Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: February 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016

My Automobile And The Holy Ghost

That's my car over there on the right. it's a 2015 Ford Fusion, and it has all the bells & whistles on it except automatic parking.

Well ... we bought it in November of 2014 and haven't parallel parked it yet, so no big deal.

Some of the features: when you're backing up, it warns you if you're about to hit some object behind the car. Where you normally can't see things. ***

It also has a thing called "Lane Assist". Neat little feature that shows a small graphic representation of your car, in a lan, with sidelines marked by green lines on either side. When you get too close to one side or the other, the lines turn bright yellow. If you don't herd the car back into the middle of the lane, but get too close to one side or the other, the car warns you. Or sometimes corrects you. Depending on how you set the controls, it either vibrates the steering wheel, or else it puts pressure on the wheel to bring it back into the correct lane. ***

It works so well that, one time on a level Interstate Highway, with no traffic, I just let go of the wheel. Eventually, the car slowly drifted to the left side. After warning me with the yellow deal on the dashboard graphic, it actually turned the wheel and moved back where the car should have been.

But the car didn't like that. It displayed a warning on the dashboard that said "WARNING: DRIVER SHOULD KEEP BOTH HANDS ON THE STEERING WHEEL AT ALL TIMES." ***

I got scolded by my own car.

When the Lane Assist is turned on, if you wander around the lane enough, from side to side, it eventually gives you a message "DRIVER NEEDS REST".***

It has another deal I didn't know about until I just noticed it in action one day. If you head down a hill of any length, and keep your foot off the throttle, when the car senses you coasting and gaining speed, it downshifts the transmission to a lower gear. The RPM's increase, and it controls the speed without the brakes. ***

There are some things I know about, too. Airbags, collapsible steering columns, seat belts, interiors designed for safety. All, things to keep me safe and assure my getting where I'm going, safely.***

Last time I drove somewhere and these things happened, it got me to thinking. Aren't the ***'s similar to the things the Holy Ghost does in the life of a believer?

He warns us when we're about to "back into" trouble....

He tells us when we stray from the path....

He warns us when we're not paying attention ....

He cautions us when we're running ahead of Him....

He keeps us safe, until God has a better idea for us. Even better than we'd plan, ourselves.

These things about my car are just the things I notice that it does, that one does not normally expect of one's conveyance. I'm sure it does more stuff I don't even know about. And I'm pretty sure the Holy Ghost does more stuff for me than I notice, too.

He's good at that. And a lot better than Ford .....

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Racial Reconciliation. I Don't Understand.

Let me state right up front that I am a member of a Big Red Brick Church on the Highway, in a mostly white city. We do have a few Black members ... more about that terminology in a minute ...  but you'd sort of have to look to find them on Sunday mornings.

Except for those in the choir. And if by chance you attended a Deacon meeting. Where one of the finest men I've had the privilege to know ... of any color ... is serving as a Deacon.

His wife is a real joyful huggin' buddy of ours, too.

As to the descriptor "Black". I use that for a couple of reasons. First is that "Black" is the descriptor that people of that race chose, many years ago. I was told that, in fact, by my Audiologist, a terrific young black lady, a few years ago.

The other reason is that saying "African American" kind of mandates that there's more than one class of American. And that thought I resist. My black friends ... at least the ones here, as opposed to Jamaica ... are every bit as much American as I am. And I have asked all my Black acquaintances if that term is good for them and they have all, without exception, said it was.

Incidentally, when I asked, it was always on the basis "If it becomes appropriate to refer to race, what term would you prefer I use?".

Said all that to say: there's been a lot of ink .. or maybe electrons ... spent on "Racial Reconciliation" in the blog posts and the press I have been reading lately. I've long thought that much of how races relate to each other goes back to how the individuals were raised. I might have one internal reaction .. call it of the flesh if you want ... to people of another race, but that's a simple matter to put aside in how I act and react.

We go through life not doing what we feel like doing, you know. Someone pulls out in front of us, our reaction might be to hit'em good, to teach them a lesson. Someone insults us, our first temptation might be to smack'em good. But we don't.

So this thing is going to be resolved, even as to the reaction thing, when our generation all dies off.

Now: as to the corporate issue with our churches and the SBC, the issue is a bit different. It will take a while for minorities to rise through systems here and there, but the SBC Presidency of Fred Luter tells me that the SBC organizationally has already moved to solve that. And I don't know of any local churches preaching anything other than the Gospel as to racial fellowship.

Which leads me to ask the question ... and I have written to the SBC Officers that I know, asking, but thus far without response: "Are there a lot of Black folks out there that want to worship in our White churches, but feel they can't?"  And, if not, just what is it that needs to be reconciled?

So far, silence, electronically speaking....

I asked that question, above, of the young Black couple mentioned before. Their reaction was to laugh. The wife ... my huggin' buddy ... said "Your music alone is enough to keep most of us away!". And based on the Black churches I have worshiped in, I'd certainly agree with her.

The question I would like to ask those who are calling for "Racial Reconciliation" is this: Are you worshiping at a Black church right now? If not, why not? You seem to want more Black in White churches; why aren't you putting some White in Black churches?

I certainly hope the worship habits of those calling for racial reconciliation don't reveal latent hypocrisy. I've heard God doesn't like that.

Couple other ideas: my favorite church in the world ... the one I wish I was at, every Sunday morning ... is Red Hills Baptist Church in Kingston, Jamaica. Needless to say, we are likely to integrate it when we go there. And I have had a love affair with those folks since 1991.

I've even blogged about some of them....

Some years ago, I was the insurance broker for a BBQ restaurant in a Birmingham suburb. while I was, a Black gent bought the place and I got to know him quite well.

I started my relationship with him by telling him I didn't give a flip about skin pigment and he laughed and said he didn't either. And during one of our laymen's philosophical conversations, he said something I never forgot. Namely:

"Our country will never get a handle on race relations until it recognizes that wanting to worship with people of your own race is not racist."

Amen, Sy. Maybe we could all learn that lesson.