Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jesus....Away from the Stained Glass

Most of our ideology of and even our mental imagery of Jesus, the Messiah, comes from renderings of artist. They usually paint or draw or place into stained glass Christ as some soft, halo wearing, long-haired softy that looks anything but a person who could relate to me or you. Add to that the written attacks on Jesus by infidels who have portrayed Him as a homosexual and other devious and damnable things.

Having traveled many places in the world, I have seen the portrayal of Jesus around the world. Even in the places they attempt to show Jesus with reverence, to me, they miss it badly. Now I have not seen Jesus and I am sure my opinion of HIm is shaped by the various inputs I have had into my imagery.

However, consider that Jesus grew up in the home of boys. His dad was a carpenter. Carpenters work hard. Their hands are often rough from handling the wood and working with tools necessary for plying their trade. Jesus was comfortable among some of the toughest guys in the land. He called fishermen to accompany Him in reaching the world. Jesus was a real man...sun tanned, calloused hands, able to look the meanest soldiers in the face with blood dripping from His own.

Let me tell you about some of the folks I relate to as well. I have some friends that are cattlemen, ranchers, and generally rough people. One old fellow in particular comes to mind. He drives an old truck, raises goats, cattle and even a donkey or two. He is uneducated and can be spotted wearing an dilapidated old cowboy hat. His hands are gnarled from years of hard work and...He is a Christian. This man loves the Lord deeply. But guess what? He does not relate to the paintings in Cistine Chapel. He has no comprehension of a soft Saviour. In the words of this friend when talking about the Lord he says, painfully, "They whooped Him!" Not whipped...whooped. Recently he was speaking of Jesus and the kind of man He was. I think he captured it better than the elite artists of the world when he said of the Christ, "He's a Hoss!"

I love it! It is the kind of Christ I relate to. When we see Jesus again, rest assured He will not be a soft pushover, but He will return as King of Kings and men...all men will fear and tremble at His appearance.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Junk in My Trunk

Lifting the hatch on my Jeep is an experience in itself. Oh, not the lifting....as much as what you find when you lift it. In my trunk is a veritable smorgasbord of all the things I have been involved with in the last month or two. You'll find a planter or two, softball gloves, clothes a kid left from the fishing trip, some tools, a bag of feed and the list goes on and on.

It seems that the junk in my trunk is really a mirror of me. As much as it looks jumbled and unorganized, I know where things are and what they are for. Now, I thought long and hard about that trunk. It would only take a little time to totally empty it out, vacuum it and get it spic and span. I don't blame folks that keep theirs in that manner, but I'll go out on a limb here and say that those who have those perfect trunks, or pickup beds are usually really boring people.

If you are busy, interesting, involved, getting something done....you get the picture...well, there is a really good chance your trunk is going to show remnants of all you've been doing of late. To balance these statements, I am not suggesting that you let your trunk get so piled up that you have to sit on it to close it. Nor do I want your life endangered by man-made avalanche. But, take an inventory of your trunk and see what's inside. It will say much about the person you are.

Tell me what's in 'your' trunk!!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Real Hero's

Most of the things that attract the attention of the general population aren't worth much. Human beings are easily tricked and deceived. They respond to brighter lights, the music, the excitement, the call of the 'midway' so to speak. It seems that little attention these days is given to the most valuable aspects of our society...and mostly because the most valuable things are not standard equipped with bells and whistles.

Let me be more specific. In America, the heart and backbone of this nation are the men and women who get up early and stay up late working hard, paying taxes and being honest about living. But nobody gives a rip about them. The folks who get the attention, thus becoming iconic, are often the band leaders, the sports hero's and perhaps some charismatic politician. Don't get me wrong, there are good folks in all of these fields, but the really good folks still are unheralded.

In the realm of Country Music these days, there are a lot of modern singers with really good bands and good voices. But they attempt to sing about and be an icon for something they know little about. I would be willing to bet many of these 'country' singers know little about the country. Many wouldn't know the first thing about a horse, about growing row crops, or about the days when living on the farm demanded excellent work ethics. While these guys get a lot of press, they cannot hold a candle to the men and women who are riding in the cab of a hot tractor raking hay, or milking cows, or branding calves.

I hope you will join me in looking for ways to promote the 'Real' hero's in this land. Those who live within their means, treat their neighbors right, go to church, work hard, and laugh long. It is the common folks that I am applauding today. Although their names are not in lights, their efforts definitely keep the lights burning. God bless the faithfulness of the blue collar workers in America. They are the real hero's.