Friday, July 31, 2009

Two Sets of Joneses

I have been doing a lot of marriage counseling lately. Actually, more than I ever have before. I don't know if it's because we are not equipping young couples as we used to or if there is just so much more to deal with today, but even in the church we see marraiges struggling and failing on a regular basis.

As I was struggling with this thought and what we can do about it as a church, an old song came to mind that sums up what I believe to be the core of the problem.

TWO SETS OF JONESES by Big Ten Revival

This is a song about two sets of Joneses
Rothchild and Evelyn - Ruban and Sue
Just for discussion through random selection
We've chosen two couples who haven't a clue

Rothchild was lucky to marry so wealthy
Evelyn bought him a house on the beach
Ruban and Sue they had nothing but Jesus
And at night they would pray that he'd care for the each

And the Rain came down - it blew the four walls down
And the clouds they rolled away
One set of Joneses was standing that day

Evelyn's daddy was proud of young Rothchild
He worked the late hours to be number one
Just newlyweds and their marriage got rocky
He's flying to Dallas - She's having a Son

Ruban was holding a Gideon's Bible
He screamed "It's a boy" so that everyone heard
And the Guy's at the factory took a collection
Again God provided for bills he'd incurred.

And the Rain came down - it blew the four walls down
And the clouds they rolled away
One set of Joneses was standing that day

What is the point of this story?
What am I trying to say?
Is your life built on the Rock of Christ Jesus
Or a sandy foundation you've managed to lay?

Well, Needless to say Evelyn left her Husband
Sued him for every penny he had
I truly wish that those two would find Jesus
Before things get worse than they already have

And the Rain came down - it blew the four walls down

And the clouds they rolled away
One set of Joneses was standing that day
There's two sets of Joneses - Which ones will you be?

That may sound simplistic, but I just can't seem to get the tune out of my head. The problem with most couples I see is the focus of their marriage. The focus is self. "I really wish those two would find Jesus."

If you have never heard it, here is the video link.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Celebrity Death's and Our Need for God

The death of a celebrity is an amazing thing to me. We have had several lately. Ed McMahon, Vince Young, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays, and, Michael Jackson all died within just a few days of each other. Many of us saw the images of people putting up memorials outside of NBC studios for McMahon, and Outside of a restaurant for Young. I imagine most of us saw at least some of the images from the Michael Jackson memorial. It is estimated that over 1 billion people watched at least some of it.

As humans, we are not good with mortality. We don’t handle death well. I know I don’t. If someone close to me dies, I weep and morn just like the next person. But I guess I wonder why we mourn so much over celebrities. Don’t get me wrong, it’s sad when people die, but I find the outpouring over celebrities interesting. After all, we have soldiers dying everyday in the Middle East but rarely do you hear a name even mentioned. What is it about celebrities?

We as humans have built in within us the need to attach ourselves to something. God made us that way. Some choose to attach themselves to family, others to a job, and others even to a celebrity. God put the need to “seek” in each and every heart he created (Acts 17:26-28). But the ultimate goal of this is that we would find HIM.

People are seekers buy our very nature. God has put it in our heart to seek that we might find him. When we see people “idolizing” celebrities to the point that they almost look as if they are “worshiping” them (I saw one person at the Michal Jackson funeral with their hands raised), this is a reflection of our “need” to worship.

Yet there is only one way the need to worship will be fulfilled in anyone’s life, and that is through the true worship of our almighty God. Again, God created us so that “men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. “For in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:26-28)

It’s easy to attach ourselves to what we can see. But in reality, Michael Jackson didn’t know any of those people who were “lifting him up.” When he was alive, those who followed him did not have any “real” access to him. “Idol worship” will never fulfill the need for relationship which we seek. BUT…God knows our names, he created us with the ability to find him, and “he is not that far from each one of us.” That’s Good News!