Tuesday, December 30, 2008
(Some of the following are borrowed from Stephen G.)(Not necessarily in highest priority order only roughly)
I. Live day to day in Christ's power
II.Memorize significant portions of scripture
III.Read through the Bible at least one entire time. (I'm in Jeremiah right now)
IV.Strengthen my fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
V.Sanctify in how I make conversation with others (including expanding who I talk, the purpose of the conversation, how I react, etc.)
VII.Learn Self Control
VIII.Finish Algebra 2
IX.Get my drivers license
X.Start some type of business/get a job
I know that through Christ's Power I will accomplish that which he gives me to do in the coming year (mainly the above but also much more)
Monday, December 1, 2008
Fifty-six years ago, the Pledge of Allegiance was different. At that time it had no reference to God. The man whose work is credited for changing this is the Rev. George M. Docherty, who died this past Thanksgiving. To us the Pledge would hardly seem normal without ‘God’ in it, but when Rev. Docherty evaluated the original “normal” pledge he realized something was missing. This feeling was so strong he went on to preach a sermon on the subject to President Eisenhower.
“I came to a strange conclusion,” he preached “There was something missing in this Pledge. And that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the ‘American Way of Life.’ Indeed, apart from the mention of the phrase, ‘the United States of America’, this could be the pledge of any Republic. In fact I could hear little Muscovites repeat a similar pledge to their hammer and sickle flag in Moscow with equal solemnity, for Russia is also a Republic that claims to have overthrown the tyranny of kingship… Russia also claims to be indivisible… Russia claims to have liberty… Again, the Communists claim, there is Justice in Russia. It is one fundamental concept that completely and ultimately separates Communist Russia from the democratic institutions of this Country… “Under God” are the definitive words… Two world convulsions shattered the illusion that you can build a nation on human ideas without a fundamental belief in God’s Providence. Crowns in Europe toppled not because of autocracy but because the peoples had lost the vision of God… The only point I make in raising the issue of the Pledge of Allegiance is that it seems to me to omit this theological implication that is inherent within the “American Way of Life.” It should be “One Nation, indivisible, Under God.” Once “Under God,” then we can define what we mean by “liberty and justice for all.” Some might assert this to be a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is quite the opposite… “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.” Now “establishment of religion” is a technical term. It means Congress will permit no state church in this land… This is separation of Church and State; it is not and never was meant to be a separation of religion and life…Philosophically speaking, an atheistic American is a contradiction in terms…This age has thrown up a new type of man we call him a “secular”… But they are “spiritual parasites”…Seculars are living upon the accumulated Spiritual Capital of Judaic-Christian civilization, and at the same time deny the God who revealed the divine principle upon which the ethics of this Country grow. The dilemma of the secular is quite simple. He cannot deny the Christian revelation and logically live by the Christian ethic. And if he denies the Christian ethic, he falls short of the American ideal of life. This is the issue we face today… A way of life that sees man, not as the ultimate outcome of a mysterious concatenation of evolutionary process, but a sentient being created by God and seeking to know His will and “Whose soul is restless till he rest in God.”Wow! If only pastors today would be willing to speak up to our current officials, like Docherty did 56 years ago, they could and would make a lasting impact like his. Technically I am not a fan of the Pledge, but this sermon had a lot of GREAT points.
The latter link is to the sermon manuscript. (I do not agree to his entire sermon)