Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Birthday to our Chris!

Good morning and welcome to a special edition of my blog on this October 5, 2011. Today we pause to recognize the birthday of our first born son, Chris. In fact, I can remember him being born just like it was only 46 years ago today, because, of course that's exactly how long it has been. We never guessed how crowded it would be for grandparents in our little clan. My mom and dad, Granny and Paw Paw, myself and my wife, MiMi and Poppy, and Chris and his wife, Paw Paw and Maw Maw. We've almost become a tongue twister here. Chris' granddaughter Madi seems to be able to come up with MiMi without a lot of trouble. Of course The MiMi takes great pride in this but when you think about it, since Me sounds the same as Mi and since we all are born to be able to focus on Me, well, you can do the math, that particular name would be quite easy to grab hold of. You can see that, right? But I will tell you that having all these generations still around to be recognized is a special blessing and I am often reminded of that by others. This past Sunday we met with Chris and his family to recognize this event. Yesterday, since my wife was off from work, we and our boys all met up for lunch to again thank God for Chris and the life that God has given to him. It was good to have our little clan together again and to see our boys, Chris, Jimmy, and Rodney laughing together again. Happy Birthday son, we love you. Love, mom and dad.

Me and the boys yesterday at the restaurant.
Chris has followed in his dad's footsteps as a teacher of God's Word. It has been a rewarding experience to see him wrestle his way through many of the Scriptures that are both wonderful and profound at the same time. He does ask my view of particular texts from time to time. One of the things he will learn is that when it comes to some of those passages that are so deep with great theological importance, I'm no longer as uptight about those as I once was. I told my Wednesday evening class last week about just such a passage. It is one that has kept theologians busy for 2,000 years. It was penned by the Apostle Peter, a fisherman. Does that strike you as being a little amusing? God inspired a fisherman to write some words and the smartest folks in the world have invested countless hours trying to grasp the full meaning of his text. It's the one found in 1st Peter Chapter 3, Verses 18-22. I told my class that I'm no longer trying to figure it all out because I accept it as truth, embrace it by faith, and feel very good about it being totally consistent with all the truths that God has given to us. Mark Twain is attributed with the remark about how he wasn't concerned about the Scriptures he couldn't understand, it was the ones that he could that caused him the most concern. I think we all can say Amen to that! While we may never fully comprehend some of these that are difficult to grasp, at least this side of heaven, we can by faith apprehend them and give God the glory. Amen.

I'm not saying it's not important to know what a text does and does not teach. There are entire belief systems built around either a misreading of a text or by taking it completely out of its context. Knowing what a passage does not teach will help anyone stay away from those who lull people in by a misrepresentation of the truth. The Apostle John wrote a warning to those he loved. He said when those who would manipulate the Word of God come to your door, don't even give them a greeting because to do so will be a voice of support to their aberrant teachings. Read it for yourself in 2nd John, Verses 9-11. That sounds harsh, but folks, truth matters, and eternity with or without God is serious. As teachers, Chris and I, as well as all those who are called to this ministry, and have been given a giftedness in being able to study and discern truth, have a huge responsibility before God in how we live and how we handle His Word. The writer of James said that it was best for folks to seriously consider the profound implications before becoming a teacher. Why? He said that teachers will be held to a higher standard of accountability by God because of their potential impact and influence on others. (James Chapter 3, Verse 1) Serious? Very much so! Humbling? You betcha! A blessing? Yes, and may God help those of us who teach to do so as He leads, guides, and directs our study. Amen.          .....More later.

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