Monday, July 11, 2016

Can Dallas Be A Turning Point? - Part 2

Last time, we began with a quote from Pastor Jason Moore.  And we talked about the root system and leaves, in terms of nutrition and growth.  But, even though part of the ground has pulled away from the mango tree in our series illustration, it's pretty obvious that that the root structure handles one more.  The root system keeps the tree or plant upright.

The same is true with how we feed ourselves, mentally and spiritually.  Martin Luther King put it this way: "Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit.  You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."  We've gotten away from that with some movements, leading to less stability.  Let's take a look.

Black Lives Matter has the same kind of angst and ire that my friend had about white Christians, except BLM doesn't require Christian be part of the defining terms.  Listen to some of the picketers outside the trials of the police involved in the Freddie Gray death.  They're obviously looking for a guilty verdict of at least some of the mostly white cops.  Or there's  Friday night's protest.  The leader gave no mention of the fallen police in Dallas, ignored the larger number of blacks killed by blacks, but had plenty of anger and complaints about blacks killed by police.  Prejudicial thinking? Probably.

Hugh Welchel shared some thoughts on the Parable of the Talents that we'll discuss briefly.  But, yes, that is a link to the full sermon, if you'd like to read it.  The parable is Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-28.  Either passage is a bit long to include here, but you can look them up in your Bible.

Mr. Welchel starts out by pointing out the world's focus on the material, with the old saying, "He who dies with the most toys wins."  Although that's now morphed into a darker realization, "He who dies with the most toys wins, but he is still dead."  That's all based on two things he mentioned:
I told the congregation they had been lied to. Two great lies have been told to them by everyone from their kindergarten teacher to the U.S. Government:
  1. You can be anything you want to be.
  2. You can be the best in the world.
These two lies distort the Biblical meaning of success, and set all of us up for disappointment and failure.
The reality of what those two things mean in our lives is in our differences.

  • We each start with different genes;
  • Our growth and nutrition, before birth, is different;
  • Once we're born, everything about our life is different from everyone else;
  • Our experiences are uniquely ours, which either makes us uniquely suited for some things or uniquely unsuited for others.
The reality of life is that God formed us and knew us before conception.  And part of that formation is around our specific call.

Jeremiah 1:5  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."

Ephesians 4:1-3  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Hopefully, some of you reading this who aren't Christian will get past the references and recognize the validity of the point.  Whether we believe in God, whether we decide to follow Him, we each have a personal direction that will benefit us most.  Often we miss some of that and detour.  Some more than others.

Hugh Welchel has more to say about being on the right path.  So, do I.  We'll continue on Saturday, with Part 3.  I'm not sure yet if there'll be a Part 4.  But, at some point, I'll be dotting my I's, crossing my T's.  And, as Dr Phil puts it, I'll be putting verbs in my sentences.  There's a pretty clear path to fixing our divisions.  A path that cuts out fears and anger.  Are you ready for that??

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