Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas and Political Correctness

“Merry Christmas,” I said.
“Merry Christmas,” answered the employee of a large business.
I was surprised. I thought to myself, “she said Merry Christmas, that is cool.”
Many of course are obliged to say, “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” by their employers or by their own personal choice. Society dictates that we be politically correct. The reasoning of course, as you know, is that some folks celebrate Hanukah and some are Muslims or Hindus who don’t observe Christmas. So political correctness dictates they should not be forced to say “Merry Christmas.”
When I lived in India we used to say “Happy Diwali” to many people when that major October holiday rolled around. I didn’t celebrate the holiday per se, but we enjoyed the fact that many did celebrate it. I was not offended to say, “Happy Diwali.”
We now live in a world where people get offended too easily. Litigation is out of control. In fear we lose our freedoms in order to try to soothe this infraction of “accepted norms.”
Too bad. We are way too serious and way too easily offended.
I sincerely do wish you a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Hanukah. God bless.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Spring on I-90

As a kid, growing up in Northern Idaho, I remember one place along the road where our family would always stop near the summit of Lookout Pass. It was a spring of water. Someone had installed a pipe beside the road, to make it easy to drink the cold, clear water that streamed out of the mountain. On summer days, en route to Montana or back home to Idaho, we would stop and be refreshed by that spring.

Springs are one of the many pictures of spiritual reality that God has sprinkled throughout nature.

The Old Testament relates a story of Moses striking a rock at God’s command. Water came out of the rock and the entire community drank. Referring to this in the New Testament, Paul says, “They all … drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”1 During his lifetime Jesus said with a loud voice, “‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, … streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this He meant the Spirit…”2
So we have a spring. Clear water. People parched and in need of refreshment. Christ. The Spirit. Drinking. Refreshment. Life for our entire being.

The fourth century mystic Ephrem the Syrian saw this analogy. He wrote, “A thirsty person is happy when drinking, and not depressed, because the spring is inexhaustible. You can satisfy your thirst without exhausting the spring; then when you thirst again, you can drink from it once more.”3

A simple spring of water beside Interstate 90. Water from the mountain. Year after year. Each time someone passes that place, he may pause to drink. The water is sweet and cold.

Jesus is saying to us with a loud voice, “come to me and drink.”

Are you thirsty?






Drawing of Lookout Pass by Byron Dudley4


1 Corinthians 10:4
2 John 7:37-39
3 Shane Claiborne, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010) 64
4 http://byrondudley.blogspot.com/2009_11_01_archive.html

Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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