Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: February 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fifty Shades of Something

There's been a lot of press, both within and without the Evangelical community, about the film. Mostly lamenting its existence, the fact that people are going to see it at all, the fact that some believers are probably going to go see it, why we shouldn't, and that society made it at all. Well, I have a couple of opinions.

The first is, and I already posted about this, does anybody really doubt we're in the end times? That these are really the "end times"? The signs all seem to be here.

Like everybody doing what was right in his own sight, which so sickened God that He drowned everybody except the half dozen righteous folks He found....

Second, perhaps we have bought the lie perpetrated by too much of the Evangelical community, that we can "Win the world" if we'll just get off our haunches and go follow one of these foolproof plans we've formulated.

Far as I know, that Gospel plan is to lift up Jesus and let Him do His work of drawing people unto Himself. And then focus on lifting Him up and letting Him do the work of drawing people.

John 12:32: "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Perhaps in our hearts, we know we're not doing that and not relying on Him. And trying to make up what we see as the slack by shaming lost people for acting like lost people.

Speaking of lost people, do we think they'll be better off if they simply respond to our admonitions against seeing the movie? I don't think they will. And if they think they're "better off" with God, we've done them a terrible disservice by leading them to that conclusion.

Speaking of saved people, the extent to which we feel we must mention the film to them, reveals what we really think about our efforts to make disciples instead of making church members.

I recall once, perhaps 50 years ago, serving as a counselor at a Bill Glass Crusade in Indianapolis Bill had been a standout pro football player, and became an Evangelist. For the past.40 years or so, he seems to have focused on prison ministry.

Good for Bill.

What I recall most is his admonition to us that, if someone comes forward to pray about ongoing sin in their life, do NOT talk to them about the sin. Talk to them about their personal relationship with Jesus.

A strong relationship with our Savior is the only hope we have to overcome the sin that besets us. He is the One and the Only One who will provide us the "way of escape" from temptation, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

So ... if church folks flock to the movie, there's no use talking about the movie. Focus on their standing with Jesus, and how little they may well be settling for in it. And then re-examine our church programs and see if our real goal ... and the  focus of our efforts ... has been on making disciples.

It's been said that, when you settle for less than what's yours, you'll get less than you settled for.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sometimes TBT Is Throw Back Tuesday.

More about the picture in a minute......

I happened across .. make that I searched for and found ... a song on YouTube that took me back to my childhood in a way that I'm not sure anything has, before. It's a video of the Ted Weems Orchestra's rendition of "Heartaches". There are several reasons for that.

First, I remember when it became popular in the late 1940's. In fact, I still do have a 78rpm record of it, in my collection downstairs.

There's also the fact that my Dad told me a story about the recording; I think the only such story he ever related. He said that the Ted Weems Orchestra had recorded the song but it hadn't done well at all. He said in searching for a way to increase its appeal., someone suggested they play it in double-time. That seemed to have done it.

Please give it a listen, here. And, as it happens, it was recorded the year I was born.

I liked the song when I was a kid, and I like it now. Even moreso because of my High School experiences.

One of the highlights of the last 3 years at Broad Ripple High School was membership in the "Dance Band". We'd call it a jazz band, now, I suppose, but most of what we played consisted of Big-Band songs and arrangements, from the Big-Band Era.So I kind of grew up loving the Big Band Era, and Big Band Music.

Come to think of it, we were a "big band" ourselves, we had 5 or saxophones, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, an excellent drummer (who went on to be Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Colorado), a string bass, pianist, female Violin trio, a female vocal  trio, plus male & female soloists. And what really connected me to Ted Weems was the fact that a Talent Scout, who had worked for Ted Weems, heard our Dance Band while we were playing a dance at Butler University. He told our director that we were the best band he had ever heard, in Indiana.

Not just high schoolers. The best of ANY.

When I heard the song, after all these years, it made my eyes sweat. Or something. Maybe because it took me back to some old-time heartaches. But it took me back to a lot more old-time Joy.


Friday, February 06, 2015

I'm Beginning To Doubt We Really Mean It

You know ... longing for Jesus' return.

The shout & the trumpet. The rapture (which most would prefer, to death....).

The End Times.

Do we really know what that means? Are we going to be discouraged when we see the signs? Or are we going to throw a fit when we don't get our way?

I fear it's the latter.

Jesus went to some lengths to explain some of the signs we'd see. Earthquakes in various places. Heard of any of those, lately?

Wars and rumors of wars. ISIS, anybody?

Nation rising up against nation? Russia and the Ukraine spring to mind.

Now, we don't mind any of that stuff, since it's all happening overseas. So we "amen" it and continue on as is, in our churches. But then......


Now there's a game-changer!

I have to ask "why?" Why should we be surprised at this? Toss in drug abuse, political turmoil, gangs, crime, and all the rest, and isn't this the way it's supposed to be?

Jesus spoke some interesting words about what it'd be like:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away."

Did you catch that? Just like the days of Noah? The time when God got so sick of the actions of the people that he wiped them all off the face of the earth, except for 6 who were OK with Him?

I kind of figure that's just about how it is, now.Of course, our position is that gay "marriage" is wrong, scripturally, and no laws or ordinances or court decisions will change that. But do we really expect non-believers to abide by scriptural principles? More than they did in Noah's day?

I don't!

Besides, if we could, as believers, rise up and smite the laws and the court decisions and browbeat the great masses into lining up against gay "marriage", we'd leave them no better off than they are now.

Right standing before God has nothing to do with gay "marriage". Solving the gay "marriage" situation leaves people as lost as they ever were. The answer is their standing with God  ... either righteous via faith in Jesus' redemptive sacrifice, or lost, right where they were before.

This is, indeed, a time for increased fervor and conviction in living happily as followers of Christ, and as happy to tell others about that relationship as we are telling them about our family or our job or our home.

Frankly, I see much more of a pall of sadness projected into the church, by abortion, gay "marriage", and the overall public acceptance of immorality, than I see of the church protecting an attitude of joy among the people. And if we can't show the world joy, something's vitally wrong in the church.

I choose to believe these are the End Times, and while I have no particular desire to miss death in favor of the rapture ... I mean, dying faithful is the ultimate act of trust in God, isn't it ... it is kind of exciting to see signs of the end times.

And not expecting mankind to just kind of "get all better".

That ain't gonna happen. God said so.