Sunday, August 31, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
In the public sector there seems to be an extreme sensitivity to overt displays of Christ belief. I do not mean obtrusive Christianity, where an officer (I was told this story from another Dept) would bring his Bible to roll call and read it out loud whenever the meeting veered into an area he considered debauched (His career was necessarily short), but rather small personal displays of faith.
I have taken to wearing covert Christian items, that while in plain view do not trigger anti-Christian sentiment but still profess my faith. I do not really know if these things really benefit me or anyone else or, more importantly, advance the King's Kingdom, but they make me feel better. Frankly speaking in a team environment sensitivity needs to be on a forefront of everyone's mind, if I am doing what I am supposed to they already know what I believe and what I wear really should not have any bearing, so there is little use in lugging around a ten pound cross. Here are the links of a couple of items I have purchased for this purpose.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
A comment was left that on the section the God of Providence (01/05/2008) that said:
Do you trust God with all your heart, even though you don't know how He's going to get you through something?
This struck a cord with me because it is something that I have struggled with many, many times. There is my response:
Sorry to get back to you so late, but I had a call out Friday that went all night...etc...Etc...
I have struggled with this area and one of the things that helped me was to look at the lives of the seminal figures of the Bible.
Was forced to leave his family (father/brothers/except for Lot) take his barren wife and go to a land that was foreign to him. Famine hits, flees to Egypt passes his wife off as his sister and only with God’s interdiction does she not become sexually involved with the Pharaohs. Saves Lot by butchering his hostage takers and gets inpatient waiting for Sara to become with child so he impregnates Hagar. Sara gets pregnant. He splits with Lot, God sees if he is willing to sacrifice his son, gets the land his is promised, is tormented by the child and that chid's children he has with Hagar and dies.
Is spared from the order of the Pharaoh to kill all first born male children when mother drops him in a river and he is taken into the Pharaoh's household. Grows up kills slave master who is whipping the Hebrew slaves, returns the next day and the very Hebrews that he aided turn on him, he flees into the desert. Sees burning bush told to see the Pharaoh and he tells God that he can not because he stutters etc. Is forced to go to the Pharaoh and is not successful till the firstborn of Egypt’s sons are killed. Flees into the desert, parts the red sea, speaks with God gets the 10 commandants while his own people have abandoned him and turned from God. Hits a rock, watches time and time again while his people fall away and are punished by God, is denied entrance into the Promised Land and dies.
Pops up tells King Ahab of God’s coming judgment because of Ahab’s wife Jezebel, among other things and is forced to flee for his life. Fed meat by Ravens, drinks out of a brook and complains. Is saved by a widow, Comes back challenges the Baal priests, wins, has them killed and is forced to flee the wrath of Jezebel. Fights with her son Ahaziah and gets taken into the air on a whirlwind. Comes back to speak to Jesus and disappears.
John the Baptist
Son from an elderly and barren mother. Forced to flee into the desert, wears a hair coat, can not drink and eats honey and locusts. Starts his ministry as a precursor to the coming of the Lord. Meets and acknowledges Jesus as the Christ. Gets thrown in prison all the time and finally get his head cut off for his troubles.
Held the cloaks of the citizens stoning Steven. Had arrest warrants and pulled Christians out of their homes to be imprisoned and killed. Struck down by God on the road to Damascus, blinded and sent to the very people he tried to kill and who hated him. Converted and sent the rest of his life telling the good news of Jesus the Christ, being thrown into prison, traveling incessantly, finding his way to Rome to die.
What you see is a pattern that consists of three things: First they are all sent into situations by God that not only do they not understand why are doing these things but further they do not want to go and in most cases involves great personal risk. Second, they suffer for doing the acts that God commanded them to do and it should be noted it is great suffering. Lastly all sinned and fell from Gods plan, but all stopped, repented were punished and then finished by standing in the place that God originally commanded them to be in.
As I see it, we are made to suffer. When life is the darkest it is because of one of two things: we are in Gods plan or we have fled from Gods edicts. But the main factor is that we suffer. I have been plagued by the incorrect idea that the lack of pain in my life is a sign that I am on the right path of God. When reality that very well may be the sign that I am not doing what I am supposed to do.
God is always there. Job suffered by doing exactly what God wanted him to do. When we suffer because of the evil we have done God is there waiting for us to repent. But repenting does not mean an end to suffering but rather it comes two fold; correction for what we have done and suffering for carrying the cross of Christ.
Look at Jesus, sinless and yet he suffered horrible torture and death in order to save us from Hell. He was perfectly in God’s will and yet he was hated, mocked and killed. Why should our lives be anything different?
You ask: Do you trust God with all your heart, even though you don't know how He's going to get you through something?
I answer: Yes because I already know the ending. I will be with Christ in Heaven and his enemies will be cast into the pit. The rest is just trying to endure and focus on keeping the next step on the straight and narrow path.
It’s like dumper cars. You want to get from one side of the track to the other while everyone else is trying to dump you out of the way. Sometimes they succeed; sometimes I make an error in steering but as long as I keep my goal the finish line I will eventually get there. But if I focus on every hit or every mistake and spin around trying to find the meaning behind their strike on my car or seek justice with each driver, I soon loose sight of the end and run out of time.
Suffering for Christ is glorious. You justice will come, it was promised. God is always there and our singular reward is also the greatest reward. Heaven.
One of my favorite verses: Acts 5: 41-42
41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
At 1800hrs today I took my last test for my last class and I have completed my Masters in Police Psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology.
It has been a long two years but it feels strange now that it is over. This program was in God's plan for me because it came in a very unexpected way and at a time in my career when it was on life-support (or really patrol support, I was not in danger of loosing my job but I was in danger of having a patrol only career).
I can look back at my life and readily identify the different life changing decisions and crossroads, but rarely have I had the privilege of seeing one that was before me. And well... here one is...
Because I never really permitted myself to consider the fact that I was close to finishing my degree, I never thought about what I would do with it once I had achieved it. I will be shown the right path in time if; I pray, watch, consult the Bible and search for the answer.
The one thing I do know is that if you told me two years ago I would now have a masters degree and be in a great, new, position with my department, I would have had you committed for nonlinear thinking. I wonder what two years from now will look like? The ride with Christ is never boring and he certainly keeps you guessing.
The LORD, a Provider and Deliverer.
A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed.
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I was thinking the other day, about how I have been moved by many songs but few albums in their entirity produced the same reaction. Here is a list of Albums that I just went WOW and then played the cr!p out of them. In no particular order....
The Who-Whose Next
Moody Blues-Days of future past, In search of the lost cord, A Question of balance
David Bowie-Diamond Dogs
AC/DC-Back in Black
Guns n Roses- Appetite for destruction
Super Tramp: Breakfast in America
Asia: Astra, Asia
Crash Test Dummies: God Shuffled his Feet
Enigma: MCMXC a.d.
Henry Mancini-The pink panther
Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms
William Shatner: Has Been
Final Fantasy X: Sound track
Friday, August 1, 2008
My wife's grandparents bought a lake house on Lake Nipissing some forty years ago. It became a summer vacation for the grandparent's grand kids (Some 25+) of which my wife was one. She has been trying to talk me into going for a number of years and for the first time this year I was able to go. So we loaded the two kids in the minivan and drove the 12 hours up to the cabin.
There is an outhouse and you bathe in the lake. Your cellular telephone probably will not work (my two did not), the best television channel is blurry, and the radio will only get two stations.
This was not only a vacation away from work and a chance to spend some quality time with the family but a vacation from all the distractions of modern life. We swam, we fished, we jumped off of rocks into the water, played board games, water skied, tubed, canoed and slapped mosquitoes.
We all need rest and a time to refocus on what is really important; the love for our Lord and the love for our family. Police Officers tend to get locked on the job and quickly discard all the other more important tasks of family and faith. A good break/rest/vacation should allow a re-prioritization of life in general. Our family is not there so we can work but rather we work so that we can partake of family.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
" 'So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest
While we were vacationing in Ontario Canada, I went to the "Beer Store" (actual name) and a fell into a scene right out of Strange Brew (they're at the beer store trying to get a free beer because of a mouse in the bottle).
Anyway I discovered my new favorite beer. Molson XXX. It is an extra-strong larger beer 7.3% that I have never found in the US.
It obviously has a kick but it is a unique combination of smooth with a bit of a sweet after taste.
I recommend it.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.