Archive for February, 2008

A Sparrow

So, in my Bible reading on Monday, I read the following…

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." (Psalm 56:8)

Then on Tuesday morning, while at work, I was listening to my ipod (probably feeling less than excited and less than confident as usual) and God played this song:

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Now, I know some people would say it was a coincidence, but in that moment I sensed that God was thinking of me and had an answer for my poopiness even though I wasn’t even aware I was feeling sorry for myself.

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I was talking to a minister friend today.

I preached a message entitled "Remember" a little over a year ago at his church. In a nutshell, it was a word study about remembering God’s word and allowing it to transform our thoughts, emotions, attitudes and behavior, especially in times of crisis. The application was in the title. About a month after I preached, during one of their home groups, someone brought up my message and what God was doing in their lives with that message. One of the elders said that he didn’t get anything out of it because I didn’t tell him what to do (Why I have to tell an elder what to do with the concept of remembering what God says escapes me). My minister friend replied, "Well, when was the last time you and others were still thinking about a sermon four weeks after the fact." That was quite encouraging enough, but…

He said that last week a gentleman said he really did not think much of my message when he heard it over a year ago but now God won’t get it out of his head! Apparently, he has been going through some crushing times and he is basically left with just he and God.

I don’t know. I guess I just felt like telling the story. I guess God needed me to remember that he uses me and that I need to not give up so easily.

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Without Christ

So I saw an editorial today by a local religious leader and it got me thinking. It was about creation and evolution and I will read it in detail tomorrow so I can create a better response. But it got me thinking: If this issue is not that big a deal (which seems to be his point), why in the world would I want to be involved in Christianity if Christ is not who he said he was and the Hebrew Scriptures were not the truth as Jesus believed and taught?

With all due respect to Christians with greater character than I and, with acknowledgement that my representation of Jesus leaves alot to be desired, why would I be a religious person, especially in a religion where you can’t trust Jesus’ words and you can’t trust the Bible to be true? If evolution is even slightly true, Jesus CAN’T be God in the flesh and he is merely an evolved ape (or amoeba to go back even further). To keep the thought going, the doctrine of Christ would be that he is 100% God and 100% evolved ape. If evolution is even slightly true, Biblical Christianity CANNOT be true. Jesus would have believed in creation and taught creation.

So, was Jesus simply ignorant (remember, if he evolved, he could not have been creator as Paul wrote), or was he lying (he somehow knew life was not created, but covered it up by teaching the Hebrew Scriptures as a true and trustworthy account). Are scientists and philosophers wiser than Jesus or simply better informed or is their character more trustworthy than Jesus?

Without Christ, I would probably have Christian friends but I really would have no use for church. I would probably think of Christianity as having some good morals but I would choose (like I do now anyway in spite of my best wishes) what I wanted to abide by. I think there are too many who think the debate over evolution is just for brainiacs, but I say creation is at the heart of what we believe. If it is not true, I can’t say what else is true.

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I just found out that the lady who took one of the Bible positions after I and the other two teachers were fired is quitting at the end of the school year. The coach who took the other Bible position quit over Christmas so he could be a full time professional coach. When I heard, I just smiled at my wife and her teacher friend and almost laughed. I just said, "I’m going to leave now. This is me leaving so I don’t say anything."

Now, remember, when I signed my letter of intent last year, I clearly indicated that I wanted to stay and teach. Although the stated reason for getting rid of me was not "we have a coach and a coach’s wife who want to teach Bible and we need to make room," it is clear to me (and has been since the day after my firing) and now it is clear to others (who never could understand why I was let go) just what went down.

I do apologize to God if I am misunderstanding these events as gifts of encouragement to me from him, but it has been almost a year since I found out I wasn’t being asked back and God encourages me almost everyday that he is proud of me and I shouldn’t be ashamed of what happened because this situation was not my fault.

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