Christopher Hitchens….

When you watch this video, or parts of this interview, what goes through your mind?

Some may think Mr. Hitchens is a genius.  I don’t know about that – but he’s certainly very intelligent, and very well spoken.

Some may think he’s cooler than cool.  I must confess his accent, his delivery of answers or challenging questions, his drink (is that some expensive bourbon in his glass?  Or just diet coke?  Even so – look how he holds the galss – he’s just cool!), his demeaner, all impress me.  I love how he gives direct, unwavering answers.  I don’t like some of the ways he attacks people he debates, or some of of his arrogance – though in fairness, I don’t like how those on the other side of the fence do the same thing…. – but I have found that many times he is quite courteous and kind, even to those he completely disagrees with.  And I kinda think he’s cool.

Some may think he’s the devil incarnate, and take joy (as the person quoted in this interview) with his illness, saying that it’s “God’s revenge”….  This quite honestly saddens me…..  Not because I agree with Mr. Hitchens in any way – I don’t.  Not because he doesn’t deserve death – as sinners, we all deserved it, and it’s only by the blood of Jesus that we are saved. We must not forget that – and we must not forget that we were all once right where Mr. Hitchens is.  But because when we look at this gentleman in any way but the way in which God looks at him – as his child whom he loves beyond measure, and desires nothing more than the prodigal son return to his Father – my heart breaks…..

Christopher Hitchens, along with Dawkins, Harris, and virtually every atheist and/or agnostic, claim they want evidence that God exisits (If they even care – but that’s another topic).  I will ask – are WE evidence that God exisits?  That Jesus walked the earth?  That Jesus died for our sins?  That we as Christians are following what Jesus commanded when he said “As I have loved you, so must love one another.  By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ?

By the way – that question is not directed at non-believers.  It’s directed at believers.  At myself even.  Am I evidence that Christ is alive in me?  Am I living my life knowing the truth that has set me free,?  Am I loving much, remembering I have been forgiven much?

Am I looking at someone like Christopher Hitchens with compassion?  Actually FEELING his pain, crying out to God for his comfort, his healing, his soul?  Or am I looking at him as “the enemy”?  Maybe even thining the world will be better once he is silenced?

(I don’t think that by the way.  I believe voices like Hitchens have done much to further my faith.  But that is another topic for another post).

Paul says in Ephesians: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  He’s saying that our enemy isn’t flesh and blood – it’s NOT human beings, whether they know Jesus or not.  That means Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, Phelps, Bush, Obama – not our enemy.  So we are wasting our time when we direct our negative attention at them.  And we are wasting opportunies to be a light in this dark world.  I apologize for every time I’ve been a judgemental, religious, self-righteous d-bag.  For every time I’ve looked at anyone with my own eyes instead of through God’s lense.  For every time I’ve been combative, argumentative, or even entertained controversy, when instead I should be sharing truth and good news in love.  And for every time I neglected to share at all, out of fear of rejection…….  And – for every time I neglected to pray for the lost, because I’m too busy, too lazy, too self-centered……..  Life is truly more important that my horrible opinions of someone.

Advertisements

Did You Get the Memo????

 

OK – I know I just told you about a new song of mine, that you can still get for free by the way (It’s all. always free….). But I wanted to tell you about a new full length release of mine, called “Memo”. Get it here!

http://tedhtunes.bandcamp.com/album/memo

The thing about this record that is different is that I recorded all of it on my – ummm…. – my iphone……

See, I use the voice memo app on my iphone to capture songs, so I don’t forget them.  Works pretty well.  If someone were to steal my phone, they’d have a wealth of useless riffs, song ideas, and in the case of these songs – complete acoustic recordings.

So I was listening through them, and thought “these ain’t half bad, as they are”.   They ain’t half good either, but what are you gonna do for free?  What I do like about them is that they are raw, and there are some cool things that happened “in the moment”.  This prompted me to throw this together, and offer it up to you.  For free.  So if you don’t like it, you can just toss it out – those downloads that is.  Be sure to empty your trash bin after, so they don’t clutter up your hard drive.  I won’t know, so nobody’s feelings are hurt.

I will warn you that it is all acoustic live demo stuff.  This type of thing is not for everyone.  But if you are not eveyrone, mabye it’s for you?  Give it a listen, and let me know what you think.  And while you are at it, you can grab anything else off my bandcamp site – it’s ALL free.

http://tedhtunes.bandcamp.com/

Much love!

T.

Why I Love the Law

I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart (Psalm 40:8)

I read a lot of posts on Facebook, blogs, etc, that go back and forth about “the law”.  Believers and non-believers alike will argue til blue in the face about what this means.  I don’t think I really want to get into that argument, as I am no theologian or expert in what much of the text surrounding the law given by God to Moses means, should be interpreted as, whatnot….  But I will explain why I love the law.  Or, I’ll attempt to……

First, I’d like to examine what the law was supposed to be.  The “law”, in biblical terms, was given to the Israelites while wandering the desert.  The law was given to a people who for generations were slaves to someone else.  This meant a couple things – first and foremost, they were opporessed.  Horribly oppressed.  One can read the beginning of Exodus to get a glimpse as to how Pharoah treated them, and how he looked at them – less than human…  Secondly, they had their every need in life provided for by their masters.  Food, shelter, clothing.  Their entire way of life, if even a horrible way of life, was provided for them.  And for generations, so there wasn’t really anything to pass along to your kids, other than “Do this enough to not get beaten”.  Not a great life.

So when God delivered them from slavery, they were a people who would have quickly died off without some guidelines and boundaries given to them.  God knew this, as he’s a pretty smart God.  So he gave a ton of rules.  Rules that today we look at and think “man, this God is pretty harsh.  No shell-fish?  No mixing of threads?  Kill your insubbordinant teenage son???”  But we are forgetting that God is our Father, and we are questioning his reasoning and motives here.  We are forgetting his motive was FREEDOM for us.  Remember – HE GAVE US FREE WILL.  He also knew that we’d use that free will to do, or not do, whatever it is we please, not considering how it might impact us and others.  So he gave us a ton of rules.  the “law”.

I don’t want to get into whether every rule is to be followed still today – I simply don’t know.  And here is where most of the conflict comes in – most, not all, and I’ll get to that in a bit.  But there are some who think that every rule is to be followed.  And so maybe they try to do just that.  Check it off the list, and I’m a good person.  Better than you, because I saw you do that the other day, tsk tssk……

But then there was this guy Jesus, who came along, and took the law to a whole new level.  If you look at a woman with lust – whether or not you are married or she is married – you committed adultery.  If hate your neighbor in your heart, you committed murder.  Ouch.  That statement above, about being better than you?  I’m sure I broke the law…….

But Jesus wasn’t saying all this to make us feel bad.  No, he was showing us how we’ll never be able to follow the law, if that is all we want to do.  He was showing us that without God, the law is useless.  That God didn’t make rules just for us to follow them.  he made them to protect us from ourselves and others – because he wants us to draw near him.  Without that, the law is useless.  And there is another piece of conflict – does that make the law useless, or irrelevnt, WITH Jesus in our hearts?  Some would argue that is the case – that we don’t have to follow the law because we have Jesus.

But what does that mean then?  Does that mean God was WRONG????  No – Jesus, said he came to FULFILL the law, not to abolish it.  He even said so himself – look it up!  From Matthew 5:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

Now here is the tricky part – and bear with me, I know I’m bouncing all over the place here… – Jesus ALREADY fulfilled the law!  It’s already done!  He did it on the cross, there is nothing left for us to do!

But you see, he didn’t abolish the law, even if it’s fulfilled.  He simply completed for us that which he commanded us to do.  It’s HIS righteousness that makes us saints, not our own.  It’s HIS glory that lifts us up from the grave, not our own.  That is such a wonderful gift….  And when we consider that HE is the one who completes the good work in us, we just need to follow him.  And if we do this – if we truly do this – we will see fruit in our lives.  We will see our very attitudes change, in so many areas in life.  We’ll no longer consider ourselves more deserving of grace than the drunk guy on the corner, or the guy who drives the hummer to show off for the ladies.  We’ll no longer look down our nose at someone who lives a carnal life without shame.  We’ll remember instead we were there, and in some ways still are if we’re honest with ourselves.  And we’ll thank God that he delivered us, and that he’s provided a way out for everyone.  That he’s already finished the work, and provided salvation for all who choose.

Now – what does all that have to do with the law?  Well, let me show you this cool little thing a friend of mine is working on.  Just check this thingy out, and come back when you are done:

http://judahhimango.com/images/CommandmentsHierarchyLatestSnapshot.png

OK – back?  Yeah, pretty cool.  I know.  He’s not done, but he’s been working on this thing for some time.  I’m impressed.  I know you are too.

The point of his study, is to show how EVERY rule that God gave us was summed up in two little things, just as Jesus said!  From Matthew 22:

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.  One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

“Love the Lord, with everything you have”

“Love your neighbors as yourself”

If we can do that – REALLY do that – we’re following the law!  And, as Jesus pointed out, this wasn’t something new.  These were the commandments God gave to Moses, when he gave the other ten and the several others.  These are the two that matter most.  But I have a question to leave you with.  What would it REALLY look like, what would this world be like, if we REALLY followed them?  Stew on that one, and ask God to work in your heart there…….

Re-Post – “In Our Weakest Moments”

I dug up some of my old blogs from a year or two ago. As they are like journal entries, that everyone could see, I thought it was kinda cool to read some of them – and kind of difficult to read others….

Still – I thought it might be cool to share some with you here. Enjoy!

“In our Weakest Moments” – Originally posted July 26, 2009

I was praying today, about how I so often fail. Fall. Stumble. Over the same stupid little stumbling blocks in life. The same ones. Over and over. And – I don’t want to do that. So I asked God to help me to overcome this. And He said “I am. Just accept my help.” And very weird, but John Mellencamp’s “Weakest Moments” started playing in my head…..

Yeah – weird. Now – he was John Cougar at the time. But that has nothing to do with the story. But the chorus just goes “I’ll be with you in your weakest moments”. And God IS with us in our weakest moments. He’s always providing a way out. How often do we take Him up on it? I know I’ve turned Him down too often. Thanks God, but I kinda like wallowing in my sin. It’s comfortable. Familiar.

And – He’ll let me wallow. But that hand is always there. Think about that! If it were me, I’d get fed up with me and tell me to take a hike. You’re on your own buddy. But no – Not God. He’s always faithful. When you follow Him. And even when you don’t.

This doesn’t mean we should expect this, or gamble on the fact that He’ll get us out of trouble when we are in a bind. No – His desire is for us to desire Him and His ways, to follow Him. To leave our life of sin and selfishness. But when we stumble – we all do – He’s there to pick us up. And we are tempted – we all are – He’s providing a way out.

God, I praise You for the way out. I praise You for Your patience with me. I ask for Your strength, Your mercy, Your will be done in my life. I ask the same for my friends, loved ones, enemies – all your children. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I found an amazing verse in Romans – Romans 15:30, goes like this:

I urge you, brothers (and sisters), by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, to join my in my struggle by praying to God for me.

I ask you to pray for me, as I will be for you. And may God bless you.

T.

My Brother’s Keeper….

My Brother’s Keeper

I recorded a new song! It’s not my typical song. First of all, I was all stoked after watching the Foo Fighters documentary, and I wanted to do some of my songs with LOUD guitars. I’m no fighter of foo, but oh well. This was a song I wrote on acoustic guitar, but decided to try it with more volume, and dirty and loud. Not sure what you’ll think – let me know if you like?

Also – the lyric is a bit off. I hope you don’t listen to it and think that is what I’m saying. It’s more of a reflection of our hearts when we put ourselves before others, when we judge others, when we exhault ourselves.

But either way – I like the song. Hope you do too!