Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Has That Always Been There?

Do you ever read a passage of Scripture in your daily devotion times and think, "Has that always been there?" Perhaps it is a sign of early senility or maybe it is a case of seeing what you need to see when you need to see it, but it happens to me repeatedly. I try to read through the New Testament fairly often and I use a plan to keep track of it and make sure I don't leave anything out or skip anything before I begin again, but still, every few days I run across something I don't remember reading before. It happened today...

I was reading in Hebrews. In chapter six I came to the familiar first few verses about the once for all sacrifice of Christ, then I came to verses seven and eight...

Hebrews 6:7-8 NIV Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

Has that always been there?

I am the land that drinks in the rain. The rain is the Word of God that I read, and hear, and study. The question is what kind of 'crop' is resulting from all of that rain on the land. Where I live, my front yard is 80% grass, but my back yard is 80% weeds. When the rain comes, in the front yard it yields grass, in the back yard, the same rain yields weeds.

These verses got me thinking about the 'output' and the 'yield' of my life. There is certainly no defiency in the rain. (God waters my life regularly with His perfect word.) But I wonder if my life is producing more savory herbs and fruit (I just looked it up, that is what the word for 'crops' in this verse means) or more thorns and thistles.

These verses go on to say God will bless the life of those who produce the good crop. I want to my life to fall into that category! I think it is time to make a list of what is coming out of my life, positive and negative. How and I influencing others? Is the fruit of my life and ministry sweet, life changing, and God honoring? Or is it thorny and thistley (I know it's not a word)?

This just might turn into a Sunday evening sermon.

Well, what else is going on in the world?

George and Stephanie Lambert (some friends of mine that many of you have been praying for) won the court battle to take permanent custody of some children that were growing up in a very bad situation. As it turned out, they didn't even have to go before the judge. The biological family gave in to their wishes and signed over custody just hours before the court hearing.

I'm finishing up Freedomnomics by John R. Lott. It is a great book. If you read Freakonomics last year when it was so popular, then you need to read Freedomnomics. Freakonomics attacked many of the things we as Christians hold dear and it made a pretty bold argument for more abortions AND it made it seem like there was indisputable proof that abortion was a good thing for America. Well the falacies are uncovered in Freedomnomics. It is very enlightening. The part I'm reading now talks about how women sufferage changed the moral fabric and the political landscape of our country. I'm all for women voting, but this is scary!

These books aren't Christian books, they are half social commentary and half history (and half math), but they speak to many contemporary issues. If you are interested in reading them, start with Freakonomics, but make yourself a commitment that if you read the 'Freak' book that you will definately read the 'Freedom' book. If you don't, then you will just be disillusioned.

Donna and I just celebrated our 12 year wedding anniversary. We spent a couple days in Cleveland, just knocking around. If I weren't a preacher I would tell you she and I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while we were there. Some of it was interesting; much of it was boring. I didn't know who most of the people were. They had on display the costumes that these old 'rock stars' would wear in their concerts. Many of them looked like some of my little girl's dress up clothes... lacy... frilly... wierd. I saw the old albums and concert posters for the Platters. My dad played the saxophone with them for some of their studio recordings years ago. That was neat to see. I mean, it would have been neat to see if I weren't I preacher and I would have gone there.

Well, that should be enough blogging for August. :)


After three days of searching the river, no body was found :)