Tag Archives: repentance

My take on Newtown

Do we really need one more opinion making its way out into the blogosphere?  Quite frankly, no.  However, there seems to always be a however, writing can solidify thoughts into tangible and succinct ideas which can change lives.  So here I go.

Is it really fair or appropriate to ask the question “Why did it happen?” Aren’t the number of factors involved in these kinds of incidents so vast and deep that to answer it would truly require us to return to Eden and solve why Cain killed his only brother Abel out of jealousy with  a stick or a rock?

Why did any of the plethora of mass murders by seemingly “normal” individuals take place?  Don’t you so love it when news outlets have to find the one neighbor who says, “I always thought he (or she) was so nice and sensible.  I would never have suspected it.”

Think about the list of mass killings that have just taken place since 2008, there are too many to list, literally.  My opinion is we have become a Godless, standardless, and individualistic society.

Father God has been debated right out of so many aspects of our lives. He created the first list of laws that encapsulated every aspect of life necessary to lead a peaceful and respectable existence.  The Ten Commandments form the perfect set of guidelines for reasonable community coordination.  Don’t murder people.  Plain and simple.  The problem that has accumulated with obeying such a simple thought is that the moral standard for mankind has been become circumstantial.  ”What works for you, doesn’t work for me.”  Gosh how many times have we heard that?

And have the social networks really done anything to draw any of us closer together for a more healthy society?  If anything, by seeing your post on Facebook about what your day was like, has provided an answer to the question, “How are you doing?” and made it so that we don’t call one another and ask or meet over coffee to talk about life.  And maybe the world wide web had made us more introverted.  I can get all the answers on how to tile or replace my roof from YouTube without having to ask my expert neighbor.  Heaven forbid I look like I don’t have it all together. ;)

Do we really need more gun law and control?  Yah, I have heard the stats on countries that have banned guns and the number of mass shootings there.  And how the USA should do the same.  Can we really expect all bad guys to turn in ALL of their guns?  So when folks say, we need more gun control, what kind are they talking about? The topic is broad.

I don’t want to minimize the incredible tragedy that occurred to so many families all at the same time in Connecticut.  Yet, each and every day all over our nation, gangs kill each other at the same rate at the one incident at Sandy Hook.  Daily and nightly in Long Beach, Oakland, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington D.C., and Houston, senseless murder takes place.  Those incidents don’t quite tug our heart strings like a  group of innocent seven year olds gunned down do.  When it is one thug killing off another, the rational by some is, well there is one less thug on the street.  Horrible justification for doing nothing to love and mentor some in difficult living conditions.

My viewpoint is a spiritual one and one based on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  A spirit of repentance must flow in the hearts of humanity.  A continual self-reflection and dialogue with Father regarding where ones heart is inclined.  I am not suggesting a return to a time in the US idealized by the “Leave it to Beaver” family and cultural dynamics.  I recognize that times have changed in that regard.  I am suggesting a return to God, His word, and a love one for another.

“Soul Feed”

One must constantly be on the look out for danger signs in their spiritual health. Whether you have a built in meter to help with this, or you have a friend or spouse super willing to bring up stagnancy, which may lead to sin,  spiritual health is critical. Holistically speaking our spiritual health is inexorably tied to our mental and physical health.  So it is vital that we keep all parts of our beings maintained and running healthily.

In an effort to find fresh ways of feeding my soul, I have prayed and decided to audit a class at DenSem called “Reading the Spiritual Masters.”  It is my goal to really stick with it as most MDiv grads who do an audit like this tend to fall off pretty quickly when there is no risk on the line.

One of the reasons I chose this class is the prof.  Howard Baker is a really cool man who has helped shape some of my faith practices.

I have already received the books and begun to meditate on some of the material.  One of the books is a tractate titled “Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life” by John Calvin (I’ll call it GBTCL from now on).  Typically John Calvin is not one of my more favorite reads.  First, they are usually more of a magnum opus and secondly, the interpreters of his French and Latin don’t work for my sophomoric mind. However this small volume is interpreted more palatably for my vocabulary.

A long introduction to a short paragraph about scripture:

The goal of the new life is that God’s children exhibit melody and harmony in their conduct.  What melody?  The song of God’s justice.  What harmony?  The harmony between god’s righteousness and our obedience.

Only if we walk in the beauty of God’s law do we become sure of our adoption as children of the Father.

The law of God contains in itself the dynamic of the new life by which his image is fully restored in us; but by nature we are sluggish, and therefore we need to be simulated, aided in our efforts by a guiding principle.

A sincere repentance from the heart does not guarantee that we shall not wander from the straight path and sometimes become bewildered.

Let us then search scripture to find the root principle for the reformation of our life.

In the words of the most interesting man in the world, “Stay thirsty my friends.”

Sixty-sixth day of B90X (Amos 9:11- Nahum 3:19)

Who says there isn’t anything good in the last twelve books of the Old Testament?  It is packed full of many verses we see on calendars, daily scripture flip charts, and encouraging verses of the day.  Yah sure there is some of the difficult stuff we don’t understand because of culture and when it happened, but who doesn’t like “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him,” (Nahum 1:7)?  That is hopeful material!

Continue reading

Day 58 B90X (Jer 48:1- Lam 1:22)

Good work Saints!  I get many great words of encouragement from some of you which propel me to further discipline and faithfulness.  We are about a good thing! 

"Jeremiah Lamentations" Chagall

Lamentations-  Originally the title of the book was “Ah, how!” from the Hebrew words ‘ek ah.

This short book is not connected to a specific author or prophet, however, tradition puts it in the lap of Jeremiah.  It is mainly composed of funeral songs for Jerusalem.  Since Jeremiah does not deport in the exile, he has time to survey the damage left by the departure of the presence of Father.   The year is 586 B.C., the Babylonian King is furious with his Vassal Zedekiah who would not keep his word.  The temple is completely sacked and the city is left in piles of rubble.  The people weep from the feeling that God has abandoned them.  The poems show the people’s sense of guilt, confession, and repentance as they realize how deeply they have hurt God by their sin and unfaithfulness. Continue reading