Saturday, November 17, 2012

Are You A Player or Spectator?

Is our experience with God and His church a blessing? Worshiping God is an important part of our faith experience that suffers if we only watch it. To get more out of our worship experience we must become more personally involved in it.

When I was a soccer referee I noticed a correlation between church and the soccer field.  Both boys and girls play the game equally well and all the players are in constant motion. Everyone has an opportunity to touch or kick the ball, as soccer is a team effort. There are great rewards for team cooperation in the results of the game. Coaches and referees also get a lot of pleasure from sharing the experience. Spectators who have little knowledge about the game can easily bored as the ball goes back and forth with little scoring.  Spectators who take the time to be involved with players and coaches learn about the game and enjoy it more.

I find worship has some of the same qualities. Spectators who do not involve them selves in the actions of worship can be board by the experience. But one who participates in the singing, praying, and devotions are never board. Those who focus their minds on the prayers, and scripture participate in the actions of worship. Singing out with gusto during the hymns or feeling the emotions of the choir’s anthem lifts the spirit to a new level. Even adding an amen as affirmation to the pastors sermon engages the worshiper in the actions of worship. Natural blessing flow from being actively involved in worship.

I encourage you to participate and worship with new energy to both share and receive. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Three Little Words

For some people those three little words “I Love You” roll off their lips with such ease that they seem insincere. Those words said too much or to everyone can lose their meaning. Yet they remain some of the most important words we can speak.

On the other side of that coin is not saying those words at all. I have talked to many wives who have not heard their husbands say I love you in a long time. It can be a brutal existence to live with someone and never hear those precious words of endearment.

The in-between place is where the words are said and actions back them up. We all need to feel loved and express our love for another. If you love some one let them know. You can love a lot of people while you are in love and committed to one person. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Take it to heart.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


What can we be thankful for on this Thanksgiving? Well I for one can be thankful that I am not a turkey.

As the pilgrims gave thanks that they made it through a hard winter followed by good crops, so we too can give thanks. We can be very thankful that we have made it this far in life and that through the Grace of God we are followers of Jesus the Christ. It is our faithful service to Jesus that has helped us to see the need to celebrate Thanksgiving.

We can be thankful that we live in a country that still celebrates a day of thanksgiving and created a holiday for us to be with family and friends to be with in our gratitude. We can be thankful that even with all of our problems and challenges God has given us what ever we need to overcome each one. We can be thankful that every day God gives us new opportunities to bless other people.

In what ever way you plan to spend Thanksgiving Day please also remember those people both here and around the world who find themselves in such great need and be willing to share part of your blessing with them. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cultural Context in Translating

One of the most important things to consider in translating scripture is the cultural context when it was written.

An example in English is the word “gay” as it is used in context. A hundred years ago one man could say to another put on your gay clothes and let’s go party. That has a totally different meaning today. A hundred years ago “gay” equaled fun and today it means homosexual. [except when singing Christmas Carols.]

In every language there are these kinds of word shifts that need to be taken into account when translating from one language to another. Consider that the shift for the word gay has happened in less than a hundred years and the scriptures were written over a period of more than two-thousand years. How many word shifts took place in Hebrew and Greek over that time? Many and not all of them are well known to us today. You can not isolate the text of scripture from the world it from and pretend it is the whole truth.

It is an awesome task to translate scripture from the original Hebrew and Greek into the ever changing languages of today. Is it any wonder that there are over three hundred English translations for us to select from and that they are so different.