Auschwitz Liberated 70 Years Ago

Watch this moving BBC video of how the camp looks today. As you watch remember that the Nazi attempt at genocide wasn’t the last one. It’s been repeated in Cambodia and Uganda and other places since then.

Never again? No, again and again and again until the human heart is changed. I believe that only comes through Christ. This is a sober and needed reminder to our age of people trying to shut out all opposing voices just where that kind of fanaticism leads.

The camps. Remember the camps and realize they can return again. Even here. Even here in America if we aren’t always vigilant to maintain our freedom.

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Auschwitz Liberated 70 Years Ago

Assisted Suicide?

I just read a very moving and well written article over at HotAir that I found touching and puzzling at the same time. 

In the course of this article he talks about his father suicide and how it changed his mother for the rest of her life after she found his body. He believes he’s going to end up like his mom with Alzheimer’s disease and has vowed he won’t die like she did.

Having seen my own mother go that route a few years ago I completely understand his not wanting to die that way. I sure don’t. Yet as a Christian I’m a firm opponent of suicide and know from personal experience how it devastates the survivors. So I can see a little of each side here.

But here’s my big question when it comes to this very personal issue: Why do the proponents of assisted suicide need the approval and cooperation of everyone else in society to do this?

If you want to die it’s not that hard to do. Why do you insist that everyone else not just approve your choice but actually help you do it?   We’re told how personal and painful this is – and I agree with that – but then we’re told we have to be “compassionate” and agree with those choosing to do this and even help them do it (by changing the laws in many states, etc.).

If it’s so personal why do you need my approval? Just do it and shut up about it. I can’t stop you. In the end we’ll all stand before God and answer for what we’ve done and haven’t done. So why do you insist I abandon my own beliefs and morality and approve your own?

If this is what you really want then do it and leave me and the rest of society out of it. I’m not going to approve of suicide even in the rare occasions when I understand why it was done. However I’m also not going to try and run your life for you either.

This is one place where the old traditional American culture of the “rugged individual” would come in handy. Everyone gets to make their choices and then has to live (or in this case not live) with the results.  

What you choose to do it up to you. God gave you free will so use it. But leave me out of it and leave the laws alone. I don’t want my tax dollars going towards something I find offensive and in certain cases evil. 

Bottom Line: Do what you want just leave me alone and I’ll do the same for you.

Assisted Suicide?

What A Weekend!

I’ve just finishing up one of the busiest weekends I’ve had a in a while. More important than that it was also one of the most significant as we begin breaking new ground for CCR and developing a clearer idea of who Jesus wants us to be.

It started for me on Saturday morning with the 5 K walk against Domestic violence I participated in. I ended up walking 8.5 miles because after walking to the starting point – The Bar I then walked up to La Paz County Park and then turned around and walked back home.

I got home at noon and after a short break was back at the church building for our first Fall Festival. Attendance wasn’t all that great, but we did touch a few people and I was home around 8:30 or so.

CCR's Positioning Statement
CCR’s Positioning Statement

Sunday dawned early for me as I woke up around 4:30. too stoked to sleep perhaps? After a long week of hard work the day arrived for not just a new sermon series, but an entire series of new things to roll out. Including in this was our new logo, new purpose statement and positioning statement (motto, tag line), new T-Shirts and best of all, our motto on one wall in the sanctuary that just looks fantastic!

Then I preached my first ever “tag-team” sermon. If you’ve never heard or seen that, it’s more than one person preaching one unified message. In this case Amy (my Associate Pastor) and I had all week on a message. I started it out, she did the middle and I wrapped it up.

It was pretty nerve wracking for me, but I think it went very well and Amy did a fantastic job as always.

Then after a quick lunch and change of clothes it was off to town for the wrap up of Red

CCR Positioning Statement
CCR Positioning Statement

Ribbon Week with Family Fun Day! We gave away a bike, had games set up etc.  and were part of a huge event with other church’s and community groups, schools, etc.

Got home from that around 5 PM, updated the church website and had one call to make. Now I’m writing this up and then I’ll be done!!!

Whew!

Now tomorrow it all starts again as we get ready for CCR Refocus week two and more big changes and new stuff coming your way. Including one (here’s the only hint you get) that’ll be evident to all of you on the internet.

New CCR T-Shirt
New CCR T-Shirt
Amy running one of our games at the Park
Amy running one of our games at the Park

With that I wish you all a good night and I’ll see you later.

What A Weekend!

A Sign of My Time

We often use the phrase “sign of the times” to point out that something is representative of how things are going in our culture or the world. Well this post isn’t about the world or even the American culture really.

It’s about a sign of my time. I just found out that Steve Miller turns 70 years old today! I kinda freaked out because I can’t believe he could be that old, or that he’s only about eight years older than I am!

For the unenlightened out there, Steve Miller is a rock musician from the 60’s forward. He’s best known for his later work, but personally I like his early stuff best, with a few exceptions.

Here’s two of the best of  his early stuff. This put him on the map and I just bought some of his stuff on Amazon and am enjoying it right now! So sit back, relax, and join me for a journey back into the 1960’s when music was cool and we were in the process of unleashing a wave of change that would forever alter our culture in ways both good and bad (lots of bad actually but then what’s what happens when men try to change apart from God isn’t it?).


A Sign of My Time

The Dual Nature of Sin

I just read a great article at Christianity Today and wanted to share it with you. It’s called, My Dad the Sinner and Saint and I recommend everyone read it carefully. Pay special attention to the end where the author says this…

…a young man sat on stage with his wife sharing about an affair he had had early in their marriage. He talked about being “disgusted” with himself, even as it was happening. Oprah rolled her eyes: “You were disgusted while you were having sex with this neighbor?” Her scorn was palpable. And I thought, Of course he was! That’s how sin works! As Augustine, the premiere Christian theologian on sin, wrote, “For these two can coexist in one person: both the hating it because one knows it is evil and the doing it because one decided to do it.”

As he so often was, Augustine is right on this one and every single one of us has experienced. The Apostle Paul said it before Augustine did however:

15  For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…18  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing…21  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23  but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Romans 7:15, 18-18, 21-23 (ESV) 

That’s the reality of sin in our lives. There is almost always that duality of loving it and hating it and what it does to us and other parsimoniously. I hate what being drunk does to me and my family but I take the drink. I hate what cheating on my spouse does to my kids but I do it anyway.

One of my personal biggies is junk food of course. I hate being fat, hate how it makes me look and feel and hate what it does to my health. But without relying on God’s power I will eat that crap anyway.

Every single time.

And I’ll hate myself for it as well. Which shows us just how brilliant Satan really is. Because it’s that shame that drives us to try and hide our sin, which cuts us off from the help and support we need. It also drives us to relieve the pain it brings and the way we usually do that is by returning to the booze, sex, food, lying, etc.

Physics tells us that a vacuum is filled by whatever is closest to it – thus your drink shoots up the straw as you draw the air out of it. What could be closer to me than my habitat sin? Just like the ice tea I had yesterday at lunch, it shoots right back into my life unless I have a power beyond myself to stop it.

The real answer to the shame and guilt of sin isn’t to rename it or to claim it’s not sinful any longer. The real answer to confess that it is a sin – it’s my sin – and to find the forgiveness and inner healing that only Jesus Christ can provide. 

I pray we’ll all remember this in whatever struggles with sin we’ll experience today.

The Dual Nature of Sin

Can We Get Any Sillier? Probably.

Years ago, back when people actually read things called magazines, I subscribed to several of them. One that I loved was called The Wittenberg Door. It was a Christian satire magazine and was great.

I remember they once ran a humor story about society banning the use of the word man or anything mascline in any word. So instead of person the term was perpeople.  They then went on to talk about people from Gerperpeopleland. Mailperpeople. Etc.

Hilarious and I thought it really made the point.

Obviously I was wrong because look at what the nimrods at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill have done. They have issued a “writing guide” advising students to avoid the use of the term “man” or “men.”  Here’s a short quote:

As you review your writing, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have you used “man” or “men” or words containing them to refer to people who may not be men?
  2. Have you used “he,” “him,” “his,” or “himself” to refer to people who may not be men?
  3. If you have mentioned someone’s sex or gender, was it necessary to do so?
  4. Do you use any occupational (or other) stereotypes?

Thus another new low in stupidity is reached. I’m sorry but what else can you say to this kind of nonsense? This PC mania is reaching new lows in absolute craziness. Pretty soon no one will be able to write or say anything at all.

Let’s just be honest and admit the goal of this nonsense isn’t just to change what we write. It’s obviously aimed at how we talk and more importantly, how we think.

If you can’t say things in certain ways that changes how you think about them. Whether written or spoken words are the way we organize and express our thoughts. All this so called “gender inclusiveness” we see so much of today is not about gender at all.

It’s about controlling and changing how we think. It’s just a tactic to bind everyone up in so many rules that they’ll have no choice but to conform to whatever the PC gods want them to conform too.

Can you imagine having to pay for them to brainwash you child like this? Don’t worry, it’s coming to all of us sooner or later. Unless, as I fervently hope, it collapses under it’s own weight of stupidity.

As a Christ follower I’m reminded of the words of Paul, “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ” ( 1 Cor. 2:16 ESV) Personally I’m sticking with seeking the Lordship of Jesus over my thoughts and rejecting the whimsy of people who while claiming to wise have become fools (Romans 1:22).

At least that’s what this perpeople who’s descended from people in Gerperpeopleland thinks. 

Can We Get Any Sillier? Probably.