RSS

Category Archives: Uncategorized

I Ain’t Superstitious

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the term associated with a fear of Friday the 13th. There are many theories of it’s origin, but I think it’s just the superstition of the number thirteen itself. How can the last work day of the week be a bad thing? Right? Then there are a number of horror movies and entertainment media surrounding, and exploiting this particular superstition. The franchise “Friday the 13th” alone has twelve film installments. Having only twelve definitely leaves room for the ultimate thirteenth and FINAL installment for the near future.

Superstitions are everywhere. Either taken seriously or not so seriously, the inclination toward this phenomenon is all around us. Have you ever seriously been involved in the sport of baseball? Superstitions abound! Each little ritual a player goes through prior to batting, pitching, game prep, or even what they wear and how it’s worn plays into some form of superstition.

As Christians, how are we to deal with superstition, or engage our neighbors who might have this phobia? I looked up and researched scripture about superstitions and being superstitious, and I encountered a very encouraging verse from the book of Colossians.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:8-10 ESV

Superstition is a man-invented fear of something in control outside of himself. It is not of God at all. It is an ignorant faith in an object or even a day that might or might not have magical powers. Another word for superstition is idolatry, which is putting faith in something other than God.

I ain’t superstitious, but surprisingly, the phenomenon is well saturated in our western culture. Do you avoid stepping on sidewalk seams? Do you walk the other way when you encounter the path of a black cat? Have you ever owned a rabbit’s foot? We need to remember that the God of this whole universe is alive and in charge. He watches over us and nothing happens outside of his sovereign hand.

Soli Deo Gloria!

PS – Check out a highlight from one of my favorite “Supernatural” TV episodes, “Bad Day at Black Rock”. The premise of the following compilation of clips is that the subject, the rabbit’s foot, is supernaturally charged with good luck for the possessor of said foot. But if the possessor loses it, the luck turns bad. It’s hilarious!

 

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Grieve Not the Holy Spirit – November 21st

This was taken from Spurgeon’s morning section of his “Morning and Evening” devotion. spurgeon

“Grieve not the Holy Spirit.”
Ephesians 4:30

All that the believer has must come from Christ, but it comes solely through the channel of the Spirit of grace. Moreover, as all blessings thus flow to you through the Holy Spirit, so also no good thing can come out of you in holy thought, devout worship, or gracious act, apart from the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit. Even if the good seed be sown in you, yet it lies dormant except he worketh in you to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Do you desire to speak for Jesus–how can you unless the Holy Ghost touch your tongue? Do you desire to pray? Alas! what dull work it is unless the Spirit maketh intercession for you! Do you desire to subdue sin? Would you be holy? Would you imitate your Master? Do you desire to rise to superlative heights of spirituality? Are you wanting to be made like the angels of God, full of zeal and ardour for the Master’s cause? You cannot without the Spirit–“Without me ye can do nothing.” O branch of the vine, thou canst have no fruit without the sap! O child of God, thou hast no life within thee apart from the life which God gives thee through his Spirit! Then let us not grieve him or provoke him to anger by our sin. Let us not quench him in one of his faintest motions in our soul; let us foster every suggestion, and be ready to obey every prompting. If the Holy Spirit be indeed so mighty, let us attempt nothing without him; let us begin no project, and carry on no enterprise, and conclude no transaction, without imploring his blessing. Let us do him the due homage of feeling our entire weakness apart from him, and then depending alone upon him, having this for our prayer, “Open thou my heart and my whole being to thine incoming, and uphold me with thy free Spirit when I shall have received that Spirit in my inward parts.”

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

Believing In Spite of the Evidence

I came across the following definition of Faith and Trust while researching something mentioned in Dr. Albert Mohler’sBriefing” podcast this morning. 20140822_183216

Faith is believing the truth. For faith to be faith, we must have a reason to believe.

Trust is nearly the inverse of faith, and God requires it as well as faith. It is believing in spite of the evidence.

I was researching these definitions while trying to grapple with a line of thinking presented by a “musical collective” known as Gungor. This line of thinking and belief system seems to be trending in the “Christian” music world, and in modern evangelical circles. The line of thinking is that we don’t need to actually believe the biblical text as it refers to creation, the flood, Jonah and the big fish, etc in order to accept the teachings of Christ and believe in Him. In so doing they are willing to accept that Jesus did the miracles the text describes but they are unwilling to accept the obvious miracles God did in creation and the others mentioned above.

As I was thinking through all of this I began reading some of the comments in reference to the “What We Believe” page of the Gungor website. I’d like to post these comments here. I believe they are relevant, and sum up the way I think about faith. I trust in the biblical text; it contains all the information about God that He desires for us to know.

Ashley writes:

I hear the questions and the struggles to know what all of this means. But it really comes down to a simple question: Am I willing to trust God when He clearly tells us in His word who He is (that doesn’t mean every detail about him is perfectly known, but He gives us a clear knowledge of His heart, character, perfection, plan and faithfulness to call us back to Himself).

If I’m willing to make the choice to trust Him, there will still be times of confusion and bewilderment, but His word IS the authority to guide me in seeking Him and walking with Him through the ups and downs and wildernesses of life.

If I’m not wiling to choose to trust Him, then all of these very deep questions about belief and meaning and which authority trumps which – become very disorienting. Everyone becomes their own answer and goes after what works for them, and order, logic, truth and beauty become meaningless to us because in our minds and hearts we have made powerless the common denominator to all existence. That is God’s loving lordship over everyone and everything in this world. And my place is simply to trust my Father and obey Him, even though most of the time I don’t feel like I understand.

Andrew writes:

That is pretty much what I’ve been thinking while reading this whole thing. I constantly struggle with my ability to understand aspects of God, creation, His timeline, and so forth. But when it comes down to it, the fact is, free will or not, I do not have the ability to understand fully all that which is presented in the bible as fact. I earnestly want to, but I alone cannot. Furthermore, the issues with the Garden of Eden, the flood and the Arc, Jonah and the whale, the world and all thing which inhabit it in a matter of a week versus evolution- these are things that naturally will be conceived as preposterous to the human mind. We don’t know the reason for these occurrences or why God chose them to be in the book described as, “His word”. But they are there, and for good reason too, that we can rely on since God has them in there. If these things are considered so outrageous, than what about a virgin being impregnated with the Son of God? What about every single miracle Jesus performs in the New Testament? Some of them are just so beyond what I could ever imagine seeing! Walking on water?!

My point is, why should some be taken as within the realms of God’s power and others not? Especially when we cannot even begin to conceive all that which is in His power. “Lean not on your own understanding…” Why? Because we don’t have the ability to fully comprehend mighty power with which God moves and all the He is capable of. If we believe the Bible to be the word of God, then we should take it as that 100%. Even what we do not understand through and through, because God says too. And just have faith in God. And let go, and patiently wait for Him to reveal what He sees fit for each one of us to understand when He sees fit to provide those revelations. Because, if we don’t, we end relying on our own intellectual capabilities to seek and provide us answer to the hard questions for us, rather than fully trusting God and His plan, and His timing.
This was not to be this long. I just wanted to say, faith is so very powerful, as is relying on God fully for understanding and comprehension rather than figuring out some possible alternative to the truth out of impatience and intellectual arrogance. But, then again, in the grand scheme of things, does it matter individually whether we perceive the infamous “stories” of the Old Testament as just that, stories? Or does it speak volumes of our inability to have a faith like a child? I don’t understand a lot of things myself, but pray for God to reveal His truth on things He wants me to understand, and to provide me peace and faith like a child for that which He deems unnecessary at this point in my walk. And in that way, He helps me keep my concerns on what truly matters-loving as He loved, receiving His grace and mercy daily in my life, and relying on Him for and in all matters of my life believing that He will finish the work He began on me so that I can serve Him out love, through love- thus growing my knowledge of Him, my love for Him, and fueling my desire for obedience to Him and serving through actions of love.

I recommend listening to the podcast referenced above and then going to the Gungor Music web page and read about their faith and some thoughts on Christianity which are trending these days.

Please pray for Christ’s Church today, that this trend will be short lived. Because eternity is at stake.

Soli Deo Gloria

 

 

 

The End of Prohibition

Yesterday, December 5th, 2013, marked the 80th anniversary of the end of, what is commonly referred to as,  prohibition repealthe “Prohibition Era”. I was reminded of this anniversary while listening to Dr. Albert Mohler’s daily podcast called “The Briefing”. Dr. Mohler referred to a story from The Huffington Post about the past prohibition of alcohol and pointed toward a discussion on how it’s time to seriously end the prohibition on other drugs as well. Mainly marijuana.

Regardless of where you stand on these issues, I’m sure you would affirm that alcohol and marijuana have had a major impact on our culture. I have had several conversations in the recent past concerning the legalization of marijuana and it’s comparison to alcoholic beverages. Some I’ve talked to think it would be a good idea to legalize all illegal drugs. Their argument tends to point to the gangs and related activities during the alcohol prohibition era, and how the repealing of Prohibition drastically minimized this gang activity.

One of the factors of post-Prohibition I’ve often wondered about is how long did Prohibition affect the culture even after the law was repealed? What were the alcohol consumption levels in the post-Prohibition world? I found a comment to address this very question after the Huff Post article and Dr. Mohler refers to it in his podcast. I quote the comment below:

So one wonders why the 18th amendment was ever passed. At least part of the reason was because drunkenness was such a problem, which led to domestic violence. Hence, many women were very much against alcohol consumption.
The amendment wasn’t a complete failure. Alcohol consumption levels dropped precipitously and were not reached again until the early 70’s.
Even after repeal, this amendment made a huge difference in people’s lives. So when seen in this light, it casts a different shadow on whether illegal drugs should be legal.

I also found another article by Dr. Jack S. Block in 2006 on public health that kind of endorses the statement from the above commenter. Believe me, I am not a “teetotaler” but it does give me food for thought on alcohol and it’s impact on our lives and culture. Again, regardless of your opinion on this issue, it makes for great discussion material. Please comment below.

 

Grace and our great high priest

Reading through Hebrews chapter 8 this morning I was again reminded of the cross. I am reminded of the work God accomplished there. Through what God accomplished at the cross, we, the chosen of God, were justified. These who were justified  encountered grace. The particular grace I am writing of here is the grace given in our great high priest. At the point our Lord perished on the cross the heavy curtain in the temple that seperated the people from the jewish high priest, and holy of holies, was torn in two. Because of that grace, the justified now have access to the one and only holy God through Christ our savior. (Heb. 10:19-21) Oh, what a Savior!

In reference to this scripture I came across a little Purtian prayer:

Grace

O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to Thee. I Lord Jesus, great high priest, Thou hast opened a new and living way by which a fallen creature can approach Thee with acceptance.

Help me to contemplate the dignity of Thy Person, the perfectness of Thy sacrifice, the effectiveness of Thy intercession.

O what blessedness accompanies devotion, when under all the trials that weary me, the cares that corrode me, the fears that disturb me, the infirmities that oppress me, I can come to Thee in my need and feel peace beyond understanding!

The grace that restores is necessary to preserve, lead, guard, supply, help me.  And here Thy saints encourage my hope; they were once poor and are now rich, bound and are now free, tried and now are victorious.

Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is found in Thee, the divine treasury in whom all fullness dwells.  To Thee I repair for grace upon grace, until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all Thy fullness.

May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened, that I may honour Thee by my entire dependency and the greatness of my expectation.

Do Thou be with me, and prepare me for all the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity, the losses of substance, the death of friends, the days of darkness, the changes of life, and the last great change of all. May I find thy grace sufficient for all my needs.

This thought provoking prayer about grace and our high priest can be found in a book titled “Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions“.

 

Tags: ,