Thursday, December 24, 2020

Just Who Was He?

 Some years ago my son Nathan and I sang a song together in our Christmas Eve service.  I can only remember one other time just the two of us sang a duet and that was in South Africa!  

This is not a Christmas song, but it addresses the question of just who Jesus was and is.  Christian songwriter/musician Larry Norman first recorded this about 50 years ago.  Larry is now with the Lord, but during his life did much to rattle the doors of the church, and I have been appreciative of him, his music and his stand since I was a teen.  I encourage you to check him out online if you don't know his work.

Anyway, the link to the video is below of "The Outlaw" we did.  Not the best recording, so pardon that and my attempt to sing and play.  (It was the last time I did such a public thing!).

 If you wonder who Jesus was/is, I'd love for you to come to know Him.   As the last verse says, "It's time for us to leave", referring to His soon return.  Are you ready?  I hope so!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Monday Rant: Stop Using The Lord's Name in Vain

 Immediately, with some seeing the title the thought is, "He must be talking about cussing."  Not at all.


I've seen this being posted lately.  Have you?  (It's spreading like James 3:5 wildfire.) Maybe you've shared it...  I quote:

"After hearing Mark Zuckerberg saying that posting the Lord’s Prayer goes against their policies, I’m asking all Christians to please follow my example Jesus said; Everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:33
This is the best challenge I've ever seen on Facebook. So if you love Him and you're not ashamed, please join me in this challenge of faith!
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors,
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.🙏
Then it ends with "Can I get an Amen?"

But, Rick! Is that taking the Lord's name in vain?  Absolutely.  Here's why.

1. Did anyone actually hear Zuckerberg say something like that, and if so, where is the evidence?  Post a link, please.

2. The original poster says that the owner of Facebook said posting "The Lord's Prayer" goes against Facebook's policies, implying they will remove it.  Yet, behold, there it is in living black and white.  Maybe someone at FB is asleep at the wheel?  Not likely.  They've shown themselves to be highly sensitive to anything that goes against their "community standards". So, the post itself disproves itself.
3. Knowing that this can't be true, yet using Jesus' words to falsely prove something that isn't provable is using His name in vain.  If anything (and I believe He's a whole lot more) Jesus is truth.  So, why propagate a lie, or at the least something you don't know to be truth by attaching perhaps His best-known words to it? 

My years on social media have made it clear that there are none in our culture more gullible than Christians who post things that are either inaccurate, have no evidence behind them or are outright falsehoods.  And God help us...we tend to go even farther with political conspiracies.  By the way, God included such in a prohibition in His Ten Commandments.

So, as a pastor, may I say, "Cut it out!"  This copy and paste stuff, especially if it paints a picture of some kind of persecution (even it is dubious) does nothing to elevate the Gospel.  If you KNOW something to be false (not due to hearsay or because your most trusted BFF posted it), then by all means share that information.

Otherwise stick to pictures of cherub angels and unicorns.

Rant over.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Vaccination? Yes, I will.


My rationale for getting the vaccine is simple.

First, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I pay no attention to hype that has no factual basis.  Really, who thinks big pharma or the government or some mega rich guy really wants to wipe out the population of the world.  I've read ahead about the world's future, and we're not ready for something like that.

Second, since I was a child I've gotten vaccines - small pox (remember those?), polio (remember the sugar cubes), flu, and so on. I grew up in an era before many vaccines were available, so I contracted the measles and mumps. No fun! But, I've never had polio, small pox, whooping cough, diptheria, flu - all those things for which I was vaccinated.  Heck, I just got shots for pneumonia and shingles because neither illness is attractive to me.
Third, since I really don't want to get sick with COVID-19 I'll take the chance on this new vaccine. Some ask, "What if the vaccine gives you the virus?". Looking at the testing of tens of thousands, that's not likely. And if it does, so be it. Without the vaccine I probably would have gotten the virus at some point, so I'll go with the possibility (and minimal risk) that the vaccine will give me immunity.
And fourth, if I get the virus and die from it, I'm ready for what comes after that. Death has no sting for those in Christ. I'm covered by the most amazing insurance policy: the death of Christ who forgave me of my sin when I believed in Him. 
So, look for me in line. I'm 65. I have an underlying medical condition. I have a daughter-in-law who I can't risk catching something from me. So, give me the shot and soon.