Its Gotta Work Everywhere, All the Time

bible-closer-lookI was recently watching an early Sunday morning NFL show, that prepares fans for the day’s games. I very much enjoy football, college or professional, and have a subscription to NFL Sunday Game Ticket. My team is the Seattle Seahawks. In North Dakota I am surrounded by Vikings, Broncos and Packers.

It’s okay because my team is better…

There was a focus on this show for one player who was returning to play in front of his home fans after a short suspension.

The question being answered was how this athlete handled his time off from football, and how he would handle his transition back in front of his home crowd for the first time this season. That was when a book was presented by its author, one that this athlete had read nine years ago. The player had adopted four key principles from the book, each of which were life changing. As each was briefly presented, they made me laugh out loud.

Each one can be found in the Bible.

For people like me who highly values the Bible, it makes perfect sense. We see Biblical principles working in all phases and aspects of life and society. Even where things are going badly there can be a reason why in the Scripture. The hard part is explaining why someone may be having difficulty from a perspective like mine is because they don’t want a book that they don’t like, telling them what to do.

Frankly, neither do I.

That’s the rub. Why does a Christ follower hold the Bible in such esteem, even if it says things that we don’t always appreciate? It’s because for the majority of Bible lovers, it begins with a relationship with Christ. Christ changes everything, our perspective, understanding and priorities. The Bible is the guidebook for a fulfilling life as a Christ follower. Therefore, we want to do what it says.

Yes, it is that simple.

If I am not a follower of Christ, knowing myself I would glean some of the principles and sayings from the Bible and apply them to my life. However, I would merely pick and choose. I would set aside the rest. Some of the teachings of the Bible are restrictive in light of the base emotions, acts, motives and thoughts of people. The difference is when one begins with a relationship, an encounter with Christ, the Book becomes all encompassing and important.

And so, this is my choice, my decision, my conviction and commitment.

This is the basis of my truth…

I’ve been writing lately about truth, and whether or not our personal truth can be trusted. It’s like the person who comes up with a system for living that makes a doorknob their god. They have a good experience with the doorknob as their focus of worship or life activity. Their experience is so profound that they invite others to enjoy their doorknob.

This is where we need to ask, how old is this belief and who came up with it? Will it work anywhere, all the time? Is it a fad? A cult? A system that ceases to work when conditions or location changes?

What about the person that identifies as a Christ follower, but does not follow the whole of the Bible? How does that work?

Alright, time for more thought…this is only a beginning to a discussion, something to think about for ourselves. Self examination is good for everyone.

What/who is the basis of my personal truth? Did I invent it? Did something bigger than me come up with it? Does it work everywhere, all of the time? Can I live with others following my truth, even if it turns out I’m wrong? If I am a Christ follower, can I leave out the parts of the Bible I don’t like? Does faith play a role in my basis of truth? Is that a good or scary thing?

Psalm 119:160

New Normal?


The New “Normal”

This election season has created tumult and turmoil within our nation as well as politics beyond our borders. It is likely that we can agree that things have changed in our public discourse and whomever is elected will set a new tone that will create its own peril in sectors of our society.

This is the new “normal” right now.

Cultures shift, methods change and impermissible becomes permissible. These are constants in a society. Even the picture (above) demonstrates a new normal. The home on the right representative of hundreds that dot the North Dakota landscape; empty shells that once represented pioneer families and farms.

It is interesting that many of these homesteads still stand, as if tearing them down destroys a distant value, memory or “normal.”

I would like to offer the concept that our personal response to these changes as individuals is found in where we base our own truth.

Having done work in Central Africa, one thing stood out like a sore thumb. Some of the beliefs/doctrines/truths we have in America, don’t work in Africa. More on this in a later post.

If our truth doesn’t work everywhere, is is possible that perhaps it’s not really…true?

Okay, that was a little painful.

In business there are seasons of change. I’ve found working in the Bakken Oilfield that I can leave for a week of vacation, only to return and find that nuances in sales have changed – sometimes dramatically. Suddenly an oil company has made decisions about whom and how they will be serviced by oilfield vendors (one of which I work for). Word gets out quickly (funny how that works), and then you have a significant shift. Survival among vendors is dependent on shifting a culture, methods, or changing what was once something that they wouldn’t do, to something that will now become of the new “normal.”

Perhaps the easiest example of impermissible becoming permissible is in what is allowed in television related to content. Boundaries have been pushed and changed to what has become the new normal.

This is culture shift. How one adjusts to these shifts is up to you.

What will your truth allow to be your new “normal?”

Depending on your personal belief/doctrines/truths, does a shift make it right for you? If yes, we go with the flow. If no, how will you then live? What is the basis of your truth? Does your foundation of truth work everywhere, any place or anytime? What shifts in society are non-negotiables as per your foundation of truth?