Well, it's official. Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is upon us. I know, the 12 days of Christmas actually start on Dec. 25, but our society can't wait that long to start celebrating. So Christmas creeps up earlier and earlier in the year. I even saw Christmas trees coming out already in October in one local store. But now that Thanksgiving is past, it is full on. Christmas is everywhere.
Are babies born good? You may have joined the millions who have asked this question from the beginning of time. Some people say that babies are born naturally good and it is only societal influences that teach them to do what is wrong or evil. Some say that babies do not have a moral compass; they are blank slates that society impresses upon. Still others say that babies are born naturally bad and it is the job of their family, society and religion to shape them. So since we can't ask babies, how will we ever know?
Thanksgiving is not aimed at general thanks. It is a holiday aimed thanks to God for his care and for his provision. If you really want to celebrate Thanksgiving, you must realize that there is a God who in his divine providence has decided to bless you and you must thank him. Thanksgiving is a day of worship. But this year, more than just thanking God with our words, my hope is that we can honor God with our lives. So to help us with this, I want to consider three Proverbs from scripture, three wise words for Thanksgiving.
Perhaps it's a cliché - the columnist recounting all he has to be grateful for in this season of Thanksgiving. But, the problem with the obvious truths in our lives is that we've forgotten they're actually true.
Last week, I defended my statement that being a church person is really living. But I know how hard our society and our own sinful natures fight against that. I've heard all the arguments against the whole "religious scene." I know it's popular (foolish, but popular) these days to say, "I'm spiritual, just not religious." I've heard so many reasons the "church" world makes life hard. And I know, often the "church" messes up. Often, the real reason for church and religion is pushed to the side, so it does lose its purpose. That doesn't ...
Everyone has a worldview. No matter who you are, no matter where you are from, no matter how you were raised, you have a distinct worldview. What is a worldview you may be thinking? A worldview is your orientation to the world, your perspective, or the viewpoint from which you engage the world. Some claim that they only consider the evidence, or "just the facts" in a particular situation, but that is never true. Everyone, no matter who you are looks at that evidence and considers those facts from a particular point of view.
"As the Scriptures say, "People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever." And that word is the Good News that was preached to you."
"This is living." Has that statement ever come out of your mouth? Take a minute and think about when. Is it sitting on the beach; sending a rocket of a drive down a picturesque fairway; being squeezed in a hug from your grandkids; enjoying a fantastic meal with people you love? What would make you say, "This is living"?
Have you ever said it about coming to church? Today, I'd like to posit the proposition that doing the church thing - going to church, reading the Bible, reading an article like this, just being a Christian - "THIS is living."
What do you focus most on when you feel like you have been mistreated, wronged or bad things happen? What if you had the attitude, "God even in this, you are in it?" Oh, I know that would be hard to do. It would require us to look to and trust God completely. And don't think for a second there would not be times of hurting, disappointment. But God calls us not to pleasantry or success, but to his purpose.
This will include good and bad, fair and unfair times. I think of Joseph: a victim of his brother ...
Statistics show that 60 percent of church-goers voted for Mitt Romney on Tuesday. I am not sure how that number compares to people who read the religion section of The Covington News, but I would guess those numbers are similar. With that said, I would guess that three out of five of you who are reading this article were not pleased with this week's presidential election. Allow me in a few minutes to offer you some biblical wisdom on how any Christian should respond to Tuesday's events:
• Support the Winner - While I know many of you may disagree ...
"You must bring your entirely burned offerings, your sacrifices, your tenth-part gifts, your contributions, your payments for solemn promises, your spontaneous gifts, and the oldest offspring of your herds and flocks to that place. You will have a feast there, each of you and your families, in the Lord your God's presence, and you will celebrate all you have done because the Lord your God has blessed you."
In less than a week millions of Americans will take to the polls to decide whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney should be the most powerful man in the world for the next four years. People are saying this is the most important election of our lifetime. I seem to recall that being said of previous elections and I am sure it will be said in the future. My hope in this article is to push partisanship aside and to look at the three issues of this campaign from a biblical worldview perspective.
Last week, I left you hanging. I spent 90 percent of my column showing you from God's word that regardless of what you might try to tell yourself - you don't deserve anything good. I know, that doesn't sound like a very nice thing to do. But the truth is - it's the truth. In fact, the wages of sin is death.
I found out about the stamp ministry a year ago through my mother who started collecting and cutting out used stamps from every piece of mail that comes to the house. She puts them in this little clear plastic baggie that hangs on the side of the refrigerator on a magnet. She then told me that I should start cutting and collecting used stamps because it is so easy to do and serves a good cause.