Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Go Where The Rain Is

Let's say that you're thirsty.  I mean, spending-a-month-in-the-desert-and-dehydrated thirsty.  You haven't seen any rain to quench your thirst and cool you down.  You look up and see some rain on the top of a mountain.  You could sit there where you are and wait for the rain to come to you, or you could make the difficult climb and go up the mountain and to the rain clouds.

What do you do?

If you sit there and wait, it's easy and little effort, but the rain may or may not actually come down to where you are.  If you climb the mountain it will be difficult and exhausting, but you know that you'll get the rain.  You're dying of thirst, so do you sit there or climb?

Faith and our relationship with God are like this.  Sometimes it seems like we're in a drought and wonder where the spiritual rain is. Where are the blessings?  Where is God?  We can see others being blessed, so why not us? 

Well, why are you sitting there waiting for it to happen?  Make the difficult journey and go to where the rain and the blessings are.  Walk closer to God and climb the spiritual mountain.  Sitting around won't do anything, so you have to change what you're doing.

Anyone up for some mountain climbing?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rubber Band

I heard this on the radio as I was getting ready for church and thought that it was worth sharing.

"Faith is like a rubber band.  It's only useful when it's stretched."

Think about that! It's very true.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Consequences Of Sin

I think everyone realizes that sin is bad, and we all know passages such as "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).  But I wonder if people really and truly understand how far-reaching the consequences of sin can be.  In my own extended family I've had the unfortunate "pleasure" of seeing this for real.

In my wife's family there is a married couple who have four young children.  Over the last couple of years the wife has had multiple affairs and has lied to cover her indiscretions.  Yes, this is bad, and an obvious breaking of God's commandment against adultery.  Even simply the lies are against God's Word.  She has been very selfish in her actions, and though her husband hasn't always been the best of people and the most attentive spouse or father, he hasn't gone to the extent that she has. But let's look at the spiral this has caused.

Her children are being pulled between the parents and are being affected by those stresses.
Her mother and father have had their jobs affected by the stress of dealing with her.
Her hidden sin has affected the church around her.
Her Christian witness has been ruined and she cannot effectively serve in church.
Her family doesn't trust her at all.
Her sister doesn't want to be around her.
And that's just the beginning.  At a quick count I can think of at least 13 people in her immediate family alone that have been directly impacted by her poor choices and sinful actions.

God has set up "rules" and guidelines, defining certain actions as sinful.  This isn't because He wants to be a dictator and run our lives.  It's because He knows that these actions have far-reaching consequences and can destroy not only us but those we know and the lives we touch.

Before you act selfishly and act against God, really think hard about who you are really affecting.  It's more than just yourself.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Christians Unfit Foster Parents?

Recently a court in England denied a couple the right to foster a child because of their Christian beliefs.  Seriously!  Read about it here.

But Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation "should take precedence" over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds.
They said that if children were placed with carers who objected to homosexuality and same-sex relationships, "there may well be a conflict with the local authority's duty to 'safeguard and promote the welfare' of looked-after children".

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, said: "Thankfully, Mr and Mrs Johns' out-dated views aren't just out of step with the majority of people in modern Britain, but those of many Christians too.  

But the Christian Legal Centre reacted to the ruling with dismay and warned that "fostering by Christians is now in doubt".
The organisation said the judgment "sends out the clear message that orthodox Christian ethical beliefs are potentially harmful to children and that Christian parents with mainstream Christian views are not suitable to be considered as potential foster parents".

You know, I realize that Christianity is under attack and more and more people discriminate against Christians.  But this is getting ridiculous and rather frightening.  Basically this case was looking at religious rights versus homosexual rights.  And the judges were rather firm in saying that homosexuality trumps religious rights.

We need to pray and pray hard.  Stories like this are becoming more common as the teachings of the Bible are called into question and considered intolerant and hateful.  If we're not careful we are certainly on the road to Christian views being against the law and considered hate crimes.  Christians need to stick together, seek God, and pray for our world.