“Burning Man”

I was riding in my truck the other day, listening to Y2Country and a song came on.  It’s a song that I’ve heard many, many times.  It’s a song I rather like.  I like it because it summarizes the overall theme of my life, especially over the past few years.  I like it because it delivers a very important message.  “Scott, you are a constant work in progress.  You don’t always get it right, but you don’t always get it wrong either’.  ‘For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity. ‘ Proverbs 24:16  You may have noticed the past few Fridays I’ve been focused on sin, the damage it wreaks in our lives and the conviction the Lord uses to root it out.  When this song came on the other day, it just reinforced the things God has been expressing to me recently.  I appreciate how He always seems to meet us where we are, in whatever it is we are doing… even in a country song.  Here’s the lyrics, take a gander, then youtube it if you have a few minutes.  Have a blessed weekend.

Burning Man
 
Half your life you struggle
Half your life you fly
Half your life makin’ trouble
Half your life makin’ it right
One day I’m the exception
Most days I’m just like most
Some days I’m headed in the right direction
And some days I ain’t even close
I’m a little bit steady but still little bit rollin’ stone
I’m a little bit heaven but still a little bit flesh-and-bone
Little found, little don’t-know-where-I-am
I’m a little bit holy water but still a little bit burning man
Burning man yeah
I always loved the highway
I just don’t run it as fast
I still go wherever the wind blows me
But I always find my way back
I still don’t get it right sometimes
I just don’t get it as wrong
I still go a little bit crazy sometimes
Yeah, but now I don’t stay near as long
I’m a little bit steady but still little bit rollin’ stone
I’m a little bit heaven but still a little bit flesh-and-bone
Little found, little don’t-know-where-I-am
I’m a little bit holy water but still a little bit burning man
Burning man
Still just a burn, burn, burning man
Just a burning man, uh
Maybe I’ll go to the desert
Find myself in the Joshua Tree
If we pass in the night then just hand me a light
And tell me you burned just like me
I’m a little bit steady but still little bit rollin’ stone
I’m a little bit heaven but still a little bit flesh-and-bone
Little found, little don’t-know-where-I-am
I’m a little bit holy water but still a little bit burning man
Burning man
Still just a burn, burn, burning man
Just a burning man
 
 

Romans 8:3-5, 9-11 (NASB) ‘For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. ‘

 

Love and Hate

We see the news each day and we are confronted with a few things.  The first thing we may ask is ‘does this affect me?’  Unless it is your name in the news, it doesn’t often impact you directly, but it may indirectly and leaders make laws and decisions, and changes that impact your life.  Your ability to go about ‘business as usual’ has probably been a little impacted over the past couple months.  Another thing you may ask is ‘who’s side am I on?’  Especially with the polarizing political climate recently, each side blames the other side for the problems we are facing.  Some choose a side and hold strong to everything about that side.  Some see the folly in that and blame both sides as part of the problem.  Then lastly we must decide ‘what am I going to do about it?’  Whether something impacts us directly, indirectly, or seemingly not at all, we still make a choice to act on it or try to ignore it further.  With what you see going on in the world today, what have you made up your mind to do about any of it today?

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.  Proverbs 10:12

We see a lot of people generalize in our society.  If I had a bad experience the first time I dealt with an electrician, I may think all electricians are like that.  If I get pulled over by a lawman while driving, I should expect a warning or a ticket if I did something wrong, and deal with it.  If I received punishment when I did nothing wrong, I might become angry or indignant, and also assume all other lawmen may treat me the same way.  I’ve seen and heard similar generalizations of Men, Women, lawyers, children, teenagers, native Americans, African Americans, the Homeless, Foreigners, and the list goes on and on.  Now in our minds, you and I know that the people in these groups are not all the same, even if they have some similar characteristics, there is much variation.  When we hate or dehumanize any group of people, we do both them, and us, and God a disservice.  But when we forgive and show love to anyone in a difficult situation, we live up to a better potential of what God has called us to be.  It is not always, or ever an easy choice, but it is the better choice.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20

Hate and murder have been around since the fall and when the first family walked the earth.  There is great potential in each one of us for great evil and for great good.  God knows the heart of man, as did Jesus when he walked in this world.  We can choose each day to promote hate or to put a stop to it, to speak a word of truth or to let lies go on, to show love or to withhold it.  There are both big and small things we can do each day to help or hurt others, and sometimes doing nothing can be more hurtful than helpful.  If you can, choose love over hate each and every day in all the things you do and say. 

But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  Matthew 6:15

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  Matthew 5:44

Yours in Christ,

Clark

God’s not on your side…

Hey men,

I think the title might have your attention…

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

What’s Your Legacy?

I have always loved history, so much so that my favorite birthday present as a kid was receiving the World Book Encyclopedia. Yeah, I’m a dork. I own that. My love for history led me to become friends with my elderly neighbor. His knowledge of local history was simply phenomenal. I loved going to their house and being regaled by all his stories about what our town was like a century ago. I was really jealous that a hundred years ago our city had street cars, opera houses, hosted the leading actors of the day, and was considered to be “little Chicago.” Like most kids, I thought my town was boring, so I asked my neighbor why our town was not as great today. His answer was quite simple: it was because of the Jews. Being a kid, who was taught to trust his elders, I accepted his teaching as fact. Years later I was conversing with others about the faults of our town and began to say, “it’s all because of the Jews,” before I caught myself. I realized I had held a very inaccurate and harmful idea for many years. I trusted my neighbor and accepted his word as truth, never knowing it may be harmful. 

I realize the United States is a supercharged atmosphere right now over the issue of race. The current situation is complex, and this is not the forum for me to engage with all aspects of it. What I want to encourage all of us to do today is to set the right example for others. Rather you know it or not, your words, actions, texts, and social media postings are being heard by others. They are learning from your example, even if that example is not the right one. If we want to help transform the world for God it starts by setting a godly example. 

Set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:11-16

Let me end with a positive example. When I see hatred and racism I am always appalled. A major reason for this is my parents worked incredibly hard to raise me to love others regardless of their skin color, ethnicity, or cultural origin. They also set an example for what it looks like to actively live out one’s faith, even when that is difficult. So much of who I am is because of the Godly example they set. My question to you is: what legacy are you leaving? When others look at you, and learn from you, are they seeing a reflection of God? If we want a brighter world it starts by each of us shinning as brightly as we can so that others may catch a bit of God from us. Keep shining and living brightly men!

It All Depends On You

Mike shares about being called to a higher purpose from 1 Corinthians 11:3.

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