Not the “Same Love” as I Corinthians 13…

love fireIn a late night dinner conversation last night, my son and I were talking about blogs. We were doing that because he is having fun right now designing his own upcoming blog. I’m excited about his little drop in the blog ocean because it’s going to fill a niche that, as I look, I believe is currently empty. Now, that’s saying a lot, I know, but I don’t think it will be just another blog.

As we were talking, though, he said something I probably need to think about more. In essence, he said that you can’t just keep saying over and over in a blog how bad the world is. You have to acknowledge that things in America are really in a deplorable moral state and then you have to move on to some solutions and even some other topics. He said that your message will get stale if that’s all it ever is and, further, he said, “Who wants to just feast (in his mind) on depressing depravity day after day?” He’s right. We can’t live like that. Besides, there are just too many good people and too many exciting possibilities to be tethered to hopelessness.

So next time, something positive, I promise. Today, though, if you are a mom of teens, you need to know that the following song has made it this week to the number 11 spot on the Billboard charts in America. It does not surprise me that it’s been written and, although sad, it does not surprise me that it’s getting lots of airtime. But I am surprised that it can become one of the eleven most popular songs, across the board, in our country. It saddens me that its popularity has placed it on the playlist that will, most certainly, reach your children’s ears if they turn on any pop or top 40’s type radio station today. Lots of lyric “pundits” think it will top out at number one. Sad day.

I find it all the more dangerous because it uses (misuses) Scripture, the very words of the Holy Spirit of God, in the effort to normalize, even glorify the sin. If you are sanctified, it will make your heart sick to hear the Word thus inserted.

I just think you should know. Perhaps you can discuss these lyrics and the fallacies inherent with your teens at Family Bible Time. Maybe you can use this as a catalyst to discuss entertainment choices and the optional nature of entertainment, itself. Maybe you can discuss the ability Satan has to slowly erode the holiness of God’s people and how he uses the media to do that. Maybe you could talk about the homosexual agenda in America today and even discuss the impending probability that preaching from our pulpits from Romans One will soon be characterized as illegal “hate speech.” At least, I hope you can control the devices within your home to keep trash like this song from putting its not-so-subtle-anymore message of moral tolerance into the hearts of your teens and preteens.

It’s just a blatant reminder to Christian parents that we have to be extremely aware and persistent in Christian parenting. It’s the application of the word “diligently” in Deuteronomy 6:7. Never has there been a time in America when parents more desperately need to take any blinders off and be committed to giving our kids the tools needed to do battle with the devil. Here are the lyrics:

“Same Love”
(with Ryan Lewis)
(feat. Mary Lambert)

When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
‘Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She’s like “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-k, trippin’ ”
Yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she?
Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
I remember doing the math like, “Yeah, I’m good at little league”
A preconceived idea of what it all meant
For those that liked the same sex
Had the characteristics
The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don’t know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago
I don’t know

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
“Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we’re saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ’em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that’s not important
No freedom till we’re equal, d— right I support it

(I don’t know)

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

We press play, don’t press pause
Progress, march on
With the veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
Till the day that my uncles can be united by law
When kids are walking ’round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a d— good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love
About time that we raised up

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I try
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is patient
Love is kind
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I’m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I’m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I’m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
Love is kind

Digression

I digress from the Parable of the Talents today for something I have to do every now and then to clear my mind and refocus. I have to reflect on and speak about the moral climate in which my children will be forced to raise my grandchildren. I wonder how the Father can continue to delay the coming of the Son even as his wrath must wax hot against America and the world. My adulthood has certainly witnessed the unraveling of the moral texture of our young nation. It is simply unfathomable to me that I can turn on the Country and Western radio station and hear a song (a hit!) about having a beer with Jesus! Does Thomas Rhett really want to talk to Him?…Well,  he will one day, and it will not be in a bar. It will be amazing beyond what he can now imagine when he comes face to face with God to hear the Lord pronounce His eternal destiny and he will deeply regret making light of the One who said “Wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise,” (Psalm 20:1).

Then I switch to the pop station and hear the number one song on the Billboard charts…the most popular song this week in America: “Locked out of Heaven”  by Bruno Mars–a sacrilegious parody comparing sex to worship and heaven. I know immorality has always existed in our country, but there was a time not long ago when we were a bit ashamed of it, when we spoke publicly against it and certainly mainstream America did not revel in the blasphemy of mixing sensuality with the sacred. I have to wonder how the God of Cozbi (Numbers 25) can possibly find appeasement for His indignation in 2013? Can He?

I scanned the newsfeed today and read the ABC report from Brussels, Belgium in which 45 year old twins were lethally injected with a serum to end their lives, according to their directives, because they were going blind. This scene occurred at Brussels University Hospital on December 14th, 2012:

The men, who were born deaf, had a cup of coffee and said goodbye to other family members before walking into a hospital room together to die, their doctor told Belgian television station RTL.

“They were very happy. It was a relief to see the end of their suffering,” said Dr. David Dufour.

“They had a cup of coffee in the hall. It went well and was a rich conversation. Then the separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful,” he said. “At the last there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone.” (http://news.yahoo.com/deaf-twins-going-blind-euthanized-165500992–abc-news-topstories.html)

Really? This country, Belgium, which was about 17 years behind our own in legalizing the  taking of innocent human lives in the womb has taken such a leap into the legalization of euthanasia that it has legalized and normalized the deliberate ending of adult life, even when no terminal disease is present? Do not be fooled into thinking we , as Americans, are far behind in witnessing this atrocity in our own hospitals. Physician-assisted suicide is already perfectly legal in the states of Oregon and Washington.

AgendaI am attending a baby shower this week-end and I love a bargain. But I’m not going to buy this onesie found on the clearance “rack” of the Obama campaign site. (I don’t think my friend would find it useful.)

I guess I missed it when it was $20.00 during the campaign, but now it’s half price for any two dads who want to put this on their truly pitiable little tyke (https://store.barackobama.com). This just turns my stomach…that the societal mores in our country have ebbed away from righteousness to the point that the leader of the free world was elected while this was in his campaign store. Is this incredible to anyone else but me?! Again, I say, the nation cannot long stand. We can but peruse the annals of history to be fairly certain that our nation is on the brink of falling from within. It’s not rocket science to figure out that the Romans 1 kind of society cannot long prosper. To dress an innocent baby in a onesie that promotes homosexuality, to read him stories that make him accepting of a perversion of sex before he even understands what sex is, to normalize that which is against nature itself BEFORE he is even aware of the deep ramifications of sexuality in the human experience is just an egregious injustice to the innocent. It is not temperance. It is not social justice. It is a brainwashing the likes of which any religious speech in our public forums never approached.

The bottom line is that the things which divide us as a nation are deeply spiritual. The songs, the doctors, and the onesies aren’t the problems. The problems are not even the biggie-sized soft drinks in New York or the guns in Newtown. We know what the problem is: It’s a grievous void of personal responsibility due to the absence of faith in the hearts of American people.

You may be thinking that assessment is an oversimplification. But I say that problem is anything but simple. It springs from a religion that America embraced back in the days of the reformation– a religion that abandoned any human accountability for salvation. Even religious people then became comfortable with spiritual apathy (after all, if God is going to save me by grace alone regardless of any work I may do or leave undone…. What’s the point?). From the abandonment of human culpability in religion sprang a society of people who have no sense of personal moral (or fiscal) accountability. And thus, we’ve come full circle to a society that has neither studied, believed, or taught our children the principles that save souls and make nations prosper. It should not surprise you when the onesie for sale on the presidential campaign site is promoting pedophilia or even bestiality. When we decide there’s no absolute moral standard, what’s wrong with sex of any kind? What’s sacred about any human life? What’s inherently good or bad about any moral choice, for that matter?  Expect lots more Newtowns and fear for your personal safety and that of your children. (You are already afraid to let your kids walk alone in your neighborhood and you are a bit apprehensive about their safety at school.)  If you are a Christian, expect ridicule and prepare for outright persecution. But remember every day that life is short and eternity, where there is no fear for the saved, is…forever.

Let’s Just Edit God Out

On Monday of this week, according to Matthew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Council, Judge Michael Urbanski, a U.S. District judge in the Western Virginia district, offered a compromise in an ACLU vs. Giles County Board of Education lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the school board for allowing a privately funded display of the ten commandment to be a part of a 12-document display highlighting the documents that play key roles in United States history. Included in the display, but not targeted in the lawsuit, being heard by Judge Urbanski, are the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.

Of course, secular textbooks and historians who admit the glaring truth that the Ten Commandments, as listed in Exodus 20, played a huge role in the development of western culture and in United States history, are abundant. In fact their principles and even their author, God, are mentioned in several of the other documents included on this wall in this high school. Therefore, I think the battle that the ACLU is waging, here and in other places against the Ten Commandments, is less about content and more about authorship. It just incenses this organization for our culture to give credence to the Good Book as having emanated from the mind of God. Giving that credence, you see, infers that He exists and that we have His Word. And–oh dear–if we go down that path, then there are all sorts of obstacles to get over to legitimize immoral behavior. Absolute truth is a big stickler for adherence and this Absolute Truth inconveniently gets in the way of homosexuality, abortion, pornography, infanticide, euthanasia, etc….So the ACLU finds itself situated uncomfortably between the truth that this document is foundational to the culture we enjoy and their expressed need to rid our public buildings of references to it’s author.

So Judge Urbanski has ordered the case to mediation, suggesting a compromise. Judge Urbanski has asked the ACLU if the ten commandments can remain on the school’s wall if they become the six commandments instead of the ten? What if the first four–the ones that mention God–are excluded? Did you get that? Let’s just clip the document in half to get rid of any mention of authorship!

Seeing how this case is resolved will be interesting. Judge Urbanski got an initial response from the ACLU. They said this edit might resolve the dispute, but still, the other six installments should not be worded, so as to infer that they are commandments. In other words, no “Thou shalt not” should be posted. Again, it’s this obstacle of absolute truth.

I’m wondering about precedence if we start chopping God out of the Ten Commandments. (It’s difficult for me to even type those absurd words.) Are we going to chop Him out of the Declaration of Independence? Will we amend the Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact? Will we really mess with history to get around absolute truth? The problem is, the truth we chop away will still be truth. If we cut around the name of God with our measly scissors till kingdom come, the eternal kingdom will still come! If we take down plaques and edit Him out from now till the trumpet blows, it will still blow one day. Even if we take our chisels and remove His name from every marble statue in DC and from every cornerstone of every government building, His name is still the one at which every knee will one day bow. Even the knees of the officers of the ACLU… all knees under all tables on both sides of that courtroom… are getting ready to bow. Even the knees under the robe under the bench at the head of that and all courtrooms will bow.

Absolute truth is not decided in a courtroom. It’s not edited with scissors and chisels.

You can hear an audio about this case at www.libertyaction.org/7082/offer.asp.

I Didn’t Want to Know This

There are a few things that I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know what’s under and behind my stove. I don’t want to know if there is a lizard living in my house. I don’t want to know if my adult child has purchased a package of stink bombs and I don’t want to know whether or not anyone noticed my blouse buttons were not in the corresponding holes while I was speaking in that huge assembly. Some things I just don’t want to know. I did not want to know this:

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.” President Obama

Yes, he did. He did announce his support of homosexual marriages. He did become the first sitting president to do so. His rationale?

  1. He talked to friends and family and neighbors.
  2. He thought about staff members who are in monogamous, same-sex relationships.
  3. He thought about same-sex couples who are raising children together.
  4. He thought about servicemen who feel constrained.

I guess there are a few people with whom he didn’t talk and a few things he didn’t think about:

  1. He talked to friends and family, but he didn’t talk to anyone who has passed into eternity. In eighty short years, President Obama and everyone who will vote in this election will have passed into eternity. It will not matter at all there what views have been expressed by friends and family. It will matter what the Holy Spirit said about those who commit the sin of homosexuality and about those who approve the sin: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:32) President Obama, today announced that he is worthy of death.
  2. He did not think about those whose lives and families have been devastated by AIDS. Funny, as this announcement was being made by Obama, I was helping a friend, in an AIDS clinic. It is a place of quiet despondency and death. It is a place that would not exist in our city were it not for the sin of homosexuality. (It is also a place, by the way, where there are postings everywhere–literally, on just about every wall–encouraging patients to tell their social workers if they would like to register to vote. This is a place for government funded counsel, medicine, and housing for people who’ve contracted AIDS and for their children, many of whom will soon be wards of the state. It doesn’t take very long to feel the national burden of AIDS in such a place and to understand that voting for the funding candidate is important to the jobs of those who operate the free clinics.)
  3. He thought about children, but he did not think about the thousands of children who are orphaned each year because of the rampant sin of homosexuality; the sin he is necessarily normalizing by his statement.
  4. He thought about servicemen who feel constrained, but he did not think about the many servicemen and women–God-fearing service men and women– who are ever more fearful to even articulate their core religious belief about the sinfulness of homosexuality, even in private Bible studies, much less public arenas.

Why did he have to tell us? Your guess would be as good as mine. I believe he already had the votes of the homosexual population. I believe him. I believe, in his mis-guided conscience, it was an affirmation that was personally important for him. After all, if a person does not believe the Bible, and he obviously does not, then there is not one thing wrong with homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, infanticide, abortion, and a litany of other sins. In fact, outside the Bible, there exists a rationale for any sin, and it becomes just a matter of time until morality erodes to the level of implosion for any society. Our very first commander-in-chief, General George Washington, referred to the sin of homosexuality with “abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes.” His stance was not a surprise in 1778 and did not meet with dissonance in the young country. In the big scheme of things, it really hasn’t taken so long to take the moral plunge from a President drumming a homosexual soldier out of the camp in shame, to one proposing that he be honored in the sacred ceremony of marriage.

The saddest part about Obama’s statement yesterday is that it was not a surprise, either. May God help our still young country.

(P.S. Have you ever thought about the fact that the excessive government control of the current administration is intended to re-shape the moral and fiscal fiber of our nation? I mean, if we continue to make larger and larger portions of the population dependent on government clinics, housing, food , etc…for survival, and we continue to register these ever larger dependent populations to vote, then the country’s leadership will naturally evolve into socialists. In a socialist culture, self reliance, human dignity, and morality become rare commodities.)

Not so Saint-ly

Let me be the first to admit my ineptitude about sports–both in knowledge of most sports and, most certainly, in skill in any sport. But every now and then, when my son is in for a visit, I catch a blurb here and there from ESPN’s Colin Cowherd. I think he’s big on the Patriots–maybe Tom Brady, in particular; he’s not a fan of undefeated college football teams who failed to put any decent opponents in their schedules, and I’m pretty sure he has some sort of whacky divisions about deceased male movie stars going on right now. That’s about the extent of my Cowherd knowledge except for his unsettling story about the Saints last week. It seems that, even after having been warned by the NFL commissioner, some of the players continued to pay each other off for purposely injuring certain members of the opposing team (i.e.”I’ll pay you a thousand dollars if you hit ________hard enough to have him carried off the field on a stretcher.”)

“After the NFL made its investigation public Friday, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams admitted to running a bounty pool of up to $50,000 during the past three seasons, rewarding players for knocking targeted opponents out of games,” according to ESPN (espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/7660902).

What was disturbing to me as I listened was both that this unconscionable bounty pool existed and the public reaction to this injury for pay. I listened, in disbelief, as I heard fans call in and say “ This kind of thing is nothing new. It’s just part of the sport of professional football,” or “That’s why American’s love pro football; violence is just a part of the excitement of the game,” or “Why do we have to suddenly punish the Saints when we’ve been looking the other way on these kinds of locker room pay-offs for years?”

I know I’m just an empty-nest mom, coming off of twenty-eight years of making sure everyone was playing fair and no one was getting hurt, but give me a break! Am I really living in a country where people, who are smart enough to dial in and talk on a national radio show, see nothing wrong with paying one another to purposefully injure other human beings in order to win a football game?

This has got to be a least a microcosm of the kind of violence that called down the wrath of God in the days of Noah:

“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence” (Gen.6:11).

A pool of funds, especially designated for distribution among those who physically hurt opposing teammates, is pretty corrupt. The defense of these paid injuries by many fans of the sport shows a national propensity for anesthetization to the black nature of human violence.

The account of Noah was one of the first that I, as a child, heard from the Holy Pages. I remember wondering what kind of violence was occurring in the days of Noah. Were people beating up on each other with their fists or were they using sharp objects to wound and kill each other? And why? Why did people want to hurt each other in Noah’s day? I’m sure it had something to do with personal gain back then, too.

As I grew older and began to teach teens and ladies from the account of Noah, I often wondered how to most practically take lessons from the account of the violence of Noah’s day. After all, most of the women in my Bible classes would never consider hitting anyone, much less seriously injuring or killing anyone. When speaking about violence, I might have mentioned the horrors of abortion or the tragedy of child abuse. Still, for most of us, those examples are from the worlds of women in vastly different circumstances from our own. I know there are exceptions, but most of us, are just not perpetrators of violence.

But here we are. We do live in a country where the guys who play in the NFL make millions. And millions of Americans are enthusiastic fans of the game. I’ll wager (okay, not wager, but venture to say) that many of you readers have little boys who love NFL football and wear somebody’s number on a jersey. It’s a huge national pleasure and that’s okay. But members of an NFL team have admitted operating a bounty pool for the purpose of injuring opponents and the NFL is planning to levy some sanctions? If you ask me, the Saints should have their franchise pulled yesterday and be forced into the annals of once great NFL teams. Football is a sport. Here’s the definition of sport:

An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Did you get the purpose of a sport? It’s just entertainment. Yet, here we are…raising our kids in a society that very nearly worships at the stadium or in front of ESPN and bows down before the latest and greatest quarterback. It’s difficult for me to fathom that articulate worshippers have been led in the frenzied congregation to the point of verbally excusing and even supporting their icons in pay-per-view for pay-per-violence. But moms, mark it down: We’d better start early to teach our children that sports are merely entertainment forms and all entertainment is optional. We’d better make sure they know that sports are a distant second or third to spiritual activities when scheduling conflicts arise. We’d better let them see us using sports as opportunities to evangelize and to learn the value of fair play rather than sacrificing our values for the win at all costs. We can use the examples that come around each week– from the atrocity of the Saints’ behavior, to the common abuse of steroids, to the ethical issues surrounding recruiting, to the simple lessons of sportsmanship on the Little League field–to teach our kids some very practical lessons about life and godliness, or we can let those issues teach our kids that sports trump the spiritual. But we had better get ready for some dialog with our kids about sports and the relative unimportance of the games, because the devil really wants your kids to worship at the altar of some false god–and the idol of football is about as good to him as any other. I hope your family and mine can have fun at the stadium, the diamond, the court, the field or the rink without spiritual compromise. If we can’t, we should stay away.

“And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire” (Matthew 18:9).

Stray Pieces of Lent

I’m having a hard time really understanding why I’m starting to hear my brothers and sisters talk about celebrating Lent. Oh, I know that fasting and alms giving and the putting away of things that distract from our spiritual focus is a good thing any time of the year. I love to hear that Christians are clearing material clutter and temporal time-thieves to make more room in their houses and spirits for the spiritual. But choosing a time prescribed by the Catholic church and calling it a name designated by Catholicism and thus associating the good things prescribed by the Lord Himself (fasting, giving alms and living sacrificially) with “Holy Days” like Maundy Thursday and Ash Wednesday; with the smearing of ashes on the forehead; and with the obligatory abstinence from meats—all things that are the doctrines of men—that observance seems to be very much like what Jesus was condemning in Matthew 15:9.

“But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

To me, problems with speaking of “what I am giving up for Lent” or “I’m loving the concept of Lent” are several:

  1. I give the impression to those who hear that I am okay with religious rites and observances created by men. (There is just a whole lot more to Lent than sacrificing some practices or substances that distract from the spiritual.)
  2. More specifically, I give credence to the teachings of those who would fall into the category of people described in I Timothy 4:3, who are “forbidding to marry” and commanding to “abstain from meats” and who are described by the Holy Spirit as having “departed from the faith.”
  3. I sacrifice chances for evangelism when I mention to my friends what I am “giving up for Lent,” when I could be speaking with them about why I love my friends who are being sacrificial, but at the same time kindly explaining the reasons I don’t practice Lent. I might even engage my friends about I Timothy 4:3 in a respectful and inquiring tone. God is good to open doors of evangelism when we are faithful to plant the seeds.
  4. Perhaps I do not mean to be, but it seems to me that I am implying that the new covenant or the new testament, given by Jesus and activated at His death, leaves something to be desired; that the sacrifices of Romans 12:1,2 and the answer of a good conscience that results from baptism as described in I Peter 3:21 somehow leave something to be desired. I want to be very careful that I do not insult the gift of grace that so completely provides all that I need in Christ.
  5. My children, and perhaps others around me, may become genuinely confused about what practices in my walk of faith are Biblical and which are borrowed from the traditions of a false religion. I have some very dear friends who struggle every day as they try to reclaim a family member, who was once a simple New Testament Christian. They love his soul. They want him to remember that the burning of incense, worship of Mary, smearing of ashes, rosary, papacy, etc…of his new religion are all innovations and/or traditions of men. But now it is likely too late. I surely do not want to contribute to any such departure in the hearts of my children.
  6. We would not know about Lent if we were reading only the Bible for our guide in religion. We would know about giving to the poor and making sacrifices to walk with Christ and about fasting, but there are many components of Lent that are unrelated to anything we read about in the Guidebook.

May our hearts constantly rejoice in the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25). May we bask in the fact that we are thoroughly furnished in the New Testament to every good work (II Timothy 3:16,17). It’s all-sufficient. It’s all we need. But we really need to be in it every day–for strength, for clarity, for comfort and for hope.