Lord’s Day, January 2, 2011

I recently updated my profile picture. You can see the more follicle-accurate picture when you click the About Me (So Far) button on the upper right.

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Now, on to the Lord’s Day post! The message this morning was on Daniel Chapter 6, specifically on Daniel’s prayer.

Lessons learned:

  • From a Christocentric point of view, the hero of the story is not Daniel but God. While Daniel showed his faithfulness to God amidst a pagan culture, his faithfulness is overshadowed by God’s faithfulness to Daniel in particular and to the nation of Israel in general. Even during their exile, God is working to bring them back to the Promised Land, in fulfillment of his own word.
  • One of the highlights of the passage is prayer. While the passage does not directly command us to pray (the acts of prayer are descriptive, rather than prescriptive), Daniel’s prayer life should serve as a good example for is in terms of consistency and persistence in prayer.
  • This question deserves an honest answer: If you were Daniel, what would you do? Further questions: Would you skip prayer temporarily–the decree was effective only for thirty days, anyway–to save your skin?  Given the exact same circumstances as Daniel, would you at least close your window?
  • From the speaker: While the account does not say what Daniel prayed for, beyond “…and gave thanks before his God” (Dan. 6:10), it’s possible that he prayed according to this passage found in Jeremiah 29:7, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” From a worldly (I mean that in a good way) point of view, a prosperous and peaceful community is beneficial to all, including the people of God. From a spiritual point of view, the salvation of the people in our community should never be removed from our list of concerns.

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I don’t know from where I first heard this, but it seems that Pat Robertson is in another round of trouble with some of my fellow evangelicals over a recent statement he made.

Pat Robertson: Pot possession shouldn’t be a crime

Personally, I think the problem is the wrong choice of words for the headline. If I’m reading him right, I don’t think Pat Robertson is pushing for non punishment of pot-users.

“We’re locking up people that take a couple puffs of marijuana and next thing they know they’ve got 10 years,” he said. “We’ve got to take a look at what we’re considering crimes. I’m not exactly for the use of drugs, don’t get me wrong. I just believe that criminalizing marijuana, criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot — that kind of thing — it’s costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people. Young people go in as youths, they come out as hardened criminals and it’s not a good thing.”

Read that last again. Is he in any way encouraging people to smoke marijuana? No. Is he in any way saying we shouldn’t punish marijuana users? Uhm, the jury is still out on that, considering his own words, “I just believe that criminalizing marijuana…is ruining young people.” That last statement can be taken any which way, but I think Mr. Robertson is more concerned with the effects of a ten-year incarceration on young people than the legalization of marijuana.

I’m not an avid fan of Pat Robertson. He has said some problematic things in the past. (Didn’t he say something weird about Haiti once? After the country was devastated by an earthquake?) This time though, I’m not so sure outright vitriol against the man is the wise thing to do.

For the full story, go here. Please be warned though, that the comments on the link provided are less than family friendly. (A bit of topic, but why is it that more and more people seemingly cannot express themselves without profanity? Neither do they stay on topic. Is it really that difficult to stay on the topic and remain civil? What: is an argument made better with the inclusion of an F-word?)

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I got a message from WordPress, explaining my blog stats for the past year. The message came with this graphic, a blog health-o-meter:

Beside the graphic were these words: “You’re on fire!”

To all my over 9,000 viewers, thank you for visiting!

Ciao!

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