Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Racism Rears It's Ugly Head

Thoughts: I saw a bumper sticker on a pickup truck in Carrollton, TX today. I was so disturbed by it that I have decided to blog about it and go back to the study of Acts later. The bumper sticker read: "DON'T RE-NIG IN 2010" I am so offended by this that I don't even know where to begin commenting about it! I understand that there are alot of people in this nation that don't like our president. I understand that there are many who will put bumper stickers on their vehicle encouraging others not to vote for Obama for president in 2012. But the racist nature of this bumper sticker makes me sick to my stomach. It makes my eyes fill with tears to think that there are some people who are so angry with him that they are willing to put a shortened version of the infamous "N word" on a bumper sticker on their car. Is this person really ready to insult 12% of the population in this country? Every time that I think we are beginning to beat back racism in this country, I run across something like this! Every single person in the world is a child of God and should be treated as such. This is true no matter their race, gender, skin color, ethnic background, sexual preference, height, weight, or any other distinguishing characteristic. Personally, I am going to do whatever I can to educate people I come in contact with about the evils of racism and what our creator God is calling us to do about it. I hope that you will join me in this task. Apparently there is alot of work to still be done.

Prayer: Creator God, you created each of us in your image. Help us to work toward the elimination of racism in our country and in your creation. Amen.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Acts 2:1-13 - Speaking in Tongues?

Scripture: Acts 2:1-13

Summary: On the day of Pentecost they were all gathered together when suddenly from heaven there came a sound like a violent wind. Divided tongues of fire appeared and a tongue rested on each of them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages. People asked what it meant and some said that they were drunk.

Thoughts:  This is just the first part of the Pentecost story, so be sure to check back later for part two! There are several interesting parts of this phenomenon. First, there is the "sound like the rush of a violent wind" filling the entire house.  All of them are filled with the Holy Spirit and then there is the "divided tongues, as of fire" with a tongue resting on each of them. Then each of them speaks in other languages. Not only that, but people from other places can understand the speech in their own language!  There is alot of controversy surrounding this scripture, especially the part about speaking in tongues. But when you study this text, it is clear that the disciples were speaking in the languages of other people around them. They weren't speaking in a language that was not understood by anyone. The Holy Spirit had given them the ability to speak the langauge of the people in that place. So I find myself wondering how this text is interpreted by people that "speak in tongues" in their local congregations. I believe that the Holy Spirit can give us the ability to communicate "God's deeds of power" to people who aren't like us. What gifts is the Holy Spirit giving us so that we can share the good news with those who are different in our community?

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, come! Give us gifts that allow us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with all of our neighbors. Amen.