Sunday, May 30, 2010

Church Activities - important for character and personal development

For many of us, our minds often separate church from our lives. In reality, our lives are governed by the linkage of what transpires spiritually to what transpires in our routine lives at home and at work. Some people don't separate the two at all. They actually live a spiritual life.

Today, I had the privilege to attend an adult Sunday School that helped me to connect better. Connecting can really make a difference in your enthusiasm, your recovery from problems, your work ethics, your reasons for doing things, just about everything in your life can be affected by the seriousness and quality of your spiritual life.

Today, we considered Abram. What was life in his days? How can we connect to the real person Abram? Well, he was the father of the people of Israel. The question - was he your 165th grandfather? He could very well have been! How did he connect? What lessons are there in his life that guides us to our destiny in this life?

His father probably worshiped or at least honored a heathen god, the moon god of Mesopotamia.  That god protected most of the cities that Abram visited. Abram was asked by Yahweh to leave his country and he did. His faith was beyond imagination! Of course that is the primary lesson that we learn from him and the reason he is an important figure in the Bible.  He went as directed and was rewarded for his faith.

What other things do we know about him that helps us to identify with him and lead us to make such decisions in our lives? He lied; his wife actually went to live with another man since he said she was  his sister and not his wife. Yes, he made deliberate mistakes and paid the price. He did not want to leave his family and travel hundreds of miles from one place to another. He resisted but obeyed. How tired he must have been traveling a journey from the land of Ur to Canaan - three 500 mile legs of a tremendous journey only to find bad drought in the land which required moving on to Egypt until the land was more productive.

We are called like he was, but sometimes we do not recognize that we are. This is what happened to me today. I have not recognized my call as a call. We do learn something every day and our lives are sometimes turned in one direction or another as a result. Mine is not turned; it is now more focused, more defined. We do have a calling, and we become better when we respond.

This is where we consider our children. Like Abraham, we must consider the fate of our children and teach them to learn as we have. Have them attend Sunday School. Let them learn the principles of life survival that have been passed down through the ages. Character is the root of success. It brings happiness and self-worth. Everything else takes a back seat to our spiritual strength. With it, we can move mountains; without it every mole hill is a mountain.

I feel very lucky to have been brought to the awareness of one particular teacher in the Spring area. He opens my eyes from his studies and insights into the Bible. I hope you find someone like him. If you want to know who he is, I will gladly tell you, not to bring you to "my church". I do not fall back on loyalty for certain individuals or institutions. I simply admire and learn from those to whom I best connect. I would hope that you gather your self confidence to do the same.

Man is fortunate to be able to pass along what he learns through various means of communication. In 165 generations, we have not yet refined it well enough to prevent falling away from so much wisdom.   

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaching children politics and responsbilities

In my recent campaign, I ran across several families that I admired for their parental consciousness in politics. While some children were watching TV, involved in sports, and many parents too busy to tend to their community responsibilities, there were others who leveraged the time to teach their children. One family I remember well had a "family meeting to determine pros and cons of candidates". I love this practice. It taught the youngsters what is important and how to go about finding information. By discussing it with others, it also teaches how to reach a conclusion on candidate selection. They were learning how to do political homework. At the end of the exercise, each family member had their personal list, even if they were not of age to vote yet. To me this is a best practice. It did not take but a couple of hours, and it was quality family time.  This practice began when the first child approached voting age.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Divine Rescue - a short inspiratonal, informative story about the Bible

Today, I went to a book review to hear about this new publication by the author Edward William Fudge. In colorful but simple language, the author highlights Biblical stories in today's prose, without referencing scriptures, to tell the overall chronological story of the Bible. It is intended for all audiences in all walks of life. Some people will read it in one sitting.

The author is impressive as a scholar of Greek and of the Christian Bible. This book is far from comprehensive; it is intended to serve those pressed for time, those who want vision from the Bible, those who want sound bites rather than detailed explanations of content. Several children, as well as adults, at the book review asked the author very good questions. 

If you are interested, Mr. Fudge offers volume discounts to help those who wish to spread the word in a concise manner. The book is available by mail order and is expected to be on the shelves of Costco late this summer.  I have my autographed copy and have read parts of it already. There is of course some doctrine from the author's assumptions, but all in all, he does paint pictures, like a video in words, to present accurate mental images of ancient stories. 

The Divine Rescue webpage