Stand or Kneel?

When something captivates the nation’s attention and everyone is talking about it, our job as preachers is to try to explain what that subject means to us as Christians. So, what does a group of athletes refusing to stand for the National Anthem and place their hand over their hearts have to do with us? I think for many of us it boils down to respect. Respect for our nation and respect for the sacrifice of people who have fought and died for your right to protest. Also, when simplified to its purest form, these men are paid millions of dollars to play a game for a living. This is their job. If I protested on my job, I would be fired. Nevertheless, we, the people, buy tickets to see them play. We, the people, buy cable packages. We, the people, buy the shirts and hats. But no more… I am finished due to the inconsiderate actions of those in the NFL.  That part is easy, here is where it gets murky. As Christians, do we allow this subject to be addressed or talked about during worship? I think the answer to this question is no. You see, as much as I am a patriot, and as much as I love my country, I love my God more. So, I will leave this subject out of my sermons because I will keep my eye on the higher calling. Just like Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Tax collector probably disagreed on most everything politically, they worked together for the greater cause.  As Christians, we can state what we believe, but the cause of Christ should always win out. Each of us must evaluate our own positions and pray about them. We must try and determine if our positions are Biblical.  For me, I will always place my hand over my heart. I will always stand for the anthem, but most importantly I will kneel at the Cross!

Saying Goodbye…

 Today my son had to say goodbye to his dog of almost 9 years. We loved him very much, and he was a very good boy. “God created all animals and gave man dominion over them,” Genesis 1:26 says. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'” Our dog Dexter was more to us than just a pet. He was a friend. He used to go into my son’s room at night, when he was little, and check on him. If Billy and I were wrestling, the dog would take sides, and it was not mine! Dexter never hurt anyone, but I have no doubt if anyone would have messed with “his boy,” he would have defended him to the death.  But as time marches on, Dexter got old and life started to become difficult. So today we had to say goodbye. I am going to miss his beautiful eyes, his sweet wagging tail, and I no longer have a way to dispose of the crust on my toast. When we adopted him from Young Williams, he weighed 35 pounds. Today he weighed in at 109! Much like his master, he always enjoyed eating. Dexter was the epitome of why God gave us animals. He served his family well and we took care of him in return. He was a good boy, and he will be missed.  We will meet him now only in memory… and we have some wonderful memories.