Aug 122015
 

Organization is not something I do well.  And this runs across the board in my life.  I tend to jump from activity to activity.  My studio is always a mess.  I’m getting better with my tools, but I still have to search for them with the beginning of any project.  This lack of organized…anything…might explain why my lawn is still not completely mowed with summer over half done.

I really had no purpose for this post.  I just wanted to use my blog again.  Look at that.  Another random activity.  And now, I’m gonna go mow my lawn…again random.

Later Days!!!

The “Christian ” adjective

 My Faith, Uncategorized  Comments Off on The “Christian ” adjective
Apr 052013
 

So, I’ve recently been thinking about how I call myself a “Christian” songwriter.  On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with this.  I am definitely a Christian, and I am definitely a songwriter.  Therefore, I am a Christian songwriter.  If one thinks about it, however, the title implies more than that.  In reality, when you call yourself a Christian songwriter, what it means is that you write and sing songs ONLY for Christ.  And therein lies the problem.  I DON’T write exclusively Christ centered songs.  I don’t carefully map out each verse to ensure that I include the name of Jesus at least two times, and make no less than seven blatant biblical references, and repeat the word hallelujah (or any of it’s partial syllabic variants) for at least 30 seconds of the song.  In fact, I have several songs in the works that are in reality totally secular.  I drive Interstate 5…a lot…and I am writing a song about that (think Officer Krupke from West Side Story).  I’m also working on another soprano/tenor duet that is a tongue in cheek look at the life of a singer.  These songs just jumped into my head.  At the same time, I’ve got six notes that I am definitely going to develop into a song that will be “Christian”.  I hear it in my head.  Just gotta get to work writing it. 

So maybe I’m not a Christian songwriter.  Maybe I’m a songwriter who is a Christian.  There!  Problem solved!  Right?  No.  Not quite.

I don’t believe that the secular songs that I write are bad, but I am careful about how I treat my faith.  No one lights a candle and puts it under a bowl right? (Luke 11:33 Matthew 5:15)  This article (which I’ve posted before) gives a pretty good argument against “Christian” music.  I’m worried, however, that the argument can be used to bolster a position of totally ignoring our responsibility as Christians to work for God.  It is an interesting position that is filled by Christian artists.

I cannot count the number of times that I have been told (by Christians) that I need to “sing for God” or that I need to “write songs for Jesus”.  I cannot remember a single time, however, when (as an aircraft mechanic in the Navy) I was told to fix the airplanes for Jesus.  Neither can I remember ever hearing person tell a gas station attendant to pump that gas for the Lord (“I’m sorry, but I can only sell you gas if you are driving to church”).  This is a different context from Colossians 3:23.  I wholly endorse that verse and believe that if more Christians applied it to their lives the world would have different view of Christianity.  This is not what is meant when people tell Christian artiststs to “do their work for the Lord.”  What they mean is that you need to only act in plays that have religious themes.  You  should only paint pictures that are of churches and the disciples.  And you should only write songs that use the name Jesus Christ at least once per verse and twice in the chorus, and end with Hallelujah repeated fifteen times (with different syllabic variants). 

So, at this point, the reader may be confused.  I don’t want Christian artists to shirk their responsibility to work for God, but I’m whining about how it’s unfair that gas station attendants don’t get told to pump gas for God. 

The truth is, I am in fact unresolved on this issue.  Hey, I never promised this blog would deliver answers.  It’s call “A Space for Thought.” not “A Space for concrete direct solutions to metaphysical and mental dilemmas”. 

The thing about the arts is that they have no mundane value.  No one has ever been able to eat a painting to stay alive.  A song doesn’t keep the rain off your head.  Plays and movies don’t carry you to the grocery store or clothe you.  This is not to say that the arts have no value.  One doesn’t even need to have a deep discussion on that.  Just look at the amount of money spent on the arts and that should give you an idea.  The value of the arts, however, is exclusively within the emotional, mental, and spiritual realm.  This means that they are inseparable from personal messages and statements about beliefs and opinions.  Even the most brainless bubble-gum pop song on the market is about something.  Because of this, Christian artists do have a heavier responsibility in what they do.  We do have to be more careful about the words we sing, and the parts that we play, and the pictures that we paint.

So there is a thought that we should move away from the Christian label.  But at the same time it seems like we are denying our Christianity by doing so.  The C.S. Lewis quote that I posted earlier is pretty strong, but the arts hold a special place in the world.  It may be that I am totally overthinking this.   

That’s about it for now.  I think I’m gonna go  get in my Christian car, drink some Christian coffee, and maybe go buy a Christian sandwich.

Later Days!!!

C.S. Lewis!!

 My Faith, Uncategorized  Comments Off on C.S. Lewis!!
Feb 252013
 

This man keeps popping up in my life recently.  I must read his stuff  (beyond Narnia).

“I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good popular book on any science may do much more by that than by any direct apologetic work…. We can make people often attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted….What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent. You can see this most easily if you look at it the other way around. Our faith is not very likely to be shaken by any book on Hinduism. But if whenever we read an elementary book on Geology, Botany, Politics, or Astronomy, we found that its implications were Hindu, that would shake us. It is not the books written in direct defense of Materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way, it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian.”  C.S. Lewis

Feb 142013
 

This post is a bit beyond my typical twitter tweet thought byte.

I may be the only one, but it feels like it’s getting more difficult to be a Christian in America lately.  I suppose it’s not too bad if you just keep your mouth shut and go to church on Sunday.  But if you’re vocal at all, you will catch all sorts of flack.  Anyways, over the last couple of days, it really started to get to me.  I was in a pretty bad mood all day yesterday.  Not angry and mean, but just less than happy and tired.

Well, this morning as I was getting ready to leave my house, Jesus spoke to me.  It wasn’t some mystical event or anything, but it was clearly from him.  I wasn’t thinking anything particularly religious or “God-centered”.  In fact, I think that I was wondering if the coffee was done brewing.  Suddenly, a verse popped into my head.  Actually it was two verses mushed into one.  It was, “Consider it pure joy when you are persecuted for my names sake”.  Now those of you who are Bible scholars will immediately notice that this is actually the first part of James 1:2 and the last part of Matthew 5:11.  James talks about facing trials for the purpose of strengthening our faith.  Matthew talks about being blessed when we face persecution because of Jesus.

Now I may be the only one, but I certainly feel like I catch a lot of flak for my Christian views.  I get to read posts on Facebook and other sites that label Christians as bigots and fools, and accuse Christians of spreading hatred.  I have to constantly bite my tongue and refrain from engaging in meaningless online arguments (don’t cast your pearls before swine) when I see posts insulting and attacking God.  And, finally, the country I live in is irrefutably marching away from Christianity.  If, as a Christian, you dwell on these things it can really get to you.  I don’t want to sound cliché by simply parroting verses that apply to the situation.  A person is having a rough time and we instantly say, “God will never give you more than you can bear”, and walk away.  Nice.  That really helps.  Similarly, just quoting James and Matthew doesn’t really help.  But, today, for me, it really came from Jesus.  Just out of the blue this popped into my head.  It was pretty amazing really.  It was amazing enough that I really wanted to share it.  Maybe this will be cliché for you, or maybe it will help you.  I don’t know.  Today, it helped me.

So, to my Christian friends who are feeling similar to how I do, take heart.  Jesus promised that this would happen, and it will be credited to us at the end.  Stay strong, finish the race well.  It certainly isn’t easy, but with God supporting us, it can be done.

Later Days!!!

Unconditional obedience

 My Faith, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Unconditional obedience
Sep 032012
 

So, today after church I was a having a discussion with my wife, the contents of the conversation are unimportant, but the resulting thought is worth sharing.

Many of God’s commandments to us are one sided.  By that I mean that they are simply to be followed.  There is no clause saying that when you do something, then something else will happen.  Additionally, there is no escape clause.  There is no situation where you are allowed to ignore his command because of an extenuating circumstance.  To demonstrate, I think I’d like to start with the Ten Commandments and then add a couple other examples.

Taken from Exodus 20.

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

So, I’ve included all of them just because it’s good to read all ten commandments every so often.  For the purposes of this discussion, however, I just want to pick on a couple.

My point is easily demonstrated, so I’ll go through these in fairly rapid succession.
First, “You shall not steal”.  Notice, that it doesn’t say, “You shall not steal, unless you are starving and it is the only way to feed yourself.”  Neither does God make any exceptions for warmth or sickness.  Don’t steal.  Period.

The next is a bit more complicated.  “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”.  Although the commandment itself is easy enough, it provides a good stepping off point to talk about lying, which is condemned in many other places in the Bible.  Now bold faced lies are easy, but what about lies designed to save someone else pain and suffering?  God doesn’t allow us to lie to prevent hurting someone’s feelings.  Instead his Word tells us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians).

Let’s examine “Honor your father and mother…”  Notice, that God doesn’t tell us to honor our father and mother, unless our father left the family when we were two years old, or our mother was an alcoholic.  We are commanded to honor our father and mother.  That’s it.

Conversely, parents are told not to provoke their children to wrath.  It doesn’t matter if your child has become a rebellious hellion, defying you at every turn.  Don’t provoke your children.  An in depth discussion on this is beyond the scope of this writing.  The point is still that we (as parents) are given a command and  the actions of the child don’t change the command.

Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church.  Wives submit to your husbands.  It doesn’t matter if your wife has grown cold and undermines you.  It doesn’t matter if your husband is an idiot.  The commands are there with no escape clauses.  Abuse and infidelity are, again, beyond the scope of this article.

If you read the Bible carefully, you will see many examples where we are given commandments that are exclusive unto themselves.  Our obedience to them is neither contingent upon a fulfilled reciprocation nor is it nullified by a negative action on the part of the other party.  I view marriage this way.  When I took my vows, I said, “…until death do we part.”  It doesn’t matter what my wife does, I will be her husband until my death.

Now, here’s the part where it gets good for us.  We know that God is constant.  He tells us that he is the same today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  The awesome part is (and read this slowly) that just as God expects us to follow his commands regardless of circumstances or the actions of others, so will he fulfill his promises regardless of circumstances or our actions.  It says a lot for the “permanent salvation” school of thought.  If we believe on His name and ask Jesus to come into our lives, forgive us our sins, and take control, God will save us and bring us to heaven at the end.  We know this because God is constant and his Word is consistent.  This is where it’s awesome.  It doesn’t matter how many times we fall and fail.  No matter how many times we sin, God will fulfill his promise.  Awesome, eh?  Of course, I’m not condoning a sinful lifestyle here.  The whole sincerity debate is (again) beyond the scope of this article.

The point is that we are to be obedient to God’s commands regardless of others actions or extenuating circumstances.  God too will fulfill his promises regardless of circumstance or our actions.

Well, that’s it.

Later Days!!!

Support your local church!

 My Faith, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Support your local church!
Feb 142012
 

I have been thinking about the value of organized religion a lot recently.  I keep hearing people saying that they love God but that they hate organized religion.  I can sympathize to an extent.  I’ve experienced a certain amount of disdain for the churches that I’ve visited recently.  I believe firmly in being involved in your church, so I get involved.  The drawback to being involved is that I get to see the less beautiful side of God’s church.  I’ve seen the fighting, the false pretenses, and I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I truly dislike the entertainment aspect that seems to have crept into many church services.  I’ve seen churches that have become social groups more interested in their own survival as a group than in the worship of God.  I’ve also seen churches that were more interested in the generation of revenues than anything else. 

The people who are proclaiming a love of God but a rejection of the Church aren’t necessarily complaining about these issues though.  More often than not, they are focusing on the angry nature with which many Christians are battling against various controversial issues.  They point to extremist groups like the Westborough Baptist Church.  They like to talk about the anger with which various church groups protest against abortion.  Even when the Church opposes these various issues without the anger, it earns their disdain because the Church would dare to pass judgment.  They love to roll these and other arguments into a large straw man argument against the Church, saying that the Church fosters hatred.  It is important to realize that (at least in the conversations I’ve had) when those who make this claim say “organized religion” what they are actually talking about is the Christian Church.  Also, in my experience, those who make this claim have a very skewed vision of God.  Their god is more of a personal invention than the Almighty Creator of the Universe.  They take the parts that they like (usually the parts about loving and caring and protective) but discard the parts that they don’t like (holy, strict, just).

I myself am guilty of falling prey to the idea that we can separate God from His church.  In the not so distant past I remember having discussions in which I carefully delineated the difference between religion and faith.  I would say that religion is an invention of man whereas faith is belief in those things unseen and a true personal choice to follow God.  Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my position and I have decided that I was a bit off the mark.  The problem, I’ve realized, is that I fell into the same trap that those who are claiming love of God and rejection of the Church did.  I was saying, “religion” but what I meant was, “the Church”. 

The Church, beyond being plainly identified as the bride of Christ and therefore obviously important to God, does several things for us.

It gives us a body of people with whom we share the same beliefs.  If you’ve ever spent an extended period of time with a group of people who didn’t believe as you did, you will know that you begin to tire and even wear down as they argue against your views.  The Church gives us affirmation of our beliefs and strengthens us to face a world that is very much against us.

It keeps us in our faith and convicts us.  If we spend too much time immersed in the world, it becomes easy to get deceived.  The current trend towards Internet piracy is an excellent example.  I’ve spoken with Christians who have accepted that it’s fine to download music, movies, and software without paying for it, even though these items were not intended to be free.  (Incidentally, all the music on my site is currently still “free”.  Please download it and share it with your friends if you like it.  I own all the rights so go ahead.)

It gives us collective power to carry out the work of God.  I can’t support a missionary alone.  I can’t run a food bank alone.  I can’t carry out an evangelism ministry or a homeless aid ministry alone.  However, with a group of people, it is possible to accomplish all these things.  More importantly, as a united group we are a more effective force against the enemy. 

Also, organized religion with its rituals and ceremonies can also prevent us from inventing our own God.  Of course, if we concentrate on the ceremony for the ceremony’s sake and ignore the meaning behind it then we’ve stumbled off the path.  But that doesn’t make the ceremony a bad thing.  It is our fault for allowing ourselves to become numb and calloused to the meanings behind the ceremony.  One of the issues I have with many modern churches is that they have rejected many of the good things of the older denominations.  They’ve forgotten about the value of solemnity and reverence.  So many church services forget to concentrate on the power and majesty and might (and even the wrath) of God, choosing instead to simply focus on the pleasant aspects.  They forget that we are to work out our salvation with “…fear and trembling.”   An interesting side effect of this is that much of the power of God has been removed from the Church.  Instead of feeling the power and majesty of God, there is a pleasant but weak ambience with some nice music and a talented public speaker.   

A point of concern is the amount of professing Christians who are rejecting the Church.  It can be understood, for the reasons stated at the beginning of this post.  So many churches fail to uphold the basic tenets of Christianity.  They fail to follow the two greatest commandments of loving God entirely and loving your neighbor as yourself.  When we consider this, the lack of power, and the constant barrage of statements labeling the Church as an institution of hatred for proclaiming the just judgment of God and there is little shock that many Christians, particularly those who have merely been inoculated against the truth, are rejecting the Church.

My final point is this.  We must support the Church.  We cannot abandon her.  Now as in Martin Luther’s time, strong Bible believing Christians need to step forward and BE the Church.  It is true that the Church has fallen asleep.   But rejection of the Church is not the answer.  Perhaps it is time for a new denomination.  I’ve heard it said that the older a denomination gets, further from the truth it gets.  The Catholic Church has fallen prey to this.  Some of the old Protestant denominations have fallen as well.  Additionally, many of the newer denominations have traded in the truth for popularity.  It should be common knowledge that God is not Catholic or Baptist or Lutheran or Methodist or Assemblies of God or Christian and Missionary Alliance.  These divisions are inventions of man.  God is God.  His word transcends all these.  No matter what the denomination, it must be carefully compared to the Bible to ensure that it is following God’s word.  When it fails to do that, however, simply rejecting it out of hand is not the answer.  That is the time to work and to bring it back to God’s word. 

A final note on “religion”.  It might be noted that God himself set up the initial religion.  He designed intricate rituals, ceremonies, and customs.  There was a dress code even.  They had to wear ephods!  I’m not even sure what an ephod is, but it was part of the dress code.  Of course, I’m talking about the ancient Jewish traditions and the Levites and all that went with it.  It’s important to realize that God designed all that.  Why do you think He designed it in such a way?  What purpose do you think the solemn design of those ceremonies was?  It’s worth thinking about.

So, support your local church.  Don’t just leave, don’t quit, and don’t give up on God’s church totally.  Pray and work and keep your church right with God.  Churches are made of humans, and humans are fallen creatures.  But churches are gatherings of believers as well, and believers correct and guide other believers.  That’s all I have for this post.

Later  Days!!!

Dec 312011
 

Recently, I had quite a few dealings with a man who was being very critical of Christianity.  In truth he was mocking it.  I made a comment about God and his replied asking about which god.  Of course, he knows very well that I believe in the One True God.  He then made some more disparaging remarks about how God was invented and other remarks about the Bible.  He attempted to take parts of the Bible out of context to goad me more, but fortunately, despite being an “ordained minister” and claiming to have read the Bible, he just didn’t know enough to make it a very effective attack.  The next day was Christmas and he and another person restarted the attack, this time displaying their vast historical knowledge about how December 25th was some sort of pagan holiday to some sun god and other nonsense.  I realize the date is not exact.  It’s not important, that is the day we celebrate Christ’s birth.  We could celebrate it on July 5th and it wouldn’t reduce the importance.  There would just be more fireworks.

Regardless, he was really getting under my skin.  So, if you’ve followed me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that another man I know, a devout Catholic, gave me some great advice.  He said, “Don’t let him steal your peace.”  It was just that simple but it was so clear and so well timed.  It can be truly amazing how God can send a perfect message out of the blue just when you need it.  And I needed it.  I really wanted to hit this guy.  After this, I was much better, and as it turned out the guy stopped giving me a hard time.

I took a couple things away from this experience. 

One, we need to let God be God.  I think this is one of the most difficult things to grasp for me as a Christian.  It’s not that I want to take God’s place, I just feel so burdened to succeed in so many aspects.  This is especially true after I read James.  Very much a works oriented book, James will really make you want to go do “works” for God.  I suppose I could look at it from a military standpoint.  As a private or even a corporal or sergeant, a person’s ability to do anything effective is limited.  You may be able to keep your men alive, or succeed in a battle, but you aren’t going to win the entire war by yourself.  It’s similar for us as Christians.  We can do our part.  We can pray, we can vote according to our faith, and we can spread the gospel.  But that is what we can do.  We can’t change the hearts of others.  Only God can do that.  I get so frustrated at times.  I will be very honest, sometimes I get very tired of…well…losing.  I want to win!  I want the Ten Commandments to rest easily in the Supreme Court.  I want prayer to be allowed in schools.  I want to win.  But I have to remember to let God be God and not get frustrated with the rest. 

The other thing I took away is that God can use anyone to speak his word.  And that just because someone doesn’t follow our exact flavor of Christianity doesn’t mean that they’re deceived and going to Hell.  While the Catholic Church certainly has some flaws, I’m beginning to think that God is still working within that church.  The Protestant churches have some pretty big flaws themselves, some (if you use the human scale of grading sins) are even more egregious than those which Protestants accuse the Catholics of.  Of course, this isn’t endorsing a many roads to Heaven philosophy.  There is only one way to Heaven and that is through Christ Jesus.  But I really believe that God revealed to me that there are saved souls in all of Christianity, not just Baptists or Methodists or Evangelicals.  It’s the belief in Christ that makes us Christian.

This brings to mind a final word.  It’s heavily tangential, but it does relate.  One of the criticisms I have heard of the Catholic church is that as time wore on and the rituals became more intricate and traditional, the Catholic faith began to believe in its rituals more than in the blood of Christ.  I will tell you that the man who told me not to lose my peace does NOT believe his rituals will save him.  He believes that Christ’s blood saved him.  He defends his Catholic rituals as reminders of Christs sacrifice.  More like tools to help guide him in his faith.  In a conversation with my mother the topic of rituals and scripted prayers and things came up.  The current Protestant church (particularly the Pentacostal movement) tends to reject heavily ritualized traditions.  Scripted prayers and things of that nature aren’t heavily used and are more likely to be avoided.  Still, those scripts can guide us and keep us on the path.  They can prevent us from straying off, making prayers that are actually performances, or talking to ourselves more than to God.  The danger is that they can become mechanical and empty.  But in rejecting them completely, we run the risk of falling away from the core of our faith.  It’s just an interesting thought.  Quality assurance inspectors and pilots and many other fields use check lists to make sure that everything is done right.  These are professionals that know their jobs inside and out.  Yet they still use checklists to prevent them from straying or missing important steps.  We could look at rituals and things like that as well. 

It’s just a thought.

Later Days!!!

Painful lessons

 My Faith, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Painful lessons
Oct 112011
 

Those of you that know me know that my sons have autism.  I just returned from a trip and my youngest keeps saying, “Hey Mom?  I don’t want Daddy!”  I wonder if that’s how God feels about us.  He loves us so much, and we keep saying, “I don’t want God!”

Wow.

Later Days.

Human Value

 Random personal thoughts, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Human Value
Sep 242011
 

I overheard a conversation that was rather sad today.  One young man was lamenting to another that his ex-girlfriend was pregnant, and that there was a possibility that he was the father.  He continued on to declare that she needed to get an abortion because he didn’t have the time and the pregnancy would negatively impact his life.  Another young man (who was ostensibly a friend or at least good acquaintance of the first) objected to that.  Unfortunately, he continued on to say, “…it’s just a kid…” as though there was no real consequence to bringing a child into the world. 

Neither one of these young men were on track.  The first was completely selfish, placing his personal life above the life of an unborn child.  The second was equally wrong.  He failed to recognize the gravity of bringing up a child.

The conversation was a very sad reflection on the value that people are placing on human life these days.  One was more comfortable with the idea of killing an unborn child than he was with facing up to his responsibility for his actions.  This seems to be a common theme that the world puts forth.  The other had no idea how serious parenting is.  Although the world would have us believe that it’s fine to be a single parent and that divorce is perfectly acceptable and that your personal happiness is more important than your responsibilities, it’s simply not true.  The lack of a parent significantly impacts a child and stays with them into adulthood.  Our society’s failure to address parenting and the family can be seen in many of our societal ills today.

That’s my thought for today. 

Later Days!!!

Christian friends

 My Faith, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Christian friends
Sep 212011
 

I just had a great conversation with a friend and co-worker.  We both share the same faith and we were talking about the state of the Church, being involved in church, and things like that. 

What struck me and inspired  this post is how nice it was to talk and discuss things with someone who shares my faith.  It was good to be able to profess the power of Christ without instantly having to defend or explain it.  Even when we reached issues that we disagreed upon, we still shared the same common core beliefs and were able to discuss those issues from that standpoint.  The conversation was so much better than the conversation/argument that another co-worker started over whether Christmas is a pagan holiday.  Incidentally, whether the date is an amalgamation on  the part of the Roman empire or not, we Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, definitely a Christian event.

I believe this is why Paul professed that it is good to congregate with other believers.  This is why church is important.  It’s not because we have to go to a special building to worship God, but so we can spend time being revitalized and refreshed in our beliefs by other believers.  The world will wear us down and erode our beliefs if we’re not careful.  There is also the thought of remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy.  But that’s another post for another day.  

So, that’s my thought for today.

Later Days!!!