Family Notes 13/07/2016

THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF JULY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND SIXTEEN.


DON’T SAY IT!

Oh, how we love to express our opinions, prejudices, and fancies–especially on religion and politics! The power of words is deceptive. They are so easy to utter! But they can unleash hell, war, and murder. In a culture where we can speak to the whole world through the media at our finger tips, allow me to say it again: “Please, please don’t say everything you think!” Don’t say it yourself, and don’t “like” or “share” any words you would not say yourself. Liking or sharing or forwarding anything is the same as saying it yourself. — Ron Highfield, Religion professor at Pepperdine University and gracEmail subscriber, posted 7/11/16 in his blog iFAQTheology.


IT’S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE

In the brief paragraphs directly following, gracEmail subscriber Phillip Morrison of San Antonio, Texas looks at Jesus’ actions to determine his priorities, then suggests that we imitate the example of the man we call “Lord.” Republished from “Encouraging Words” by Phillip Morrison, and used by permission:

The life of Jesus revolved around people. He always made time for people, even when he was so tired that he desperately needed to get away to a quiet place for rest. When the human inclination was to send them away, “he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:30-44).

He saw people at the center of every problem and opportunity. Sick people needed to be healed. Hungry people needed to be fed. Lost people needed to be found. People in distress needed to be comforted. Maybe the issues of our time are so overwhelming because we have forgotten that people are at the center of every problem. What’s more, people are at the center of every solution.

We may never call a group of 56 people to meet and draft the founding documents of a new nation, or answer the deep life and death questions, even to our own satisfaction. But Good Samaritan opportunities are everywhere. No training required, no vetting necessary, no permission needed. People are in need, we help them, end of story. Thanks, and God bless!


SCIENCE AND FREE WILL

When a thought journal published an article saying that a scientific study has proved that free will is only an illusion, gracEmail subscriber Doug Smith of Franklin, Tennessee, responded in his blog, “The Pragmatic Theist,” with a stimulating post that began as follows . . .

If you were being programmed to believe something that wasn’t true, and that lie was leading you to a harmful end, would you want to know? If there was an agenda to lead you to abandon reality and ultimately give up your freedom, would you be upset?

Several weeks ago, we had cordial and thought-provoking discussion of free will here. Since that time, a new study was trumpeted across national news outlets, promoting a study that suggests free will is an illusion . . . to read more, go to: thatdougsmith.com/


THIS DATE IN MYSTORY

Seventy-two years ago today, on July 13, 1944, with cows grazing in the pastures on three sides of the medical facility, future gracEmail subscriber Edward Fudge, now of Katy, Texas, “discovered America,” at the Lester, Ala., clinic of general practitioner Dr. D. E. Jackson.

Edward was born six weeks premature, unable to take nourishment, and his birth weight of five pounds fell to three pounds over the next three weeks. The doctor’s words were grim: this baby faced certain death unless something happened soon. His parents, Bennie Lee and Sybil Fudge, prayed all night, promising to give their firstborn son to God if God would spare his life.
To read more, go to: edwardfudge.com/a-testimony-to-gods-faithfulness-2/


PRIORITIES

The following lines are by gracEmail subscriber Mike Clemens of Juneau, Alaska. I lifted them from some correspondence between the two of us. I thought they needed to be read more widely and so I am sharing them with you:

If an unbalanced evangelicalism prevents new converts from striving for agape-love as a common goal and spiritual denominator, some religious leaders who like to call themselves “Christian” may be in an awkward position on judgment day if they’ve misled their followers about the most basic of Christ’s messages from our heavenly father who is love itself.

No disciple need feel guilty for having only one talent as long as it isn’t buried. Not every believer is called to be an evangelist, but every believer is commanded to love.