Thursday, March 28, 2013


Most people ascribe to the belief that seeing is believing. What you see is what you get. In January 2007, the Washington Post did an experiment to test what people see. They arranged for a young man named Joshua Bell to play music at the Metro station. By most measures, he was nondescript - wearing jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money and began to play. For the next 45 minutes, Bell played Mozart and Schubert as over 1,000 people streamed by, seeing him but not really seeing him. If they had paid attention, they might have recognized the young man for the world-renowned violinist he is. They also might have noted the violin he played - a rare Stradivarius worth over $3 million.

Just three days earlier, Joshua Bell had sold out Boston Symphony Hall, with ordinary seats going for $100. In the subway, Bell garnered about $32 from the 27 people who stopped long enough to give a donation. What we see is not always reality. The people at the subway station saw just another out-of-work musician playing for change. The reality was that they were witnesses to a world famous musician.

People come to church every Easter and never see Jesus for who He really is.  They may see Jesus as only the great teacher that He was - a good carpenter who was a good man who did good things.  But when you believe in Him and who He really is, and that He really rose from the dead, that changes everything.  And if you let it, it can change you.  Believing is seeing.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


This week, 177 years ago, an old Spanish mission in San Antonio known as the Alamo fell on the last day of a brutal 13-day siege by the Mexican Army. All 189 of the Texans defending the mission either died in the battle or were summarily executed when the smoke cleared. Among those who fell at the Alamo were Lt. Col. William Barret Travis, the Alamo's commander, entrepreneur-adventurer James Bowie, and Tennessee congressman Davy Crockett. The sacrifice of Travis and the rest of his command animated the rest of Texas and kindled a righteous wrath on the battlefield at San Jacinto. Since 1836, Americans on battlefields over the globe have responded to the exhortation, "Remember the Alamo!"

For the Christian, however, our battle cry is “Remember the cross!” It was there that the war against sin and death was waged and won. The grave lost its victory and death lost its sting. The great hymn writer Isaac Watts penned these words…

Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause, or blush to speak His Name?
Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize, and sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face? Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace, to help me on to God?
Sure I must fight, if I would reign; increase my courage, Lord
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy Word
Thy saints in all this glorious war shall conquer, though they die
They see the triumph from afar, by faith they bring it nigh
When that illustrious day shall rise, and all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through skies, the glory shall be Thine

Remember the cross, Christ follower.  We are lost without it; we are conquerors with it.  

Monday, March 4, 2013


From George Romero’s “Living Dead” movies in the 60s & 70s and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video in the 80’s to “Zombieland” in 2004 and now “The Walking Dead” and “Warm Bodies”, I’m not sure what the infatuation with zombies is all about. But I look around at our culture and I see a lot of “walkers”. I observe a lot of people who are walking around lifeless. They get up, they go to work or school, they come home, they go to bed, and they get up and do it again the next day. Their life seems meaningless, they can find no purpose for being alive so they just walk through life the best they can and deal with things as they come.
Jesus said He came so we could have life, and have it to the fullest. If we are discontent with our situation, we have to talk about decisions we made. But our beliefs are what determine our decisions, and our decisions determine outcomes. When we have a faulty belief system, we have unhappy outcomes. Culture says the only cure for the deadness is to run away. Find a new environment. Start over. Do things differently. But if you keep making decisions without changing your belief system, you will continue to have unhappy outcomes.
So many people have adopted the filter culture has about sex and live with tragic outcomes. Others see marriage through the culture filter and it’s no wonder over half of marriages end in divorce. We see money through the culture filter and find ourselves so materialistic and living beyond our means. But if you will give God’s filter a chance, you can have different outcomes. There are many who can tell you that now that they see marriage as God sees it, there has been a transformation. There are others who will tell you that now they see money as God sees it, their finances have been transformed. God’s commands and God’s views about life result in better decisions and better decisions result in better outcomes.
The cure for the “walking virus” is to change our belief system. We don’t have to conform to culture; we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds. What that means is we need to have a mind renovation. Renovations are about taking out the old and replacing it with the new. Renovations are messy and always take longer than we think. But the end result can be something spectacularly beautiful. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.” As you begin to see life as God sees it, if you adopt God’s filters through which you view sex, marriage, relationships, finances, family and all those arenas of your life, not only will your outcomes be different, but God’s principles will begin to make sense. Break away from the “walkers” and start living.