Jaunt #1: I Love Preaching…I Hate Preaching
As I walked down from the pulpit recently, I sat down with my head in my hands. My mind and heart raced. On the one hand I love preaching. It is a wonderful thing to handle the Word of God in the presence of the people of God.
And then the Murders Began
Author Marc Laidlaw challenged Twitter to add the line “and then the murders began” to the opening line of great books. The most famous opening line of any novel is from Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. Here is how Laidlaw’s challenge works on that line. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times and then the murders began.”
That’s pretty good. But some tweeted the opening line of the book of books, the Bible.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth, and then the murders began.
By the time we get to Genesis 4 that scenario happens.
In this edition: Antonin Scalia, Monty Williams, Pope Francis, Donald Trump, Jennifer Lee, University of Florida, Black Panthers, Beyonce, Super Bowl, William J. Kirkpatrick
Harvard joined Yale this week in adopting a formal ban against professors having sexual relations with students. A history professor, Alison Johnson, stated that “We’re not seeing potential romantic partners. We are seeing students.”
Today is the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court. This decision and the support that many give this decision indicates that we need a fresh understanding that each and every human being has been created in the image of God. This means that life is sacred from the womb to the tomb.
This sacred approach is a demonstration of the second part of the Great Commandment given to us by Jesus – to love our neighbor. Below is a list of some of our neighbors. I am indebted to one of the elders in our church, Brace Case. Brace preached this morning along these lines and stirred my thought process. I have created this list keeping in mind that some have justified the demeaning of these neighbors.
2012 is off to a great start. I have just about lost all of the weight I put on from the holidays. Outside of that most of what has been great has been internal. My joy in the Lord has definitely been on the upswing. I find myself delighting in the amazing person and things of our great God. This has led to my mind swirling with new ideas as I reflect on the eternal truths that are being awakened in my soul.
* Last night I took a break from my eBay work and watched a live stream of Matt Chandler preaching at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. I found myself swelling with emotion. God is really using Matt to clearly communicate some amazing truth. I could hardly keep us as my mind was racing about these great things. In summary, Chandler made it clear that while God and the Bible may be for us, the primary focus is on the glory of God’s name.
In almost every culture it is appropriate to greet somebody who has entered into close proximity. Likewise we send away that person with another verbal call or physical gesture.
Many cultures perform these civil duties with some version of “hello” and “goodbye”. What are we communicating with these words? We’ll get to that in a moment. First some observations.
When we see somebody we like that we haven’t seen in some time, we are prone to some sort of greeting filled with emotion. The words might be difficult to make out, but the rest of the body demonstrates to the other person that they are welcomed.
More frequently, our society seems to practice the departure of a disliked person with a profane mumbling under the breath.
Whatever our first and last words, we typically are blessing or cursing the arriving/departing person. The mumbling mentioned above is an example of cursing. What would happen if we were more intentional about extending an appropriate blessing as people enter and exit?
The past few months have not been ideal for our family when it comes to attending Sunday morning worship services together. My wife, Suzie works in the retail field. She has asked for scheduling considerations for Sunday mornings. Her department manager has consistently scheduled her on Sunday mornings. This did not change after her request.
The result has been that I have been attending our services by myself. The best part of our Christmas celebration was being able to attend the worship service of First Baptist Church of Boynton Beach together. We joined the others in praying, singing and hearing from the Word of God. It was great.
After the service a lady behind us spoke to us, “I’ve seen you (looking at me) here on Sundays. Who is your friend (looking at Suzie)?”
How would you answer that question?
Turn down the volume, please.
Does it seem like we are living in a world in which yelling is becoming the normal tone of conversation? I do not have any hardcore data to back up my claims, but my experiences have convinced me that this is so. If your experiences are similar, then perhaps we should begin by lowering the volume when we have access to the controls.
The other day at the grocery store, a mother screamed at her child so loudly that everybody else in the produce department stopped to look. The child was not in danger nor misbehaving. The mother was simply conversing with the child. I suppose she was so accustomed to yelling that she did not realize she was. I think the staring eyes of onlookers may have reminded her to tone it down. Besides the child was not really listening. He seemed immune to her voice.