Friday, June 8, 2012

Spiritual Carnage

I have often heard people say that only Jesus walked on water. How ever according to Matthew 14:29 “Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.”

At that moment Peter completely trusted in Jesus and walked on the water. That was faith at work but then Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and noticed the storm around him and lost his faith. When ever we give ourselves to God and really trust then we can also do amazing things.

Keeping our faith focused seems to be a common human failing. We start out like Peter full of confidence in the power of God in our lives and then allow the storms of life to distract us. Living by faith successfully is a lot like driving a car you have to stay focused on the road ahead. Taking your eyes off of Jesus is like texting while driving and can lead to spiritual carnage.

Remember the lesson of Peter getting out of the boat. Peter proved that he could walk on water just like Jesus. We today often prove that we can live by faith and do powerful things. So keep your eyes of Jesus and keep the faith.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Not For Sissies!

Over forty years ago I was pastor of a church in a small Texas town. A retired minister in his eighties lived there. I often visited with him and he served as an informal mentor. One of his often stated sayings was, “Getting old is not for sissies.”

Over the years I have used that quote many times. These days the cold hard truth of it is becoming clearer. It seems that every time I go to the doctor she tells me that I must stop doing something I like, stop eating things I love and start doing things I hate to do.

Gone are the days when I can follow an impulse and eat what ever is set before me. Any thing with sugar is poison. I need to check the carb count and look for seeds that might later create havoc. Calories I have consumed are no longer burned off so quickly as before, they now require extra exercise.

I now know for real that the old pastor was right, growing old is not for sissies.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Generational Guilt

There is a guilt that seems to transcend generations in such a way that one people blames another for sins committed by their ancestors. Sometimes that guilt is accepted and we pay penance for something we did not do. There are Germans who feel the guilt of Hitler’s sin even though they personally had nothing to do with it.

Another past sin is that of slavery where one color of people holds another responsible for it. While the sin was real for the time of commitment it is not real for generations later. Yet the power of these generational guilt trips is still gripping people’s souls. There is no forgiveness and no release. How do we heal the pain that is passed down through the years?

I was amazed when South Africa suddenly changed governments and an unexpected thing happened. Largely due to Nelson Mandela’s leadership the whole country worked through the hate and distrust on both sides. The past was past and they needed to overcome centuries of conflict. Truth and Reconciliation commissions faced the truth head on, admitted it and forgave it.  What a concept! It sounds a lot like the message that which Jesus preached.

Some how we all need to take this message to heart.