During the month of January my church has done a series on “Pursuit, The Search for More.” We’re reading through Proverbs. 31 chapters in Proverbs, 31 days in January. So much of Solomon’s teaching in Proverbs is practical everyday common sense. Common sense I forget or many times choose to ignore.
Yesterday, my group Selah performed at FBCH. It’s in Hendersonville about 30 minutes outside of Nashville. They were having their sanctity of life services that morning. They were recognizing all the families that had the blessing of adopting children. As we sang “Bless The Broken Road” the families came down the aisle and stood up on the platform with us. It was very moving. Later that evening we had about 1000 people join us for a concert. It was a wonderful day. It was also great to see our college friend and FBCH Music Pastor Troy Freeman again. 14 years, too long.
Here are some stories he shared to cement the idea. I’m paraphrasing.
1. A man was out in the park and he was letting his two dogs fight with each other. They were really going at it. Finally, someone came up to him and said, “why are you letting them do that, they are really hurting each other?” The owner replied, “they do this all the time, they will be fine.” The stranger asked, “who usually wins?” Owner, “Sometimes one wins and sometimes the other wins.” Then the owner paused and said, “Actually, the one I feed the most that day is the one who wins.”
What am I feeding myself today? What am I putting in my mind today? What am I choosing to believe today?
2. This next story is sad but true. Back in the 1940’s there was a woman who owned poisonous snakes. A well-known photographer (so well-known I don’t know his name) took an interest in her work. One because the snakes were extremely dangerous and because the owner was a woman, which was very unusual back then. She had just received a Cobra. It was her prized snake. She took it out of the box and the photographer started taking pictures of her holding the snake. The snake was not used the flash bulbs and it’s senses became highly aware. As the owner was putting the Cobra back in the box the snake reached over and bit into her hand. It took 30 seconds to get the snake off.
The snake owner told the photographer to go into a special room where she kept the antivenom. He went and grabbed it, but was so nervous he dropped the antivenom and it shattered all over the floor. It was the only one she had. He drove her to the hospital, but within a couple hours she was dead.
It’s a tragic story. The point Pastor Bruce made was, “We can play with the flesh. We can think we’ve got control as we take it out of its cage. We let it out for a little while. We put it back. The truth is eventually it’s going to bite, and the ramifications could be devastating.”
3. This is the last one, and the one that has stuck with me the most. “Choosing not to fight the flesh, is like letting a wild animal become the zoo keeper, and locking yourself in the cage.”
What do I choose to rule my life and my thoughts? Who do I choose to rule my life and my thoughts?
I hope these stories help you today. They’re simple reminders for me when I’m alone, as I spend time with my wife and kids, and when I’m around others of what to choose today.
15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
Last night Angie and I met with about 20 other bloggers, artists, and Compassion staff for dinner. Being that I have about 40 people following my blog, I fall into the tagging along with my wife category!! We got to see many old friends and made new ones. Among them were Shaun and Becky Groves, Pete and Brandi Wilson, Brad and Lisa Ruggles, Chris and Anne Jackson, Randy and Chris Elrod, Spence Smith, Ryan Detzel, Tad and Robin Dance, and Steve and Patricia Jones.
We ate at Saffire Restaurant in Franklin, TN. I had never eaten there before, but the food was incredible. If you’re ever in the Nashville area go there and order the Fried Artichokes! You will thank me.
It was so great to be around so many incredibly gifted people. People who are excellent and passionate about what they do. People whose faith is real and lived out in practical ways. Many of these people have been on Compassion mission trips. Many are going for the first time in the next several months. I came away tonight excited for the “Church.” Excited for Compassion. It was inspiring to hear what God is doing in their lives. I’m so excited about what my group Selah is going to get to be apart of with Compassion!
Click on their names and find out who they are and what they are up too.
The election last night set off a warning signal to the Obama administration on how a majority of people feel about the health care bill. Why are people so passionate about this issue? What is going on in the state of Massachusetts? One of the most liberal states votes in a Republican after 47 years. Not just any seat. Teddy Kennedy’s seat. Until today’s announcement why has the President tried to push the issue so hard, knowing that most people are against the bill?
I’m against the bill. To me there is an arrogance that “they are going to push this bill through no matter what.” Even though a majority of Americans (Rep. Dem. Ind.) are against it they are going to do it anyways. Trying to push this bill and others with secret meetings and weekend voting goes against the transparency the President promised before the election.
I’ve never seen government as being accountable or fiscal when it comes to money. I don’t see them being good managers of our health system. Although I would like to see health care for everyone, I don’t believe the government should be running it. I don’t believe the President has made it clear how we will pay for it. How they will keep it stable. How they will be able to keep track of money coming in and out.
I think our choice of doctors and treatment quality would decline considerably. I think it would create another department within our government that would be so overwhelming. Once it started we wouldn’t be able to stop it.
Let’s say we vote for it, and realize after 5 or 10 years it’s a bust. What senator would vote against it if tens of thousands in their own state have jobs in it or related to it?
I don’t think this is a case of “something is better than nothing.” I don’t think it’s been thought out very well. I think in the long run it will do more to hurt the country and put us in more debt. I will say I’m not as knowledgeable as I should be. I haven’t studied the Presidents plan.
So I want to hear from you.
What are your thoughts? If you are for President Obama’s health care plan, why? I think we all want to see the poor get taken care of, but why is this plan good? How will it pay for itself? Why do you have so much confidence that the government is capable of running it?
If you are against it, why? What facts do you have to prove you are right? If his plan isn’t good then what should the President do? He wants to see everyone covered. What if your family didn’t have coverage? Would your opinion change?
A couple things.
I welcome anyone’s opinion. I am a follower of Jesus. Let’s not assume that every follower of Jesus is a Republican. If you are not a follower of Christ I welcome your comments. Your opinion makes the debate more balanced and interesting. Let’s be respectful of everyone’s opinion. We can watch the bickering on Fox News and MSNBC. As American’s I think we need to learn how to contend strongly with each other, but do it with dignity.