Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Don't Have A List !!!

I am writing a song, as I have been known to do from time to time. I confess that I have borrowed the theme for the song from a book I just started to read, because it (the book) reminded me of an experience I recently had at a church whose name, location, and denomination I choose not to reveal.

Sorry, but I just am not into denomination bashing just because someone else chooses to walk a different road than I do. I prefer to leave that to the self-righteous. We are all seeking the same destination, although our paths may differ along the way. Who is right? Who is wrong? Not for me to say. I have enough trouble just trying to stay my own course. Here is my song:

'I am smart enough to know
I am dumb clear to the bone
And just dumb enough to think
I can make it on my own.....'

That's all I've written so far, hopefully more will come later.

It was a huge church, seating several hundred people, with multiple services every Sunday morning. They really had it going on! Which is a good thing. The sanctuary consisted of a very large semi-circle facing a raised altar, with choir behind. Big screen TV's, lighting, studio stuff, if you know what I mean. The service began with an extended music segment of worship. A massive choir, an orchestra, a wonderful sound system all lended to make it a quite enjoyable experience. Quite a change from the very orthodox Anglican liturgy I am accustomed to.

The pastor arrived to deliver his sermon, which was quite eloquently articulated (he spoke good), if not somewhat lengthy.

(St. Stephen preached the longest sermon in the new testament and the Sanhedrin took him out and stoned him to death). (Acts 7:1 - 7:60)

(Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you took all the people in the world who fell asleep in church and laid them end to end, they would be a lot more comfortable.)

But I digress (twice).

At the conclusion of the sermon he proceeded to ask for an altar call. A good thing. No one came forward so he tried again, still no one came forward. After the third attempt, to no avail, he stopped and stared at the congregation, and asked this question: "What will you say on judgement day, when you are standing in front of the Lord our God, and He asks you for a list of all you have done in this life to warrant entry into His Kingdom? What will you say?" Oops! Our paths just went their separate ways.

Okay, not being a theologian, I think I understand just enough about Holy Scripture to be dangerous. I may be wrong (not the first time, by the way), but I always thought we were saved by the Grace of God, not by our works or accomplishments while on Earth. Did not Christ die on the cross for our sins that we may have eternal life? Were we not all saved by His blood?

Well, I certainly hope and pray he just got caught up in the moment, forgot, and left that part out, because I don't have a list. Haven't kept one. Didn't think I needed one!

I believe in my heart of hearts that the pastor is a Godly man. I honestly believe he helps people who may be struggling with their spirituality. I certainly believe he brings people to the Lord. It just struck me as odd that Grace was never mentioned. Oh well.

If there is a point to all this, I suppose it would be this: There are many Christian denominations in the world. There are many styles of worship to choose from. What I find fulfilling others may not. What feeds me spiritually may leave someone else cold. There does not need to be a right or a wrong. There is no right or wrong. The important thing is that we believe, that we worship, that we all seek the same eternal destination. How we get there is up to us.

After all, we have all been saved by the Grace of God. When? I believe it was three o'clock Good Friday, two thousand and seven years ago.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life !!!

It's a wonderful life! Sounds like a title for a great movie, doesn't it? Everything is just peachy, there isn't a single serious problem on the entire planet. AND, if we are lucky, Rosie O'Donnell will be the new host of the 'Price is Right'! Wow! I personally think 'Roller Derby' would be a better fit (if you're old enough to remember). AND, she wouldn't even need skates. Her personna is a perfect match.

I was a teenager during the 1950's. The age of innocence. The 'Fonz', 'Happy Days', Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis, Doug and Larry. Life was good! We were in between wars, the country was busy building a new peace time economy, there were no gangs, no drugs. People sat on their FRONT PORCHES instead of hiding out on their patio behind a seven-foot privacy fence in the back yard. We didn't need a Neighborhood Watch because neighbors actually 'watched the neighborhood' back then.

Then it all changed. Enter the 1960's. Drugs, campus riots, political unrest, Mom folded up her apron, put it in the kitchen drawer, got a job and went to work just to make ends meet, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now our wonderful life is gone. Today we have terrorism, a government that has grown so incredibly huge it is sucking our economy dry, immigration woes so monumental no one knows what to do, divorce, empty churches, schools that no longer teach (there are exceptions), and a society that is being dictated to by a scant, but vocal, minority. Our news media has gone off the deep end.

We have serious, serious problems out there. I don't pretend to have the answers, but I do know that if we want our children and their children to ever experience the 'wonderful life', something drastic must be done. Now!

And it has nothing to do with Rosie doing 'The Price is Right', or Paris getting her spoiled butt out of jail, or Al Gore's book sales. We need to get involved with the way our country is being run. Maybe it's time we started sitting on the front porch again!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

There Are Three Kinds Of People.....

There are three kinds of people in the world: Those who are good at math, and those who aren't. For the sake of a few of you out there who just don't get it, that was humor. No hidden agenda, no subliminal message, just plain humor. I just thought it was funny and thought I'd share it with you, that's all. Get it? Three kinds of people in the world.....

Actually, my intent with this particular 'Rant' is to give you my point of view on what I consider to be the three biggest problems facing our country today. Doesn't make me right, doesn't make me wrong. Just a point of view, which I believe is still allowed under my first amendment rights. Subject to change without notice, of course.

First, the war against terrorism. We are doing a few things right. We are doing a whole lot of things wrong. I personally feel we need a completely new strategy in Iraq. A new direction. We need to bring the differing factions of that nation together, set them down, and explain to them that we are just about through sacrificing our fine young men and women fighting a war that they don't seem to care a whole lot about ending. We need to explain to them that it is time for them to quit fanning the flames of discontent, stop their in-fighting, get on board with us, and work together to bring this fiasco to an end. And soon! Like now!

Second, political correctness. Political correctness is the foremost cause of decay in just about everything wrong with our country today. We are asking our military to throw reality to the wind and fight a war with one hand tied behind their backs while our enemy responds with no restraint at all. We don't want to offend them, you know.

Because the mainline media is controlled by those who don't ever want us to hear anything good about the current administration, we almost never hear about the successes in Iraq. They treat us like mushrooms: keep us in the dark and feed us a steady diet of ----. The truth is, there are more and more schools being built, new roads, new jobs and an expanding economy. The only place you will hear any of this is on talk radio, which, of course, is totally dominated by the voice of conservatism. You will almost never hear anything, good or bad, on liberal radio because it virtually doesn't exist. You need a message to be successful in talk radio and the PC message of the left just does not resonate well with most Americans.

I believe we could have won the war in Vietnam in six months, had it not been for the PC patrol in Washington virtually shutting down our military, and now they are doing it again in Iraq. Political correctness, if left un-checked, will destroy our will as a nation. And that, my friends, is the plan.

We have open borders because no one today has the political courage to fight the Kennedy's, Pelosi's, Kerry's, Clinton's, and so on and so on. The names may have changed (except one), but the problem has existed for many, many years, and it is now at a point where it is totally out of control. And frankly, George W. Bush is certainly not lily-white in this mess, either. Oops, can I use that term? Makes you want to puke, doesn't it? In the meantime we edge closer and closer to anarchy, with no solution in sight. Our sovereignty is on the line, and no one is doing a thing to stop the PC'rs. And that, my friends, is also the plan.

Third, the secular progressive movement. This is perhaps the most dangerous of the three. It is a very subversive entity, well financed, and designed to completely undermine our traditional belief system by taking Christianity out of our culture, and creating a lifestyle devoid of faith and personal responsibility.

A recent fiasco in a Boulder, Colorado high school is a classic example of the secular progressive influence in our schools. A team of 'advisors' were brought in to advocate indiscriminate sex, including homosexuality, non-use of condoms, and exploration of such drugs as 'exctasy'. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I heard the tapes, this is not make believe stuff. Where is the accountability in our schools? Why have we lost control, and worse, why are we content to let this happen to our children?

Common denominator: Evil. We are embroiled in a war against evil in all aspects of our lives. The radical muslim terrorists are evil. Political correctness, although not necessarily evil on the surface (mis-guided judgement, maybe?), is spawned by evil intent to destroy our culture. Certainly, the secular progressive movement is the promotion of evil
designed to destroy an entire society as we know it.

There are three kinds of people in the world: Those who are willing to fight evil at all costs, those who are inherently evil. and those who just don't care enough to get involved. Which one are you?