Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dog and Sailors Keep off the Grass

That title is from a sign that was often seen (in days gone by, I don't know about today) on lawns in the Norfolk, Virginia area. It made plain who the undesirables were.

By now you may have heard about the essay contest being sponsored by the Subway sandwich shops. A link to the official contest page can be found here. Part of the contest rules read as follows:
Contest is open only to legal US residents, over the age of 18 with children in either elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No homeschools will be accepted. (italics mine).
What this says is that there are two groups which need not apply: illegal aliens and homeschool students. We can all draw our own conclusions as to why these two groups are equated as equal and why they are not allowed to be a part of this contest. I have seen no official explanation from Subway. The fact is plain, however. These two groups are to be treated equally - each discriminated against.

How does your sandwich taste now?

The mailing address for Subway is:

Frederick A. DeLuca, President
Subway Restaurant Headquarters
325 Bic Drive
Milford, CT 06461-3059

Email (probably less effective):

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Church - a Covenant Community

The church is a covenant community which is made up of God's hand-picked saints. God promises throughout His Word that He will be our God and we will be His people (see Genesis 17:1-8; Deuteronomy 29:12-15 for a couple of examples). We are a covenant people; a people with a common God (although He is certainly not common in the sense of "ordinary"); saints with a common salvation and destiny. This is what the church is, a worldwide communion of those who have accepted the salvation offered by Jesus Christ and accomplished by His work on the cross.

We are His saints; His holy ones; because He makes us holy. We need to act like it! Read 1 Corinthians 12:24-27. There should be no division in the body of Christ. Disagreement is fine, in brotherly love. If we all treat one another like members of the same body, indispensable to one another, we will be able to disagree without dividing. We will be less afraid of one another! Yes, we are afraid to speak the Truth to one another. We have become like the society around us - so afraid to offend that we can't help one another, won't chide one another, refuse to speak the truth in love.

Brothers and sisters, when we learn to love one another we will change the world. But it starts with us.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Making it Clear

Sandra and I have been in Norway nearly a week now.* We’ve lectured at the University of Oslo; we’ve led several seminars; I preached to a multinational congregation today. But tomorrow, I have a session with just men. This is the only session about which I have any doubts. I thought I knew what I would say to them, but now I’m not sure. So much to say; so little time! The needs here are great; but they are just as great in my own country, my own town, my own home.

God says (in Isaiah 45:19):
I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, “seek me in vain.” I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.

This is what I need also to proclaim: God’s truth! What does His Word tell us about how to be men; to be leaders; to be witnesses? That’s what needs to be told. In Nehemiah 8, we read that Ezra read the law to the people and they bowed down and worshiped. The Levites went around in the crowd and instructed the people where they stood, “making it clear and giving the meaning so the people could understand what was being read.” (verse 8).

So we can’t go wrong tomorrow if I proclaim God’s Truth – and make it clear.

God, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Psalm 119:18). Help me to make them clear to the people – starting with me.

*Interestingly, as I started to post this blog, I had difficulty because I am, of course, using a Norwegian sever at the moment. All the instructions are in Norwegian. It took me ten minutes just to figure out how to log on!