Never Changing

See the source imageWith great curiosity, I followed the story of the New York Yankees’ banning singer Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” during their games because it was “recently discovered” the deceased singer recorded two questionable songs in the early 1930s considered racist in nature. I was not around in the ‘30s to understand the cultural context of these songs but reading some who have studied such things it seems these two songs were parodies of racists—they were making fun of the idiocy of racism. This reminded me of Mel Brooks’ song, “Springtime for Hitler”. If you do not know the context of that song it could be offensive because Brooks (a Jewish man) would be dubbed an anti-Semite.

The Yankees certainly have the right to play whatever song they want during the 7th inning stretch. I do find hypocrisy in an organization that banned black players from their team until 1947 exiling this woman for a couple of songs from nearly 20 years earlier.

Our attitudes towards others change throughout our history—both for good and bad—it is an individual decision of how we treat others. I am a firm believer in defining you by your character and actions, not by how you look or your background. The problem with that is it is subjective—it changes—and how do people know where they stand when attitudes about them change?

Have you ever had a person with authority seemingly changing in the wind? What you did yesterday was great, but when you do the same thing today, they get upset. That makes life unpredictable and frustrating.

I love all aspects of God, but one specific trait of His that I find great comfort in is His consistency—I know where I stand with Him! In Malachi 3:6 He declares “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” Additionally, Hebrews 13:8 declares “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

We will change, and often need to; God does not. Therefore, His expectations of us never change so we are not relegated to a guessing game of our standing before Him. Scripture is very clear of the never changing path to Him in Romans 10:9-10, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Forever Remember

April 16th was the 12-year remembrance of the mass murder of 32 people at Virginia Tech. It was truly a horrific event and many lives were and will forever be affected because of the evil and selfish actions of one person.

My son was a freshman at Virginia Tech and lived on campus. I will never forget the moment when a coworker knocked on my office door and told me I needed to come out a see the news. We were in the military and had seen unpleasant things before, but all of us just stood there in disbelief. We served overseas in carnage zones so that our loved ones did not have to face it at college or anywhere else on our soil. But there it was on our home turf—evil personified!

Of course, being dad, my thoughts and attention immediately focused on my son and his situation. After a long day of not being able to contact him because “all circuits are busy” I finally contacted him to find out he was okay, at least physically. Now imagine a room full of big, tough, military guys going to their knees, with tears falling, in prayer. We will always remember!

This week is observed as Passion Week by Christians; this week is Passion Week for everyone on earth whether they accept it not. On Friday Jesus was crucified at Golgotha and as was written in 1 Peter 1:18-19 it was a sacrifice for each of us individually, “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”

What Jesus went through was tragic, particularly when you consider He was innocent—He was without sin. If the story ended there, we would remember that day much the same as we remember Virginia Tech and other tragedies. But there is Good News—the story does not end there!

In Luke 24:6-7, among many other accounts, we learn that “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” He went on that cross and came out of that tomb for you and me!

I invite you to join me as big, tough, people, no matter what we are wearing, to go to our knees, with tears of joy on our face, and accept Him and thank Him for being our Lord and Savior. Always remember!