Monthly Archives: December 2013

Needed Wisdom from Sacred Chaos

Luke Davis has weighed in on two issues that need understanding: 1) the Duck guy thing and 2) Mark Driscoll writing scandal…

Read his thoughts:

The Kerfluffle Many Christians Have Overlooked

 Okay. Everyone and their pregnant poodle have commented on the Duck Dynasty/A&E/Phil Robertson/Cracker Barrel’s foot-in-their-mouth controversy.

here

Christianity Today Magazine raised the question of idolatry… HERE

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Filed under culture, definitions, seeking understanding

joy in the midst of sorrow?

C. S. Lewis said that we should not base our happiness on something we could lose. The subject of “happiness” verses biblical joy is a topic that I find important. Here is an exchange from Fb the other day when a friend posted this: “Is it possible to tell the difference between happiness and joy if things are going well?” I responded with this:

“People are fond of saying “x made me happy,” thus happiness, as it has been said, is a state of mind which is based largely on external circumstances. Biblical joy, as we read the other day, is a fruit of the Spirit. Thus, belief leads to joy, we can rejoice because of God even when we are unhappy. Therefore, the difference is, perhaps, between feeling and being. Your circumstance can affect your emotion and make you happy. Joy is a gift of God as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Hence we be joyful in all circumstances.”

As I have reflected about joy verses happiness today as I have thought about my friend Ron, I realize anew how important having biblical joy as a gift from God is when we deal will sorrow.

Listen, happiness is awesome and my existence has plenty of it because of my family and friends, but lasting joy and being able to rejoice in all things is based on a joy that comes from belief not circumstances.

We can experience sorrow with hope in the fact that our brothers in Christ may have left the Shadowlands but have entered the Real Existence in the very presence of God. Thanks be to God for the work of Jesus whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. He is the true source of joy. Joy lasts when happiness fades. Thanks be to God for lasting joy.

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Filed under being a disciple, experience

Remembering Ron

I was stunned when I looked at my phone this morning, a friend had died early in the morning over in the Heartland.

Ron was just a few years older than I. His health had not been good since I had known him. Walking around was hard for him as he struggled to breathe. But even in his struggles, he always remembered our last conversation and would ask me how my knee was feeling, how my Redskins were doing, and if I was encouraged. We would talk about about our common background in the grocery business and the 70s and about what we were thankful for and what we were struggling with.

He was most thankful for and loved to talk about his family in Szeged. He was so proud of his son Kyle, his daughter-in-law, Odi, and his two grand-daughters. Those two little girls brought him incredible joy. In talking to his son Kyle this morning, we reflected on Ron’s testimony, he had the faith of a child. That’s what Jesus told us we needed, isn’t it.

His son told me that Ron was at church yesterday morning and at a special Christmas gathering last night, I know that this would have brought Ron joy because he loved being at church and, especially hearing Kyle’s teaching, a proud dad he was. In faith, I remember his testimony of trusting in Jesus and believing in God’s mercy. Ron and I would pray together, praying the Lord’s Prayer from the King James as men of our generation remembered it from long ago.

I believe that when Ron left his earthly body, he was present with the Lord. Perhaps he is singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” right now. May God have mercy on his soul. May God bring comfort to all who loved him as a dad, father-in-law, grand-father, brother and friend. I am glad to have been his friend and look forward to seeing him in the presence of the Lord.

May the joy of the Lord make us even more grateful for Christmas today, realizing that we CAN have hope because without the Incarnation there is no salvation. And we have the hope of salvation because of the baby-King whose birth we celebrate.

Here’s how we would pray:

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

Thanks be to God for the joy that He gives, even in the midst of sadness and loss. That joy from God is how we can rejoice in all things. Especially today.

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Filed under experience, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, Uncategorized

Vaden, Eric, John & Frank

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7th annual Christmas concert (aka Vaden & Friends)

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What to say?

Merry Christmas!

Or

Happy Holidays!

Does it matter to you? Why?

Is it because we want to share the incredible gift that we celebrate… the Incarnation of God the Son into a fully human being while maintaining His full deity so that we may have a perfect saviour.

or

Is it because we fear losing the religious / cultural Christmas Americana?

Perhaps our energy would be better invested in actually living a biblical Christmas spirit that engaged people in the real story of Jesus birth ratger engaging the media and politicians in a battle over what people say.

I always say Merry Christmas and have yet to have anyone correct me.

I wonder if Jesus is concerned about this aspect of the American culture war?

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the innkeeper

Scripture doesn’t say much about the innkeeper who turned Joseph and Mary away.

It just said there was no room in the inn.

I heard a song the other day about the innkeeper. The lyrics hypothesized about how the guy felt when he found out what was going on.

There was no room in his inn for Jesus. It made me ponder this question: If our hearts and souls are so filled with stuff, have we become like the innkeeper and have no room for Jesus now.

Unbeliever.

Believer.

Churchgoer.

Convert.

Are we acting and believing like the innkeeper?

Is there room in our hearts and lives for Jesus today?

Become a disciple, train your heart, mind and soul so as to fill it with Jesus.

These did…

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Filed under being a disciple, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings