Archives for posts with tag: Martin Luther

 

I drive the streets and highways around Atlanta with hardly a thought about being feet- sometime inches- away from several thousand pound vehicles traveling at a very high speed. Even when I walk on the sidewalks near my home I am virtually oblivious to the fact that automobiles are flying past without notice. The slightest turn of the steering wheel or a momentary distraction could be deadly. Without even thinking about it I am trusting my life to unknown people. Is this faith or insanity?

Hundreds of years ago men and women, along with their families, braved the dangerous open seas making their way to the New World. Many of them were seeking freedom from oppression or poverty. They believed America would offer them the opportunity for a better life. Many modern day migrants follow a similar path. What motivated them to pursue such a remote possibility? Was it faith or insanity?

Westward Expansion in “the 19th Century offered people (of the United States) the opportunity to find new homes and work, to experience adventure, to explore possibilities, to become rich, to find gold or silver, to escape from the constraints of civilization and to make a new start. Americans were motivated to move west for a whole variety of practical reasons (and) they were inspired by the belief that the Manifest Destiny of the United States was God’s will (*).”

Was it faith or insanity?

In ancient times Moses accepted the task of leading millions of Israelites from the captivity in Egypt. They had minimal resources and the journey presented monumental challenges. The early followers of Jesus were persecuted beyond our understanding but they remained true to the beliefs and bravely spread the Good News. Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley and countless other were passionate in their efforts for religious renewal. What motivated these people? Was it faith or insanity?

Faith or insanity? Sometimes they seem so similar. One writer said that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV). One translation puts it this way: “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (NIV). Some would say that faith is just a synonym for blind optimism, naivete, or wishful thinking. 

One definition of insanity is “something utterly foolish or unreasonable.” Another dictionary defines insanity as “extreme foolishness; folly; senselessness; foolhardiness.” For some people those terms also describe faith.

An individual once told me that I was a “realistic optimist.” I am not sure what that means but if it suggests that I acknowledge what is but believe that it can be better, then I agree. That is an appropriate description of who I am. And that is a good definition of faith. I believe that faith requires you to see things as they are. Sometimes you have to recognize that “it is what it is.” Denial of reality is really insanity. Faith faces unpleasant and difficult circumstances and situations as they are but believes and works to make them better.

If people act boldly because of their faith, they will often be called crazy. But there are a lot of behaviors and thought patterns that can legitimately earn you that label. So, why not live by faith and not by sight?

Jamie jenkins

* http://www.american-historama.org/1841-1850-westward-expansion/westward-expansion.htm

 

 

 

 

 

Coca Cola Company Classic Logo

If you grew up in the southern part of the United States you know that Coke is a cold carbonated beverage that comes in many flavors. If you are from any other part of the world Coke may have a different meaning.

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Everyone knows that Kleenex is any brand of facial tissue but technically it is a registered trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Who does not understand that Jello is any gelatin dessert. These are two examples of many product names that, due to their popularity, have become the generic name for a general class of product. Other examples of trademark registered names that are viewed similarly are Thermos, ChapStick, Dumpster, Band-Aid, and Velcro.

The origin of product, place, and commodity names is often lost. People just repeat and accept them without any thought.

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter Boulevard is named after a former Governor of Georgia and President of the United States. Martin Luther King Boulevard reminds most of the current populace of the Civil Rights leader who modeled Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance. But will people who travel those roadways a hundred years from now give any thought to the persons for which they are named?

I live about a mile from where Medlock Bridge Road and East Jones Bridge Road intersect. Does anyone ever ask who these people were after which their roadways are named? Where were the bridges? What stream or chasm did they cross? My house is just off Bush Road. Most folks have no clue that one of the original Bush families lives in the 1950s ranch style house at the entrance to the subdivision.

Los Angeles  - The Utah Jazz played with a heavy heart then took the court and showed the love for...

Sports fans may support their favorite teams with great enthusiasm but do they know or care about their team names? How did the Major League Baseball Team in Cincinnati come to be called the Reds? An NBA team in Utah named the Jazz?

 

 

 

Why are there buildings that sport names like Quicken Loans Arena and Sun Trust Park but you don’t go there to get a loan or conduct your banking business?

 

Certain images and memories come to mind when you hear some names. Rockefeller and Carnegie project images of wealth. You think baseball and home runs when you hear the names Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. What would golf be without Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer? Michael Jordan is synonymous with Michael Jordan. Football without Vince Lombardi?

You cannot discuss great music without the names of Mozart and Bach being a part of the conversation. Alexander the Great and Napoleon will forever be remembered as great conquerors. Martin Luther and John Wesley made their mark in history as religious reformers.

Blessings are not just found in hearing the word of God but also applying it to your life. (James 1:22) #NotOfThisWorld

Centuries ago followers of Jesus were called Christian because of their devotion to the One they believed was Unique and they patterned their lives after Him. I wonder what the name “Christian” means in today’s world.

Jamie Jenkins

Aaron Copeland music quote

I am not a musician and I have no formal musical training but I do enjoy and value a variety of music. Martin Luther and I agree, “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”

A few years ago USA Today included Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in a list of “10 great places to be enthralled by heavenly music.” The people that filled the church sanctuary last Sunday night would agree with that claim. The 75 voice Chancel Choir accompanied by a 35 piece orchestra and 27 members of the Georgia Boy Choir offered the 25th Anniversary presentation of The Many Moods of Christmas, a spectacular program of Christmas music.

Tonight my wife and I plan to join friends to “celebrate the season through song” at a Coffee House Concert. I am looking forward to enjoying the coffee and desserts along with friends and members of the community where I live.

Then tomorrow night my wife and I will attend “Jesus and Aretha: The King and Queen of Soul” at Inman Park United Methodist Church. Publicity for this event cautions that we should not “expect the usual Christmas pageant. It’s more meaningful that Hallmark-y, more rock-and-roll than church-y, and lots of fun!” I can hardly wait.

Then on Saturday night we plan to attend the Georgia Boy Choir concert featuring all five levels of boys, a full orchestra, and lots of audience participation including Atlanta’s largest “Twelve Days of Christmas Sing-along.” And next Monday we hope to be present at the Red Clay Theater for Joe Gransden’s Big Band Holiday Show with special guest, Francine Reed.

These events complement what I hear everywhere during this season of the year and affirms Edgar Winter’s assertion that “music is very spiritual, it has the power to bring people together.” Music gives wings to the soul and teaches it to fly. And especially Christmas music.

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The sacred songs of the season are especially meaningful but who doesn’t love to hear and sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman. The peppy tunes of Here Comes Santa Claus and Jingle Bells bring a smile to your face and you can’t keep from patting your feet. And you cannot help but become a bit nostalgic when you hear the smooth sounds of White Christmas.

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Friedrich Nietzsche said “without music, life would be a mistake.” I agree but I must admit that when I hear “Rocking around the Christmas tree, have a happy holiday” on the radio or in a shopping mall for what seems like the 10,000th time, I cringe and wonder if life is really any better because of that song.

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The legendary musician, Ray Charles, said **Music is like breathing. I don’t get tired of breathing and I don’t get tired of music.” Neither do I, Ray. And especially Christmas music.

Jamie Jenkins