I stumbled across a television show a few weeks ago that I almost passed up on. I am glad I did not, and I wanted to share it with you. Its title is “Chrisley Knows Best.” It is a reality television show which follows a wealthy family through their daily lives. The only warning I have is Todd Chrisley can be slightly off-color at times so I would use caution watching with children – take in an episode or two as the adults before you sit your kids down to watch it with you.
The reason I really enjoy watching this show is it highlights the love of the family. That not includes the gifts their lavish lifestyle brings, but also includes the discipline of loving parents. It is this discipline that made it more than a funny show for me.
Todd has a flair for the dramatic. For example, he caught his son looking at “inappropriate material” on the internet. He took the laptop away and tossed it into the deep end of the family pool – and his son had to pay for his own replacement computer. There is another time when his son went to a football game against his parents’ wishes. His attitude was quite arrogant when he came home. The next morning he found a boot on the wheel of his car and a steering wheel lock device on it. It stayed that way for one week.
While this is a show about a family who lives a lavish lifestyle, they are shown to have real problems, the parents exercise real discipline, and they meet for dinner at the family table at 6 PM every night. If you take time to watch this, you need to watch about three episodes to give it a fair shot. But I bet you will laugh and appreciate the love and discipline they show their children. Give it a try, you just might find you enjoy it.
I am sitting at my laptop on Good Friday writing this post. You will be reading it on Monday morning (or sometime after). Why is this important?
I am writing this on a five-year old HP laptop. It is running slow enough that I back my work up every few days. This is frustrating because I spent a good deal of money to get the latest equipment. It had everything I wanted and needed on my working computer. It was exciting at the time, now I am ready to run it over with my car. Sitting next to my computer is a several year old iPhone. Its Wi-Fi connection is no longer working properly, if at all. Again, when purchased it was the latest technology. Before long it will be better used as a paper weight. Technology is radically temporary.
Books, good old-fashioned paper books, can last much longer if they are properly cared for. They will be your library long after your electronic reading device meets its demise. Paper books can outlast bad batteries or old technology. Despite books potential longevity, they are still temporary.
What is eternal? The sacrifice of Jesus and His overcoming death for us, ensuring we would have an opportunity to join Him in a resurrection. No matter which atonement theory one subscribes to, they all can agree that Jesus conquered death and provided us with the opportunity to an eternal life with God. That is eternal.
The things of this world, the pleasures and sufferings of this world, are only temporary. The books in my library may outlast my physical body, but they will not outlast my resurrected body. A well-made car may last longer than its owner’s physical body, but will not outlast the owners eternal resurrection. Technology has made us think in the short-term. We have learned to live in the short-term. We buy the newest, latest, and greatest and go home to see when the next version is coming out. Short term thinking. Slow down; enjoy where you are and what you have. Live in the present blessings remembering all along that there is a greater eternal in the future.
You may be saying I don’t have all these fineries to enjoy. You may even say your current life is miserable. As bleak as things are looking for you at this moment, I can promise these things are temporary. They are as temporary as the latest computer. There is an eternal hope for you.
Temporary and eternal – we need to get these things back into the proper order. An order determined long before we were born, and an order to continue long after our physical body has passed.
I would like to wish all of my readers a wonderful Resurrection Sunday! May you take the time today to reflect on the Risen Messiah and the love and peace he intended to bring to the world. Take that love and peace and carry it to the far parts of the world as His ambassadors.
Take a moment to listen to Chris Tomlin sing “I Will Rise.”
This is an amazing piece written by Carlee Lane who I frequently reblog. Here she shares a piece of her testimony which is powerful and tender all at once. She is full of spiritual wisdom. If you have lost someone and still mourn, read this now! Don’t wait.
Originally posted on love.joy.peace.:
I remember being tucked into bed by family and dear friends the night that my mom died. I prayed that I wouldn’t dream that night, because I just wanted to rest. I was scared of what my dreams may hold. How do you grasp grief as a 9-year-old? How do you understand death?
I can still recall the one-sided conversation I overheard of the phone call to my family explaining…
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I have seen the word “modesty” being thrown around frequently again. Then the other day I heard a radio interview where a lady was imploring young women to dress modestly so men will not lust after them and sin. She then continued to reason that if a young woman does not dress modestly and a man lusts after her, she is guilty of his lust. (I am sorry I do not remember who the people were in the conversation, but I was driving and seeing red by this point.)
Who gets to define modesty? This is a sticky point. Each church tradition has a certain idea what modesty is. Who is correct?
This particular radio guest made men sound like an animal that lacks self-control over their being. That offends me. I am pretty sure my sin belongs to me and me alone. My eyes and my thoughts are controlled by me, not someone else. I am responsible for myself. Therefore, no one is responsible for my sin except for me.
So, who gets to define modesty? I believe each person, man and woman alike, need to determine their own modesty. How do they do this: by searching in their soul for what God desires for them. What makes them feel as if they are honoring God in their appearance? In the end, they are accountable for it.
Men, we need to step up and quit pawning off our faults on others. Quit making others feel guilty for our failures. Instead, go before the Throne of God and repent of the sin, accept forgiveness, and start again in the newness of grace and mercy.
I heard a story the other day about a homeless man and a rookie police officer. The homeless man was frequently arrested and the whole police force knew of him. When being arrested he would be confrontational, or even violent, with the arresting officer. Each time they encountered him he had a bottle of booze, a blanket, and a Bible.
As the rookie officer took to the beat for the first time on her own, they warned her of this man and his erratic behavior. At some point she encountered the man and she was going to have to take him to jail. She told him she had to pour out the bottle of booze, but told him he could take the blanket and Bible with him to the jail where he would get it back after he was released. He was stunned to hear this. During every previous arrest they made him leave his stuff with someone else who then disposed of it. He was confused by this officer’s behavior. Needless to say, this young officer has had to arrest this gentleman multiple times. Never has he been belligerent or violent towards her.
Why has he not been belligerent or violent? Because she treated him as a human being who had value. She accepted him for who he was and treated him with respect. She saw the blanket and Bible were his sole valued possessions. This got me thinking about church life and how this applies to our lives in the church.
So often we are like the seasoned officers. We prejudge people. Where those officers thought he was a homeless drunk who disrespected them and assaulted them, many times the church prejudges people in the same way. We judge by appearance, smell, noises, size, and the list goes on. After prejudging these people, we then behave like the other officers and make our visitors leave their things behind. We tell them they need to dress differently, take out their piercings, cover their tattoos, and sober up before we welcome them.
When you hear church described like that, why would you want to attend? Why would anyone want to attend? Why do we expect them to dress and act appropriately, whatever appropriately means, before we will accept them? If we believe in sanctification, a word that talks about the ongoing process a believer goes through during their lifetime to become more holy, none of us act completely appropriately. We are all working towards our future perfection and until we get there we are still flawed.
I challenge every Christian to reevaluate how we treat people. Do we treat them like the seasoned officers? If we do and continue to do so, we should shut the churches down now and save time and money. If we transform our way of thinking to behave like that rookie officer, we will have churches that are accepting of people of all walks of life and at all stages of their lives. The rookie showed grace, mercy, and love. I challenge the church to step up and show that same grace, mercy, and love to everyone.
I have read a number of blog posts recently about an exodus of Christians from the evangelical denominations to mainline denominations. The issues they cite for their decisions are not only valid, but quite compelling. The issues are varied, but the underlying issue is the leadership, more specifically the talking heads of the denominations under the evangelical flag. Their “my way or the highway” attitude has turned many away. The talking heads present themselves as the highest authorities on Biblical interpretation and anyone who disagrees with them is wrong. Again, I understand why people are leaving.
The thing I have seen that disturbs me is the negative attitude towards those of us who have chosen to stay in a denomination which is identified as evangelical. Not all of us subscribe to the ideas of the major figureheads of the evangelical-political movement. For example, I find myself agreeing more with Peter Enns, Walter Brueggemann, and Gregory Boyd than I do John Piper, Al Mohler, and Russell Moore. In other words, I theologically lean towards the former and not the later. So why do I stay in the camp?
I stay in the camp because I believe there is still a difference to be made. There are still people learn wanting to learn and grow. There are still young adults who need better than previous generations received. There is a place in these denominations for pastors and teachers who are willing to challenge people to think independently, to research what they are taught and ask difficult questions. I am not saying you should challenge the authority structure for no reason, but you should verify everything taught and preached to you. Learn the material for yourself.
What am I asking those who have left the evangelical camp? Consider your words carefully when you critique those of us who have stayed behind as a remnant in the evangelical church. We are teaching and preaching to people. We are asking people to think and research for on their own. We want them to verify the accuracy of our preaching and teaching. We ask them to service the communities around them, and to love the stranger and the downtrodden. We are a group who is teaching grace, mercy, and hope. We would like to hear the support and encouragement from those who have moved on to other denominations. After all, we are all still working to further the kingdom of God.
Check out this wonderful post. It is the perfect words for a Sunday morning. Unity of the Church is something to strive for, not denomination exclusion. Open and inclusive, not closed and exclusive.
Originally posted on lost in wonder, love, and praise...:
Though I’ve been watching the game on TBS, I’ve noticed that there are two other broadcasts available: one for Florida fans and one for UConn fans. Presumably, the Florida broadcast will include commentators with a rooting interest in the Gators, while the UConn broadcast will feature people transparently supporting the Huskies. It occurs to me that the existence of these team-specific options is symptomatic of a wider trend in our culture today. Our society has become fragmented; we tend to spend time only with people we agree with and listen only to people who share our worldview. This is part of the reason for the proliferation of news networks…
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As we prepare for the coming of the week of Easter, the week where we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, I felt this was a great Friday video. This song is a reminder the coming weeks is necessary, even critical, to the restoration of our relationship with God our Abba.
Take time to listen, and worship as Mac Powell, Brian Littrell, and others from “Glory Revealed Tour” sing “By His Wounds.”
The church bank account is an idol in many churches. Some churches relish in saving every nickel and dime, making sure not a cent is spent on anything frivolous – or anything at all except regular bills. It is an interesting phenomenon. Most churches are non-profits. To think they want to amass tens of thousands of dollars and grip onto it like their life depends on it is interesting to me. It is not a sense of good stewardship they are practicing, it is greed and fear.
When does the church bank account become an idol? That is a tricky question. I would say it is an idol when the church cannot let go of money for any reason other than paying bills. I understand there is a responsibility to have some type of emergency fund available for major repairs. Good stewardship with the money the congregation has provided is God honoring. But the reality is churches, and their programming, have to change with the times and that costs money. Churches need supplies, electronics, paint, carpet, and the list goes on and on. None of this is free.
Money is given to a church through tithes, gifts, and offerings. There is an imperative to spend this money wisely. That means saving when appropriate, and spending when appropriate. In a time of emergency, say a major disaster in a neighboring state, it would be prudent to gift a sizeable amount of money to a reputable agency that will perform recovery services there. When the media devices in the church go out of date, which is typically long before they stop working, they need to be updated.
Money causes all sorts of issues in churches and should be handled in a God honoring way. But to idolize that money and save it in the coffers forever is not honoring the donors or God. Destroy the idol and put God’s money to work.