Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Not Taken
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

Many have offered various interpretations and applications for the expressions within this poem. Though the actual meaning remains hidden with Mr. Frost, these words resurrect another element of discovery in my mind. In a few months, I will soon enter into the adventurous world of fatherhood. I, too, stand at the forks of this journey and will be faced with many decisions. Will I choose to become a father who will hide in fear from the many challenges or will I choose to venture into uncharted territory with courage and zeal? Sadly, many fathers choose to neglect those under their care and authority. He may work long hours to provide the physical needs of his family (these needs are greatly appreciated), but they often overlook the emotional, mental, and spiritual essentials that develop a well-balanced and stable family.

Unfortunately, television has disgraced the picture of men in our society. No wonder that authority has been stripped from the home when television programs show men as imbeciles and buffoons. When our culture indoctrinates our children with these unbiblical teachings, we quickly find our families in disarray. How will the men of our day restore our role and function within the home. More than ever, we need men who will stand up to the challenge of sacrificially loving their wives (Ephesians 5:25-27), faithfully raising their children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Ephesians 6:4), and diligently studying and applying the Scriptures to their lives.

Like many men, we desire to see the fruits of our labor. We work long hours anticipating a salary at the end of the week so that we can pay the mortgage and utilities. We repair items around the home in order that they function properly when needed. We like to know that our labor is bringing reward and meeting needs. However, when it comes to the family, the results of our toil are often not seen or appreciated. Day after day we invest and pour into lives of our families often forgoing our own needs. Very little is evidenced in the preparation stage where instruction and training is involved. Many hours, days, months, and years are involved as a father continuously strives and invests in his family. Often he goes unnoticed because he resides in the recesses of the home. He receives no accolades or standing ovations, but his work will find its reward long after he has moved off the scene. It is amazing to me how God planned this out.

One day we men will stand front and center to give an account to how we influenced and directed our homes. He has given His Word to us to be the compass which will give us a bearing when we lose sight of His will. As fathers, we give direction, shape and mold lives, provide stability in the home, develop deep and meaningful relationships, and sacrificially love our families. What a challenge to each of us who anticipate living out God’s Word! And the greatest example of a father that we have is our heavenly Father who sent His Son. Through the Person and Nature of Jesus Christ, we have come to know the Person of the Father. Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry, He revealed to His disciples, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him” (John 14:7). We have been shown the greatest example of a true Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. May our Father find each one of us faithfully responding to His Word and serving our families. Will you make difference in your family?

Proverbs 27:17— “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Thursday, December 14, 2006

USC vs Baylor

Sorry Baylor fans! After a close and competitive game between the Carolina Gamecocks and the Baylor Bears, USC pulled off a win in Waco. With ten minutes left in the game and USC facing a 7 point deficit, the Gamecocks players took charge of the final moments of the game. Senior Tre' Kelly scored seven points and hit two 3-pointers in the final two minutes of the game delivering a 64-59 defeat to the Bears. Though I was the only one cheering in our section of the stadium, the Baylor fans extended me the courtesy to cheer for my team. Thanks for the hospitality.

Friday, December 8, 2006

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Baylor Bears


Since I moved out of the Carolinas, I have not been able to attend any USC games, but the Gamecocks are coming out to Texas. I can't miss this opportunity to pull for the Cocks. Tomorrow night is the game between USC Gamecocks (5-2) and Baylor Bears (6-1). In addition to going to the game, our trip to Waco, TX is a "baby-moon." It has been suggested that parents-to-be should take a nice mini vacation before the little one arrives. Go Cocks!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Stones Will Cry Out!

Recently, Vatican archaeologists have completed the excavation at Rome's second largest basilica which unearthed a sarcophagus. The tomb dating back to 390 AD is believed to hold the remains of the Apostle Paul. Excavation began in 2002 and finished only recently WorldNetDaily.

A second excavation, under the main altar of the basilica, brought the Vatican team to the sarcophagus, which was located on what would have been ground level for the original 4th-century building. Under the altar was a marble plaque was still visible, dating back to the 4th century, and bearing the inscription: "Apostle Paul, martyr." Filippi remarks that surprisingly, "Nobody ever thought to look behind that plaque." When the Vatican team looked, they found the sarcophagus Christianity Today.

"Our objective was to bring the remains of the tomb back to light for devotional reasons, so that it could be venerated and be visible," said Giorgio Filippi, the Vatican archaeologist.

Is this called prophet veneration?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Arctic Blast in the South

Isn't it funny when the local weatherman speaks of an arctic blast to hit the South? I bet there are many who live in regions that are covered in snow that laugh when we close our doors because of a few snowflakes. Here is our winter...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas in Crisis

How do we take Christ out of Christmas? I can remember as a young child how furious my mom would get when stores would would spell Christmas with an X (Xmas)on their windows. I am not sure whether they were making a statement or just trying to conserve space.

OK... maybe this doesn't bother you, but I cannot understand why our society wants to take out any part of the life or name of Christ during this season. As the new movie, The Nativity Story, is set to open in the theaters on December 1, Chicago city officials have asked a local Christmas festival, Christkindlmarket, not to advertise the new movie

Though society's decision to ban advertisements about Christmas does not alter my faith, I am saddened that we live in a world that continues to reject Jesus Christ. But then again, what an opportunity for Christians to stand strong for the gospel in the face of opposition. As I remember, Christ told the disciples,
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, `A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also (John 15:18-21).

Our faith or our message is not annihilated because society closes certain doors of outreach. In fact, our faith and message can never be eradicated because we serve a soveregn and powerful God. He has chosen to allow certain persecutions to enter into our lives in order to cultivate a more mature faith. Through our persecution and suffering, God draws us closer to Him and teaches us about the depth of our relationship with Christ.

Let's take advantage of this opportunity to call upon the Lord for guidance and reveal to a lost and dying world the magnificent splendor of our Savior. To Him be all the glory.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

What do you think of on Thanksgiving? Food, family, football, parades, television, or just relaxation from a day off from work (well maybe some of us have to work). The tradition of Thanksgiving is rich with history of our homeland. We know from history that the Mayflower set off from England in 1620 and landed on Cape Cod a couple of months later with 102 of our forefathers. Within the first winter, some 50 people of the original crew died, yet the remaining individuals decided to celebrate the first Thanksgiving which occurred sometime during the fall/winter of 1621. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the colonists along with some 90 Wampanoag Indians who helped them survive the brutal ruggedness of the land. Much of this history is recorded in Governor William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation. As I think about the pilgrim's enthusiasm to start a new life in the New World only to struggle to survive during their first year, what held them together in order to express a celebration of thankfulness? Holidays can bring forth both celebration and sadness. It is a time to spend with family, yet it is also a time of reflection. How will you spend your time over the holiday season?

Many of us know the words of America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates:
O BEAUTIFUL for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

But do you know the words of the second stanza:
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Those stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

Be strong, Pilgrim!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

At the Portal

I am reminded of a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson,"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others." Standing at the portal of cyberspace, I am a little hesitant to enter, yet my curiousity gets the better of me. So I will take the exciting walk through the door of Blogville and welcome the adventure with open arms. Here we go...