Thursday, August 27, 2009

Things that annoy me.

Just a random list here of a few things that tend to irk me...(actually, some of these things are more than annoying.....they tick me off!!!!) I'll have something more substantive coming soon......

  • People who drive too fast.
  • People who drive too slow.
  • “To” being used where “too” ought to be.
  • Red lights….especially when there are no other vehicles on the road.
  • The word “ideal” being used in place of the word “idea”.
  • The first syllable of “water” being pronounced “what”.
  • People who attempt to claim they aren’t racist by citing the fact that they used to have a really close friend who was black.
  • When I’ve got an itch on my back that I can’t quite reach.
  • People who refuse to admit that they are wrong…particularly when they are disagreeing with me!
  • Parents at sporting events who act like complete idiots when a call doesn’t go a direction that favors the team that their kid is on.
  • People smoking in a vehicle that has kids in it.
  • The sight of Brett Favre wearing that hideous purple uniform.
  • People texting while driving.
  • Texting.
  • Twitter.
  • 99% of all status updates I’ve ever read on Facebook.
  • The parent of one of the kids on my sons’ 6th grade football team who thinks it’s completely appropriate to yell out any profanity that happens to come to his mind.
  • The constant elevation of athletes as role models.
  • Road construction.
  • The unhealthy focus on entertainment in our society.
  • Sexually suggestive commercials.
  • People who think that a four-wheel drive vehicle somehow makes them invincible on the road no matter how hard it’s raining, how deep the snow is, or how thick the ice is.
  • The fact that there is a television network called “Cartoon Network” yet I can’t allow my kids to watch most of what airs there.
  • That I can’t watch national news without some story about Michael Jackson or Jon and Kate.
  • Politicians….nearly all of them.
  • Christians who think they are righteous in their laughter when calamity and / or death comes to some political figure with whom they disagree ideologically.
  • People who attempt to use the Bible to justify their own wickedness.
  • Athletes who are Christians only when their team wins a game.
  • The idea that God actually cares whether or not your team wins a game.
  • The idea that just because a thing isn’t expressly forbidden in Scripture that it must be acceptable.
  • People driving right on my rear bumper.
  • The fact that great programs like “The Andy Griffith Show” have been replaced by crap like “Family Guy”.
  • MSNBC pretending to be a news organization.
  • Some conservative talk show hosts pretending to be non-partisan.
  • Lists that go on for far too long.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Precious Jesus! Glorious Savior! My Redeemer!

Your sacred head bowed down in pain. A cross your resting place.
Your nail pierced hands blood hath stained. Your visage blood hath traced.
Your thorn crowned brow – so much pain. Your bruised and battered face.
Such selflessness – love defined… You freely took my place.

They beat you and they mocked you and they called you evil names;
Willingly ignoring the reason that You came.
Maliciously they whipped You – Your back they opened wide…
Your reaction was astounding! – “Forgive them”, was Your cry.

Precious Jesus! Glorious Savior! My Redeemer, Lord, and Friend!
You loved Your own and prayed for them. You loved them to the end.
Alone and battered, bruised, rejected. A wounded, bloodied man.
Was this the scene You had in mind? Was this salvation’s plan?

This ugly scene of sacrifice – we cannot comprehend;
My precious Jesus, loving and faithful, endured all to the end.
The Perfect Lamb, unspotted – untainted out and in,
Took my place through suffering - He died there for my sin.

I gaze with awe at Calvary’s cross as questions flood my mind:
Propitiation? Substitution? Atonement for my sin?
My questions turn to tears – my sorrow turns to joy;
He loves me! He forgave me! My penalty destroyed!

Precious Jesus! Glorious Savior! My Redeemer, Lord, and Friend!
Your grace and startling mercy! Your love that knows no end!
You sought me and You found me and You said I am Your own!
Your nail scarred hands now hold me. Your righteousness my robe!

I kneel in shame and gratefulness, my blind eyes opened wide.
I understand, though mystified, it was for me He died!
This tragic death now glorious to me it doth appear.
He changed my life! He paid my debt! He brought salvation near!

The debt I owe to You, my God, is one I’ll ne’er repay.
It’s greater than the former one – the one You washed away.
You elected to redeem me. How astounding! How sublime!
I’ll live for You, dear Jesus, though unworthy of Your name.

Precious Jesus! Glorious Savior! My Redeemer, Lord, and Guide!
I long to know You better…with You I would abide.
Precious Jesus! Glorious Savior! My Redeemer, Lord, and Friend!
I long to understand Your love…Your love that knows no end.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Sin Myths" or "Why I hate the color grey"

Just because something is stupid doesn’t necessarily mean that it is sinful. Smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day is absolutely stupid. It is also unhealthy. It also makes you smell bad. It might even indicate that you have some lack of self-control. BUT it is most certainly not a sin to smoke. I will concede that addiction (to anything really) is sinful. Since cigarettes contain nicotine, they can potentially become addictive. So smoking your half a pack a day is (to state it again) stupid in that it could certainly lead you to the sin of addiction.

I used to smoke cigarettes….a pack or so a day. I coughed all the time and I smelled bad. After doing this for a few years I decided to stop (with the exception of the occasional cigar on the golf course). I have no desire to smoke ever again. Mainly because of the smell and the fact that there is a chance that it could put me in an early grave. Both of those things aren’t really all that appealing to me. All that said, I respect your foolish decision to smoke. I’ll tell you it’s stupid and I might even tell you that you stink, but I won’t tell you that it’s a sin….because it’s not.

Now, please do not confuse these statements as a defense of smoking. Do not view them as an encouragement to take up smoking. Do not view them as my attempts to justify some behavior of my own. Take them for what they are….statements of fact regarding one of the “sin myths” in Conservative Christianity.

Whether the issue is drinking, smoking, divorce, dancing, a man having long hair, or a woman wearing pants, there are a number of “sin myths” that have taken an almost doctrinal status within Conservative Christianity. When one attempts to offer up a biblical perspective on these things he is often demonized for attempting to justify his own sin if he doesn’t come to the “Party line” conclusion. It makes one wonder at times if they are in the right “Party”.

The many discussions I’ve involved myself in (or simply witnessed) on 10 or 15 different websites around the internet over the last several months regarding the alcohol issue have reminded my of this. Some of the discussions have been profitable. Some have been educational. Some have been challenging. However, most have ended up digressing into utter foolishness with one or both sides attacking the motives and character of the other. Why do disagreements over “grey areas” have to get so shallow and ugly?