This Christian Journey is not for cowards. I have found myself often on that roller coaster of highs and lows, good times and bad with the constant being our God who exists from everlasting to everlasting Ps 90:2.
This Christian Journey is hard work and should be a constant cycle of PRAYER (James 5:16), OBEDIENCE (Deuteronomy 13:4), LOVE (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), and then REPEAT ... until that day our journey ends in Heaven.
Note: My theology above is gleaned from a favorite T-Shirt of mine.
I continue to make mistakes on this journey and am a good old-fashioned sinner. I don't do it right but by His Grace, I am forgiven and led further down this beautiful Christian Journey.
This brings me to today where I have great angst over the state of this world and the church of which I am a part. The moral compass of America today is far from God, and the church as a whole in my opinion is much more concerned about offending our secular/pagan society than they are about offending God. So without going into details this week has brought me to the point of screaming. Well screaming inside my head. God, please save us!
Then just this last Thursday after praying and reading my Bible I was back to reading (audiobooks) a novel by Ted Dekker called the Rise of the Mystics. In this book, the main character Rochelle learns to see the world not through our physical eyes, but through spiritual or spirit-led eyes. Doing this allowed Rochelle to see everything differently and through eyes of love instead of her physical eyes seeing how bad everything and everyone was. The fear she had was now replaced with a new perspective that her life or death was not the end. Rochelle was led to listen to the promptings of her spiritual eyes, and trust in God for the answers.
Like the movie the Matrix times a billion.
It is like the story in Daniel where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were to be thrown into the fiery furnace Daniel 3:16-18
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
spoiler alert: God did deliver them.
THIS is God's Spirit working mightily in man. God delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego BUT even if He did not they would obey God and not compromise with Godless Laws even if it cost them their lives in a FIERY FURNACE.
So this finally runs full circle to me. I choose today in this world where wrong is the new right to obey God not man no matter the consequences. I pray for the church to open its spiritual eyes and be obedient, unapologetic, and strong when the world persecutes us.
Remember John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
Ok, that's it. I pray for all of us to 1. daily seek the Lord in prayer, 2. be in His word, and 3. ask for His Holy Spirit to fill each of us so that we see this world through His Eyes, not our physical ones. Let's change our perspective from lost hope to total HOPE IN HIM.
May God bless each of you and lead you with His Spirit, AMEN!
School Days, School Days.. Dear old Golden Rule days
' Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hick'ry stick'
So NOT politically correct! but.. I LIKE IT!
Back to school begins traditionally the day after Labor day here in Minnesota. Parents, students, and teachers transition from vacations, picnics, and the beach to a world of chalk dust, text books, report cards, and a possible trip to the principle's office.
CHALK DUST bites the DUST
Of course chalk dust is becoming a part of old school urban legend. I-Pads and smart phones are the tools (and distractions) of today's student. They say.. You are only as smart as your.. smartphone?
Then the timeless excuse 'My dog ate my homework" has been upgraded for our high speed high tech society with.. "my wi-fi was down", or "a computer virus ate my homework". Also, Notes passed between students has been 'HI-TECHED' by texting and/or social media posts.
My wife Mary is a school teacher who taught for 15 years in the public schools before moving to a small Christian school these last 6 years. A teacher is truly how God wired by wife as you can tell by the hours she spends prepping or talking teacher talk with her other teacher peeps. Now this is my 4th year as a school bus driver. What a treasure trove of new cartoon ideas I have wandered into.
God bless all of you gifted educators in the public school systems (you are so important), but for my wife she could not be happier where she is now still teaching the 3 Rs, but blending this with a Christian world view, prayer, and worship of the God of our Bibles. Truth be told it has become as much of a ministry as an occupation as evidenced by her pay cut moving from the public school system.
My Prayer of Blessing for all you dedicated educators (public & private) that Jesus be first and foremost in your lives. May your faith and God's truth guide your words and deeds. Kindness, compassion, and loving discipline are the marks of a Godly educator.
My Prayer of Concern for public schools is for the language and tone not minimize or apologize for our nation's Christian heritage. Public Schools in their determined quest to remain NEUTRAL in matters of faith have instead become NEUTERED in respect to our Christian heritage. While there is no question we are all to respect the differing faiths of others but it's a MISTAKE to become so SECULARIZED that we are void of the one true God.
The Pledge and Patriotism
And while we are at it, I pledge allegiance to the flag and the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it stands, one nation UNDER GOD.. This pledge needs to be in schools. Patriotism and honoring our country (flaws and all) needs to be an integral part of education. Christians should not think the pledge is as a sign of Christian Nationalism. It is not! The pledge clearly states one nation UNDER GOD.
I am seriously miffed at a movement in the 'progressive' Christian community that has a problem with God and Nation. Again, read the pledge.. one nation UNDER God.
OBTW, please don't kneel during the Star Spangled Banner. Save your kneeling for your prayer time.
IN SUMMARY .. Happy/blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord Psalms 33:12,.. and so it goes without saying happy/blessed is the SCHOOL whose God is the Lord. When our nation and/or schools compromise Psalms 33:12 there in lies the erosion of all God intends for His people.
May God bless all of you educators this coming year. Be faithful and sensitive to God in your lives as He leads you. Good Teachers are a true blessing to the foundation of our country!
Jeff (semi-educated/bus drivin') Larson
note: For a complete look at all things school from a Back Pew perspective, click here-> SCHOOL
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson