Common Sense: Rest In Peace

Two years ago former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner was accused of sending a sexually suggestive photograph from his twitter account.  The photo was sent to a twenty-one year old college student from Seattle, Washington.  This young college student was one of many who followed Weiner’s twitter posts.

Initially, Weiner denied sending the picture and blamed the photo on others who were trying to discredit him.

Shortly after this a second woman came forward with sexually suggestive material that had been sent to her by Weiner.  As the evidence began to mount against him, Weiner finally said this, I have not been honest with myself, my family, my constituents, my friends and supporters, and the media and to be clear, the picture was of me, and I sent it. He also said he had engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email and occasionally on the phone and had exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years.  On June 16, 2011, Weiner resigned his seat in Congress.

CNN reported last week that just over a month after entering New York City’s high-profile mayoral race this year, Anthony Weiner has moved ahead for the first time in the crowded Democratic primary and is actually leading in the polls. Weiner is again involved in politics.

So, we had a congressman who engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior and then lied when he was caught.  Now the people of New York City are supporting him in his new quest to become mayor.  Do you ever find yourself just shaking your head and wondering what ever happened to common sense? Most of us would never hire someone like Weiner for our businesses yet some folks will elect him to run their city.

I am reminded of James 1:5 that says this, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  Perhaps many in our country should all ask for a liberal dose of wisdom.

Anything Goes!

This week the Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples legally married in a state deserve the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.  This ruling struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act known as DOMA.  Several months ago Attorney General Eric Holder also said that the federal government would no longer defend DOMA.

As various worldviews push against the Biblically defined traditional marriage, we have opened a box of alternative life styles that are clearly not scriptural.  I have often reminded folks to follow non-Christian worldviews to their obvious conclusions and this is a perfect example.

If we no longer rely on Biblical teachings to define marriage, then who decides the definition of marriage?  The courts?  The government? Popular opinion? I suppose anything goes and people can define marriage however they would choose.  With no standard…no Truth…who is to say that bestiality or pedophilia should be outlawed? What about polygamy?

In fact, within twelve hours of the most recent Supreme Court ruling, Joe Darger, a Utah-based polygamist with three wives said this, We’re very happy with it (the decision of the Supreme Court). I think the court has taken a step in correcting some inequality, and that’s certainly something that’s going to trickle down and impact us.

Without following the absolute Truths provided in scripture, laws against these types of behaviors only remain as law until there is a strong enough cultural change to remove them.  This is exactly what has happened with the homosexual agenda.

Currently thirty-seven states prohibit same-sex marriage.  Since undoubtedly you will see this marriage definition argument move to the state level, I encourage you to call or write your senators and congressmen and tell them you support the Biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

We are reminded in Hebrews that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Even if our culture changes, God’s Truth always remains as a foundation for Godly living.

I Can See Clearly Now

CNN reported this week on a church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  This church meeting seems like many other churches across the country.  Music is played, someone gives announcements, an offering is collected, and a speaker talks about the importance of compassion and community.

There is one thing missing in this service each Sunday.  What’s missing?  God.  This is the weekly meeting of the Humanist Community at Harvard University.  This service is the idea of Harvard’s humanist chaplain.  If you aren’t familiar with the humanist worldview, they believe that people can lead ethical lives and lives of personal fulfillment without God.

One humanist church singer, Shelley Segal, said this about their humanist church and worldview, I don’t believe in a great power to say thank you to. But that won’t take away from my gratitude.

So now I must ask who then should receive Segal’s gratitude?  How can you say that you don’t believe in being thankful to God but you won’t let that take away from your gratitude?  This is a non sequitur…in other words; this is an argument where the conclusion does not follow the basic premise of the argument.   You see, it simply does not follow that there is no object for your gratitude. Gratitude by definition has an object.

The world is full of competing worldviews that frankly have no logical conclusions to their arguments.  When you hear about various worldviews, follow them to their logical conclusions.  Ask questions. You’ll be surprised at how many worldviews collapse under scrutiny.

We shouldn’t be surprised at all the false teachings and false worldviews we see today.  2 Peter 2:1 tells us this, But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.

So question worldviews that oppose a Christian worldview.  Compare these to scripture, look logically at what arguments are presented and don’t be afraid to always ask people how they know their worldview is true.  You’ll be surprised at the many illogical responses you will receive.

Are You Dying of Thirst?

Today as I was watching someone water flowers, I began to think about the power of water.  Not the water you and I might ordinarily think about on a hot summer day but rather the living water we read about in the Bible.

When I was younger we used to sing a song in church that said this, Like the woman at the well I was seeking for things that would not satisfy.  But then I heard the Master saying draw from the well that never will run dry.

That song is talking about the Bible story we read in John chapter 4.  In this account, Jesus is talking to a Samaritan woman at a well.  She has come there to draw water to drink but she is about to encounter the power of God.  This woman has quite a story and must have been pretty disillusioned with her life.  In fact, this scripture tells us that the woman has had five husbands and the man she is now living with is not her husband.  She has been searching for earthly things to satisfy.

As Jesus and the woman were talking about the water in the well, Jesus says this to the woman, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

So how about you today?  Are you like the woman at the well looking for things of this world that just don’t satisfy? Are you caught in the trap of trying to gain money and possessions?  Do you find yourself searching for romantic relationships that continue to fail?  Are you caught in the trap of alcohol or drugs…like the woman at the well just looking for something to satisfy your soul?

If you find yourself caught in these traps, you need a drink of eternal water.  In other words, let Jesus change your life. Give Him a chance to change you from the inside out.  It really is easy. Simply ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and become the leader of your life.  Then watch your life begin to change as God now directs your steps and satisfies your soul as only He can do.

Are You Sinking?

If you have watched the news this week you saw that this was a tough week for storms in the mid-west.  The tornados that develop from some of these storms are dangerous and frightening. Having lived in Oklahoma for six years I know first hand the feeling of fear when these storms roll into your neighborhood.  I spent many nights watching the radar and deciding whether to take my family to shelter from tornados.

In fact on one occasion my family and I were in the middle of a tornado that touched down in Missouri.  When people say a tornado sounds like a train coming through they are right.  It was about 1 AM when we heard various items bouncing off the walls of our hotel.  There was a terrible sound of wind, the power went out and we were in the dark in the middle of a tornado.

The next morning we went outside our hotel and many of the buildings next to ours were destroyed. There was shattered wood everywhere.  Power lines were on the ground. A large sign was found about two miles from where it used to stand.  Everything was a mess. That was a frightening night.

I am reminded of another frightening night.  In Mark chapter 4 we read about Jesus and the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee when a terrible storm came through. We are told the storm was so bad that the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped.  The disciples were scared to death and finally decided to wake Jesus who just happened to be in the boat sleeping through the storm.  The disciples said this to Jesus, Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?

Jesus replied, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? Jesus immediately spoke to the wind and the waves and everything became calm.

Do you feel like you’re drowning in whatever situation you are facing? Are you in a boat you have made for yourself and seeing the waves starting to capsize you?  Are you terrified of what will happen next?  If you are a follower of Christ, Jesus is in the boat with you.  We serve a powerful God who can handle any storm you are facing.  I’ll ask you the same questions Jesus asked the disciples, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?

 

Why not let Jesus help you through your storm?  Have faith that our God can handle anything you are facing.  Jesus can calm the wind and waves you are facing. You never need to be alone in a storm.

Let’s Waste Some Time

A few years ago John Maxwell wrote a fascinating book called, Today Matters.  In that book Maxwell noted that what we do with our time each day will determine our future.  I believe Maxwell is right.

According to Reuters News, Americans watch an average of nearly 35 hours of TV each week. That’s almost equal to a full-time job. In the average home, there are more television sets than people.

According to another survey by America Online and Survey.com, American workers are wasting 2 hours of every 8-hour workday, and that doesn’t include lunch or scheduled break time.

Specifically, this survey revealed 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work. Of that group, 39 percent waste one hour or less each week, 29 percent waste 2 hours each week, 21 percent waste five hours per week, and 3 percent said they waste 10 hours or more each week.

The survey also revealed which websites employees visit most while they should be working. Any guesses? Facebook occupied 41 percent of those wasting time and 25 percent are shopping at Amazon while they should be working.

I suspect if you asked those watching 35 hours of TV or those wasting time surfing the Internet about their life plans, they would tell you that they always wanted to start their own business but just don’t have the time.  Or perhaps they just don’t understand why they can’t seem to get promoted at work.  I bet you would hear an endless stream of excuses for why these folks can’t seem to get ahead.

The answer is very simple and Maxwell is right.  Here’s the answer again in case you missed it…Today Matters.  How you spend your day each and every day will determine your future.  You will never get today back again to repeat.

So what will it be?  Watch TV or spend time with your family?  Surf the Internet or think of ways to be productive and help your company advance?  Check Facebook or read your bible?  You see, your day really is yours.  You get to decide how your day will unfold.  Choose wisely because today really does matter.

Are You Stuck In Winter?

Spring is one of my favorite times of year.  After the long months of winter, trees with no leaves, no flowers, and brown grass, I finally have the chance to see a different kind of beauty.  It seems like the mountains and fields have exploded with greenery and wild flowers.  Outside my window is a new family of birds in the nest…new life is everywhere.

As I think about new growth I can’t help but think about spiritual growth.  Are you experiencing a spiritual spring season or are you still stuck in winter?  Are you growing in your walk with Christ or are you stuck in the snow?

God often talks about new growth in nature and compares it to our spiritual growth.  Matthew 7:16 tell us this, You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. What is God telling us?  He is saying that people should be able to identify followers of Christ by the fruit we produce.  People should be able to see our spiritual fruit…our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. Our fruit should be evident to everyone as we go about our daily schedules. Remember, fruit grows continuously.  As followers of Christ we should always have our fruit growing, developing, and ultimately passed on to others.

So may I encourage you today to leave your spiritual winter behind?  It’s time to move into spring and allow God to create some new spiritual growth in your life.  Small, new spiritual growth can quickly turn to fully developed spiritual fruit.  Go ahead and take the first step today.  Welcome to spring!