I Believe in Original Blessing not Original Sin

I believe in the Original Blessing: “God created human beings in His image; male and female, He created them, and it was good.” [Genesis 1: 28] I want to affirm that each of us is a child of God and that, in our nature, we are created good.Certainly, we “miss the mark” [the original thought/meaning of the word “sin”]. We revert to our own wants/desires– away from God.  Part of our spiritual journey is to develop a greater relationship and a stronger relationship with God—to learn to seek God’s guidance before we launch out in our will.  Certainly, we will do things wrong. But, our original nature is that of the image of God.  And, it is good.  This is an important distinction because there are many churches that teach the theology & concept of “original sin” [because of Adam & Eve, our “sin” is necessary—we have no other alternative—we have no options but to “sin”]. The theological doctrine known as original sin [as the TV comedian, Flip Wilson, said “the Devil made me do it”] began with Jewish theologians during the exile in Babylon.  The Apostle Paul spoke of it [see Romans 5:12-21], although Paul was emphasizing “Grace” bestowed upon by Jesus, the Christ. The concept was adopted into Catholicism through efforts of priests such as Augustine [in the 400 to 500 CE era of Christian church development]. Now, if we dwell deep enough on this concept, we will begin to think in terms of “predestination”, as well. Throw up the hands and ask “how can we be held responsible/accountable?” Original sin was used/is used to help people...
6 Principles For Life I Learned in Running a Marathon

6 Principles For Life I Learned in Running a Marathon

I wanted to do achieve something that I would never believe I could accomplish. I am not a runner but when my friend completed his first marathon he challenged me to run the next one with him. What I got out of the experience changed my life forever. It was the most spiritual and mind developing experience I ever had up to that time. Here are the 6 Life Principles I learned from training and running the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati Ohio. Principle One:  Taking the 1st Step: When my friends Andy Johnson ran in the “Flying Pig” Marathon the year before I thought to myself, “I could never run 26 miles.” The next year, he invited me to run in the marathon with him and I explained that I had never run over two miles at one time, let alone run 26.2 miles in a marathon.  Andy said, “Jerry, can you run for four minutes?” I responded, “Well, I can jog for four minutes.”  He said, “Then you can run a marathon.”  “What do you mean?” I asked.  He said, “Well, if you can you run for four minutes and you walk a 1 minute you can run a marathon.  Do you think you can run three miles?”  I said, “Well, I can run two miles.” So we jogged one day for two miles, running for four minutes and then walking for a minute.  A few days later, we ran three miles with the same style of running four minutes and walking one minute. Before I knew it I believed that there might be a possibility that I...

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

Several years ago Alvar Persson was elected mayor of Grove City, Minnesota. It was an unusual election, partly because of the size of the victory – Persson garnered eighty percent of the vote – partly because Persson is a Lutheran minister and not a politician, but mostly because Persson wasn’t even running for office. No one was. Next to the word Mayor on the ballot was a blank space. Only write-in votes could be cast. Of the eleven people whose names were written in, Persson was the clear choice – 202 votes of the 255 cast. After the election, Persson was asked his reaction. He could only say: “I’m touched by this honor. But I didn’t ask for it. Why pick me?” Ordinary people doing astonishing things Some of the world’s greatest men and women have been saddled with disabilities and adversities but have managed to overcome them. Cripple him, and you have a Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in a prison cell, and you have a John Bunyan. Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have a George Washington. Raise him in abject poverty, and you have an Abraham Lincoln. Strike him down with infantile paralysis, and he becomes a Franklin D. Roosevelt. Burn him so severely in a schoolhouse fire that the doctors say he will never walk again, and you have a Glenn Cunningham, who set a world’s record in 1934 for running a mile in 4 minutes, 6.7 seconds. Deafen a genius composer, and you have a Ludwig van Beethoven. Have him or her born black in a society filled with racial...
Are There Really Angels?

Are There Really Angels?

There was a special segment on National Public Radio sometime back. It was a collection of sound effects gathered by Abinadi Meza, an artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Meza had been in a bar in Dublin, Ireland. A man at the bar contended that Ireland was the home of “the world’s loudest bat.” Quite a boast. Meza was fascinated. The world’s loudest bat. Here was the problem, according to his Irish bar mate. The bat screeches at a decibel level which the human ear cannot detect. Dogs and some other animals can hear it. Special scientific devices can measure it, but there is a range of sound that humans cannot hear, and this bat’s screech fell in that range. If humans could hear the bat, contended this man, it would be like having a jumbo jet taking off next to our ears. The man’s testimony was enough to send Meza out with electronic gear to try to find this bat, and capture its sound. Meza was not successful. However, using his special equipment, he was able to record all kinds of other annoying sounds around Dublin usually filtered out by our limited range of hearing. That is, they were sounds that were normally outside the range of pitches audible to human ears. He played a collection of these specially recorded sounds on the program, “All Things Considered.” This variety of high-pitched whines and screeches undoubted caused many listeners of NPR to be grateful they were not able to hear everything their dog hears. Here’s the point: Just because we cannot hear a sound does not mean that it does...
It’s Not Easy Being a Dad,the Need for Blessing.

It’s Not Easy Being a Dad,the Need for Blessing.

I remember reading about a guy who stopped in the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up a couple of items for his wife. He wandered around aimlessly for a while searching out the needed groceries. As is often the case in the grocery store, he kept passing this same shopper in almost every aisle. It was another father trying to shop with a totally uncooperative three year old boy in the cart. The first time they passed, the three year old was asking over and over for a candy bar. Our observer couldn’t hear the entire conversation. He just heard Dad say, “Now, Billy, this won’t take long.” As they passed in the nest aisle, the 3-year-old’s pleas had increased several octaves. Now Dad was quietly saying, “Billy, just calm down. We will be done in a minute.” When they passed near the dairy case, the kid was screaming uncontrollably. Dad was still keeping his cool. In a very low voice he was saying, “Billy, settle down. We are almost out of here.” The Dad and his son reached the check out counter just ahead of our observer. He still gave no evidence of losing control. The boy was screaming and kicking.  Dad was very calmly saying over and over, “Billy, we will be in the car in just a minute and then everything will be OK.” The bystander was impressed beyond words.  After paying for his groceries, he hurried to catch up with this amazing example of patience and self-control just in time to hear him say again, “Billy, we’re done. It’s going...