Election Fever

As I write this, America has just finished watching the political conventions - theater more than "reality TV" - and the upcoming election is on the minds of most of us. So I want to put some thoughts in writing, thoughts about politics and philosophy, topics I have never addressed on a blog.

This election, in particular, has special interest for me, since many believe it may be the most important one in our history.

One of the questions in my mind is the compatibility of the two primary political positions - liberal and conservative - with biblical Christianity. In other words, does a biblical worldview require or prohibit either conservatism or liberalism?

Have you ever thought about your relationships with others? And, for that matter, with God? Do you have truly mature relationships, or are you just running in place, stuck as a relational preadolescent?

And let's not talk only about the easy stuff, like if you are growing. Let's consider things like why so many Christians have such a poor prayer life, or why most Christians who seldom touch their Bible. Why they are not growing. "What" is easy. "Why" is not.

Even though the why is far more difficult, it's also much more important.

A Grace Understood

Grace.

It's one of my favorite topics, and the one thing that I pray about, thanking God, more than any other. I think God created grace because He knew I was coming along and would so desperately need it. In fact, my mom said I came close to being the boy named Grace. I think that was the same time she said I made her life pure hell.

I am enthralled by grace because I can think of no greater gift that God could have given us than that.


I grew up in a "Christian" home. We attended church twice every Sunday and once every Wednesday. I was also there many other times for activities involving kids my age. The church was the center of our life.

Mom was deeply in love with Jesus. The real deal. Dad died when I was 10, and my stepdad was something of an enigma. He professed to be a Christian, but in his daily words and actions, it was hard to tell. Nevertheless, we were seen by those who knew us as a family of Christians.

I am the first of seven brothers, boys who grew up in the church. And as we came to adulthood and made our own choices, three of seven chose to live as followers of Jesus. The other four walked away from what they grew up in, seeing it as empty and a fraud, or at least unworthy of consideration. Three of seven is appalling, and a failing score by nearly any measure. But it could be far worse, I suppose.

Do you ever let your imagination run free? I mean, do you ever try to imagine some situation that you would like to see happen, or even one you don't especially want to happen, but that fascinates you? Sometimes an unchecked imagination can be dangerous. But used carefully, it can be an excellent tool, as well.

Some of my Air Force training had to do with planning for contingencies: If this situation occurs, what will we do in response? It's an important part of military life, but it's an interesting exercise in other situations, as well. What if...?

Note: This essay is a work in progress, and reflects a struggle I have had (and still have) to understand the dynamic of relationships. It is certainly not the final word, and may even be totally off base. Especially for that reason, I welcome your thoughts.

Some years back, I noticed a pattern whenever I took a new job. As I started in the new place, I was very happy, delighted at my new opportunity. On a honeymoon, you might say. Then, usually mere weeks later, I looked around and thought, "What was I thinking? I must have been crazy!" And I was in the dumps for a time. After that I got out of the ditch and began taking ownership of the job, making it mine and putting my stamp on it. And in time I came to enjoy it.

I have been reading recently in Daniel, a great Old Testament book. In the third chapter is an account that most Sunday School children have heard of, the story of some young Israelite men, Daniel, Hananiah, Mischael, and Azariah, who were captured by the Babylonian army and taken from Israel back to Babylon.

You might know the last three better by the names given to them by the Babylonians: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. You may have heard of them and their adventure with a large fire in a furnace.

So went the saying I was taught somewhere along the road of my education. The subject was English, and the point was that context -- the words surrounding the word in question -- defines a word. You can't know what a word means unless you know how it is used in the sentence or paragraph. Context.

Words have context, but there are other forms of context, as well: social, religious, and more. Virtually every field of study has its own context.

One area where context is often overlooked is the Bible.

The Bad Woman, Part 2

The account in John 8, of the woman caught in adultery, is one about which I have written before, not long ago. But I am drawn to this story like a moth to a flame, and I want to write more about it.

I have puzzled over this, wondering why I find the story so compelling. I have looked for things I may have in common with the woman. It's been an interesting search, with some dead ends: I am not a woman, for example, nor am I an adulterer, at least in the sense of a physical act. If we consider the life of my mind, however....

I had a conversation recently in which someone mentioned a person apparently being created for destruction. The person had died without evidence of a relationship with God, and the conclusion was that the person, though by all accounts a fine man, had been created for destruction and therefore never responded to the gospel.

I have heard this before, and have struggled with it every time.

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  • Larry Baden said:
      Poonam, My apologies for the long delay in replying to your comments....
  • Poonam Rai said:
      I just wonder why the man with whom the woman was caught up in the ac...
  • Larry Baden said:
      Hello Johanes, I'm not certain I understand your comment, but it seem...
  • yohanes wonde said:
      hi LARRY BADEN i am fond in a big problem I belief am not in choice o...
  • Larry Baden said:
      George, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As for your 'humor,' well......
  • Larry Baden said:
      Truth, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I especially like the last se...
  • Truth Told said:
      Looking into the account of the adulterous woman it is easy to see tha...
  • George Fowler said:
       Jesus said: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone?. A rock ca...
  • Martin Rudd said:
      Remember what our Lord and Saviour said. "Its not my will that any sho...
  • Thomas Hatfield said:
       I realize that a humain being has to make difficult decisions in ther...

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