Thursday, June 29, 2006

Old School vs New School

I've had this on my mind a few days and want to try and get it down on paper.
I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the emphasis of what you believe vs the emphasis of what you do. My generation was taught that the most important thing was doctrine...........what you BELIEVE. The Bible teaches a lot of things, and you had better be in compliance with all those teachings. And there is no wiggle room on most, if not all, those doctrines. What kind of disciples did it produce? It for sure produced a bunch of scholars. It also produced a lot of people who could quote the Bible. But, it also produced a bunch of failures in one sense because a lot of folks in my generation dropped out after they discovered it was impossible to be perfect. By the grace of God I see a lot of them coming back to the Lord........and attending other fellowships. No way they are going back to what they ran from 20 years ago. It produced people with very sectarian mind-sets. It also produced very shallow Christians who had little, if any, discipleship. It produced folks that knew what they believed, but treated their waitress at the restaurant like crap on Sunday after church. It produced folks who taught Sunday school class and then acted like hellions at athletic events later in the week. It produced Shepherds who pull support from missionaries that are saving lost souls, because they differ on ONE belief about an "item of worship". Living consistent with the way of the cross was not all that all came down to what you believe.

Now comes along this next generation, and for them, it seems to be all about what you are DOING. What you believe is really not that important, because after all, the fruit of your beliefs is what will be seen in your day to day walk. WHO you are is a lot more important that WHAT you believe. What kind of disciple is this new mind-set producing? It for sure is producing a lot of people who are willing to be servants.......24/7. It is producing people who are very welcoming of others with different beliefs, because remember after all, what you believe is not a priority. This is a very giving bunch of folks..... giving of time, money and talents. It also has produced some who say a Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim who lives a life of service is just as saved as a Christian. They ask "How can a good person not be saved?" For a lot of these folks, Christ is not the only way to Heaven. "Whatever" is the catch all answer for any question. Whatever will get you to heaven, as long as you are doing good.

So which is it? Which group has it "right"? You are way ahead of me, aren't you? :) I don't think either group has the answer. I believe the New Testament has examples of each group. The Pharisees for sure thought WHAT you believed was of first importance. You know how Jesus felt about those folks. He despised them. On the other hand, there were those in the NT who didn't believe Jesus was the only way to heaven.......the Savior of man. I guess you remember how they were regarded also. False teachers. Paul despised them.

I wonder what would happen if our emphasis was what Christ taught and lived......that you LOVE God, and LOVE your neighbor. If we loved God, doesn't it follow that we would believe the things He wants us to believe? If we love our neighbor, wouldn't that reguire ACTION and DOING? Debate over.
Some may ask, "well, don't you believe in doctrines?" Yes, as long as they fit under the umbrella of loving God first. Others will ask, "well, do you believe in BEING light and salt.....after all, that's the name of your blog?" Yes, as long as it fits under the umbrella of loving God thru Christ......and loving my neighbor.

It's all about Love. Can we EVER get that? Love for God thru Christ, and loving others. It ain't that hard to understand, but evidently really hard to live!


Matt got me and him St. Louis Cardinal tickets for tomorrow night for my Father's Day present! AWESOME! I will be in high cotton!

I may not post again for a while..........going on vacation next week to be with my boys and brother in Memphis and my folks in Alabama. I hope ALL of you have a WONDERFUL 4th. May God continue to bless our country, and all the countries of the world!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Road Trip

I forgot to post saying I was hitting the road again.......sorry! I traveled to Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa this past week. 1,435 miles. The road is long, but the people I get to be with are a major blessing in my life. I love my work.
I hope all of you do too.

I spent Friday afternoon and Saturday in Iowa with 3 other friends from my days in Liberia. One is a Catholic, one is Methodist, one belongs to a Community church. Two of us were sons of missionaries, and the other two didn't start going to church until they got married. We talked about spiritual things for the good part of an afternoon. We asked each other some pretty penetrating questions about our religious backgrounds. I asked my Catholic brother if most Catholics believe they HAVE to go thru confession with a priest to get forgiveness from God. He does not believe that, but he said he couldn't speak for other Catholics. I think that would be an interesting poll to take.
Two of them were having a hard time accepting that people are only saved thru Christ. No, I'm not kidding. But there was one topic we all agreed on, and it is what we spent the most time talking about. All of us are sick of "religion". Each of them sees the huge difference between religion and discipleship. One owns a diner, and he says the whole work staff dreads each Sunday because they know that day is their worst lunch crowd........both in character and tips.
That has to break God's heart. Our conversation concerning this sounded like a chapter out of Barna's "Revolution". He portrays what is going on pretty dog-gone accurately. If you haven't read it yet, go get it.

I love those three guys! All 3 have wonderful hearts, and are as transparent as the day is long. Someday I hope all of you get to meet Phil, Bill, and Tim. And I hope they get to meet you too! Both bunches would bless each other.
Isn't Heaven going to be grand!

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day 2006

I have had an EXCELLENT Father's Day! Matt got to come home for the weekend, so that was a pleasant surprise. We missed Luke, who is in Atlanta with his internship. Jan cooked a great lunch for me today, which is the case ANY TIME she cooks a meal! As I have said before, I feel sorry for my boy's wives as they try and follow their mother-in-law.

I didn't get to see my dad today, but I am glad I got to be with him last weekend for a little bit. Dad doesn't do computers, so he will never read this.
He would be embarrassed if he knew I was braggin on him, but he deserves it.
His life is a very inspiring story........and I promise to share it on another post sometime. Right now I just want to say THANKS dad for all you have done for me and for all the rest of our family! We couldn't have made it without your guidance, love, and discipline. We all love you!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to ALL of you dads out there!

Thanks most of all to our HEAVENLY FATHER, for His faithful love. His UNCONDITIONAL love.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Iuka, Memphis and Edmond

The family reunion was WONDERFUL! I think mom had a really good time visiting with all of her family. It was good to see aunts and uncles that I had not seen in several years. We didn't get around to playing horseshoes because of the heat. The old Wade home place looks good, and it always brings back memories of my paw-paw, beagle dogs, Dr. Pepper by the crate, Dentine gum, Arm and Hammer for brushing my teeth, pull-through washing machines, a well, and out-houses. Oh, and an old-timey phone like you see Andy Griffith using at his house.......the kind you had to wind up. Ahhh............that was living! :)

I enjoyed very much being with my brother Bryan on Saturday night. He cooked out, we hung by the pool and Matt came over. Sunday morning I went to Sycamore View to church with Bryan and his family and Matt. WOW! What a SUPER church family. I want to share with you a thought Curt Sparks shared with the congregation that morning. They are doing a series on Jesus this summer. Here is the question he asked: We know the prostitutes, cheaters, and what we would call other "low-lifes" were attracted to Jesus. Why are they NOT attracted to us?

Think on that for a while.

I'm headed to Edmond for a couple of days. Can you believe June is almost half over? Where does the time go? What's it all about, Alfie? :)

Have a great rest of the week!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Zarqawi and Other Thoughts

Am I glad Zarqawi is no longer causing havoc in the Middle East? OF COURSE I AM. Does the thought that he may have lost his soul for eternity make me glad? OF COURSE IT DOESN'T!! God loved him as much as He does me, you, Jimmy Allen, George Benson, Annie Lewis, Billy Graham, Alexander Campbell, Hillary or T. O. I believe that God is broken hearted over a lost child.


I have a new favorite spiritual song................."How Great is Our God". We sang it a bunch at Pepperdine, and I can't sing it enough! Have you heard it?


I heard a friend say the other day that he has a friend that announced that these are his four non-negotiables:

Baptism is essential for salvation
Women must remain silent
Worship has to be without instruments
We must take the Lord's Supper every Sunday

I could write volumes about that mind-set, but I would just be repeating what I have already written many times. It just makes me sad that the institutional mind-set is still very active and alive amongst us. Did you notice how 3 of these core values centered around the Sunday assembly? Deliver me!


I knew it was just a matter of time! The attacks on Pleasant Valley in Little Rock have already started.............because of WHO they have invited to speak at their Leadership Conference. Check it out:

Keep these good folks in your prayers.


I am headed to Memphis today to have lunch with Matt and Liz, and then on to Florence tonight to be with my folks. My mom has a family reunion tomorrow in the country outside of Iuka, Mississippi.........and I am going to take her. It will be fun to throw horse-shoes, and eat good down home cooking all day on Saturday! Saturday night I am going to be with my brother Bryan in Memphis and then attend Sycamore View with him on Sunday morning. I can't WAIT to worship with those good folks! If you detect an extra glow coming from the Mid-South area, Bryan has a swimming pool and so I may swim a little bit. The glow will be the sun reflecting off this beautiful white skin! Right Lowell? :)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Searcy's Own Bill Dance

I know, Bill Dance and Jimmy Houston fish mostly for bass. Anybody can catch bass! :) Searcy has Lowell Myers...............the best dang trout fisherman in these parts. And by parts, I mean Arkansas and the surrounding states. So, you can imagine how blessed I felt when Lowell told me he would take Luke and me trout fishing! We left the church parking lot a little after 6:30 this morning, and we were on the water by a little after 7:00. We were on the Little Red River, just north of the metropolitan area of Pangburn. We couldn't have asked for a more BEAUTIFUL morning to fish! It was cool, and the water was as smooth as glass. We saw snakes, turtles, a prehistoric looking bird called a Blue Herring, geese, several muskrats, to name a few. I know, you want to know how we did catching trout. Isn't that why we went? Well, yes and no.
We went for the fellowship and fun of being in God's creation, and if we caught fish.............well, that was just icing on the cake. And we did catch em. Between the 3 of us we put probably 10 in the net. If we had caught all the ones that got on my hook and got off, we would have put more than 20 in the net! It's an art with trout, and it had been so long since I had been, I pretty much sucked on setting the hook and delivering the catch all the way to the boat. Lowell could have made fun of me.......instead he just laughed. I laughed with him! For never having had fished for trout before, Luke did really well. He put as many or more than I did in the net. I just enjoyed watching him, and being with him. I wish Matt could have been with us. Maybe some other time.

I just wanted to share my blessings with you. The blessing of having a gracious friend that is a professional fisherman and guide, and even a better disciple! I wish we had MORE Lowell Myers in our world! The blessing of spending time with a son...............with no cell phones, no TV, no radio........just us with a friend and with our Father. It don't get any better! The blessing of being in HIS nature. How can a person spend time in nature and not believe in a creator? I don't get it. They have to be blind.

Today was one of those days that stay with you.............forever! I love you Lowell, for your kind spirit and giving heart. Downtown doesn't know how blessed we are to have you! I love you Luke, for LOTS of reasons...........but most of all because you are my son. WODEES!


If you see Keith Riley, wish him a happy birthday. He had a birthday last Friday. I'll let him tell you how ancient he is. He isn't a spring chicken anymore! :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my brother!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Still Crazy After All These Years

Well, I just remembered that I now have been blogging for 2 years. Seems like yesterday I was only a rookie! :) It's been fun...........the best part being getting to know SO many wonderful people thru this medium of communication. Yeah, I am talking about YOU! It has been a tremendous blessing to get to read your blogs every day, and from time to time your comments on this one. I can honestly say that my walk has been strengthened and is deeper because of a lot of you good folks. Thank-you!

Seems like my postings have slowed down the past 6 months or so. Maybe it's old age! With so many good blogs to read, it's somewhat intimidating to try and write something worthy of reading. I never want to post just to be posting. I will just continue to post when I feel moved by the Spirit to do so.
Or when football season starts! :)

May God continue to bless us all!