Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

24
Feb
12

FILE THIS ONE UNDER DENIAL

File This One Under “Denial”:

A few years ago I heard Richard Dawkins sputter through an absolutely awful attempt to refute the idea that God created the world by attributing the possibility of its intelligent design to aliens. In a recent discussion at the University of Oxford, the writer of The God Deception steps away from his atheistic stance and moves closer to agnosticism. He still sputters though (click the link below to see the video on YouTube).

Dawkins: I can’t be sure God does not exist

God Bless & Grace 2 U,

RET

 

13
Sep
11

Some Good Parenting/Schooling Insights

Okay, so the title seems a bit daunting, but the article I attach is still worth reading for the insight Reb Bradley brings to the topic. I gleaned this off of the Josh Harris blog: (Homeschool Blindspots).

Regardless of the title, I think the article speaks to more than just home schooling our children. I struggled with sharing it though, because I don’t want anyone to feel judged or criticized by Mr. Bradley’s observations or any of my remarks. I am not putting myself, Mr. Bradley or Pastor Harris in a position of great authority here. I just think the article does a good job of highlighting our motives in parenting our children as we have chosen to do. The fact of the matter is there is a lot you can do to make sure your children are influenced by godly principles. However, as they grow, your children will make decisions based on their upbringing and their personal walk with our Lord (or perhaps, even out of a lack of that relationship). Far more important than any school  urriculum is how you live your faith in Jesus Christ out before your children’s eyes and ears.

Consistency of belief, applied in a life’s walk, communicates deeper truths to their hearts than anything they will read or learn in a classroom setting. Please don’t take this is the wrong way: in  your efforts to raise “godly seed,” your actions will communicating more about your real faith, regardless of the Biblical content of your words. Living a life informed by and conformed to the Gospel is what makes a lasting impression on our children’s lives. I, like Mr. Bradley in the article, have my own regrets in how I brought my two ladies up, but in the end, I’ve always trusted in our Lord for their ultimate protection, provision, and maturity. We rarely get any “do-overs” in parenting, so we must make the most of our opportunities when we get them. Take encouragement from this article and let me know if you have any feedback.

GB&G2U

10
Dec
10

Some people don’t get it…

 

I put a picture of our Christmas tree up as my profile picture on Facebook. Some people don’t get it. Call it a “rhapsody in red.” Call it a “scrawny, little branch.” Call it what you will, it’s my Christmas tribute this year: a real life version of the Christmas tree from one of my two favorite Christmas programs – the cartoon feature A Charlie Brown Christmas (the other is the film A Christmas Story).

Christmas doesn’t really happen for me until I hear that Vince Guaraldi soundtrack and that opening exchange between Charlie Brown and Linus:

 

Charlie Brown and Linus stop at a wall on their trip to the pond for ice skating…

Charlie Brown: I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. [begins to walk with Linus again] I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.
Linus: Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem. Maybe Lucy’s right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.

 A Charlie Brown Christmas is a metaphor for my life at Christmas – the guy who wonders through one of the greatest seasons of the year kind of depressed. It started a long time ago, and before I go on, let me assure you, the celebration of our Savior’s birth is the source of great joy for me. And that’s what the cartoon does for me; remind me of the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Charlie Brown and Linus return to the gang (gathered to put on a Christmas play) completing their assignment to go out and buy a great big, wonderful Christmas tree, to help everyone get into the meaning of Christmas. They are met with the following exchange:

Charlie Brown and Linus return with the puny little tree…
Violet: Boy, are you stupid, Charlie Brown.
Patty: What kind of a tree is that?
Lucy: You were supposed to get a “good” tree. Can’t you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?
Violet: I told you he’d goof it up. He isn’t the kind you can depend on to do anything right.
Patty: You’re hopeless, Charlie Brown.
Frieda: Completely hopeless.
Charlie Brown: [upset] Rats!
Lucy: You’ve been dumb before, Charlie Brown, but this time, you really did it.
[pause; then everyone bursts out laughing]

Perplexed and down cast Charlie Brown cries out for someone that knows what Christmas is all about:

Linus: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage] Lights, please. [a spotlight shines on Linus]

 
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'” [Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown] That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

 

Luke 2:8-14. That’s what it’s all about. Not the tree, but the child, born in a manger, announced by angels, worshipped by shepherds.

2010 has been a rough year around our house. This little tree is our Christmas tree this year, and I think it’s perfect. Because, as in the cartoon, when you see the simplicity of the little tree, the glory and spirit of the season can truly shine through. Some people don’t get it. And some people won’t get it. But it works fine in our home this year.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

 

And Merry Christmas to all of you.

God Bless & Grace 2U,

Ron

31
Jan
10

Update to Six Questions

I have no blog, per se, this week, but I do have a follow-up to something presented last week.

 http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=667377c5dd3cf6e2e5db

The attached link, to Tangle.com, provides a video with a brief story on Brit Hume’s reasons for his remarks featured in last week’s blog.  It also gives a little background on Hume’s testimony.

I promise to update the blog shortly with my usual stuff, but until then, I hope you’re inspired by Hume’s remarks.

GB&G2U

17
Feb
09

The Name Game – Part 1

It was an old song, made popular by Shirley Ellis back in the 60s, and went something like this: 

 

“Hannah, Hannah, Bo-Bannah,

“Banana, Fanna, Fo-Fannah,

“Fee, Fi, Mo-Mannah…Hannah!”

 

name-gameThe nonsensical Name Game song took a name, played with it, changed it, and then finally came out with the original name again in the end. I was reminded of this children’s son while reading an article on my favorite Christian hedonist blog, John Piper’s Desiring God. Written by Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, New Testament Professor, D. A. Carson, the article discussed the theme of naming God in a pluralistic society: or more directly, talking about Jesus in our current world.

 desiring-god

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I’ve been doing some research lately on the whole “Emerging/Emergent Church” issue (I can’t keep them straight yet), Carson’s article caught my imagination. Just how do we, who trust Jesus, name Him to others who do not have the same familiarity with Him? According to Carson’s article, to some Jesus is one of long list of profanities employed; to another, He is an ideal but certainly not a person; to yet another He was a man who obeyed God, but not God, and so on.

 

Often when we engage our modern-day, Godless culture in a discussion about Jesus, there is little to no agreement about the terms we are about to use. I say “Jesus.” You say “Right.” I say “Savior.” You say “Sage.” I say “God.” You say “Good man.” And so it goes. We engage in what we think is dialogue, but in reality it is two conversations, going in separate directions, that just happen to be in the same vicinity: Talking at each other, rather than to each other.

 

Jesus ran into similar circumstances with those He interacted with and addressed: The woman at the well, Nicodemus, the rich young ruler, the list goes on. Each time, there were misconceptions about who they were talking about (on the part of those He engaged, certainly not on the part of Jesus).

 

In John 4:1-30, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman. In their exchange she makes an observation about Jesus that tells us her perspective of who she thinks she is talking both to and about.

 

The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet…’

John 4:19

 

womanatthewell013A prophet, in mere secular terms was a mystical person who could interpret hidden knowledge. However the woman was a Samaritan, so she had some knowledge of the God of Israel. So we might consider her as a “religious” person (but not a necessarily believer). Her frame of references in addressing Jesus as a prophet was that she was speaking to a man who, by God’s Spirit, could declare truth concerning the kingdom of God and the long sought for Messiah.

 

Many today are in the same camp when it comes to talking about Jesus. They recognize a holiness, or perhaps a wholeness, in which He appears to be an embodiment of a longed for spiritual perfection they seek to encounter. They recognize Him to be authentic, but His representatives here on earth as less than genuine. If we engage these modern seekers but are not aware of this gap in their presuppositions about Jesus and those of us who follow Him, we’re liable to think they accept our line of thought when in fact, they are moving away from us and closer to some mystical, spiritual “Christ-concept” that is antithetical to our purposes.

 

womanatthewell021As He addresses the woman, Jesus deals directly and unequivocally with her perceptions. He speaks to her need to understand worship and describes spiritual worship that pleases God. Since she was a Samaritan, Jesus knew she longed to worship God in a genuine and God-pleasing fashion (not unlike what some in the Emerging/Emergent movements seek today). When she takes the discussion to another level of inquiry, acknowledging a genuine faith in the promised Messiah, Jesus presents genuine truth, candidly and straightforwardly declaring Himself to be “Messiah.”

 

As we engage the current culture (the postmodern or, as some refer to it, the post-Christian era), we must bring the truth authentically, genuinely and directly. We are not to conform Christ or Christianity to look more like the culture. Christ is genuine enough for any era. He is inherently essential to every need. All we need do is represent Him as directly as He Himself did to this Samaritan woman. And we are fully equipped to do so as His disciples. Christ is not a commodity to be packaged and marketed to better appeal to a consumer. Christ is the Messiah, the Savior, and all we need do is let His Holy Spirit equip and enable us to proclaim His Gospel to the world.

 

to_be_continued_1

 

God Bless and Grace 2 U




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