion, it doesn't come natural to me.
We have to admit Jesus, our example, was quite literally "moved" by His compassion. That is His actions were often the result of pitying.
His teaching on the Good Samaritan highlighted a lesson on compassion to a small crowd of pitiless religious professionals; the smart Academics of the day.
Would it be right to expect true Christians to have pity and compassion as their strength rather than their weakness?
Compassion; the God given ability to empathize with the conditions or feelings of others less fortunate.
Compassion; love in action. True compassion demands some kind of involvement.
Is compassion missing as the driving force of ministry? Should compassion be the heart of ministry? Is it possible to have a calling initiated and driven by compassion for others?
*Today, as in most days I'll drive past beggars. In my world there are many. I drive past the homeless without a concern; I in my comfortable car give them but a glance, looking at them simply as everyday objects; a visible part of a society gone wrong! I don't want to connect with their pitiable condition; for which I really can do nothing about? I can use one of a hundred good excuses ... responsible reasons why I can't afford them pity or give them a prayer ... or a coin.
By driving past them I am doing nothing wrong; but then I'm not doing right either.
It's a fact that there is someone watching from above ... and He's keeping score.
The Book of Life is but one of many in God's Library!
The History of my life and your life is being written each day.
*To be honest, above my sun visor in my SUV, I have a pocket full of dollar bills, just for such occasions.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Common sense says: Kids raised in violence, whether actual violence or vicarious violence ... will perpetrate violence. Violent scenarios, violent environments become an attractive and exciting world for disoriented male children.
A perverted world.
Three powerful influencing screens are responsible for much of this; TV screen, big screen and tiny screens; all packaged to sell violence to eager young male buyers. Violent, exciting and attractive male actors and man images have become vicarious mentors to these confused “man hungry” young boys.
Most boys will grow up to be male ... too few will become men.
Boys that are born to be true men, often end up as angry and disillusioned male primates ... candidates for escaping reality.
This kind of kid grows up to become a smart and dangerous social predator.
To this predator violence ends up becoming a purpose ending in an exciting, though short, way of life.
Add dangerous drugs to the equation and you have an intense violence that is hungry for blood, anguish and pain.
Death ultimately becomes a high! And the 'trinity-creed' below becomes a reality!
As one good looking teen told me ... "I'm going to live fast, die young and make a good looking corpse!"
Unfortunately, society, instead of changing this scenario, has for the most part decided to live with it ... too many single moms unwittingly donate their son's to the Devil and his short term agenda. Heartbreak indeed.
Leave your kid alone, looking and interacting with the screen long enough and ... to know what your kid is looking at is to know what he's becoming.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
This evening it was interesting watching our President as he inspected the Texas border. He really got close to Mexico! Here is our President taking a look for himself to see, indeed, how effective his border guards are. Meeting with the top officers and supervisors, asking good questions, "checking with the troops!" "Petting the dogs."
"I want to see for myself!" "I want to know what's going on!"
I well remember when I was in the Army how the inspections went. Oh yeah! Whenever a general or big-wig would come to see the troops, we would get the word in advance and we would start to work getting everything clean and shiny, I mean CLEAN and I mean SHINY! Then, when the big occasion came, we would stand in formation ... waiting for the big-wig's to inspect us. Some times it would be a General, or sometimes a Senator or Congressman.
They would walk down the line of us soldiers and from time to time question us about the conditions we were living under. "Soldier, how is the food here?" "GREAT SIR!"
Could we tell them the truth? No way! Of course not! Not with our Sergeant looking at us.
Did our dear Leaders see the truth? No. Did they hear the truth? No. Did they see what they wanted? Yes. Did they hear what they wanted? Of course.
Just another expensive exercise in political futility. Just a game. Even us lowly soldiers knew the game ... and we fall for it every time!