Tuesday, February 24, 2009

For The Love of God...

...and beer.

Not everyone's journey to God is the same. Many have followed the same path: go to church, hear a sermon, you feel a tug, someone asks if you want to be "saved", you find yourself raising your hand, you go up front, someone has you repeat a prayer, you're whisked away to the "door on my right, your left", some hands you a Bible and a tract or pamphlet, someone prays for you again, you go home wondering, "What now?"

Or maybe you find yourself like Tom. His path is definitely different. His is not the normal path people normally take in evangelical churches. Does this mean there are "many paths to God"? If by that do I mean that all religions lead to God then no. But each of our journey's are different. The road to which we come to the Cross may not be the same one our friends, families or neighbors are on. But we all meet at the Cross for it is there that we all come face to face with the God of the universe in the form of His son, Jesus Christ. And it's what you do with that knowledge you now have of what Jesus Christ did by being born of a virgin, living a sinless life, dying on a tree, being dead and buried for three days, rising from said death and ascending into heaven after being seen by many that determines what path you will take after your encounter with the Cross.

The path after that encounter may be mainstream evangelicalism. Or it may be like Tom's. Or you may be the next Billy Graham or the next Bob Dylan. I don't know. God does and He rarely reveals, fully, what He has in mind for you. It's a lot about trust. That's a lot of trust...putting our lives in the hands of one we cannot see; whom we only know through scripture.

What's your path to the Cross? Do you see it or do you ignore it?


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Great Pumpkin Presidency

One thing I have noticed about Barack Obama's speeches is that they are full of sincerity. His words about hope and change and transparency ring with heart-felt conviction. His delivery and oratory on the subjects we as American's care about echo with sincere thought. The question is; is he truly sincere about all of that or not?

With deep sincerity and conviction the Pharisee's thought the 600+ additions to the Law were for the better good of the Jew.

With deep sincerity and conviction many believed Jews, gypsy's and other non-Aryans were the problem with Germany.

With deep sincerity and conviction many believed the black man to be sub-human; unable to learn, to read, to write, to do anything but menial labor.

And those people were wrong.

I'm not saying that everyone who speaks with sincerity and deep conviction is wrong. I'm saying that sincere-sounding word, sincere-sounding tone, can sway a crowd who aren't looking at whats behind those words. I'll admit, Obama's speeches are great. Some of the best I've heard since Ronald Reagan. And I find myself starting to believe what he is saying because the issues he is talking about hit close to home. It's how he intends to solve those issues that bother me.

You see, many people don't or won't look beyond the rhetoric to the meat of what's being said. Dr. Luke extolled the virtue of the Berean's because they didn't accept what he said at face value. In Acts 17:11 it says, "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Too many of us do not do this.

Too many of us are like Linus from the Peanut's show, "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", sitting in our pumpkin patch; the most sincerest pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin "to rise up out of the pumpkin patch and fly through the air bringing gifts to all the good little girls and boys..."

You see, Linus believed, with all sincerity, that his pumpkin patch was the best, the most sincere. You know the story. He convinced Sally to stay up late with him in the pumpkin patch where she missed trick-or-treating with her friends. It didn't matter how sincere or convicted Linus was, Sally didn't parse what was really being said about the Great Pumpkin. In the end, it was a dog that rose out of the pumpkin patch in search of some root beer!

So, we have a President who presents a great sincerity, a deep conviction that what he is doing is correct. And because he has preached his gospel with great sincerity and deep conviction, many have bought into it. And yet, the world around them is showing something completely different...they're not buying into it. They've parsed the words and the meanings, thrown out the rhetoric and looked beyond the deep, heart-felt, emotional sincerity and found it lacking.

To use a phrase from the movie, "A Knights Tale"...

"You have been weighed. You have been measured. And you have been found wanting."

I encourage you to parse what is said by your President, you elected officials, your Preachers, your radio talk-show hosts. See if the sincerity matches reality. You'll be surprised...


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Kinda Scruffy

I'm not shaving or cutting my hair until I get a face-to-face interview. Which means I'm going to be a bit scruffy looking at my parents 70th Birthday shindig next week! I do keep it neat and trimmed but me, with long hair and a beard, is something most of my extended family have never seen.

First time I grew a beard my daughter referred to them as "weeds" on Dad's face.

My wife hates the beard (or even the goatee) because it "itches" when we kiss.

My son...hasn't voiced an opinion. He's still pissed at his parents for putting him on restriction due to an "F" in AP English ("I don't like doing those essays!" Tough darts farmer...it's part of the class) and a "D" in Spanish ("I don't like doing the homework...it's dumb!" Tough darts farmer....it's part of the class).

My dogs dont' care either. Just as long as I give them some food off of my plate when I'm eating they wouldn't care if I was naked and bearded!

I did have a preliminary interview with Dynamic Aviation on Wednesday of last week. If they're interested in me they'll call back. If not, "hopefully you'll get an email" saying they aren't interested. The job would be flying King Air 90's or 200's either in CONUS or OCONUS. Some of those OCONUS jobs pay between $10k and $20k per month depending on the contract and which war zone you're going to!

That's all...

Have a nice day unless you have other plans...