Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yesterday, Byron Nelson, a giant among golfers, passed away. What you might not realize is that Nelson was also a Christian who leaves behind a legacy of not only golfing greatness but also great faith.

In Bobby's article in the Christian Chronicle, one paragraph stood out especially to me: "While he played on Sundays, Nelson said he always found a way to attend church services, either in the morning or at night. 'People say, ‘How in the world did you go to church?’ And my answer to that is, you can do things that you feel you need to do.'”


Woodward Park members, don't forget the kickoff to the workshop tonight at 7:00 p.m. Woodward Park's first minister, Stan Williams, will speak and no doubt reinfuse our fire to seek the lost.

See you tonight at 7:00 p.m.


Got to share this funny with you this morning. Yesterday after school, Trae told me about somebody they learned about in school yesterday with a "funny name." Trae said, "Daddy, we learned in school today about a guy with a funny name who used to be in movies with big muscles. He's really famous."

"Who is that?" I asked.

She said, "Arnold Schwarzenegger" as she burst into laughter.

I said, "Did you know he's the governor of California?"

She said, "No. I just know he has big muscles and a funny name."


Last night, Mandy and I participated in Joe's Q&A class as a part of our Prime Time Tuesday ministry at Woodward Park. Joe does a wonderful job reaching out and answering questions from long-time members as well as guests of Prime Time Tuesday.

Last night in the course of answering one particular question, Joe pointed the class to Mark 7.1-8 where Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for sacrificing the true will of God in order to hold fast their traditions.

I've always believed, thanks to a conversation I once I had with my grandfather, that the safest interpretation of Scripture is one that doesn't make rules where God didn't make rules. For example, I once asked my grandfather to share with me his biggest mistake as an elder and what I could learn from it. He told me, "Jim, I think our biggest mistake ever was imposing a 'dress only' code for our ladies in our assemblies."

"Why was that such a big mistake?" I asked my grandfather.

"Because we made a rule," my grandfather continued, "where God didn't make a rule."

I've never forgotten that. Balancing grace and truth in ministry demands that we allow God's Word to speak for itself and avoid the temptation to follow the way of the Pharisees. The Pharisees, and their fences, began as an expedient way to uphold the rule of God, but in the end, those fences became the means of evading the very rule they were intended to uphold.

Today I want to caution us, as Joe so wonderfully reminded us last night, about the danger that exists in withholding compassion and care from those who do not subscribe to man-made rules and traditions. Let us be careful in our quest to understand the true will of God that we teach the rule of God and not the rules or traditions we have created for our own comfort and security.