A Call To Commitment

A Call To Commitment
Genesis 6:9-7:24
Pastor Darden Caylor

In honor of the Winter Olympics, we'll be having our traditional "opening ceremonies party" at our house, to which, you are all invited. And even if you don't care about the Olympics, we'd still love to have you join us, since it's really just an excuse to get together and celebrate the life that God has given us.
In fact, honestly, I'm not that interested in the Olympics. Sure, I'll watch them if they are on, but it's not something I'd turn on myself; because I'm just not that interested in bobsledding, curling, downhill skiing, figure skating, luge, skeleton, snow boarding, speed skating, or dare I say it, hockey. I just don't care that much those sport; but I will watch ski jumping.
That's a sport I kind of enjoy watching. Though I'm not entirely certain why, I think it has something to do with the commitment of the jumper. After all, unlike the athletes in every other winter Olympic sport, once a run has begun, a ski jumper cannot stop.
I even searched the internet for videos and information on how a ski jumper could stop before a jump, and I couldn't find anything, because it simply doesn't happen.
In a sense, it's like skydiving. Once you start, the only thing that can stop you is the ground below. As a result, the ski jumper has to be fully committed before starting their run, because once they've started they are all in.
Though a skater could stop their routine, hockey players could pull themselves out of a game, or even a bobsled team could stop their run if with the pull of a hand brake, the ski jumper, has no such option. Once they start moving down the ramp, they're all in. They couldn't stop if they wanted to, so they must be fully committed before they start; and when it comes to our faith God calls us to have the same kind of commitment.

C. S. Lewis on Knowing God

"I remember once when I had been giving a talk to the R.A.F., an old, hard-bitten officer got up and said, ‘I’ve no use for all that stuff. But, mind you, I’m a religious man too. I know there’s a God. I’ve felt Him: out alone in the desert at night: the tremendous mystery. And that’s just why I don’t believe all your neat little dogmas and formulas about Him. To anyone who’s met the real thing they all seem so petty and pedantic and unreal!’
Now in a sense I quite agreed with that man. I think he had probably had a real experience of God in the desert. And when he turned from that experience to the Christian creeds, I think he really was turning from something real to something less real. In the same way, if a man has once looked at the Atlantic from the beach, and then goes and looks at a map of the Atlantic, he also will be turning from something real to something less real: turning from real waves to a bit of coloured paper. But here comes the point. The map is admittedly only coloured paper, but there are two things you have to remember about it. In the first place, it is based on what hundreds and thousands of people have found out by sailing the real Atlantic. In that way it has behind it masses of experience just as real as the one you could have from the beach; only, while yours would be a single glimpse, the map fits all those different experiences together. In the second place, if you want to go anywhere, the map is absolutely necessary. As long as you are content with walks on the beach, your own glimpses are far more fun than looking at a map. But the map is going to be more use than walks on the beach if you want to get to America.

C.S. Lewis
From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

5 Great Quotes from C.S. Lewis

1. C.S. Lewis on knowing our own sin
“When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.” — from Mere Christainity
2. C.S. Lewis on the sins of our youth
“We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin. I have heard others, and I have heard myself, recounting cruelties and falsehoods committed in boyhood as if they were no concern of the present speaker’s, and even with laughter. But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin. The guilt is washed out not by time but by repentance and the blood of Christ: if we have repented these early sins we should remember the price of our forgiveness and be humble.” — from The Problem of Pain
3. C.S. Lewis on sexual temptation
“We must learn by experience to avoid either trains of thought or social situations which for us (not necessarily for everyone) lead to temptations. Like motoring—don’t wait till the last moment before you put on the brakes but put them on, gently and quietly, while the danger is still a good way off.” —from a personal letter to a friend
4. C.S. Lewis on happiness
“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” —from Mere Christianity
5. C.S. Lewis on knowing God
“When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And, in fact, He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others—not because He has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as in a clean one.” —from Mere Christianity

Blindness to God's Provision by Paul David Tripp

"Without an awareness of Christ's presence, we tend to live anxiously. We avoid hard things and are easily overwhelmed. But a clear sense of identity and provision gives us hope and courage to face the struggles and tempt`ations that come our way."

Blindness to God's Provision

As Peter states in his second letter, we have been "granted...all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3). Why does Peter use two words here, both "life" and "godliness", and what do they mean? Let's dissect them.

The second word (godliness) is meant to qualify the first (life). If Peter had simply said that God has given us everything we need for life, it would be easy to add the word "eternal" before it. This is how this passage is often interpreted.

We find it much easier to embrace the Gospel promise of life AFTER death than we do its promise of life BEFORE death. But when Peter says that God has granted us everything we need for "godliness," we know that he's talking about life right here, right now.

What is godliness? Here's a definition that you should write down somewhere – "godliness is a God-honoring life from the time I come to Christ until the time I go home to be with him."

Faith and the Art of Lawn Mower Maintenance

I hope there are no lawn mowers in heaven, and that has nothing to do with work or mowing the lawn. Though I'll admit, there was a time when I hated doing any sort of yard work, as I've gotten older, it's become less of a chore and more of a joy. There's something simply and mundane about the labor that doesn't require me to think about anything, and I like that. I just put on my headphones, turn up the music, and follow the mower back and forth across the lawn as the self-propelled machine chops away at the tiny blades of grass. Honestly, it's quite blissful, not simply because I don't have to think about anything, but also because I feel as though I've accomplished something when I'm done, not to mention that I've beautified the world in my own small way. It's quite relaxing, when it goes well, though lately, it hasn't.