Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I Follow Christ

by John C. Hutchinson Jr

I have not seen clear statistical evidence that fewer Christians die of cancer than non-believers or that they are immune in greater degree from the diseases that afflict the human race.

Some of the kindest, most selfless persons I have known have had more than their share of bad health. The fact that they belong to Christ did not insulate them from disease.

Therefore, I will not follow Christ for promised healing.

I will not deny or dispute evidence of restoration of health. I will rejoice at every recovery from what seems to be hopeless, threatened death. I will not hesitate to pray for recovered health for my loved ones and acquaintances. I will set no limits on what God may do but I will not follow Christ for promised healing.

I see no sign that Christians escape disaster and accident more often than others. I've helped dear friends empty muddy water out of dresser drawers and new appliances after a disastrous flood. I remember as a child taking clothes to a widow with five children whose house had burned to the ground. A bullet makes no detour around the body of a believer.

Therefore, I will not follow Christ for any promised protection from disaster.

I will not scoff at amazing survivals nor deny that providence has and continues to work for the good of God's own. I will continue to pray for protection from wicked men and tragedy, but I will not follow Christ for promised protection from accident or catastrophe.

I do not observe that Christians are especially favored with prosperity. Like James, we've all seen the rich oppressing the poor and justice is rarely perfect in this world. The psalmist has said that he "had not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" and in the deepest needs of this life, that is certainly true but all of us have known people of integrity who have not prospered.

Therefore, I will not follow Christ for promised freedom from physical want or hope of affluence.

I'm not sure that Christians have stronger personalities or fewer neuroses than non-believers. I do know that there is no bitterness like religious bitterness and no arrogance more insufferable. I have watched Christians suffer emotional and mental disabilities and though it may seem heretical, I am not sure that I would really enjoy living in the same house with either the Apostle Peter or Paul.

God wills that the mind of Christ be formed in us and there is no doubt in my mind that the Christian's attitudes and actions will be improved by his Christianity, but I will not follow Christ for any promise of personality enhancement or perfection.

Why then follow Christ? Why become a disciple of Jesus when life may become more complicated as He so often warned?

For one reason alone:

In Jesus we behold the face of God. He is the truth, the everlasting truth, God in the flesh. I know that in His life, death, and resurrection, I am reconciled to God, the giver of life.

I believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God. He has all power and goodness and I trust Him and His promises. To him, I offer my life, damaged or whole, brief or full of years. It matters not. He is the one certain thing in an uncertain world. He is to be worshiped, not so something will happen to me or to the world. Something already has happened to me and the world, but because He is God who, through Christ, has reconciled the world to Himself. He saves me. He is my justification. He is the center that holds. To worship the God of our salvation, to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving; that alone is our vocation. We offer our lives to God, not so as to be healthy, wealthy, or wise, not even so to gain the strength to do great things for Him; we offer our lives to Him because He alone has claim upon us. God is not a means to an end.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Most of you probably didn't know it, but I just returned yesterday from nearly a week in Santiago Chile. I was there on business visiting with several different organizations:

Chilean Army -
Directorate of Technology Development
War Academy, Center for modelling and simulation (CEMSE)
FAMAE who manufactures Chilean Army weaponry

Chilean Navy - They are teaming with an American company (Thorpe SEEOP) to develop Spin Wing UAV technology.

Contractors -
IDETEC, Technology Institute who manufactures UAVs for commercial and military applications.

I enjoyed the trip...mostly. Spending 10 hours on an airplane in economy class SUCKS. We took the red-eye from and to Atlanta with, I assume, the goal of sleeping during the trip. As it turns out, I can't sleep very well on a plane. Needless to say, I am tired. I slept some when I got home from 11am to 5 pm. We went out to eat last night and I went to bed at my normal time and slept all night. I got up about 7 this morning, but I could have slept longer.

Santiago is a very modern city of 6 million and the people are small town friendly. Most of the people I met spoke a little bit of English and a few spoke it very well. I only know a couple of words and phrases in Spanish. We were escorted by someone from the US Embassy that also translated for us when needed. The part of the city where we were staying was very nice with stores and restaurants within walking distance. We felt safe walking around even at night because crime is low in that area. We did drive through some of the poorer areas and living conditions looked pretty bad. The air pollution was very bad because of all the factories and automobiles. Santiago is surrounded by mountains so the pollution is trapped especially in the winter due to atmosphere inversion.

When we got to the airport we found an ATM and got a cash advance in pesos. There was a Chilean man (not our driver) waiting there as we walked outside to the van...he grabbed the luggage from my traveling companions and carried it to the van. I carried my own. When we got to the van he loaded their luggage into the van. He grabbed mine and loaded it into the van as well. He then started saying, "Tip....Tip..." Each of of us reached into our pockets and gave him the smallest bill we had from the ATM (5,000 pesos), which we calculated later to be about $10 each (three of us). It aggravated me some that I gave a man $10 just for putting my bag into the van, but I got over it.

All-in-all, it was an enjoyable trip. We stayed in a nice hotel, the InterContinental. We had very little free time so we didn't get to do any sight-seeing. I did take a few pictures, mostly around the hotel. Here are a few:

My traveling companions in the hotel sitting area

Hotel entrance

View of the mountains from the hotel (barely see them due to pollution)

One of the restaurants where we ate (served Argentinian beef...good)

Another restaurant

US Embassy

Hotel lobby

View from the hotel room

We also ate at another restaurant, Los Adobes de Argomedo, which was very nice. It had a live band and Chilean dancers and also dancers from Easter Island, which is a territory of Chile. The dancers from Easter Island kind of reminded me of hula dancers in Hawaii.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For Fun...

Have fun with this.
Copy and paste this list into your own blog and bold the items that you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (so low you couldn't hear)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Saturday, April 11, 2009

He is Risen!

Passover Lamb

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17)

Redemption Prophesied

Passover lamb was a spotless lamb
Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. (Exodus 12:5)

Passover lamb was a sacrificial lamb
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. (Exodus 12:6)

Passover lamb was a saving lamb
Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it...You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. (Exodus 12:7,22)

Passover lamb was a shared lamb
They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. (Exodus 12:8-9)

Redemption Fulfilled

Jesus is a spotless lamb
Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Jesus is a sacrificial lamb
Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7)

Jesus is a saving lamb
That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Jesus is a shared lamb
Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:8)

For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:18)

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thank You, Jesus

He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.

Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.

When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.

Isaiah 53

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


It is a perverse malady and sad contortion of the religious mind that it seeks to find reasons to be anxious.

Paul Anderson-Walsh

Look Up

Look up to see our great God on His throne. He is Love - He longs and delights to bless. He has inconceivably glorious plans concerning each of His children to reveal in them His love and power by the power of His Holy Spirit.

Andrew Murray