Religion

My friend, if you’ve got religion, I suggest you get rid of it and exchange it for Christ. Now I personally do not think you can call Christianity a religion. There’s no ritual given, none whatsoever, with Christianity. Have you ever stopped to think that? And that’s the reason you can have all kinds of churches. You can sing the doxology if you want to, there’s nothing wrong with it. And there’s nothing particularly right about it either, because you are never given a form to go by. Why? Because Christianity is a Person, and you either have Christ, or you don’t have Christ. You either trust Christ, or you don’t trust Christ. And religion just hasn’t been very helpful to man.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Introduction to Ecclesiastes 5 (audio version)

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AWOL

    Today’s edition of The Daily Post, When Life Gets in the Way: Finding Time to Blog, feels like it was written for me.

    My last post is just shy of three months old already. I have felt guilty for ignoring my millions thousands hundreds dozens handful of adoring fans hanging on for so long for my next mind-blowing installment. Today’s aforementioned The Daily Post provided the proper kick in the pants.

    So, here’s what’s been up:

    • Work. Lots of it. That has finally started to ease up.
    • Scleroderma. Insanely fast, aggressive diffuse systemic scleroderma. My sister will soon be a widow and the mother of two children robbed of their father. He came into this world in nine months from conception to birth. Now it appears he will leave it in about nine months from diagnosis to death. I know life isn’t fair, but This. Is. Not. Fair.
    • Church. Denomination, too. I am debating leaving the one we have attended for years for another. Staying is becoming increasingly difficult. Leaving will probably be quite hard. But I think the time has come, and is probably long overdue. My family is starving for solid teaching.

     
    Before I leave you hanging again, NaNoWriMo 2013 starts in just 13 days. Are you ready?

Promotion

Nokia Lumia 925

Nokia Lumia 925; Source: Nokia, retrieved 23 Jul 2013; used with permission

A week ago today, 17 July 2013, T-Mobile USA added the Nokia Lumia 925 to its collection of phones available for sale. In fact, I am writing this post using WordPress for Windows Phone on my shiny new 925 that I purchased that bright, sunny day.

Now I could on rave on and on about how fabulous the Lumia 925 is. I would even go so far as to say it is probably the best phone, feature-wise, bang-for-the-buck-wise, and otherwise, that T-Mobile has for sale right now.

But, the 925’s über-awesomeness is not really why I am writing this.

There is one not so small problem. As superbly fantastic as this phone is, Average Joe and Jane Consumer probably don’t know it exists. Why? Almost zero promotion on T-Mobile’s part.

Almost zero. As in, it is all up to the customer to visit T-Mobile’s website to explicitly search for the product, or to visit a local store and hunt for it. It is as if T-Mobile is ashamed to promote one of their best products.

But, T-Mobile’s product promotion policies is not really why I am writing this.

Most people I know who consider themselves Christian promote Christ and Christianity in much the same way. Salvation through Christ is the best thing that has ever happened to them. Yet do they act like it? No. Do they keep it hidden unless Average Joe or Jane ask? Yes.

If today was the day they started arresting people for being Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me? Being completely honest with myself, I am not sure there is.

How about you?

Questions

This evening I ran across the article 13 Questions All Christians Eventually Ask Themselves, a good set of questions to examine what you really believe, with respect to Christianity. The list reminds me of the admonishments given in Philippians 2.12 and 1 Peter 3.15, and I shall use it as I try to obey them.

I debated posting this, because I am highly suspicious of social justice Christianity, which is the mission of the site hosting the article. While I think 13 Questions All Christians Eventually Ask Themselves is valuable, I find social justice Christianity gives social causes precedence over Christ’s true purpose and generally denies God’s righteous judgment against those who refuse to repent of their sin.

Danger!

“Danger! Look Up and Live.” I saw the sign during my drive home tonight, boldly proclaiming its warning at the empty construction shovel on the side of the road. Clearly a message for the shovel’s operator to pay attention to overhead power lines.

The sign proclaimed a different warning to me as I hurtled by on the freeway. “Get your eyes off your own pathetic interests and distractions, and point them back up to Christ.”

About six weeks ago I started an online Bible study, starting at Genesis 1.1 and working forward. I lost the oomph to keep going about three weeks ago, while reading Genesis 40-something. This morning I made the effort to force myself to start reading again. I wasn’t sure where I left off, so I started the section’s reading over again at Genesis 37.

It felt good to take some time from my self-imposed busyness and spend it reading a couple chapters from God’s Word. I am not sure how the story of Joseph’s brothers selling him to traders on their way to Egypt relates to my life. Maybe tomorrow’s reading will help make that a tiny bit more clear.

One thing is certain: I need to make the time everyday to read from the Bible. How else will I learn what real Christianity is?

Do

One of the exchanges we occasionally have with one of our children goes something like this:

Parent: Please do this thing I am asking you to do. (Usually a reminder to do something that should have already been done.)
Child: I will.
Parent: Please do it now.
Child: I will!
Parent: Instead of “I will,” just do.

This morning I ran across the blog post “I’ll be praying for you.” In it the author, Kara, describes how it is all too easy to tell someone you will pray for them, yet never get around to actually doing it. Instead, it is better to say nothing and just pray.

I am guilty of telling people I will pray for them, and then not following through. Instead of saying, “I will,” I need to just do.

How about you?