Thursday

We don't, but we should.

Hmmm.

Edit: after posting I realized that this could come across as political in nature. I didn't intend that. At all. I mean at all, at all. I meant to discuss my disagreement with the content of the Wilcox quote and not President Obama's faith or demonstration of his faith. This is not a critique of Obama or Obama bashing - I just think that Christians ought to be easy to spot in public because we ought to behave differently. How that applies to the President is another matter. The title has nothing to do with the President.

While reading an article this morning regarding polling on President Obama's religious views I came across this quote from Dr. Clyde Wilcox, professor of government at Georgetown University:

"It's a troubling thing," Wilcox said. "I think it would be good for all of us to stop invading the president's spiritual privacy. We don't know what anyone's true faith is. It doesn't tell us about what their true core values are."

We don't know what anyone's true faith is.

Goodness. We certainly should.

The Book of James (ch.1) tells us, " If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

John chapter 2 tells us this, "But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard."

These are not easy words. I don't like reading them. It forces me to do something I hate: examine my own heart. I don't like doing that because I don't like what I find. James and John make it easy: examine your behavior. Your behavior demonstrates the nature of your heart.

Do you claim faith in Jesus? Good. Then you should be looking after the helpless. You should be unpolluted by the world in which we live. You ought to walk (live like) Jesus. Then the rest of us will know what you believe. Oh, and this is nothing new - it's been this way from the get go.

I know what lot's of people's true faith is. It's actually not that hard. You just look at what they do. Give people grace - don't just look at an instant - look at their whole life. Don't just examine their failures. And goodness, take a look at yourself before you level the critical gaze.

We don't know what anyone's true faith is. It doesn't tell us about what their true core values are.

But it should. I can't speak for any other faith - but for those who claim to follow Jesus - our lives ought to make it really easy. And it has nothing to do with how we vote in November. It ought to be the easiest question in the world: "Is Brandon a Christian?"

Lord, let me live in such a way that people can answer without hesitation.

Tuesday

just to keep Mike off my back :)

Well, the Crossroads team arrived safely back home to 100+ August temps on Sunday. They were simply a wonderful team. Truly a blessing. Jenny and I had been trying to get a foot in the door to serve at a nearby orphanage for 3 months and after just 4 days of the team working there the directors trusted us and were hugging us and planing what we can do next. Amazing! Thank you all 11 members of the CBC team.

Basically, we asked what was needed. And they needed paint. Paint put on things. Things like doors and banisters. It started with 7 doors and every day the director added a few until we ended with 17. The men took heavy metal doors down the hill to a workshop (situated between a pig-sty and the chicken coup) and sanded and painted the doors. We did this pretty much all day, except the first day when we were asked to break up and move granite boulders. After we moved 4 (that's right, 4) in 3 hours, we decided that the rest needed to remain as a retaining wall. Ever try to split a boulder? It's hard. After a few hours, the Guatemalan handyman who works there asked us why we hadn't yet split the boulder. I told him us gringos had no idea what we were doing. So we sanded and scraped and painted until we ran out of time to do it. Here's some door pics and John being studly with the paint pistol.



The ladies painstakingly sanded the detailed banister for 2 days in the morning and taught the kids in the afternoons. They taught them some English and also taught them how to make crafts that they can sell at the fair in September. The ladies were true champs and because of them the kids now have new knowledge and skills...not to mention 150 feet of freshly painted banisters.

It was truly a joy to serve with this team. They were simply wonderful. And only 4 of the 11 came down with tummy issues. That's success in my book! Though maybe not for those 4.

Here is a look around the orphanage as we got ready to leave.

video

Monday

It's the ramble zone

I keep wanting to blog. I really do. I blame facebook. :) My generation is good at blaming. I think we learned it from the Boomers.

So we have a team of folks coming to Guatemala Friday. They are from CBC and we pretty much could not be more excited. They'll be working with an orphanage nearby.

So being a parent is really hard. They should teach that to highschoolers instead of how to roll a condom onto a banana. Of course actually parenting a child is quite different from making one so maybe that disconnect is too much for a 17 year old. But I don't think it is. Anyway, I say it's hard because you're just not allowed to be selfish and stupid without it affecting your children. If you snap at them, that's bad. If you are too lenient, that's bad. Jenny and I have come to the conclusion that we are amazed at how much training people get for all manner of things and yet any pair of idiots can make babies and fail to raise them in any beneficial manner. Then you get generational idiocy...but that's another blog.

Ah...I hear one of our children now. Off for another day.