Monday, March 30, 2015

Do You Really Know The Story?

About a month ago, CNN put out this article:

This is one of my all-time frustrations. Hearing people tell me things that they think are in the Bible but are not there at all. We hear it from other places, see movies, pictures, listen to stories, music, whatever it is and just take those things for truth.

For instance, this Thursday is celebrated by a famous painting that is hundreds of years old. Da Vinci's Last Supper. Whenever you hear about the Last Supper that's the image many people see. But is that really how it happened? The painting has a huge room with banners on the wall and rolling hills in the windows behind them. Do you really think a little place in Jerusalem had that? Do you think they really all sat on the same side of the table? Of course not, but a painting where half the people are the backs of their heads blocking others in a small space isn't as nice. Da Vinci wasn't there, it was all in his imagination.

How often do we do this with other parts of the Bible? Here's my challenge, this week is Holy Week. It is one of the few stories that is found in all four Gospels (even Jesus' birth isn't in all of them). Take this week and actually read for yourself the story from Sunday to Sunday from each of the Gospels. Matthew 21-28, Mark 11-16, Luke 19-24, John 12-20. Pick one. Read them all. Get to know the real story. It's the most important one in all of human history.


Monday, March 23, 2015

A Single Brick

If someone were to tell the truth 50% of the time, would that be considered good?

What about 1 out of 4, they only lied one time out of four, that's pretty good, right?

1 in 10? That's an A grade, so it must be fantastic...?

What about 5%, only 5% of the time someone lied, is that someone you could trust?

Here's the crazy think about integrity, it takes a lot of work to build but only a second to destroy. It's not an even street, a few more truths over lies makes you honest. No, being truthful all the time makes you honest. It's like a huge game of Jenga, it takes a ton of bricks to build it high. Remove one brick and the whole thing comes crumbling down.

It's not about perfection, no one is perfect. But we have to do our best to guard our integrity, especially if it's so fragile.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Holy Robots

I have been reading a book on robotics lately (I shared a post earlier of robots working together). As I've said before, it's amazing and horrifying...

But I read a section the other day that was very disturbing. Holy robots. No, I'm not kidding and I'm not talking about robots that are somehow anointed (maybe they are?). They are robots that are given the task of performing holy duties. Like one that will pray for you.

Now robots are supposed to be designed to do the tasks that we don't want to do, they're dangerous, they take too much time, etc. But what does it say about us that we are developing robots to do religious tasks for us? Are we so lazy in our faith we want a robot to pray for us? One gentleman had a more noble pursuit in mind, the robot would teach children the acts of faith. That sounds great on the surface, but again, what does it say about us that we are too lazy to teach our children ourselves about the acts of faith and instead give it off to a robot to do?

Maybe we don't all have robots doing our holy chores, but are there things we know we should do for Jesus that we simply don't because it takes to much time or we simply don't want to?

Never get tired of doing good. ~ II Thessalonians 3:13b


Monday, March 09, 2015

Is Jesus Just For Children?

Seriously, is He?

I was looking up something the other day, so I Googled stories about Jesus. And the top sites to come up were for children.

Now, I am all for children knowing about Jesus. Absolutely. But have we transformed the stories of Jesus and our understanding of who He is into fairy tales for kids before bedtime? Is the Jesus most people know the one they learned about as a six-year-old or the adult Jesus who still breathes life into them today?

In this season of Lent, before we hit Easter, take a look at what you know about Jesus and what role He plays in your life. Is it Jesus or is it a G-rated folklore children's story of Jesus?


Monday, March 02, 2015

Do We Heed The Warning

Many times we hear the story of Peter denying Jesus the night before Jesus is crucified. Before the rooster crows Peter will deny Jesus three times.

But there's a little something in there people miss.

In Mark 14, it says this: Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” (Mark 14:30, NLT)

Then, when Peter is in the courtyard, this happens: Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth."
But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. (Mark 14:66-68, NLT)

It wasn't just that the rooster would crow, the rooster would crow twice. Peter was given a warning in the middle of his denying Jesus that he needed to check himself.

This made me start wondering, do you think we get warning signs from God? Whether we're about to do something wrong, or to help us do something right, is God giving us warnings that we need to heed and pay attention to?

What do you think would have happened if Peter had listened to the first crow of the rooster and think about what was going on...?