Managing Dynamite and Faith

Alfred Nobel was a rare breed of genius. Despite only attending school 18 months during his lifetime he held over 350 different patents, the most famous of which was for dynamite. While we think of dynamite as an element of war and violence, Nobel set about creating it for one reason: safety. The leading explosive of the day, nitroglycerin, was notoriously unpredictable. It caused a serious explosion at Nobel’s own factory that killed five people, including his own brother. In creating dynamite Nobel was creating a tool that would have substantial explosive power for the mining industry, as well as prevent future deaths like his brother’s. Indeed, dynamite would come to play a key role in many industries up to the present day, but its use in war and terrorism tends to receive all the focus. In fact, an erroneously published obituary referring to Nobel as the “merchant of death” for the creating dynamite led Nobel to leave the vast majority of his fortune to promoting peace through the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Dynamite, and the various other useful explosives developed from it, can be extremely positive. Without it many important mining projects, road projects, and development projects could have never safely happened. Unfortunately, dynamite can also be used for nefarious purposes as well. It is obviously a double-edged sword that has to be used with wisdom and care. Believe it or not, being a Chrisitan is quite similar to this. We have the potential to do so many good things: lead people to Christ, improve the lives of the poor, love the downtrodden, equip future leaders, grow the faith of others, and so much more.

There is so much positive that can come out of our Chrisitan life. But, if we are not careful, we can also do harm. We can be overly judgemental, hypocritical, self-centered instead of others-centered, focused on our wants rather than other’s needs, and more. There is an old DC Talk song that opens with the prophetic line: “the biggest single cause of atheism today is Christians.” Honestly, from my experiences, I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I’ve talked to so many people who are open to God, but because of how they’ve been treated by Christians they have no desire to get close to God or His church. Look at Paul’s teaching in James 4:11-12:

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

It is not our role to judge or condemn, but to make others better. We’ve been given a powerful responsibility as followers of Christ, one even more powerful than dynamite. May we always use it to improve others and not to inflict harm. 

Men and Their Beards

Psalm 133:2 New International Version (NIV)

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.

Are beards necessary? Does having facial hair make you a man of God? No, having a beard is not a salvation issue. We are not under Old Testament Law. We are under grace. So, why the fuss?

This is a tough place, but I think it is important for us to know what it means to be a man as to being a woman. Satan is in full strength being the author of confusion into what being a man is. We see men, today, dressing like women, showing feminine mannerisms, and even having women’s hair styles. Some will even go to the length of having ‘gender reassignment surgery’. This is a growing confusion that is developing in society and with men.

God created men and women differently for a purpose. They were created unique and were to populate the earth. In Genesis 3:16, the woman was designed for child bearing, and the man in vs 19 would be a tiller of the soil and work with his hands. Men and women have defined gender designs and responsibilities.

In Ephesians 5:21-33, it shows God’s design for men and women. Both need to show care for each other, and it tells how a man should love his wife like Christ loves the church and gave himself for her.

Having a beard is not essential. Having facial hair is not required, but being a godly man is. Yes, the Bible makes a story case for a beard, and it is an honor for a man and glory to God. Not all men can grow beards or want to have a beard, but I do believe that men are called by God to be men of God on the inside and outside. 

Be the man God has called you to be.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

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Vital Men Biker Trip

May 31-June 2

We will ride the full length of the Mississippi River along the Iowa border.

This is a great opportunity to ride, see God’s creation, and hang out with other men.

Set your calendar and let’s ride!

Promote

Philippians 4:8 (NASB) ‘Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. ‘  

There is a saying at my company, by leadership, “what you permit, you promote”.  I think this is a very accurate statement in virtually every aspect of our lives.

Think about it within the scope of your faith walk, relationship with the Lord and you witness.  When you see others’ behavior falling short of what you know to be the biblical standard set forth by God, and choose not to address it with the person, you are in essence, the same as promoting it.  

The same is true for what we choose to reflect to others with our own actions.  If we say one thing, but do another , we are promoting the wrong behavior.

One of the keys to combating this is to focus on God.  We do that by intentionally seeking that which is of God, dwelling on these things.  We accomplish this by setting time aside to read and internalize his word, to spend time with Him and by being mindful of His urging and guidance.  

Focus your energy on what you know you need to focus on and be willing to point out in yourself and others when behaviors do not align with that focus.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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