Sunday, March 16, 2014

Life Without Luck

St. Patrick Snake 

Holidays are really beginning to bother me.  As each decade passes, people know less and less about the truth of what is being celebrated. Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Independance Day have become famous events of spending and eating. Honorable people and values are all but forgotten as we Americans please ourselves in the festivities of being off work.  What is the point?

Presently we are in the midst of the 4-leaf clover, go-green, lucky-charm month. What is Saint Patrick's Day? Or rather WHO was Saint Patrick? An Irish mascot or legend? The luckiest man who ever lived? Over the years people have contorted truth and made idolatrous lies about individuals of noble character. Today most people know nothing of this person, Patrick --and the commercialism and superstition of this holiday continues to grow.

St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. Calpornius, his father, was a deacon, his grandfather Potitus a priest, from Banna Venta Berniae. Patrick, however, was not an active believer. According to The Confession of St. Patrick, at the age of just sixteen Patrick was captured by a group of Irish pirates. The raiders brought Patrick to Ireland where he was enslaved and held captive for six years. Patrick writes in The Confession that the time he spent in captivity was critical to his spiritual development. He explains that the Lord had mercy on his youth and ignorance, and afforded him the opportunity to be forgiven of his sins and converted to Christianity. While in captivity, Saint Patrick worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer eventually leading him to convert to Christianity.

After six years of captivity he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and then that his ship was ready. Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port, two hundred miles away, where he found a ship and with difficulty persuaded the captain to take him. After three days sailing they landed, presumably in Britain, and apparently all left the ship, walking for 28 days in a "wilderness", becoming faint from hunger before encountering a herd of wild boar; since this was shortly after Patrick had urged them to put their faith in God, his prestige in the group was greatly increased. After various adventures, he returned home to his family, now in his early twenties.After returning home to Britain, Saint Patrick continued to study Christianity, and eventually returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. (Wikipedia)

This man was not a red-bearded man with a pot o'gold and luck, but a man of character. The beloved words of the hymn, Be Thou My Vision, were actually written as a tribute to St. Patrick's loyalty in worship despite an Irish king's edict that restricted candle-lighting on Easter.  Although lengthy, the link below is truth worth reading and applying to our own perspective of holidays. This is what Patrick wrote of himself: The Confession of Saint Patrick

If interested in the history of Valentine's Day, Click Here
If interested in the history of Halloween, Click Here

Sunday, March 2, 2014

*Percent Daily Values are Based on a 24.7 Diet

             Oil                               Air                           Pure Water

Which of these bottles is empty? In reality none of them are, for the one without liquid is full of air. Our lives are like bottles that cannot be empty. Either our living is fulfilled in evil or in righteousness. What does your life contain? Does it affect others?
Let us say my life contains evil that I want to be rid of. “Pouring” air into my bottle will not easily remove the oil. That would take a lot of pressure! Rather I should replace the slimy substance with something heavier, like water. For example, let us further say I have a rapidly-evident addiction to food. Sitting at the table, staring at the refrigerator will not change my detestable lifestyle. No, I must replace my time and love with something else. I must renew my mind with the truth and consequence of my actions and respond differently to my desires. Not until I love something more will I be capable of sacrificing my actions.
Earlier I stated that our lives can only be filled with evil or righteousness. Isn't there an in-between? While there are many percentages of pollution, only pure water is 100% pure. Even a few molecules of ink will taint pure water.
How many of us can claim to have drunk pure water? Even if factories could produce it, once the seal is broken the percentage falls. Once we are born our lives are exposed to evil. Is it possible then to live an uncontaminated life? Not by our own doing. We must be cleaned and placed in a clean atmosphere. That is not something we have in this world. Thankfully God is beyond this sin-cursed earth and offers purity to any who would accept and trust it to be what He promises. Once in His hands we are broken and given new vessels to fill. He seals us so that nothing can contaminate us. Our vessels may become dirty on the outside, but our hearts are protected by the unfailing grace of God.

“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits. There is none righteous, no, not one...” Proverbs 16:2; Romans 3:10

“...our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. You... He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” 1 Corinthians 1:8; Colossians 1:22

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 1:13;14; 4:30

“And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.” Matthew 10:14