Monday, September 28, 2009

scrambled thoughts

Have you ever struggled with organizing your thoughts? Do you ever get so easily distracted that you can't complete a thought much less communicate it? Yeah, me too. There are a few things I've wanted to blog about, but when I try to express one, I start thinking about something else. I thought that maybe if I sat down and started typing them out, it might help - even if they are incomplete. Maybe I'll just post the thoughts without elaborating on them. We'll see how it goes.

Thought One: Why do we take for granted those closest to us?

Thought Two: Why do we stop keeping in touch with friends? For some reason an old pen-pal came to my mind last night. This was a person I went to school with for a brief period of time, but we really hit it off. After he moved away we kept in touch through writing letters (long before the days of facebook!). We did this for about two years, then all of a sudden stopped. For the life of me, I can't remember why.

Thought Three: Why am I stuck in a spiritual holding pattern - again!?

Thought Four: Why do I not do something (I don't like how I worded that, but can't think of a better way) unless I can devote ALL of my time to it? For instance:

I'm attempting to research and record my family's genealogy, but I've come to a stand still.
I started to look into "the Law" and why we no longer follow every guideline that was given by God (see this post) but because of the overwhelming number of verses that mention "the Law", I have not pursued that study. In my mind if I'm not able to sit down in a room full of open books, note pads and pencils with nothing else to do but study a particular subject, well then, I shouldn't even bother at all! I mean, I have children to teach, feed, etc. I have a house to clean, laundry to wash, groceries to buy, bills to pay. I don't have time to study my family's past generations or even God's Law for that matter! Seriously! That's how my mind works. I tell myself that if I can't give God at least an hour of study time, then I shouldn't do any. I mean, He deserves more than 5-10 minutes a day - that's an insult! So, I'll admit my short comings and refuse to play the "I gave God some time today" game (which is the reason for number three, I'm sure). Sick, isn't it? I know some of you will say this is the "perfectionist" in me. Here's a list of the ten telltale traits of a perfectionist.

I feel like a hamster in a wheel running, running, running, but getting no where!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

That Was Old Testament

I have been reading everyone's favorite book of the Bible - Leviticus. If you've read it you know that there are a lot of do's and don'ts (how to pluralize don't properly?). It got me to wondering why some of these don'ts have become "OK you can do that now". There are many people, and I have probably been one of them on occasion, who say something like, "Well, that was 'Old Testament'". Ohhhhkay - so just because it's in the OT means we should no longer abide by it?

Let me go ahead and tell you specifically what I'm wondering about. TATTOOS. Leviticus 19:28 says, "You shall not make cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD." Now, this is the only place in the Bible where I could find the word "tattoo". I don't know if God is talking about ALL sorts of tattoos that people get for any number of reasons, or if the emphasis should be placed on the part of the verse that says, "for the dead". Apparently this was a custom of pagans during that time and God didn't want His people doing that sort of thing. So, tattoos are OK if they're not "for the dead". This was just ONE of MANY laws given and for the most part, most of those laws are still, for the most part, observed today: Keeping the Sabbath (debate on which day is the Sabbath, but I won't go there), no idols, do not defraud your neighbor, do not hate your brother, do not practice magic or sorcery. These are just a few of the laws given in this specific chapter. There are many others like: no marrying your sister and such. There are also laws about not cutting your hair/beard a certain way. So I'm just wondering when it became OK to stop following these laws. Deuteronomy 11:1 instructs His people to "keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands ALWAYS" (emphasis mine).

Some will argue that because Christ and died on the cross we are now covered by grace. I get that. HOWEVER, Christ said in Matthew 5:17-18, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

Paul tells us in Romans 3 that we are no longer saved by keeping the Law, HOWEVER, in verse 31 he says, "Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law".

Now don't think that I'm hatin' on people with tattoos. I'm not. I am only using this one as an example. I am simply thinking out loud here, which is usually dangerous in my case! I have not exhausted all of the verses in Scripture that deal with the Law. Honestly, I don't know if I can - there are SO MANY verses that talk about God's laws, which makes me again wonder why we do what we do today. Why do we fall back on the saying, "that was Old Testament"?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

football season - yippee (insert sarcasm)

I live in the South, specifically Alabama. Football is a big deal here, to say the least. Anyone who lives here knows that a baby's first words must either be "Roll Tide" or "War Eagle" - forget "mama"or "dada". Also, if someone moves here from another state, it's expected of them to choose between the University of Alabama or Auburn. There's no being neutral around here!

When I was younger, football was more important to me than it is now. I was a sold-out Alabama fan. I wore the Crimson and White all through the season. I watched almost every game. I derided Auburn and Tennessee fans, just because it was expected. Why did I cheer for Alabama? Because my family did, why else? Did I know anyone who played FOR Alabama? No, but that's not the point, now is it? Wait, now that I think about it, I think I knew someone's cousin, or a friend of a cousin, or somebody who played for Alabama at some point in time. OK, now I feel justified. LOL!

So now that I'm all grown up, I wonder, what in the world is the big deal? Sure it's harmless entertainment (well, it's should be harmless anyway). I get that it's amusing to some. But the thing is, it's more like a religion to most people. It's even crept it's way into the pulpit for crying out loud! It really bothers me to be in the middle of singing praises to my God, worshiping corporately with other believers and then someone steps up to the podium and mentions Saturday's scores followed by hoots and hollers from the congregation. Come on! Can't we leave football on the field and reserve the sanctuary for more important, dare I say, HOLY matters?

If I've offended anyone, or hurt feelings, that's not my intention here. I just desperately wish that our worship services could be centered around, well... WORSHIP, but not the worship of any college football team.