Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

I am a licensed CPR instructor for the American Heart Association.   I have been licensed to train those who are willing to serve as foster parents, in the manner to perform CPR.  Once my job required that I did this basically on a monthly basis.  However things change and jobs change, and that is not a bad thing.  As I was thinking about thhe classes that I would no longer be teaching CPR came to mind.  And I started to think about what CPR really is.

Of course it is  two breaths per thirty compressions.  And checking to make sure the scene is safe.  And doing other things not neccessarily in that order.  But those are the steps of CPR, what is CPR?  The answer I could come up with is trying to resart someone’s body by maintaining their heart and circulation functions.  You breath for them, you pump their chest so that the ciruclation will continue to flow throughout their body.  Your end goal is either to  resucitate the person, or keep the person respitory functions going until trained help arrives. All in all a good thing, no one would argue. 

But my thougght process couldn’t stop there.  I began to take it a step further and think about it from a different perspective.  First I looked at it from the perspective of the victim.  If I am unconcious, am I living?  Biologically I would propbably say you were still living.  Mainly because there are only two options.  Living or dead, and if your not dead, well then you are living.  But in that moment when someone else is breathing for you. When someone else is pumping your heart for you.  Are you living?  In one sense of the word I would have to say no.

You are exsisting.  You ar functioning but you are not living.  You are not awake. You are not speaking. You are not thinking.  At the moment when you require CPR you are a biological machine that has broken down and needs assistance in returning to living.  Random thought, yes.  But that is the way that I think.  And the fun doesn’t really stop there.

I began to apply this little thought of what does it mean to be living.  And after chasing a few wild rabbits down there holes I came back to a point that gave me a shiver.  Is God performing CPR on me? 

Think about that.  Is God performing CPR on me, or you?  I am not talking about GOd reeaching down from Heaven and with a huge hand performing CPR on me as I lie in the floor of my living room.  But is He required to perform CPR because I am not living?  Have gotten to a point where I allow the routine of life to become so ordinary that I miss the oppurtunities of each and every moment?  Have I lost focus on the important things of this life? Have I allowed ‘things’ to become my god,  or my focus?  Do I trust more in finacnial securities, or legal systems, or governments than I do in my God?  If I answer yes to any of those then am I living?

My answer……no.  I am functioning. I am a biological machine that operates through this life.  I am missing that I can have a realtionship with God.  Don’t read past that sentence without really thinking about it.  I can have a realitonship with God.   I can have life and life abundantly.  Not through the things of this world, but allowing my trust to be in God.  To be in the one who sustains everything.  There is so much more to life than working and thinking.

Is God standing over me, thumping down in my chest like the do in the movies, or on one of my favorite television shows, MASH.  You know the scene you have seen them on any medical drama.  The doctor stands over the patient pounding away on his chest, sweat is dripping down from his brow, his breath is labored from the exhaustion of performing CPR on a dying man.  And he screams something like, “LIVE! FIGHT!” And then there is that scene where the patient goes on the ventilatior, and the relatives have to make the decision about what to do next. 

What is living? There is so much more to this life, than just functioning day to day.  God is calling for you to live? So why not wake up and live with Him the way He wants you to. If you don’t know Him he still reaches out to you.  And the personal part that made me shiver, I do know Him, but I still ask the question is he perforrming CPR on me? Is my faith just a function of what I do? Is Church just a place I go? Is prayer something I should do? is reading the Bible, reading a book?

Life abudant is waiting, for each one of us to live.

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I was listening to my favorite Christian Radio Station the other day, WAY FM, and the morning talk show hosts were having a discussion about a song that has a line in it that says the following (paraphrase) ” I found God on a street corner smoking his last cigarette”.  Now what the conversation quickly became was about is smoking a horrible sin?

Now I am an ex-smoker, and I am the last one that would preach about smoking or not smoking.  And if you think I am going there you are wrong.  The conversation on the radio became a comparison of smoking.  Ranking it with other sins.  Ad in the grand scheme of things do I think that smoking cigarettes should be on the same level of sin as say murder, or lying, or stealing.  Can’t say that I would make that decision. But there is a catch in that statement.

The catch is what “I” would say.  Me, the dumb bald one writing this post. I might not see smoking as “bad” sin, or one of the worst.  But when you start putting sin in a priority list you start down a slippery slope.  And before you know it you are in a dangerous space of legalism.  Where you say that it is okay to commit these sins because they are not as bad as other sins.  Sound like anyone from the Bible? 

IF, and I put that in big letters because smoking is something that the Bible does not speak clearly about, if you classify smoking as a sin you can not place it in priorty listing.  Once something falls under the catagory of sin it no longer comes under human perspective and automatically comes under God’s perspective.  And the way that He sees sin is simple, it is sin, and there is no other definition. All sin put Jesus on the cross.  And it is by His blood that we can have forgiveness of any and all sins, because all sins must be forgiven and brought under the blood.

It is so amazing the unending depths of God’s wisdom. I know that sounds so weird to say He is God, of course he is incredibly intelligent and knows everything, after all He is everything!  I am just in awe everytime I learn something new and my amazement is taken to a new level.  If you read my last post you saw where I was just loving the fact that I received a copy of the ‘Didache’ and beign able to dig into the writings of first century Christian writers.  But I have also been working on my next Sunday school lesson and studying the sixth chapter of Romans.

Now Romans is a deep book that has a lot of theology and God’s teachings for our life. But is so amazing the depth of wisdom, teaching and knowledge that is locked into one small word such as ‘old” or ‘newness’.  How we have one simple word but the deeper meaning holds so much knowledge.  Knowledge that many of us carry around every day in our Bibles but spend an entire life not knowing.

We know how to create a group on Facebook and send out a message to hundreds of people at once.  We can pick up an internet signal at Burger King or McDonalds.  We view websites and send emails from our phones.  We read books that are never printed, and are all on a handheld device where the book is downloaded over the airwaves and into a device.  We can do all of these things by the marvels of technology and revel in the things that it allows us to do. But we don’t understand the treasures that our placed in the Word of God.

Now don’t get me wrong I love all the technology.  I manage groups on Facebook.  I have a mini-laptop that I carry with me everywhere and I am on at this moment writing this post at a local Coffee Shop.  I have a blackberryy phone attached to my hip so when I can not have the computer on I can still get to facebook and my email.  And I am hoping that in the near future I will own a Kindle II so that I can read books digitally and order them and download them directly to the handheld.  But as much as I love these devices that serve me to allow me to do the things that I do more conviently or easier there is a greater tool to for life to function.

That is the Bible. The very word of God. The living word of God that I carry with me, like many of us, wherever I go.  But we look so quickly over words and take them at the worth and don’t study or dig into the word of God.

I know I have talked about this before but I am impressed everyday as I learn more about the Word of God.  Dig in to what GOD has to say to you through His Living Word.

How do you know that when you are a book geek.  When you come home from dinner with the family and as you walk in to the house your wife says one of your books came.  And immediately your heart skips a beat.  Which one is it? Could it be this one, could it be that one that I ordered, ooh I can’t wait to see.  You skip right past the other envelopes and pick up the package with the book in it.  Oh wait it is the one that was hard cover! Which one of the three from the most recent order was hard cover?  Tearing in to it like a child on Christmas morning.  The clouds part and the angels begin to sing, and it is my copy of the “Didache: Ancient Christian Writers” I am in awe I open the book and turn the pages running my hands over each page like it is gold.  My wife walks into my study where I am standing just oogling my new boook. Which is used, with a few notes in it.  And she just laughs. 

Am I geek, oh yeah! And proud of it.

Have you ever seen the movie ” 30 days of night”?  I know that it is a movie that is probably not very high on the clean list. It is bloody, yes I agree.  And of course by no means would I consider it a good movie.  The plot was predicatable, acting not very good, and the story line incredibly predictable.  But I love vampire stories.  And in light of it’s recent popularity I know what your next question is, have I seen “Twilight”? And the answer would be, NO.  A story about vampires that do not drink human blood is not a vampire story.  Those stories have nothing to do with vampires.  Stories of vampires are about the struggle of good versus evil, and the darkness versus the light.  That is the story of a vampire.  Okay stepping off this rabbit trail, let me get back to the movie “30 days of night”. 

If you haven’t seen the movie it set in town in Northern Alaska, and where this town is located there is a particular time of year where there is no sun for 30 days.  Perfect feeding ground for vampires, right? And you would be right.  That is the plot of this story, these vampires come into this town and successfully break all communications and isolate those people in the town.  And for 30 days without sun light they have a feeding ground.  So for 30 days of night these survivors struggle to hide, fight and stay alive from the vampires.  Towards the end of the time the vampires realize that the sun will be returning and there is a particular scene which is the round about point of talking about this whole movie.  The lead vampire is sitting down talking to his subordinates and he says to them knowing that there are survivors still hiding in the town, and they have to leave.  Realizing that they will be left behind he makes the statement, ” We have worked to hard to make them believe that we don’t exist.” 

Making someone think that you do not exist is an excellent way to hide, and fight a war.  Think about it.  If you are a vampire and you want to hide your existence, the best way to do is to make people believe that you don’t exist.  Make a stupid movie about a bunch of people going to an eastern european town, or maybe a bunch of boys in Santa Cruz.  then when someone walks along and says there are vampires, everyone will think you are nuts.  The best way to hide is to make your very existence laughable!  Brilliant!

Well I know that vampires do not exist, I know the history behind the legend.  But this morning while driving to my first appointment I was listening to WAY FM morning show and they were talking about the belief in Satan.  Apparently tomorrow night on Nightline there is going to be a discussion of several intellectuals debating the existence of Satan.  There is apparently one man who does not believe in Satan.   That doesn’t surprise me, but then they said that he believed in God and believe in angels.  He just didn’t believe that angels were created with free will, which in essence means that Satan (once an angel) could not rebel if he did not have free will. This would defy the very definition of who Satan is.  And of course if there is no Satan then there is no source of evil.  So the debate continues that there is no source of evil, that all the evil in the world is a result of man’s choices. And I don’t even question that there is evil in man, but I firmly believe that Satan exists.  And is the source of all evil.

So, well done Satan. Well done on convincing the world that you don’t exist.  If you don’t exist we don’t have to worry about you, becuase you are a figment of our imagination.  Then you can have free reign to do whatever you want.  Because no matter what you do you can never get blamed because you don’t exsist.

Everyone in America has the right to believe what they wish, they are given that right in America.  But Christians we must not let Satan establish the belief that he does not exist. We will give him free reign to do as he pleases and lie, steal, destroy as he is desires to do.  I don’t want to preach Satan’s existence but we have to be careful oursleves that we do not trivalize his existence and help his charade that he does not exist.  Because if we fail in our task of sharing salvation, which includes the story and existence of Satan, with the world then there will be many souls that are truly well done in hell when they meet Satan face to face.

I attended a small group leaders meeting this morning at my church. While we were there one of the things that we were talking about was growth. And of course we began to talk about reaching out to the lost in the community around us.  As a part of that conversation the question was posed to the thirty or so small group leaders who were present, if they knew lost people in their life.  And predominatly everyone raised their hand as we all know someone who does not know Jesus as their Savior.  But as I thought more and more about the question I began to think that I really don’t know anyone who is lost.  I am aware of lost people, or I might associate with them, but I don’t know any lost people in my life.

In case you missed it I am making a jump off the work to know someone.  There are people in my life that I know, or aware of, but I have not invested much time in their lives.  I have not invested the time to get to know them.  I do not avoid them becuase they are lost, but for much more ridiuculous reasons. Because we don’t have the same interstes, or we are of different age groups, or a host of other reasons.  But as I thought more and more about this question I began to think more about this.

If I am truly about the kingdom then those in my life who do not know Christ are the people that I need to invest in. These are the people that I need to get to know.  They may never come to know the Lord as their Savior, but the likelihood that they will never feel, witness, or know the Love of Jesus if I don’t show them is a distinict possibility. 

So if someone asks you if you know someone who doesn’t know the Lord, stop and give that some thought.  Think about how much time you spend with the lost, and then look at how much time Jesus spent with the lost.