Saturday, March 22, 2008

March Madness of a Different Kind

It's March Madness. I am watching two very good teams face off in round two of the NCAA tournament. It's been fun so far.

Right in the middle of this excellent distraction the television network broadcasting the games put in a promo of their Sunday night show. It will be about the ossuary (bone box) that someone claimed belonged to Jesus and his family. It's March Madness on a spiritual level.

I am not terribly surprised that someone wants to bring this up once again. But I am terribly surprised they would do it with such impunity on Resurrection Day.

The world despised the truth of Jesus some 2,000 years ago; little has changed since then. But to challenge the resurrection on the holiest day for Christians? That is too much. They would insist on reverence for teachings about the Feast of Purim, or Passover, or Ramadan; but not for Resurrection Day. While they shriek over the idea of the intolerance of conservative Christians, they insist on the right to lambast Christians. Why?

Jesus said it would be that way. The world hates him. The world hates the idea of one way to heaven. The world hates the exclusivity of the Lord Jesus. And if they hate Jesus they will hate us; that is what Jesus said.

Do not forget this: Jesus is THE way; no one comes to the Father but by him. Eternal life does not exist outside of the salvation Jesus offers.

Let them parade the bone box. Let them claim it belongs to Jesus. They only join themselves to a select group who knew the Jesus had risen from the dead, who knew about the empty tomb and heard the report from the soldiers, but chose to reject his lordship all the same.

Just go right on proclaiming the truth: Jesus died for our sins; he was buried; and he rose again, all according to the Scriptures.

He lives!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Changing Face of South America

I just read an interesting blog that speaks of the changing face of South America. It is "penned" by Dr. David Sills, a professor at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. Dr. Sills spent time in South America as a missionary, but continues to make annual forays into that great and lost continent. Read his blog here; it will give you one more reason to pray for revival in our hemisphere.

KDS, Somewhere in South[ern] America

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our Addiction to Automation

Do you think things are better here? A local believer where we serve told me he wanted to come to the U.S. because everything here is better. Granted, there are many, many things that make life in these United States a delightful and desireable place to live.

Those desireable things sometimes create unrealistic dependencies. Take the automated car wash, for example. I could get out there with a hose and bucket of water, as I did in years (ahem, decades) gone by, and wash the heavy spring pollen off our car. After all, even a 14-year-old car needs lots of TLC. And the pollen was an embarrassment to me when I drove down the road. My blue car was yellow-green; even the windshield. It happened from one day to the next--literally.

Yes, I could have washed that car the old-fashioned way. But I wanted to use the automatic car wash. In our city in South America, automated means the dude washing it uses a high-pressure hose to rinse it.

So I went to the gas station where our daughter got hers washed. I bought gas first, another automated feature included for payment. At the pump I was offered a car wash. I selected the best; nothing but the best for this Baby Blue '94 Lincoln. I purchased the gasoline and car wash, filled the car, and drove around to the entrance. There sat a sign: "Out of Order." Great. I went back around front and asked for a refund. The lady told me she could not issue a refund, to go to their other store, less than 1/4 mile from this one.

I drove over there and tried to enter the code. Code rejected. I went in to speak to the manager. He said he would have to issue another code. The attendant told him that their car wash was also out of order. So he reluctantly refunded my money.

By now I was determined to get a car wash. I drove to another station that had a car wash. I drove to the entrance and proceeded to feed my bills into the machine. The machine rejected my 5-dollar-bill. I selected a wash of lesser value and fed ones into the machine. It rejected the last bill, but I rescued the thing with 4 quarters.

Now I finally entered to get the much-needed car wash. The truth is, by now, I needed a good soaking, too. The fancy, automatic machine rolled backwards to soak the car; it stopped after 4 feet and rolled forward. It was broken. The best I got was a quick rinse. No wax. No pre-soak. None of the things I paid for.

I was flabbergasted. All the fancy things we can do, such as post blogs and control our entire house from one computer. And I could not get a decent car wash.

It showed me my dependence and delirium.

Life should be simple and fun. It's good. Enjoy the ride.