Monthly Archives: March 2009

Death, Taxes, and an Abacus

You know its coming. You can’t avoid it. You can count on it…

DEATH!

Sooner or later, we all will die. Do we really live like it? Look around you. Does anything you see go with you? Will it mean anything when that day comes?

I don’t care what religion you are. I don’t care what you believe or who you believe in. It is obvious, when you are gone, nothing goes with you. Some old religions (Egyptian and some indigenous religions) believe you can come back to your wealth and riches, but your modern day religions realize that once you pass, all your stuff stays here.

Matthew 6 19-21 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

We will die. We will loose everything we have here on Earth. Why do we hold so tight to those things that don’t matter? They seem so important, don’t they.

I want to share an illustration with you that will put a little perspective on things (I stole this from Jim White, the Pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church).

I want you to imagine a string pulled tight that runs through the room where you are sitting. It doesn’t stop there, it goes right through the walls and goes out as far as you can see. It keeps going, pulled tight, even as the earth curves it keeps going out into space. Right through the universe and never stops. Now pull out a fine tipped pen and make a mark on that string. You can barely see it, especially if you step back and look at the string from a distance. That mark is your life in the scope of eternity.

Why do we care so much about things that don’t matter. We are conditioned to. When we sinned the first time,what did we do? We were ashamed. We covered up with a fig leaf.

Genesis 3:7 “Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they
realized they were naked so they sewed fig leaves together and they
made coverings for themselves.”

Jerel mentioned this verse in church last weekend and I noticed something I had never noticed. The Bible states that shame and fear were introduced when this happened, but I think something else is underneath.

What apple?

A common misconception is that Adam ate an apple. Actually, most scholars think it was a fig. That was the common fruit of the area and time. There are also other reason’s, but I’m not going to get into that.

What did they cover up with? Where did they look to cover up their shame and insecurities…not God. They turned back to the fruit that got them there in the first place and covered with a fig leaf. If shame and fear entered the world first, materialism followed almost immediately.

Why do we spend money on name brand clothing? Why do we need the best car or the coolest gadget? It covers our insecurities. It masks our shame. In stead of looking to God for humility and security, we look to the leaf, the dress, the shoes, the ipod, the car.

What is your leaf? What do you cover up with?

It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t go with you. Look away from the tree. Look to God…

God only listens to Christian Music.

OK…I admit it!

Jes and I were on vacation last year to Myrtle Beach. We went to the dueling piano bar at Broadway at the Beach (because we love Jokers in Mooresville). We finally got a seat up on the railing and the guys broke into a 15 minute Prince concert. We were sitting beside a couple who wasn’t really talking much but looked to be having a good time. As the pianists broke into “Kiss” the guy beside me leaned over and said, “I know my wife loves this crap, but when are they gonna give us something to listen to.” I guess he had not noticed I was singing along with every word. So I leaned back over to him and said, “Real men love Prince.”

Most people that know me know I am not ashamed of what kind of music I listen to. Justin, Prince, Mraz, Buble (I don’t know how to put the accent over the “e”, but if I could, I wouldn’t, because I call him Michael Buble) Where it gets really interesting is when I tell people I mix that in with some T-pain and there’s my playlist.

Several years ago I had a friend ask me a question when we were talking about me putting my faith in Jesus. He said, “How do you listen to Christian music all the time?” It took me back…

I don’t, should I? Should my playlist be Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, and in stead of T-Pain should I mix it up with T-Mac?

So here it comes…close to 5 years later I finally have an answer to that question. I know you’re wondering how it took so long, but that’s not the point. The point is, it took God 5 years to get it through my thick head and now I’ve got it.

What is Christian Music? No, really…what makes some music Christian and some not? What makes some Companies Christian and some not? What makes Chick-fil-a a Christian restaurant and McDonald’s Secular? Is it because they aren’t open on Sunday? Is it because the owners are Christians? I know, it must be because they over abuse the term “my pleasure” and that is what God would want from “His” fast food joint.

Sorry about all the sarcasm.

So what classifies music as Secular and Christian? It’s not that the artist is Christian because you can’t tell me that Josh Turner, Bono, and many other “secular” artists are not Christians. It’s not that they sing about God or Jesus, because Carrie Underwood would have had a Christian hit with “Jesus take the wheel” if she released it as a Christian single. There are tons of songs written by Christians singing about Christ that aren’t considered “Christian Music”. I know, it must be the over abuse of the words “love” and “above” and that is what God would want from “His” music, right?

Enough sarcasm.

Are Chick-fil-a sandwiches any more Christian than McDonald’s? Is a Cook-out shake any more blessed than a Wendy’s Frosty because they have scripture on the cup? NO!!!! In fact, the idea that Cookout prints scripture on their STYROFOAM CUP is kind of ironic to me.

Ok seriously, no more sarcasm!

So here is what makes some music Christian and some not…It’s self proclaimed. The artist says, “I am playing Christian music.” Does this make it any more “Christian” or any less “Secular” than any other music? NO!!!!

All music is created by God, and therefore it is good. Yes, all music! Not just self proclaimed Christian music. All food was created by God, the chicken and the cow. So next time you pray to God to “bless the food” remember that it is already blessed by God. He created it, blessed it, and it is good.

Are you a Christian?

Is the tree outside my window Christian or Secular? Is the box of mac and cheese in my cabinet Christian or Secular? Is my dog Christian or Secular…the couch…the car…etc. Doesn’t this sound ridiculous! It is! It was all created by God, it is good, but it is not Christian or Secular it just is.

Music just is. We as humans can alter it, manipulate it, change it, but it was created by God, it is good. It just is.

Food can be pumped with steroids, flavored, fattened, packaged, and preserved, but it was created by God, it is good. It just is.

So are all people Christian people? We were all created by God, right?

Kinda…

We were created by God, but we are different than the music, the food, and the tree. God gave us a soul and a decision. My dogs have no decision to make, they just are. The tree has no decision to make, it just is. We have a decision to make. We can choose to accept the truth and be as we were meant to be, or we can deny it and be apart from God.

We were created by God, we were good. Then we were separated from Him. We have a choice to accept who we are and be “Christian” or deny it and be “Secular”. That’s the difference between music and people.

So my answer, “I am a Christian, but I listen to music, not Christian, not Secular, just Music.”

Tonight – Charlotte- Prayer – Join.

http://www.Charlotteprayer.com

Tonight, Saturday from 7-8pm at the corner of Trade and Tryon. Check it out!

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