Why I wear a real watch.

I once considered buying an Apple Watch but I didn’t. For the record, I love Apple products. I’ve been a Mac guy for 15 years. I won’t use another phone other than an iPhone. So there it is. I’m a Mac guy. So I’m not hating on Apple with this post.

People use their phones a lot to check the time. For younger people, they are not as likely to purchase a watch. They are digitals. Some digitals are still traditional watch wearing types because of the fashion angle.

So, most of the time I use my phone to check the time. Yet last Fall I thought to get a watch. Because I’m a Mac person I thought to get an Apple Watch. I researched it. Almost bought it, but when I continued to research it, I realized a digital watch was not for me. Why?

  1. The Apple Watch would keep me wired up. The watch is only an extension of the iPhone. I realized I did not want my watch dinging, ringing and lighting up. I wanted a watch, not a computer or iPad on my wrist.
  2. The Regular Watch does what a watch is supposed to do – tell time and look good. An old school watch is my preference. Ironically, the traditional wrist watch was liked by the military.  A traditional watch reminds me of the past in an era that moves forward technologically at an amazing pace.

Scripture says, “Don’t move an ancient boundary marker that your fathers set up” (Prov. 23:28).

There are some things in life that should not be moved. Now I’m not saying anyone who uses a digital watch is guilty. Not hardly. For me, I just choose to let some things in my life to not be digital. In the spiritual life, there are definitely some things that need to look forward, but they must be shackled to the things that are of the past. The word of God. The gospel. Basic decency of life.

Sometimes looking back, or remembering the great things of tradition, can be a blessing in moving forward. It’s why we have a message. Keep time anyway you want. For me, it’s a regular wristwatch. It reminds me of the pastor while looking forward to God’s agenda.

The rebellion you should join.

I have been a part of the rebellion for 29 years. I was on the other side for 24 years. But let there be no doubt about my life that as I have air in my lungs, I am a part of the rebellion.
The rebellion of Jesus Christ against the forces of evil, suffering and hell is fueled by His death, burial and resurrection from the dead (1 Cor 15:3-4).

The way I joined this rebellion involves four things. First, I recognize God’s design on all people (Gen 1:27). He has His unique design, meaning there great purpose for every life. Second, repentance and faith is how I joined. I repented of my sins and placed my faith in Jesus (Mark 1:15). Third, my allegiance is with Him and His movement. I am committed to conquering hell (Matt 16:18). Finally, I’m looking for people who want to join His movement (Matt 28:19). Jesus dismantled hell everywhere He went. He dismantled hell as the blind see, the deaf hear, the lost are found and Satan retreats in people’s lives.

Jesus Christ died and rose for you. Have you received Him? Are you sick of hell beating you up? Want some payback on hell?

Join up (John 1:12)! There’s a movement. A different kingdom (Matt 6:33). Sinners are welcome and find grace because of God’s grace and our faith (Eph 2:8-9). Our lives change when Christ comes into our lives (2 Cor 5:17). The enemy comes bringing hell with him. Jesus comes bringing life (John 10:10).

What will you do? Want to join the rebellion against hell?
Design. The gospel. Repent and believe. Join up.

Race. What’s next?

mlk-let-freedom-ringSo on this MILK Jr.  Day 2017, I still wonder about race.

With the inauguration of Barak Obama as President of the United States, in some ways, “we are more divided now than before.” What happened? What are we? What’s next?

What happened? Our nation has a lot of baggage racially. That is not news. We have minorities who are have been marginalized for a long time. The racial problem is often held in abeyance. We have been asleep. Getting along. Better but unresolved.

Where are we? When President Obama was elected the main thing I just knew would get better was the matter of race. The opposite has happened. After 8 years, we have a worse problem than we have had in my lifetime.  I don’t blame all this on President Obama, but he is the leader and owns it. We do have some racial problems; that’s obvious. We now have movements to state #BlackLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter. I understand the reasons for both. But these only make people takes sides. They divide. The real reconciliation happens when the Police Officer is shown playing basketball with the kids in the black neighborhood.  The real reconciliation happens when the black teenager is shown hugging Police Officers at a protest.

What President Obama chose to do when he was elected was use his political capital. He chose to govern. That’s his job, but … but he left a lot of people behind in his policies. There was immediate separation and division. It’s was over quick. Race got left out as an issue. It was only spoken of when shootings happened of Black men and Police Officers.

The President and the Democratic Party left 40%-50% of the country behind. Racial issues and civil rights were mainstreamed culturally by the President’s leadership with same-sex marriage. So, any criticism of the President and his policies led to charges of racism or racial attitudes. While some of this could be true, it was not true of everyone.

We are in a bad spot. We have the perfect storm. For 8 years a large portion of the nation is ignored. Trump is elected in an uncomfortable election partly based on a “we have been ignored” momentum. Race and division have been added. Then President Elect Trump has not helped himself with his brashness. We are in a bad spot.

whats-nextWhat’s next? We cannot move forward doing the same ole thing. It’s not working. Just take a look at the homicides in Chicago: 700+. Watch the political animosity and it’s racial tone. We must change.

Dr. King was a voice crying in the wilderness. I sometimes wonder what he would be saying today. Not that I question his message but the contextualization of his message for the culture of 2017.  We need to have a contextualized message for race. How can that happen? Are we operating on the methods and attitudes of the past? It’s complicated.

What do we need to do next? That is what is most important.

  1. Pastors must not grow weary in preaching a biblical view of ethnicity.  They need to actually call out race issues specifically to help minorities, but also know when to challenge all people of every race to live in light of the Imago Dei.
  2. Christians need to realize we are different than the world on race.
  3. To more forward we must admit the past issues on race.
  4. Christians must realize a “Hunger Games” style approach to law and order in all matters may be inevitable in the end times from a worldly standpoint, but it unconscionable to us as Christians to live like our culture.
  5. We need a President who will seize the initiative on talking about race, healing the nation, and bringing economic change to minority neighborhoods.
  6. If I were Trump, I would seek to enlist Obama and Bush (GW) to aggressively lead the nation in racial reconciliation.
  7. Realize everyone will not get on board with racial reconciliation. Heaven on Earth should be our pursuit, but the difference between Romans 7 and Romans 8 is Jesus, by choice. We still have sinful natures and a fallen world and deliverance from it is choosing Jesus and living His ethic of ethnicity.

The list could go on. A couple of things here are radical. You may read them as ridiculous. But I’m committed to not seeing us stay where we are. That has not worked. Things have gotten worse.

We the church can see a better day. We can experience what the world groans for. The world? The world is subject to the things of the world and does not have victory in this matter. And many other matters. Followers of Christ do not have to be subject to living the ways of the world. We are counter culture.

Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You left a great legacy for us to live forward.