"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Training Today, Leading Tomorrow?

This past weekend, thousands of young people across the state of Texas participated in LTC (Leadership Training for Christ). For the past several months, they have prepared for this weekend of Leadership Training. Participants engaged in events such as Bible Bowl, Song Leading, Scripture Reading, Speech, Sign Language, Puppets, Chorus, and many other activities that enhance spiritual training. It's always priceless to see these young people gather together once a year for the same purpose--training to become Leaders in the Lord's Kingdom.

I have always been a strong supporter of LTC. I began participating in the third grade and I continued to participate every year through High School. I now serve as a Speech Coordinator for one of the three Dallas conventions. I think it's imperative that we support the three building blocks of LTC's structure. Leadership (L) is extremely important. As the leaders of today resign their posts, who will take their place? Our young people! What better way to lead than to lead for Christ (C)? However, in my mind, the middle letter (T) is the catalyst that brings Leadership and Christ together. We must TRAIN our young people to be leaders in the church. It doesn't just happen! When they're young, we must begin go train them, and as the wheel of time continues to spin, we'll see these same young people mature into full fledged leaders.

Even Jesus, the greatest leader to ever live, was in his early 30's when He went to the cross. Have you ever thought about why Jesus didn't "finish" God's plan and show the full extent of His love at a younger age? I'm sure there are many reasons, but I have to believe that God knew Jesus needed three decades of "Leadership Training" before Jesus was ready to complete His task.

The future of the church is always right around the corner. We need Leaders to lead us to Christ, and it starts today as the church trains them! The LORD expects you to help!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last Supper On Wednesday?

Christianity is constantly under rampant fire. So many desperate minds strive to prove that Christian beliefs should be tossed aside into a pile of ignorance. This past week, Colin Humphreys, scientist and professor at the University of Cambridge, brought some debatable details about the Last Supper to the table. Humphreys claims that the Last Supper took place on Wednesday, rather than Thursday like Christian tradition says. Humphreys didn't make this argument off the "cuff", but it stems from his biblical, historical, and even astronomical research that attempted to pinpoint the exact timing of Jesus' final meal with his apostles. If we look at all the gospel accounts of the Last Supper, the scriptures do cause some confusion. Matthew, Mark, and Luke imply that the Last Supper took place at the beginning of the Passover. John implies that the Last Supper took place just before the Passover. Humphreys claims to have the answer. He argues that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Jesus used an old fashioned Jewish calendar, but John used the lunar calendar which was very common in Jesus' day and that we still use today. Based on the lunar calendar, the Last Supper took place on Wednesday. According to Humphreys, this also explains how so many events took place between the final meal and the crucifixion. Jesus' arrest, interrogation, and separate trials didn't occur overnight but over a longer period. This fuels the fire for many biblical scholars who claim that because of the Gospel's contradictions, we can't trust the Gospels at all! What a tragic and meaningless way to live!

Humphreys is so focused on when the Last Supper took place, but I wonder if he understands why it occured! This doesn't mean that the timing of the Last Supper isn't important, because the New Testament blueprint shows us we should partake of the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week, every week. However, even though we have the "when", we must never forget the "why." Hours before his death, even in dire agony and distress, our Savior administered a feast so we could remember his indescribable love. "This is my body, this is my blood, do this in remembrance of me..."

When it comes to the Upper Room, don't solely focus on the "when"; with every wrinkle of your mind remember "why"!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Does God Shut Down?

I can only speculate, but I think it's fair to say that I wasn't the only one who was troubled by discussions of the government shutting down last week. As I listened to the news, the same question kept circling through my mind, "How can the United States, the Home of the Brave, the Land of the Free, support a government that quits?" I'm not a political expert. I never have been, and I never will be. But from the eyes of a Hawk, this dilemma stems from one basic detriment of life, human selfishness. When we focus on our personal agendas rather than the utopia of the greater good, success is a dim light in the distance we can't reach. I fear that even if the government moves on from this threat of shutting down, last week's "solution" is only a band-aid for a fatal disease. Until the selfishness disappears from both sides of the aisle, or at least significantly decreases, this lack of cohesiveness will be very common and destructive.

Once again, I don't care to debate this political party clash. I'm sure that many political connoisseurs could devour my argument. That's ok. I know it's not Harvard Law material. But even though I don't care to focus on the political arena, I must focus on the spiritual realm. I take great pride, confidence, and assurance in the fact that our God will never shut down! He's always open for business, ready to govern, and willing to listen. In our world that's constantly changing, God doesn't change! In our world that's full of violence, God is full of peace! In our world that's slowly, but surely passing away, God is eternal!

Where is your allegiance? Pledge it to God! He will never shut down!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Are You "Wise?"

Many educators claim that children today are growing up with greater knowledge than previous generations. Obviously, this claim is open to heated discussion and debate. However, Jacob Barnett, a twelve year old genius with an IQ of 170, is a convincing example.

Jacob began solving 3,000 piece jigsaw puzzles at the age of three. A few years later, he taught himself calculus, alegebra, and geometry in two weeks! By the age of eight, he finished High School! He is currently taking college level advanced astrophysics classes, while tutoring his older classmates. Scott Tremain, professor at Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Studies, offered these comments about the pre-teen genius, "The theory he's working on involves several of the toughest problems in astrophysics and theoretical physics. Anyone who solves these problems will be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize."

It's very easy for us to say, "Wow!" Barnett truly is one of a kind. On the other hand, I'm sure this amazing analytic lacks something we all lack--wisdom. There's a significant difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge understands an abundance of facts; Wisdom puts those "facts" into good use! Even as Christians, we might be knowledgeable in the scriptures and spiritual matters, but we desperately need wisdom! James says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5) However, once we ask, let's make sure that we listen to what God tells us! Even if we know all the facts, if we don't understand God's will for our life, wisdom is absent from our psyche!