Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Tuesday Rambling 8.29.17 – Injustice, Justice, Akron, and You

Don’t want to have to ramble about justice, but here goes…

  • Justice involves a view of right and wrong.
  • To claim injustice shouts something has gone wrong, or someone has experienced wrong.
  • In the past few days, Akron’s police chief has resigned. The mayor had evidence of improper contact with a city official, conduct unbecoming an officer, and potential criminal activity.
  • Also in the past few days, a young man many in our community know somehow took his life with a gun in a police car following an arrest connected to a robbery that happened in close proximity to our home.
  • So…kinda hard not to ramble about justice.
  • So do you agree the police chief should have stepped down?
  • Do you agree something may be amiss that a teen had a gun in the back of a car?
  • If so, ask yourself why.
  • Now, examine your emotions. Injustice upsets many. If these events upset you, ask yourself why.
  • Do you have equal emotional disgust for the injustice suffered by two people allegedly robbed Friday night?
  • What about babies’ lives aborted? The mess of the heroin epidemic? What about human beings trafficked on a regular basis? Not to mention global issues?
  • Injustice is easy to respond to when it happens close to us.
  • But I ask about emotions and engagement in justice in general in order to ask a different question:
  • Why do you care about justice?
  • The fact we stir about right and wrong points us to God who has ultimate authority. Where this world constantly displays its imperfections, our God has no such shortcomings.
  • Due to sin, injustice happens and may last longer than we wish.
  • But God shows us His love in powerful ways. Jesus died in injustice, and God used it for greater glory (Jesus rose from the dead on the third day). I do not write this lightly.
  • Our relationship with God is not just the glory of eternal life guaranteed by the resurrection. It also must include dealing with sin, payment, satisfying God’s anger against our sin. Jesus did that.
  • Humanly, Jesus’ death was the result of a sham of a trial. Heavenly, it was the perfect way for God to deal with the sin of man and show His love for rebellious mankind.
  • In all of this recent and local stirring I find myself begging God for justice, for the patience to wait, and for those affected by these events. Ugh. It hurts and my heart breaks.
  • But I also must ask God for the strength to trust and the eyes to see injustice other than what immediately affects me.
  • And I invite you to commit your life to trusting and following Jesus by turning from sin, asking Him for forgiveness, and trusting that His (unjust) death was the perfect way to earn your forgiveness.
  • When we believe, we inherit the guarantee of eternal life, when all the sin, struggle, and injustice in this life will matter no more as we spend forever with Jesus.

Tuesday Rambling 8.8.17 – Growing Spiritually

  • Do you have an adequate definition of spiritual growth?
  • This morning, some questions to evaluate about spiritual growth…
  • How might God want to make you more like Himself?
  • How might God want to bring you in line with what it says in His Word?
  • How much do you love Him?
  • How much do you talk to Him, or listen to Him?
  • What growth in loving others has developed in your life?
  • For what do you wait? How well do you wait?
  • What do you ask God for the strength to endure?
  • Do you wrestle with justice? How do you act in pursuit of it?
  • How much do you trust yourself? How much do you REALLY trust Him?
  • Do you often repent and ask for forgiveness, or do you sometimes take his forgiveness for granted?
  • How might God change your speech and its patterns?
  • This rambling applies to the author as well as the reader.
  • Hopefully this will stir us in our love for God – Father, Son, and Spirit.

Tuesday Rambling 7.18.17 – About The Local Texting-Driving Tragedy

Time to ramble about a heavy topic:

  • A young woman driver took the lives of two teens Memorial Day weekend.
  • She influenced the lives of countless other teens and adults.
  • Now, she faces manslaughter charges as evidence shows texting and driving caused the accident.
  • I believe in justice. If at fault, I believe she would do well to come under the justice system and accept the proper penalties for her behavior.
  • No one should question that part.
  • But I’m troubled…
  • Why do so many people comment about this story as if she is less than human?
  • What if your best friend did this? Would you care then?
  • Do we not think the lifetime of knowing her irresponsible actions cost lives will inflict punishment?
  • Does public compassion even exist?
  • The Bible wouldn’t exclude hope for this woman. The Bible shows how God uses murderers, adulterers, for His purposes and glory!
  • God’s forgiveness is a powerful thing: I hope she experiences it. She has much worth!
  • Further, does this driver’s legal trouble and failure make you feel better, like at least you don’t bear HER kind of guilt?
  • Like somehow her sin is worse?
  • You’ve never picked up your phone while driving? Nothing like this could ever happen to you?
  • You’re beyond looking away and something going wrong in an instant?
  • The first accident I caused happened while I was fiddling with my CD player, trying to play more music in the car.
  • May God judge this driver. May her penalty encompass the gravity of her crime.
  • But may she know she has hope…of salvation and eternal life should she place her faith in Christ!
  • Let me encourage you to live, think, comment, talk, and act in that tension.

Tuesday Rambling 7.11.17 – Light from Brokenness

Rambling about brokenness:

  • Most would think when something’s broken, you have a problem.
  • This is true with appliances, cars, etc. Yes?
  • In those cases, you either fix or buy new.
  • Not too many people would encourage you to see the usefulness in your hot water tank as it leaks water all over your basement floor.
  • No, instead the advice would involve finding someone to install a new one.
  • And we’re tempted to view people that way too. You can admit it…
  • But God doesn’t do that. He repeatedly waits until people seem at their weakest before creating the greatest value, productivity, glory, greatness, strength, or whatever you want to call it out of their situation.
  • Paul’s second letter to Corinth illustrates this idea beautifully.
  • In the fourth chapter, we find words like “afflicted, perplexed, pressed, and struck down”. Sounds like time to take that to the junkyard!
  • Not so, in each case God reminds the reader how those NEGATIVE adjectives don’t preclude HIs presence or involvement. Look what it says…
  • Afflicted…but NOT CRUSHED.
  • Perplexed…but NOT DRIVEN TO DESPAIR.
  • Persecuted…BUT NOT FORSAKEN.
  • Struck down…BUT NOT DESTROYED.
  • Verse eleven describes how the death of Jesus is carried around in their bodies so life can shine through. Amazing!
  • In the darkest times, the most broken seasons, light. NOT time to cash in on a warranty or scrap it for something new.
  • Instead, let me encourage you in the darkness, in the brokenness, to KNOW that God can and will shine light from it.
  • How’s THAT for a blessing on a Tuesday morning?

Tuesday Rambling 6.13.17 – The NBA Finals

Yes, I realize the NBA finals has little to do with faith, but I’ll take a slight detour today to express a few opinions. I will say that if your emotional engagement in today is affected because your team lost, do a heart check. At the very least you’ll have to think for yourself regarding some of my opinions (which are just that – my opinions). Time to ramble about the Finals:

  • Golden State won under the rules set up by the NBA. I don’t think they did anything particularly unfair. Congrats to them. No doubt they fielded the better team.
  • That said, what captivates you about the story?
  • Not much? For me, Durant getting his first ring and MVP brings a little draw.
  • Also, the talk of the Warriors having too many good players adds intrigue.
  • Those in sports commentary judge players by how many rings they have. How could you fault KD for joining the Warriors trying to get one?
  • That said, they should have won. Anyone wanting to trash Cleveland has very little basis for their argument.
  • Fact: Cleveland got very good performances from some of its players and just couldn’t overcome Golden State. They really need another superstar to make it competitive.
  • I simply prefer a more contested Championship as I think intrigue, opposition, protagonist/antagonists make for a more interesting story line.
  • A few statements about the NBA will at least make me feel better, as this is the last I’ll interact with the NBA likely until next year’s playoffs.
  • I really really don’t like watching this product or brand of basketball. It IS a quantifiably different and substandard game compared to some of the greats of eras gone by.
  • Don’t believe me? Hop on YouTube and watch some basketball when Jordan’s Bulls played, or when the Celtics played the Lakers.
  • The game now at times resembles football with all the pushing and shoving.
  • The level of unprofessionalism (from ALL players) really does take away from the product for me.
  • Stay with me. My favorite sport is baseball. The way NBA players complain and whine about officiating is the exception in MLB (and often comes with ejections).
  • MLB players know complaining comes with consequence (consistent complaining in baseball hurts you and your team) and takes away from the game.
  • The NBA should spend some of its summer watching true professionals in baseball.
  • Further, the officiating has ruined the credibility of the NBA in ways the officiating continues to strike at the credibility of the NFL.
  • The inconsistency of calls in game and from game to game make the product less than credible.
  • Okay, I’m done. Enjoy the championships, Golden State. Yes, you’ve earned them.
  • And your team will draw plenty of jersey sales that come from front running fans.
  • But your act will truly captivate few outside of California¬†due to the lack of true challenge involved in the way you’ve gone about it!