Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sports and Morality

The uproar about the awful officiating of the Arkansas Florida college football game has led to an unprecedented step by the SEC: the public suspension of the ref crew for two weeks.

In case you are not a fan, or missed, has a great summary. Suffice to say that unranked Arkansas (my alma mater for undergrad) outplayed the number 1 team in the nation most all of the game. In the last quarter, the refs spotted the ball forward about a yard, whihc gave the Gators a first down. They called a pass interference totally backwards, against the Razorbacks. Then they called a fictional personal foul against the Hogs. Then they let them kick the game wining filed goal after the play clock expired.

Even some Gator fans acknowledge some of this, as does the Southeastern Conference, who said that some calls had no evidence at all. Even some Hog haters are upset.


Because even opponents expect fair treatment. It is deep down. A Bad call on any team elicits from the crowd a chorus of angry "Boos."

Where did this deep sense of right and wrong come from?

God created us.

Deep down, he placed "eternity in our hearts." All societies enjoy similar moral codes because of the principles God place within each of us, whether we acknowledge Him or not.

And that is how even SEC football can lead to a devotional.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Watching Salvation Occur

As a deacon, I have the honor of counseling those who come forward during the church service to make a decision.

People come forward, tearful and unsure.

When they are ready, they pray and ask Jesus into their heart, the change is remarkable. This is true whether they have ever been to church or they were raised in church, rich or poor.

I watch years of guilt, shame, doubt and regret wash from their faces and it is replaced with a glowing countenance. Their eyes clear, and it is like they are a new person. Of course, biblically, that is true. A clean slate provided by the Lover of our souls.

I don't think I could ever get tired of watching this process. It always reminds me of a day 22 years ago, when the same thing happened to me.

Praise be to God.

Monday, October 12, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW "The Secret of Jonathan Sperry" out now

I took the kids with some friends and we saw this Christian movie in the one solitary theatre that Malco was showing it, at Wolfchase Mall.

It is set in 1970, and is fictional.

An older man begins to talk with boys who mow his lawn and it leads to a meaningful bible study that grows and changes the lives of many in the little town.

The movie was more like the 50's in the way it portrayed the safe little neighborhoods where everyone knows each other. A crush on a girl is portrayed in an innocent way. His very Bible lesson is filled with fun and creativity (a secret).

There is overt presentation of the gospel several times, and a bit of surprise ending.

You will laugh and you might cry. Your kids, as long they do not expect robots and mayhem, will like it too. It is not very long.

Please consider spending your entertainment dollar on this type of small Christian film, now, before it goes to video.

Thanks for reading.

Jesus: Lord, Liar or Lunatic??

One of the only things I feel was truly accomplished when I was student President of the Christian Legal Society at Memphis State/The University of Memphis was that we handed out 200 copies of Josh McDowell's great little book, "More Than a Carpenter" to all incoming freshman law students. We also included the appropriately named tract, "the Four Spiritual Laws."

Many folks will allow that Jesus was a great moral leader or spiritual teacher.

Oddly, He claimed to be God in the flesh.

C.S. Lewis, a popular British theologian, continues, "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, The MacMillan Company, 1960, pp. 40-41.)

Examine the claims of Jesus in the Book of John. Ask Truth to become known to you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is There any Sin but Idolatry?

Recently, I was guest preaching at an Assisted Living Center in Memphis, and I felt lead to show how all the ten commandments could probably be restated as: "Because you love your neighbor, you shall not bear false witness..." or "because you love your God, you shall have no other gods before me.."

This thought came from verses suggesting that love is the root of all the commandments, to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

In a similar thought, I looked at each commandment in its relation to the first and second commands, about idolatry.

If one becomes one's own idol, you may bear false witness against your neighbor. If pleasure becomes an idol, you may commit adultery. The disturbing thing about this line of thought is that all idols demand sacrifices. In adultery very clearly, the adulterer sacrifices his wife, children, reputation and witness on the altar of pleasure.

Since pride seems to place our desires first, it is indeed idolatry. It is pride that cast down Satan.

Other verses even combine these two thoughts, such as "it the love of money that is root of all kinds of evil." Note it is the love of it that makes it an idol.

Would that we would love Him who first loved us that much.

David Peel

Friday, October 2, 2009

The BOOK ODYSSEY continues

I heard from the gentleman in LA, a fellow attorney, and he gave me some input on how to better write my summary. 

If you have never tried, it might well amaze you how hard it is to take 250 pages and cram them onto 4 without leaving important nuggets out. Worse, you know the story so well you dream about it, but that also makes you assume things.  In other words, you leave out basic information because it seems clear to you. 

I should have worked more on the summary and responded slower. I just got excited. 

However, this patient man has given me a chance to redo it. 

I hope he may shop it to literary agents again? Will this be a one time assist? I will let you know.