Thursday, November 19, 2009


Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. Turkey day! Gobble till you wobble! Dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce (jellied not whole berry). Looking forward to it.

As I think about Thanksgiving I realize how much I have to be thankful for. I asked my Facebook friends to state what they were thankful for in their lives. Some have been stating what they are thankful for. Most of the time they have been thankful for the blessings of life. Many of them have talked about their families, their friends, etc.

I am very thankful for my family - Penny my wife who is such a blessing to me. She has seen me through good times and bad times. She has truly been what God has asked of her - she has been a helpmate for me. Without her I would be overwhelmed with many things. I thank God for the 25 years of marriage, the 5 years of dating and the fact that He gave her life and brought me to her. What a blessing!

I thank God for my children, Rachael and Matthew. I can remember when the Lord brought them to us. Penny was pregnant with Rach and boy it was amazing to go through the time of pregnancy. It was also a miracle. The whole gift of life was a miracle. Rachael has turned into quite a young lady that I am very proud of. She has a strong faith and follows it through out her life.

When Matthew came along, I didn't think I could share the love God had given me for my first child. Then He gave me a second child and what was I to do? Then Matthew came along and God did an amazing thing - He multiplied the love I had for my children. And Matthew has turned into an amazing young man. College life has really been good to him. He has grown and matured beyond what I could have imagined.

Thank you Lord for my wife and my children. Thank you for them even when we have our struggles. That is something I have learned. We should be thankful in good time and in bad times, in plenty and in want. Too often we are only thankful when things go well. We forget to be thankful when we are challenged. We should thank God for those times when the days seem dark and dreary. I thought about that in the recent rains, and saw how frustrated we become when it doesn't quite raining. We forgot to thank God for the rain, the dreary days, the grayness, and all the other things that go with it. I know I forgot to thank God when the water came into the basement. I got frustrated and forgot to tell the Lord how much I appreciated the house He gave us to live in.

This Thanksgiving, stop and thank God for all things - no matter what they are. Learn to be thankful even when you are struggling with many things. Thank Him for sunshine and flowers, for rain and mud, for dry basements and wet basements.

Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good and His love endures forever.

Hard to Imagine

I was reading the paper today (heard this on the news last night too) about a man who was arrested on a failure to appear on a traffic ticket. He was in the Shiloh jail. He picked the lock and escaped! Can you imagine. A modern day escape. He was arrested about a half hour later. What was he thinking? All right. He missed his court appointment. that is workable. So he gets a fine or a slap on the wrist. He is out the door in no time. But now, he is facing escape from jail charges. That will carry more time, more fines and more problems. What was he thinking?

He wasn't. that is the problem that we run into. People don't think. They live for the moment. They do what they think is necessary for the moment and figure they will work out the problems later. Now that isn't true either. Most people figure that they will get away with whatever they are doing. Why is that? Why do we think we can do something wrong and no one will notice? And we won't have to pay the price for the action?

I can remember growing up. Mom and Cecil were out for the evening. We were hanging with the friends of the neighborhood (all guys) and having a good time. One of us were trying to get someones attention outside by knocking on the small window in the door. They weren't paying attention so the knocking got harder. Guess what happened next! The window broke. What did we do? We freaked for a few moments and then went into self-preservation mode. We did what every bunch of young guys did. We tried to figure out how to fix it so that mom wouldn't find out. Yeah right, she wouldn't know. What were we thinking? We weren't. Just like the guy leaving the jail - he wasn't thinking.

We really do need to learn how to face the music. When we do wrong, we need to admit it. We need to face the consequences and then go on. There is a price to pay for our actions. But face it, we need to own up to what we do and face the music, like it or not.

That my cyber friends, is a hard thing to teach to people. It is also a harder thing to learn. Good luck to all of us.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christians and Ramadan

I was reading this week an article entitled "Should Christians Fast During Ramadan With Muslims?" It was a thought provoking article. There were comments on both sides of the issue. As I read, one writer said, "I would say it's absolutely appropriate, particularly if one does it for spiritual reasons..." I thought to myself, "What spiritual reasons would I fast with a person of the Islam faith?" How can I in good conscience participate in the fasting of Ramadan since I do not believe as a Muslim believes. Would that not put me in the realm of breaking the 1st Commandment, the 2nd Commandment and the 3rd Commandment? (Get out your catechism and see what is written in those sections. It is enlightening.)

Another writer says, "The idea of Ramadan and the feast of Eid (which I don't know what that feast is to be honest) is Muslims are asking that they would encounter God more...that's something we can agree with, that we pray and get to know God more." Excuse me? Get to know God more? Is the God of Islam the same God of Christianity? Look at Scripture. Jesus says that there is only one way to salvation, through faith in Him. The Muslim does not believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior. Instead, Jesus is a prophet. Allah is god and Mohammad in his prophet. That, my friends, is wrong. Allah is not God (even if the Arabic for God is "Allah" that doesn't mean we are talking about the same God. I remember Ozzie Osbourne telling someone "God bless you" and I wondered, "What God does he mean?") This is a 1st Commandment problem. Can we actually join the Muslim in finding God? The Muslim is finding a false god while we are searching for the true God. You cannot find the Triune God in Islam. Sorry, it can't be done.

One writer said, "The form of fasting during Ramadan is so filled with Islamic meaning that you can't separate the two. I think some Christians today think they're separating the meaning - the form is good, fasting is good, and they're extracting meaning from it. I don't think that's possible, because the form and the meaning are so closely connected." I agree with the writer. Why would a Christian want to bring into their faith and their practice that which is so ant-Christian (which Islam is). Not that fasting wrong. Fasting is a practice in the Christian faith. There are those who fast regularly in order to assist them in focusing in on the walk of faith, to help them draw closer to the Triune God (not Allah) and it is a good outward practice. But to fast along with the Muslim in order to show solidarity or cordiality with them is wrong. Our Lord does not accept us following a false practice (which is what fasting is within Islam. Islam is a false religion and therefore its practices are false.). He tell us to avoid all such falsehood.

I fully agree with one writer who says, "It is not appropriate to fast alongside Muslims...They're observing Ramadan in the service of a false God and a false gospel, and we shouldn't be trying to express our solidarity with that." Makes me think of what Paul writes, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned.!" (Galatians 1:8-9 NIV) Christians and Muslims worship two different Gods, even if they have the same base in the Old Testament. Why would we, as Christians, be willing to swallow something that is so false? Why do we so willingly give away our faith to other religions when in reality, they will not give up their faith for us?

(All quotes come from Christianity Today magazine, dated November 2009)