Friday, March 08, 2013

"Christianity: The Religion of the Possessive Pronoun"

Below is the devotional that I received this morning from ptl.org:
Romans 1:8a:
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ...

Thoughts for Today:

"I thank my God," Paul says. Thomas said upon touching the wounds of Jesus, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). Martin Luther once said, "Christianity is uniquely the religion of the possessive pronoun." In other words, you can be a Buddhist without knowing Buddha; you can be a Hare Krishna without knowing Krishna; but you can't be a Christian unless you know Jesus. Christianity is unique because it is not a religion -- it is a relationship.

Marriage is a great example of this concept. My wife and I do not live under a set of rules which someone else created for us to follow. For example, what time to have dinner, who is to make dinner, clean the house, do yard work, or anything else. We have freedom in our marriage because it is a relationship between us as individuals --governed by love -- not laws or regulations created by others.

Many people misunderstand Christianity when they place it in the category of a religion. I have had people say to me, "Oh that's right, you don't do ______________ because it's against your religion." It's sometimes hard for people to understand that my choice to not do something is not because it violates a religious rule -- rather I might consider it to be disrespectful or harmful in my relationship with Jesus.

Questions to Ponder:

How has your relationship been lately? And I'm not talking about your spouse or friends. Relationships are built because of time spent together sharing, learning, and in fellowship. How much time are you spending with the Lord? He always has time for you; will you make time for Him? Is Christianity just your religion or is your relationship with Jesus growing stronger and deeper?

For His Glory has been the mission in our home for many years. It's a choice in how we live our lives. A choice regarding the music we listen to or the movies we watch. I surely don't need any more pollution in my head. Continuing to go deeper, to the richness of a life alive with Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Remembering Cold Nights

It is 3 degrees right now, and will dip below zero overnight.  The sky is practically cloudless, and the moon is shinning brightly in the sky with the stars twinkling above the rooflines and chimneys that gently puff out a warm exhaust.  If we had a deeper snowpack, it would surely get colder.  These are the nights that, strangely, I long to experience.

After my mom passed away in '95, I find myself not sleeping all that well.  Lena and I lived in the apartment off the house I grew up in, and on cold nights like these, I would venture from the warmth of our bed to the pond deep in the night.  With only the moon to guide me past the slumbering garden, I would make my way down the old stone steps to the memorial bench that was etched with her initials and two years, "1945" and "1995."  I would lay down on the hard granite slab, which matched two others at the far side of the pond that paid tribute to my grandparents and great aunt and uncle.  Just spending time looking into the heavens, listening to the trees clicking as they swayed, warmed from the outside in by clothing but chilled from in the inside out by the air being breathed into my lungs..

These days, the pond area has been neglected and overgrown, but the bench still stands tall in honor of my parents. I try to visit it a few times a year, but it is hard to see the area in such a state (especially feeling like a stranger there.  I also am watching Northern Exposure dvds we have at the house, as this show was picked up with the old antenna in reruns during the wee hours of the morning in between these quiet visits.  It was as if, during these times of depressing solace, this particular tv show helped to remind me of community and family.  Now, it is almost therapeutic to watch these episodes again, especially since so many of the shows highlighted a brilliant moon over the snowy, cold landscape.  Just like those times back on Furnace Grove.

Don't Be Like Mike

My photo
Thankful that God has granted me a second chance (quite a few, actually) through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love the Lord, my family, and enjoy endless laps of swimming and circles on a motorcycle. Follow Jesus.