Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sorority, UT, UFC and birthday party

Big weekend. Here's the rundown:

Friday night -

Saturday -

  • Fan Day and Orange & White game up at Neyland Stadium

  • UFC 52 - Randy "The Natural" Cotoure vs Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
    I don't think many people saw it going down the way it did. Awesome fight; great fighters. Congrats to Liddell; he earned long before now. The Matt Hughes/Frank Trigg fight was actually the fight of the night. WHEW!! Now that one was unbelievable. All-in-all I think this was worth the $35 I spent. I wish I had a larger screen and the fights weren't so late at night 'cause I'd invite some friends over to watch the fights. I love this MMA stuff.

Sunday -

  • Church again at the more modern service. Think I may have offended some people in Sunday school but ya gotta say what needs to be said. What a topic - controlling the tongue. Yeah, I guess that's what I need to be dealing with right now. Of course, the topic goes much deeper than most people are interested in. For most people its just cursing or not cursing but . . . -SIGH- there is just so much more to it and sadly the basic texts that most people use are in areas that are for more mature Christians. Take for example Paul's letter to Ephesus. Ephesians 4:29 & 5:4 are dead center in a section of admonition to believers who seemed to be coming from a more recent, honeymoon type of experience to a more seasoned attempt to live up to their moral obligations. Keep in mind that Paul is the same Apostle who wrote Romans 5:20 and I Corinthians 6:12 regarding freedom in the blood of Christ. Paul's message wasn't that we should exploit the freedom that we have (once we've been redeemed by the blood sacrifice of Jesus). His message throughout the New Testament was and is that anyone who has been redeemed need have no fear, no condemnation (Romans 8:1). Saints (biblical rather than Catholic saints) truly are free to do whatever they want with no penalty pursuing them into the afterlife. Of course, one should question one's motives when one thinks thoughts along those lines as part of being redeemed is having the Holy Spirit constantly with you, convicting you, enlightening you to help you understand the desire of God that you "be holy" (I Peter 1:16). Couple Paul's writings with James (the half-brother of Jesus) and you see James discussing rightous living for Jewish Christians (his letter was to the 12 tribes of Israel but more importantly to believers within that group of people). He calls them to accept the trials of life because those trials produce patience and patience produces perfection (James 1:2-4). As he expounds on such a broad principle as becoming perfected (which in modern language we generally label as "sanctification" as opposed to the final instant in which an omnipotent being with transform you into a being without sin and with complete perfection which is labeled "glorification"), we find that he appears to jump off topic a little and discusses the tongue. He is pretty confrontational in his statements about how one's language affects ones life. He says that the tongue has as much control in one's life as the rudder on a ship has. He further says that the tongue produces fire, destroys the natural order of life and is itself lit on fire by Hell. Hmmm. James doesn't tend to equivocate when it comes to how important a believer's language choices are now does he? This is a passage for more mature Christians than I tend to believe darken the doors of those Sunday morning buildings but lets press on and let people and the Holy Spirit prove me wrong. After talking pointedly about how powerful the tongue is in James 3, he goes on in chapter 5 (James 5:12) to start his conclusion of the whole letter by saying "Above all else, don't swear." Now that doesn't mean don't say naughty words. He isn't talking about "shit," "damn" or any other word you can put here. Those are unprofitable and fall under Paul's statement in Ephesians 4. James statement is a reiteration of Jesus' statment in the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5:33-37) where Jesus said to not swear. The point of Jesus' statement and James affirmation of that statement is this: God expects that when a believer avers something as true or false, that believer should live and speak in such a manner that others believe him or her without having to ask the believer to "promise". As a believer you should not inflate your speach in any manner. You should speak directly and you should follow through on your statements. As Jesus said in Matthew, anything else leads to evil. I'm not saying I do this, I'm saying this is the Biblical principle that should be ringing true in your heart right now if you've taken out your Bible and been following along (oh yeah, and if you're already a follower of Christ and have accepted his blood sacrifice for your sins as the only way to be reconciled to the One True living God). OK. So that's enough for now. This post turned into a brief Biblical lesson on controlling your tongue. Don't worry about the person cursing around your kids; be concerned with how inflationary your language is. Be concerned with whether people can and do take you at your word. Cursing is just a part of controlling your speech; in America with all the talk shows and gossip and one-ups-manship contests that occur, by far the most spiritually damaging speech I've be privvy to has more to do with how I communicate than the cursewords I may use or hear. Granted, those should cease. No more cursing. That's airtight but don't you want a deeper understanding that requires something of you; not just the other guy? Don't you want to be held to a higher standard of living than just "I didn't say a naughty word so I'm OK?" I know that my own heart goans for someone to stand up and point to the line of holiness and say "There! That's the standard. Not my arbitrary one of not saying some curseword (which is profitable) but the true standard of holiness to which even I in all my goody-two-shoedness cannot attain."

  • We went to Katelyn's birthday party this afternoon. I got a photo from it where Katelyn was sliding and Katie was standing behind her; you can see it at the bottom of this post. Happy Birthday, Katelyn.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading,


No comments: