Monday, August 12, 2013

Shooting Stars and Hearing God Speak

Star Gazing for Shooting Meteorites

As I write this I am stargazing, or more precisely meteor gazing.

 I am thankful for the time I took to take a blanket outside to lie upon my lawn to look up and stare into the skies. It is impossible for me to do this without hearing God's intimate voice overwhelmingly speak to me so many wonderful thoughts. It is true that he is constantly speaking to us and we are simply too distracted and not listening.

I recalled the summer I was in Kenya 
on a missionary trip and the first night I arrived I went outside and was in awe of HOW MANY stars were actually in the sky. Coming from a rural area of TN, which is not so rural anymore, I have seen stars but never it the brilliance and as numerous as in the Kenya Bush area sky. I am sure it was because we were actually closer to the equator but also because there is not electrical light in the bush of Africa. The sky was filled, every spot covered in shining little diamond like twinkles. I praised God and thanked Him.

Tonight I have only seen a few, but I will be patient.
 Each "shooting star" is a thrill. My heart leaps; I am not sure why. Maybe because my being instinctively knows it is special; it feels like a gift in the sky just for me... but of course, I know so many others around the world tonight are also looking. It is a universal event. And we joy in watching, waiting and being able to experience the seeing.

Our pastor --not aware of this phenomena happening in the skies tonight-- taught about the time God intimately took Abram (who would one day be renamed Abraham) out into the darkness to see the stars. Abram was going through a dark time of his soul. Ten years earlier God had given him a covenant promise that He would make him the father of a Nation of  people who would be God's. I am sure most have heard of the descendants of Abraham. Well, Abram was discouraged because he was now in his 80s and he had no heir. How was he to be the Father of many descendants without a son of his own. Therefore God took Abram out, and walked with him in his time of darkness and told him to look up to the skies. He told him to number the stars if he could -- that his descendants WOULD be as the number of stars in the sky. God kept his promise.

Today I am one of those little shining star descendants of Abraham. 
What a fine family I am blessed to be part of; what a wonderful heritage. We are more alike -- akin -- as human beings than we frequently recognize. We are all of one race, coming from one line and having one Creator that we can all equally trust to be our Redeeming Father and King. Sadly, we all need this redemption--we are each flawed, filled with sins, seemingly as the number of stars in the sky, but we are joyously able to be forgiven, cleansed by Jesus' life, death, burial and resurrection.

I am a child a God. I am one of those stars in Abraham's night. And for that I thank God. I hope you are also. It is good to be numbered among the stars of Abraham's descendants through Jesus.

I have seen several more falling stars as I type. Each is a treasure to behold, but to God we are each a treasure of his. We are his little lights; His shining stars on a dark planet earth. A few of us are even delightful shooting stars, at times, glowing brightly, shooting across a sad, dark and all too frequently evil world of people who are self-centered and absorbed chasing after pleasure and wants so fast and hard that they burn out or up before they take time to consider their Creator and their eternity.

God is so good, so full of grace. 
He provides a way to Him and away from the power, guilt, shame and penalty of sin. We can be free indeed, as we were created to be... little bright lights of joy bringing Him glory. I thank God for this time to reflect on Him, life and wonders. I thank Him for the stars and the several shooting meteorites I was able to view, but most of all I thank Him that He made sure in this life of mine that I was able to come to know Him, that He walks with me and talks with me and will from now and throughout eternity. I am never, and will never, be alone; He is always with me and never forsakes me... even in the darkest hour He is right there with me. And this is the gift offered for every one of us. Choice today whom you will serve. As for me and my house I serve the Lord.

I think I will go awake my daughter to see if she wants to share this moment in the skies. Joy to you and yours today.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Can a Christian be Gay? Can a Vegetarian eat Steak?

This question "Can a Christian be Gay?" is very easy to ask, but (and isn't there always a "but") following it out to the end takes a little more willingness to take an honestly intelligent look at the words of the Bible.

Let me pose some questions:

Can a Christian be a murderer?

Can a Christian steal?

Can a Christian be an adulterer?

Can a Christian be a liar?

The answer is certainly YES!

But what does that solve. It is shallow, because it does not ask the real question... though it might suggest it.

"To be gay" is to have sex with someone of the same sex, to choose to be sexually active with someone  and have a relationship with this person in the most intimate way possible.

The Bible says the two shall become one, meaning obviously one man and one woman. 

The physical sexual organs of the male and female body align (fit) most naturally together. A simpleton can clearly tell that this is not so for two woman or two men, having like sexual organs they cannot naturally complete each other in a physical, sexual manner.

Now I am not naive, I know the two same sex people find many ways of sexually gratifying each other but the obvious point is two same sex people will never join together as God intended as a perfect match (one having what the other does not) and thereby most naturally become one together.

Can a person have sex with an animal? Is that natural? Can two males or females have sex with each other? Is that natural?

And what do I mean by natural? according to nature, by design, created to be that way.

So beyond the physical, "Can a Christian be a Gay", or simply be Gay (living the gay lifestyle)?

A Christian is humanly possible to do anything a non-Christian can do. Are they not? So, we are not talking about physically... we are talking about by definition.

What is a Christian? A person who has CHOSEN to follow Christ. A follower of Christ by grace accepts Jesus' death in place of their own as a sacrifice and payment due of their own life owed to God for sin. You see, many people do not understand what it means to be a Christian. Choosing to be a Christian means that a person has chosen to follow the Bible, Its teachings, to the very best of their ability and most importantly with the aid of the power of the Holy Spirit to help them understand what it says.

I can say many things but that does not make me many things.

I can say I am a vegetarian, but if I eat a nice thick steak am I a vegetarian?

What makes a person a vegetarian? It is a person who eat vegetables and no meat to varying degrees. I have never known of a vegetarian who eats steak. It is kind of like eating steak disqualifies a person from being a vegetarian because this person is not following the rules or description of what it means to be a vegetarian. A person who openly and continually eats meat is not a true vegetarian.

The Bible is clear on the fact that homosexual relationships are not to be followed by Christians, and that it is a sin against God. All Christians sin but any person that openly continues in a lifestyle of clear sin not repentant or surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ... well that person is not a true Christian.

I don't think this is too hard to follow or understand. I hope this helps to answer this question that many have.

Let me end with this: 
a friend of mine just last week shared that her pastor said the question is not "is a person once saved, always saved", it is "IF a person is once saved, then they are always saved". Thus related to this topic, IF a person is a Christian, they are always a Christian... thus a Christian could never live a life in continual repetitive sin and not be led by the Holy Spirit to be changed and to repent of that sin... regardless of what sin it is.

Lots of Love,