Bible Bootcamp: The Word

Happy summer!

My son is 8 years old and this summer he begins Bible Boot Camp here at Blessed Hope Homestead. This is just my way of training him, not only in verse memorization, but in beginning to think deeply about the bible and applying it to everyday life.

Boot Camp will be divided into parts, with The Word being part one. My aim is to explore and study the importance of God’s Word and all it entails, while keeping it on his level of course. He is an excellent reader so a big goal for the summer is to begin transcribing what he reads into written form: to develop his writing skills.

I appreciate all prayers over this endeavor, for both him and me and of course that God be glorified in my son’s mind and heart. We know that God’s word does not come back void.

What then shall we do?

We have brothers and sisters in Christ dying every day for their faith. I consider the Christians in Pakistan and other highly persecuted places and cannot help but wonder: why? Not why they are persecuted, but why aren’t I? I mean sure, being a Christian in America isn’t what it used to be. We are called names, shunned, made fun of, sued for our beliefs, but very few of us are actually killed for it. We do not live in danger, like Christians in other parts of the world do.

So then I have to ask, since we’ve been blessed to live in general safety (thus far), what is God’s purpose for this?  What, then, should we be doing? Is there anything we can do for our persecuted brothers and sisters? We have it “so good” here in the U.S., are we taking advantage of that?

It seems many of us are not. We sneeze one time and decide we couldn’t possibly make it to church that day. Oh, but if I send my child to youth group on Wednesday night, he’ll miss soccer practice and won’t be able to play on Saturday. The Super Bowl is on tonight so we better cancel services. The minister has gone over ten minutes, someone needs to have a talk with him about that. Boo-hoo. Puhleez.

There is nothing wrong per se in enjoying football or other activities, but when it takes precedent over serving the Lord……

Meanwhile, we have those in Africa and the middle east who go to church services knowing full well they may not make it home alive. More likely, their building will be burned down while they sit in it or demon-filled hoodlums will come in wielding their machetes and chop them up. This is the reality of so many who choose to follow Christ. When they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they are very much aware they may be signing their own death sentence. Yet the rate of conversion to Christianity grows!

So then maybe, just MAYBE, we should get off our lazy patooties! Maybe we should be on our knees praying for those persecuted and thanking God we do not have to worry about our children being stolen and traded or killed. Maybe we should ask Him what we can do to advance His Kingdom. Maybe we should be proclaiming the gospel to every lost soul we encounter. Maybe we should wake up and get busy doing what we can, while we can.

“Being” a Christian

I took dance lessons-ballet and tap-between the ages of nine and eleven. Since that last recital at the age of eleven, I have not had any further training nor have I danced in such a way. Based upon this information, you would be correct in concluding that I am not a dancer. How could I be? Two and a half years of lessons as a child does not a dancer make. I also have a B.A. in drama.  I acted in high school, college and did a couple of shows post college, the last one being over ten years ago. I have made no effort whatsoever to do any theater/acting since that last show. You would also be correct in assessing that I am not an actor, despite my degree and training.

The same goes for being a Christian. So you came forward at ten years old, and was even baptized, but at the age of eighteen you left all that church stuff behind to “sow your wild oats” in college. Thing is, you’ve now been out of college for too many years to count and your oat sowing is still as strong as ever. Or maybe you’ve “settled down” but still haven’t given any more thought to the commitment you made so many years ago.

Being a Christian means you abide in Christ. He is your Lord, and your Savior. He is the Authority in your life and, like Paul, your motto is “To live is Christ, to die is gain“. Sure, you’ll make mistakes. You’ll sin. You’ll fail. But the difference is: You Don’t Want To and when you do you fall at the foot of the cross, repent and turn away from that sin. You understand God’s grace all the more and are so grateful for it. So Grateful!

We are called to be holy and separate, to abhor even the appearance of evil.  Jesus says if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. We love Him (and thus keep His commandments) because He first loved us.

We all must make an assessment of our lives. Are we living for Christ? Is He the Authority? Do we feel His presence and talk with Him? Do we listen when He speaks? What kind of fruit are we producing, if any?

While I am 36 and can safely make the assumption I will never be a Prima Donna, you don’t have to continue on your wayward path.  Jesus is still waiting, with open arms, to embrace you back into fellowship with Him.

If you aren’t sure what you believe anymore, ask Him to show Himself to you. He’s not going to be offended by that request. I’m certain that, if you sincerely seek Him, you will find much more than you ever expected.

Time is short. The decision is always YOURS. Don’t delay. Midnight approaches.

Blessings and Maranatha,