Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Some Nuns were in the movie theater today watching "The Nativity". I thought this would be an appropriate picture for the day.
Things get a little crazy in the neighborhood this time of year. Christmas brings out the best and the worst.
For example today...I was taking a stroll past the "Projects" picking up some kids to go to the movies. (Some people donated monies to see "The Nativity".) So as I was strolling an older teen wearing an oversized camo jacket and scars on his face comes up to me smoking a cheap stogie and says, "do you have any money." I say, "No." I keep walking. A little faster now. He says, "Empty all your pockets." I keep walking looking back at him over my right shoulder. At this point I am getting close to a public building. I say, "No."
He says, "Ah, No. I ain't playin' fool. Empty your damn pockets." At this point I turn around and face him. I am in front of the ghetto library. I say something like, "I'm not giving you any money." (By the way these are not the things you are to do or say.) As I am memorizing what he looks like, he starts pacing back and forth. His friend is with him at this point wearing a black oversized coat and sporting a white headband. The guy with the scars says to the other brother, "This guy thinks we're playin'. Show'em th' Heat." The heat came out. A black handgun. I chuckle a little. (I don't know why. Maybe because it looked like a black plastic gun. I hear glue guns get pretty hot.) Anyways,
I'm thinking, "Great, I'm going to miss the movie. So I say something cute and walk into the library.
Called the cops and left a description of the idiots with the library security guard. The security guard at the library saw the boys also. So I left the library after about 10 minutes and picked up the kids.
It was a good movie. Enjoyed sitting with Selah and explaining the Birth of our Savior. Glad I didn't miss it. Hopefully those boys will get some money so they can go and see it.
Always something it seems.
Monday, December 18, 2006
I've been reading this book by Kelly Kullberg called, "Finding God beyond Harvard". In it the author describes her search for God on campuses around the United States. Needless to say, you must search hard. College is opposite of my world in the city, and yet we are all searching for the same thing. Truth.
How often do you search for Veritas?
At Kansas State University I remember many guys searching for veritas. Searching for truth through many different means. But for many of us truth was relative. We'd ask like Pontius Pilate, "What is truth?" Or "Who cares?" The questions would run deeper, "What story is real? Evolution? Creation? To whom do I belong? If there is a God, where is He for me? If God is love, why do we suffer?" The questions would continue to fly in the echoing hallway. We were searching. I did a lot of searching myself. Some of us still search. We are post-modern skeptics. We search...trying to fill a void. We fill the void with irrationality and self pleasure. I believe we try to fill the void because our hearts do not know God's love. We cannot grasp onto the fact that the "Author loves us so much that He has entered the game to play. The game of life.
Here is a journal entry from Ms. Kullberg's book,
"In the Yard, posters and papers are often about the politics of diversity for rights with no mention of responsibilities. Posters advocate the use of embryos for research. Notices about hooking up with strangers (the only rule is no names are asked) next to date rape counseling, next to info on rallies for continued abortion rights, next to info on depression, AIDS, and drug and alcohol support groups.
But we can't say "the J word" Does anyone sense a loss of perspective here? That we're rejecting the very One we most desperately need?"
The Quest for Truth..."I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me." (The J word)
Blessings In Jesus
Monday, December 04, 2006
What is a Martyr? I asked this question to myself the other day after an intense meeting about spreading the great news of Christ to the "pre-Christian"” in our neighborhood. I read the definition and it basically says that a martyr is recognized as such because they preferred to die than to renounce their faith.
Jokingly I thought it would at times be much easier to be killed for the true faith than to put up with the baggage of living out that faith from day to day with people who call themselves Christians, yet want no part or worse yet get in the way of carrying out the call of a Christian. And yet it is the martyrs who get noticed for their strong faith.
Now that I have complained, I did some looking, and have concluded that the martyrs of the past and today have gone through much more than I ever will...…And They Die! At least at this point I am getting to reflect.
Here are some famous martyrs of the past.
Stephen…looked at by the church as the 1st martyr. You can find his story in Acts 7.
Peter…as the picture above shows and as tradition proclaims died on a cross by crucifixion upsidedown.
Ignatius of Antioch... died as a martyr in the an Olympic like arena by the mouths of lions. The Roman authorities hoped to make an example of him and thus discourage Christianity from spreading. It didn't work.
There are many many more. A good magazine of modern day martyrs is called "The Voice of the Martyrs".
Sometimes we'’d much rather die. And yet we who are living must agree with St. Paul in Philippians 1:21-26.
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again."
Blessings in Christ!