How not to parent. You wonder how some people make it.

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 further supports my notion that life is a constant struggle between extremes. There’s a right time for things and a wrong time. Our job is to know the time.

Many people have said they wished they knew what God wanted them to do in their life. But there are some passages of Scripture that kind of make me glad I don’t know the specifics.

Isaiah 20 is one of those passages. It’s a very short chapter and it always brings a smile to my face when I think of wanting to know God’s will. It’s also funny to look this passage up in commentaries. Most commentaries have a hard time believing that God would actually tell His prophet Isaiah to walk around naked. I think it probably means what it says.

I am now reading Light From Old Times by J. C. Ryle about various English churchmen around the Reformation. In describing these men, he also describes the time in which they lived. Although we may disagree with some of their theology, based on where they came from, they did a fine job.

Many of these men gave their very lives for what they believed. The Roman Catholic Church had pretty much taken over Christianity. Priests rarely did sermons or read from the Bible in a way people could understand. Some of the early Reformer’s main job was to translate Scripture into English, for which they died.

The major doctrine they were killed for was denying the real presence of Jesus Christ in communion. Now, for us, that may seem like a minor thing to die for. But to them they knew it was the foundation for all of Catholicism’s ritual and placing a human mediator between the common man and God. If the only way you could communicate with God was by having a priest change the bread and wine, you had to go to a priest, setting up Catholicisms monopoly on God.

Again, as we look back, these things almost seem silly. To the early Reformers it was a matter of life and death. If it wasn’t for their willingness to stake all for what they believed, whether it was all right or not, is much of why we do what we do in our church today. So thanks guys!

An enbalmer at UCLA has been charged with selling corpses and body parts for personal proft. Of all the ways to make a little cash. At least Ebay was not involved, that we know of.

Finished Chesterton’s book on Francis of Assisi. Francis was basically a naive kid who turned his naivete into a career. He despised possessions and book learning. He wanted to keep his message as simple as possible so no one would miss it.

Although it’s easy to criticize Francis and the naivete of him and his followers, his naivete also allowed him to achieve some amazing things–founding a monastic order, meeting with the pope, etc. Now, most of these things seem to be stumbling blocks to true growth, but again, Christianity at this time was pretty much Catholic. For the time he lived in, he made a mark.

Chesterton admitted that much of what Francis did would constitute heresy and his followers got a bit weird and embellished many stories–during a play on the birth of Christ the doll came to life when Francis held it–Francis did more for his day in making Christianity a viable option for many hurting people the Church had left behind. As with everything in life, you take the good with the bad.

I am reading a biography of St. Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton. I like Chesterton and his way of thinking, when I can follow it. I know of Francis of Assisi and know that he is well known. So, the book seems interesting to me.

So far, it is. Chesterton makes the point that we may not agree or like Francis’ asceticism and lifestyle of denial, but when you understand the times he lived in, his behavior makes sense. It seems as if it was exactly what Christianity should have done.

The world of his day was very rich and luxurious. Christianity had fallen right into that same pattern. The only way to react against it was to go to the opposite extreme.

This brings me back to my point made last week that life is a battle between extremes–not finding a middle ground but knowing what extreme to go to when. Francis went to the extreme of asceticism because the world was at the opposite extreme. If Christianity is about “come out from among them and be ye separate,” you sort of have to know what “them” are doing!