Friday, July 20, 2007

Thank God for construction!'s the principality.

Tis the season right? Traffic jams, road rage and detours can all lead to an unpleasant experience. Recently, in downtown Grand Rapids, a detour showed me the right way to handle the problems stemming from a broken path.

Have you ever been in a situation that has since passed, but you want to relive it? Rethinking the steps you could have done to alter the action it results in? I am sure we can all think of a time to do over; high school basketball game, first crush and that one bad math exam. Hindsight is brutal. It can keep men awake at night, crush aspirations and to the extreme, sever relationships.

Get the point? Act accordingly in respect to your morals and the universal belief in right and wrong.

In West Michigan, generally speaking, our morals are engraved from biblical scripture.

Whew. Here we go.

Wednesday evening, on the way to class, I was caught in the Michigan street rush hour which happened to coordinate with the Blues on the Mall (a weekly Wednesday musical concert).

Then it hit me. With no prior warning like an insult on all that is holy. A young man walking with a graphic T-shirt saying bluntly on the back, with no room for ambiguity, that "Jesus is a C**t."

Can you guess what I did? Apparently I'm still a free man, so no not that. With all my might and the numbers 1-10, I rolled down the window and asked, "So you think you're a tough guy?"

Continuing to walk, this young man looked back timidly and said, "People diss my religion all the time, why can't I do it?"

"Whats your religion?" I replied.


Can you imagine the blood flow at this point, be cool, count to 10, now 100.

These situations we are put in happen for a reason. God gives us the power, among others, to act accordingly and best represent the Christian faith.

So do I jump out of the car, push this man over the bridge for disrespecting my God?

No, God wouldn't want that. Look at 1 out 5 wristbands at the mall sometime and you will more then likely see What Would Jesus do?

I was reminded of the previous weeks sermon, in which the pastor brought up the Good Samaritan and how that applies to everyday life.

Due to the construction, I was able to catch up to this young man and offer him a ride. He accepted after asking me if I was going to beat him up. Of course not, I assured him and he jumped in.

He was going to the Blues on the Mall, just down the street. I asked him what happened to make him hate Christ that emphatically. He said, as many do, that he sees no God in everyday life, so why believe.

We talked about right and wrong, morality. I told him not to feel alone, because we have all had doubts in our faith at some point. I stressed the point that to ensue Jesus is such a thing was not warranted, he agreed.

As I dropped him off and we said our goodbyes I told him that Jesus loves you. God bless you brother and it's only in time.

Many would argue, "Are you crazy letting that man in your car? Who knows what type of serial killer that man is?"

But isn't a proactive approach beneficial when obviously this youth has been lead down the wrong path? Do we as Christians incite this hatred by ignoring these acts of obvious cries for help?

I think so. Without a doubt many vehicles before me saw this display, yet he was still walking.

Jesus' unspoken challenge to all believers seems to be: would we help only if it's convenient, or are we willing to go out of our way to show compassion to a stranger?

So in theory being backed up in traffic and taking a detour has allowed me to find a new path and, God willing, give others direction.

Amen for construction.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thank you...An to an unlikely recipient

My daughter turned three today. She is beyond beautiful in every way. Her intelligence, physical stature, and cognitive thinking skills are far superior to her age group. I thank God through his Son for blessing me with such a gift that can only be described to be in His image. I thank my wife of three years who has, successfully, transformed this writer into a man of virtue.

The following is hard to say to a man whom I have little to no interest in. But I must, as Martin Luther said, is neither safe or honorable to act against conscience.

Thank you for raising such a kind, warm spirit that is my wife today. It is with my utmost attempt to raise my offspring in such a successful environment as she was privileged in. With ultimate sincerity I know my children will be a direct result of her doing through God and her moral intuitions, which you played a role in creating.
As the male head of household, I have felt the burdensome to balance the role of provider while pursuing personal success. Attributes you mastered, as shown in the final product.

Thank you for a loving, caring, earthly woman who has changed my life. From her is my life and her joy my motivation to succeed. To see her smile and know she's proud is the greatest gift on earth.

If only you knew.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Scooter's lets give Don Imus his job back. It's the principality

Argument 1: Don Imus used profane language when identifying the members of Rutgers women's basketball team.

Nappy headed Ho's? Whats wrong with that? When used in the entertainment medium, anything goes right? It was not defined profane by the FCC, so this argument is not valid.

Argument 2: The market decided it was so, not necessarily CBS.

Political agitation, threat of boycotts and the like were used by Rev. (ordained at 9 years old) Al Sharpton. A real sign of infinite regression, we actually believe what he has to say.

Argument 3: Nappy Headed Ho's, as used by Don Imus, does not describe these women properly and therefore used as inappropriately.

Stupid...Create a slang library cross reference website so this type of mistake does not happen again. Or simply, do not place the word in pop culture if you could be offended by the usage.

Argument 4: Don Imus is a racist.

Whiskey tango foxtrot, are we really surprised by that statement. While I am not a fan of his show and saw the jest of it during the recent debacle, civil rights are civil rights and to take away the mans ability to earn an income due to offensive language a segment of the population takes personally, is in effect, violating civil rights. Where do we draw the line?

Say what you will concerning Don Imus, I don't know him and as I said above, not a fan of his work. I am a fan, however, of civil rights. Civil rights that promote freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Across all racial divides, institutional racism will only fuel hate. In our land of the free, I wish it was handled differently to fully display the rights we cherish.

Again, it's the principality.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Freedom? or a reason to party?

Our forefathers would delight knowing how we spend the Fourth as a whole chasing the freedoms they fought for including drinking, driving, drinking +driving and all the debauchery insinuated to be freedoms, or better yet, an excuse to do the above mentioned. Independence? In a perfect world from above, the celebration should not be focused on extending the liberties to an undefined crucible, instead, we should find our enjoyment from remembering the history behind fighting for the liberties we so take for granted founded in expressive individualism. America the free, to an extent, America, the Land of the Free, home of the Free. I believe Kansas said it best, and I translate loosely, "If you want your freedoms that you say is yours, how do you deserve it, how must you preserve it, if you don't do these things, freedom is words and nothing more..." then the famous fiddle!

Truly our founders had the vision of this wonderful free land to be overwhelmed in celebration of its freedom to be the highest selling day of beer, right? I will never denounce the power of the consumer, but to this degree?
Last night my neighbor used this excuse of celebrating freedom to play his music ungodly loud at 4am.
Ben Franklin would be delighted.
Maybe the Francis Scott Key remix..."O say can you party."


Freedom is, of course, freedom within the natural law? Then how can we justify exercising freedoms that impede on others intent to do just that?

Trick question, we can't.

So let us celebrate our freedom to be loud, keep other people awake with fireworks and club bumping music, pursue indiscretions for the other sex, and ignore God.

Because honestly, freedoms from God will always trump freedoms thought to be given by the state. How do we celebrate his glory through the overwhelming masses doing the dirty deeds?
This is how we start to see what is freedom through his mercy and salvation.

Delight in the fiddle.