Ok, so I’ve been thoroughly harassed for “forgetting” my memory tips to help remember the Ten Commandments. Of all things, I forgot the one for “Honor your father and mother…” on MOTHER’S DAY. I messed up another one in the next service.
So, my staff decided not to leave it to memory… or chance. They are taping them up everywhere, and we are even providing everyone with a bookmark so you’ll know the one I forget the next time!
In the meantime, just to prove to you I know them, here they are:
F oundation. “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:1-3)
I dols must be rejected. “You shall no make any…image.” (Exodus 20:4-6)
R expect God’s Name. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)
S top to Sabbath. “Remember the Sabbath day…”. (Exodus 20:8-11)
T each honor. “Honor your father and your mother…” (Exodus 20:12)
P ursue life. “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)
L ive with purity. “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)
A quire honestly. “You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15)
C ultivate integrity. “You shall not bear false witness.” (Exodus 20:16)
E liminate envy. “You shall not covet….”. (Exodus 20:17)
And for the record…I did all of these from memory!
Well, here it is Mother’s Day. Your day, we are told. No matter how inadequate or ill-conceived our efforts may be to show it… we love you. We do appreciate you, and all the untold and unnumbered things you do to make our lives better.
Of course that includes driving us way too fast to soccer and dance practice… driving us to school because we’re too “big” to ride the bus; packing lunches that we probably complain about because it’s “peanut butter again.” And then, of course, there’s your work as an on-call, 24 hour immediate care nurse. How many times have you “kissed it” with the magic cure-all of Momma’s lips!
You have sewn costumes and dresses; become a “science major” that helped us with last-minute assignments from school; or a patient encourager as we learned to play violin or trumpet (or drums!).
Somehow, you managed to prepare more meals than can be counted and kept a (reasonably) clean house and kept us in reasonably clean clothes! You sacrificed time, money, sleep and energy to see us through childhood and into high school and beyond. As a relationship counselor, you helped us when our friends were unkind or rejected us; when our first boyfriend or girlfriend broke our hearts.
In the midst of all this, you managed to make life fun. Games, and songs, and laughter fill our memory banks of years at home. Maybe your laughter came through tears. You are human. Your heart got broken, too. Maybe you and Dad struggled in your marriage. Or you live the dual life of a Mom who also works outside the home. Perhaps you raised us as a single Mom… the hardest job of earth.
And then one day, we broke the news that a new person has come along and stolen our hearts… and we’re going to get married! We watched as you struggled (struggle?) to “cut the apron strings.” You resisted the urge to call or visit us every day as we learned to be a couple, and learn to model what you and Dad showed us through the witness of your life.
Of course, maybe along the way we made you a grandma! (Mamaw? Nana? Granny?) Now you are showing your love to us again as you love the baby that is your grandchild.
All of these things Mom, we understand, you didn’t do perfectly. No human being could. But you did them well… and we will always be grateful to you for bringing us into the world through your body… and sending us into the world with your heart.
Maybe Mom, you took a part of our heart with you when you left us too soon and went to Heaven. For some of us, this is our first year without you here to say “thank you.” We hope, somehow, you know our hearts and the gratitude that we cannot express face-to-face.
The Bible tells us we are to “rise up and called you blessed.” This is what we want to do. You deserve it more than words, cards, flowers, and breakfast in bed or lunch in a nice restaurant can ever tell. We honor you this day and we really and truly hope you feel it!
Well, it’s finally happened and it can be scientifically verified. We have officially done away with God in our country. Now don’t get riled up here about politicians and political correctness and discriminating policies.
Some Christians have given Him up.
According to a Pew Research report just released, (pewforum.org) only 56% of Americans believe in a God who is “a God who loves unconditionally; a God who is omniscient (knows all things) and a God who is omnipotent (is all powerful).” In other words… the God of the Bible. Many others believe there is “a higher power or some being” that is in control of everything, but it is not the God revealed on Sinai and in Jesus Christ.
Sadly, more Christians than ever have slid off the scale in their belief system, and only 75% of believers say that all three (unconditional love, omniscience, and omnipotence) are characteristics of God which means fully one quarter do NOT.
The good news, if there is any in this report, is that people are still trying to believe something (someone) personally is “out there” directing life. Knowing who or what that is, however, seems to escape many.
It could be “the Force” of Star Wars fame. Or maybe “E.T.” and his kind are returning or planning to do so. Or maybe, well, some feel we just can’t know.
The good news is that there is still a void that the Christian world can speak to and has an answer for in people’s lives. That being said, it is also a sad indicator that our message of a personal, knowable God who came in the person of Jesus Christ and died for our sins, is being heard and received and believed by less and less.
I am not surprised by the statistics on a lost world rejecting a personal God. I am saddened and deeply concerned by a self-proclaimed “Christian” who would do the same. God has taken drastic and immeasurably graceful steps to make Himself known to us. “What can be know of God is made plain to them” (Romans 1:19). God doesn’t believe in atheists! There are only those who willfully reject the light they’ve received.
Perhaps it’s time for us to double-down on how we think about God… and make sure it aligns with Scripture. Perhaps it’s time to double-down in how we speak of Him. The light is slowly going out in our culture. The darkness is growing. This survey is simply evidence of that.
It’s time for believers to hear the trumpet and run to the battle!