A Plea for 2007

24 December 2006

Let There Be Light
by Point of Grace

(Star of wonder, star of might)
(Star with royal beauty bright)
(Westward leading, still proceeding)
(Guide us to thy perfect light)

From the beginning the Father
Had a magnificent plan
Revealed through the law and the prophets
To fulfill the redemption of man
He spoke after centuries of silence
In the midst of a still, starry night
And Emmanuel came down among us
And the Father said “Let there be light”

Let there be light!
Let it shine bright
Piercing the darkness with dazzling white
Hope for the hopeless was born on that night
When God sent his Son
And said “Let there be light”
Let there be light! Oh Yea Yea!

People who walked in great darkness
Gathered from near and afar
Shepherds with flocks in their keeping
Three kings who follow a star
Together the poor and the richest
Witness that Bethlehem night
And the sky full of angels announcing
The birth of a glorious light

Let there be light!
Let it shine bright
Piercing the darkness with dazzling white
Hope for the hopeless was born on that night
When God sent his Son
And said “Let there be light”
Let there be light! Oh Yea Yea!

We who are His have this calling
To praise Him, and make His name known
So one day the presence of Jesus
Shines in every heart and every home
(Shines in our home)
(Star of wonder, star of beauty bright)

Let there be light!
Let it shine bright
Piercing the darkness with dazzling white
Hope for the hopeless was born on that night
When God sent his Son
And said “Let there be light”
Let there be light! Oh Yea Yea!

Comment

Filed under:

On Civility, Faith, Politics and Government

2 November 2006

I voted yesterday. My selections of candidates were based upon whether or not I thought they understood the most important issues facing city, state and nation. In my view there are very few priorities that rank higher than the security of our nation and our families. There are plenty of other important matters.

Our stands on so many issues simply cannot rise to the level of importance of seeing our nation continue. Clearly, in a time of peace, those other matters are vital issues to debate. In a time of threat, I sense a need to focus on survival. Perhaps you disagree and will make different choices when you vote to fill state and federal positions.

One of the great mudpuddles in the national debate has seen all of us splashing around, getting each other really muddy, but with little real result. It’s often described in weighty terms by those who lead with a constitutional argument. Others lead with a concept of personal belief that involves some degree of hell-fire and brimstone. Another group seems to think examples set for us are more important than rules that were set in stone. Still others believe we are entirely self-sufficient, entirely capable of making wise and moral decisions apart from a God they say doesn’t exist.

Again, we return to priorities. What do we emphasize? How does one respond when attacked — either physically or intellectually? Once we determine what we believe, how does it relate to our government? Should faith guide someone we elect? Does one who lives a life of faith inherently make decisions that run counter to the First Amendment? Can a person who believes there is no God make consistently moral decisions?

Too often we get testy when these questions are pressed or debated at length. I voted for candidates that probably don’t have a good handle on the answers to every one of these questions. Your candidates aren’t likely to have them all down cold either! However, I voted for people that impressed me as being a bit better prepared to deal with each of these debates and the many more questions which we’re going to face in the coming years.

To get one set of perspectives on how this might play out in civil discourse, I encourage interested readers to watch the dialog going on between David Kuo, author of Tempting Faith and Andrew Sullivan, author of The Conservative Soul.

Here’s the sequence of the conversation thus far:

Comment

Filed under:

Motive

18 September 2006

17Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NASB

Comment

Filed under:

A Thoroughfare of Freedom

4 July 2006

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beatAmerica the Beautiful
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

Thank you Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel Ward.

Comment

Filed under:

Impressions and Attitudes

2 June 2006

...a simple “cheat sheet” for those confused and worried about the place of Christianity in AmericaIt’s easy to carry a flawed notion about people of faith these days. Sometimes the notions are spot on. Encountering the choir member berating the waitress etches an image that’s probably not flawed at all. Reading the mainstream media’s views of Christians, one gets the impression that Sunday mornings involve snake-handling wherever Christians have gathered. That’s a bit less accurate.

Too many Christians want credit for their behaviors while doing their Christian stuff. Then, they want that credit to buy them a pardon when they do their non-Christian stuff. Like berating the waitress! That’s the way it is with all of us though, isn’t it? We hope the good things we do gather some slack for those moments when we get wound a little too tightly.

There’s humor in all of it. There’s humor in the misimpressions that people form. There’s humor in the attempts people make to appear holier than thou. After all we’re humans and we can be pretty funny regardless of how you look at us.

Mike Holihan points to the glossary that can untangle all the flawed thinking in a Salon article by Michelle Goldberg. Read the Salon article first. Follow that with a bit of a rebuttal—in glossary form. Here’s the teaser:

To be fair to these perplexed and terrified people, Christians are not easy to understand. To begin with, there are roughly 2,000 years of history to grasp, and certainly more denominations and subdivisions than that to take on board. For people who were raised secular, I imagine it’s like trying to understand an opera after coming in halfway before the end: the stage is crowded with people, two of them seem to be dead, a woman is wearing a hat with horns, and everyone is making a terrible racket.

Once you’ve had your humor fix, change gears and read what the Real Live Preacher has to say about Gospel Living in a Superficial World.

Comment

Filed under: