Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Invention of Lying

A movie called “The Invention of Lying” is now plying around the country that has the star living in a place where everyone always tells the truth but him. He is the only one who has learned to tell a falsehood.

I think most of us believe that we are truthful at least most of the time. I have known people who will tell a lie when the truth would work better. Some people will tell a small lie to avoid hurting a friend’s feelings. Another may fail to tell the whole truth to keep a confidence or family secret. A child who is asked, “Is your mother always drunk?” may answer “no” while thinking not always.

What wise husband will truthfully answer the wife’s question, “Honey does this dress make me look fat?” The correct answer is always,
“NO!” even if it is a lie.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A New Thing 200 Years Ago

Some two hundred years ago a person of one Christian denomination could not take Holy Communion in a church of a different denomination. In come cases you could only take communion in the congregation to which you belonged. Sometimes you had to pass a test of faithfulness to take it in your congregation. This was the case with the Presbyterian church When Rev. Thomas Campbell moved from Ireland to America and was assigned to a congregation in Western Pennsylvania.

In the sparsely settled area his was the only church for miles and members from other denominations began attending. Once when it came time for Holy Communion he decided to make it available to non-members whom he knew to be good Christians who had not been able to take communion in their own congregations for many years.

He got in a lot of trouble for doing that. As part of his defense he wrote a “Declaration and Address” that has been one the founding documents of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Churches and the Churches of Christ. In it he wrote; “So long as any man, woman or child declares his confidence in Jesus of Nazareth as God’s own son, the He was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification; or, in other words, that Jesus is the Messiah, the savior of men; and so long as he exhibits a willingness to obey Him in all things according to his knowledge, so long will I receive him as a Christian brother and treat him as such.”

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don’t Bother

A sealed envelope was publicly handed to the preacher at the funeral. It was addressed to be read at the beginning of the service. The preacher opened the letter and read it: “Don’t bother coming to visit my grave after I die. If visiting the grave makes you feel better, that is OK, just remember, I am NOT there.” Those were the words of a wonderful lady who had a solid faith and hope of eternal life.

Many people visited her grave to remember her love and grace for living in the presence of God. In contrast to her I have known people who lived in great fear of dying and knew that no one would ever visit their grave. They live in fear of being forgotten by people and God.

How we focus our time and energy in this life is vital to the legacy we leave behind. Here on earth we live in a temporary condition and even the rich and powerful can be forgotten in a few generations. We have a choice strive for an earthly legacy that is fleeting or a heavenly legacy that has lasting significance.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Wisdom is not easily possessed. One can have all kinds of knowledge and be intelligent, and yet not have wisdom. Wisdom is the ability, one could say gift, to ponder a problem and know the best answer. Like Solomon knowing how to discover the correct mother between two women claiming the same child.

Wisdom develops out of intelligence, knowledge and experience. Beyond simply knowing and understanding what options are available, “Wisdom” provides the ability to differentiate between them and choose the one that is best.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From Albert Einstein

I am reading a biography of Albert Einstein and found this interesting thought.

"As most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies."

I guess he lived that idea because his clothes were shabby and his hair uncombed but his ideas were astounding.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Old Jim

Old Jim was an outspoken elder in the church. One Sunday after church he said, “Preacher, if I hear one more sermon on love I’m going to scream.”

The problem Jim had to face is that at the core of the Gospel, that Jesus taught is LOVE according to Mark 12:28-34

28One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God..”[NRSV]

From John’s Gospel we find Jesus saying,

“15:13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”[NRSV]

Then Jesus himself did just that for all of us on the cross!

So if old Jim needs to scream out loud – I guess he will just have to because the message of Jesus that, “God loves you,” is so simple and so powerful and that’s all that really matters.