Evangelism

1 12 2008

My wife and I are in an evangelism study group at church.  This week, as a class, our task was to, in 3 sentences or less, explain to someone what we believe.  In other words, when an unchurched person asks us what we believe, what is a short, concise response that will perhaps open the door to further witnessing.  Here is what we come up with.  I welcome your feedback.

“I believe that God loves us and created us for a relationship with Him which is a free gift available to all who chose to accept it.  We were all born sinners, but God sent His only son, Jesus, to pay the price.  He overcame death on the cross so that the relationship with Him can be restored forever”.

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Pro-Life / Pro-Death

24 06 2008

Pro Life

I read this article yesterday.  It’s an interesting write-up on the “young” evangelical voting group and their Shane Claiborne - The Irresistable Revolutionpotential impact on the upcoming election.  (I place the word “young” in quotations because the article ranges this group between 18-29, but I still consider myself in the young christian crowd at 31:)).  The article is interesting to me for a variety of reasons.  One reason is that it references Shane Claiborne – author of an outstanding book I read a few months ago called The Irresistable Revolution – Living as an Ordinary Radical.  (If you haven’t read this book, please buy it and read it).

But there was something else in the article that really caught my attention that I want to focus on for this post.  Speaking about this “young” evangelical group of voters, the author of the article said:

“Most favor stricter laws to protect the environment, for example, an issue not typically associated with Republican platforms, yet remain conservative on issues like opposition to abortion and support for the death penalty.”

OK, does this bother anyone else?  This is something that has perplexed me for quite a long time.  How can anyone be an opponent of abortion and a proponent of capital punishment at the same time?  How can you call yourself pro-life and yet support something called the death penalty?  These two hot-button issues seem to be completely at odds with each other.  But, it always amazes me the number of people I know who are pro-life and pro-death at the same time.

Of course, I do understand there is a fundamental difference between the life of an innocent unborn baby and that of a death-row convict.  But, is there really a difference in the value of their lives?  Does God love one more than the other?  I personally don’t think so.  I think God loves each human being the same and the value of our lives stems from that love.  So, in my pro-life way of thinking, I can’t make a distinction between the killing of unborn babies and the killing of rapists and murderers.  To me, killing is wrong no matter the target.





Jubilee Kids Club

17 05 2008

Jubilee Kids ClubToday my family and I along with some other friends of ours spent a couple of hours at a homeless shelter in Mckinney, TX called The Samaritan Inn.  The program that we are involved in is called Jubilee Kids Club and it is under the umbrella of an awesome non-profit organization called Retread.

The Jubilee Kids Club program is simple – show up to the shelter and play with the kids for a couple of hours.  These kids are dying for love and attention and their parents are often dying for a break.  For 2 hours one Saturday each month, we give them each what they are dying for.

The time we spend there goes by so fast and everyone has so much fun.  Today was our biggest turn out to date by far.  We had 14 kids show up and most of them were ages 4 and under.  But, I tell you, all those little personalities bring so much joy to ours lives.

I really want my kids to know what it means to show God’s love to those around them.  I think by volunteering our time for just 2 hours a month is one small way that we can do just that together as a family.  It is truly inspirational to me when my kids get home and talk about their friends at the Inn by name and they look forward to the next time they can see them.

We have made a special bond with one family in particular.  They are a single parent home with 4 kids ages 5, 3, 2, and 6mo.  My 4 year old made fast friends with their 5 year old and the same with the 2 year olds.  Last time we were there, the mom told us that we probably wouldn’t see them again because they had found a place to move into.  We were so happy for them…and yet sad that we may never see them again.  Today we showed up and were surprised to see the family still living there.  We asked about it and the mother told us that the home they had hoped to move into had fallen through.  We were happy to see them, but sad that things hadn’t worked out for them.

Here’s hoping that they aren’t there next month.

If you live in the North Texas area and would like to get involved, please leave a comment and I will put you in touch with the right people.





B-Rex feels hungry, scientist claims

12 05 2008

B-Rex is hungryToday at lunch I asked my son what I should blog about today.  He said I should talk about his toy dinosaur, who he has named B-Rex (don’t ask me why).  He said I should talk about B-Rex because B-Rex wants to eat but he can’t because B-Rex is just pretend.

Which leads me to a thought that I often have.  I don’t trust everything scientists tell me.  Why am I expected to take everything a scientist tells me as fact?  My kid is really into dinosaurs and he has books that tell him all about life on this planet as it was x million years ago.  And, everything is written as fact.  When I read these books to him, I always add in the caviet phrase “according to scientists” at the end of each statement that strikes me as utterly unprovable.  I mean, there is no way to prove or disprove some of the statements made, and yet, we are expected to accept all of it as fact.  And, not only that, but we are expected to just start teaching it to our kids.

My son had his 4th birthday party at the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science.  It was a terrific party and he and all his friends had a super time.  (I recommend it if you are looking for a unique party idea for a young child).  But, even there, I remember thinking more than once, “How can they possibly know that?”

And, it certainly isn’t limited to theories on dinosaurs.  I have heard and read all kinds of crazy things stated as fact.  I have heard all about how the planets came to be.  There are detailed accounts of how our own planet has evolved and changed over the millions of years.  Give a scientist a rock and they can tell you its age.  (Carbon dating in particular is something that gets on my nerves because it is so widely accepted as complete and utter fact beyond any possible debate).  They can categorically state when the Artic will run out of ice.  They know how much our climate is warming and can tell us with amazing precision how temperatures will change over the next 10 years, 20 years, etc.

A quick google of “scientists claims” gave me the following results:

Life on Mars Likely, Scientist Claims

Black people ‘less intelligent’ scientist claims

Scientists Claim Infrared Helmet Could Reverse Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Men Smarter than Women, Scientist Claims

And, these are just on the first page!  The list of unbelievable and un-provable claims goes on and on.  (Of course, Men being smarter than Women is really more of a commonly accepted fact than any sort of breakthrough scientific discovery…just kidding).

I remember the exact moment about 5 years ago when I finally decided to officially quit believing anything that was stated in the name of science.  I read a headline that “There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the earth.”  Come on, how in the world can they possibly know that?  And yet the article fully documents the total number of stars in the sky (70 sextillion to be exact) as compared to the much smaller number of grains of sand on the earth, which ironically they don’t even state…it’s as if we are to assume that they have known that all along.  I knew when I read that article that they are completely full of crap.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do think there is validity to a lot of things that scientists discover.  Many advancements and truly proven discoveries have been made in all areas of science.  But, my point is, that our society is expected to just fall in line with whatever is said in the name of science.

Well, I, for one, can’t do that.  In my mind there is always room for other explanations no matter how remote they may be.  For instance, I believe that God created the world.  It is certainly possible that the Grand Canyon was carved into the rock over millions and millions of years by the Colorado river.  But, it is also very possible in my mind that God created the Grand Canyon in just a single instant in all its beauty and glory.  But, I have never heard the latter as a possible explanation to how the Grand Canyon came to be.

It’s possible that Dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago, sure, but isn’t it also possible that God created the world with fossilized dinosaur bones and footprints and even droppings just because He’s God and He can create the world anyway he chooses with dinosaur droppings and all?

I personally think that the Grand Canyon was, in fact, formed over thousands of years and that dinosaurs actually did roam the earth.  But, I would just once like to see scientists to acknowledge that there are other possibilities when they start to make their informed statements of fact.

This entire blog started because my 4 year old said I should talk about his pretend hungry dinosaur.  Here’s hoping he will continue to be interested in dinosaurs.  Here’s hoping he will continue to ask questions that will lead him into a further thirst for truth.  Here’s hoping he will channel his interests and his curiosities into finding out more about this world and how it came into being.  Here’s hoping he will always keep his mind open to a whole “world” of possibilities.