June 2016 Pastor's Pen

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Many things we think we know, we don't really know. Many things that we're convinced are true, simply aren't true. It takes only a little bit of research to learn the truth, but often it's just easier to hang on to misinformation. For example, did you know...

* There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets.

* Danish pastries do not come from Denmark, they actually originated in Austria.

* You've probably heard that people use only 10% of their brains. Actually, when William James made this statement more than a century ago, he was speaking metaphorically . Somehow it made the unsubstantiated leap into "scientific fact."

* Ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand.

* They say that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but the truth is exactly the opposite. If a place is prominent and conducive, lightning will most likely strike again and again. For example, lightning strikes the Empire State Building about 100 times per year.

* Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball.

So it shouldn’t surprise us to learn there are a couple of misconceptions about the Bible as well:

* The Bible doesn't specify three wisemen, it specifies three types of gifts they brought. Early traditions held that there were a dozen wisemen.

* The Bible doesn't specify the fruit of the garden of Eden as an apple. It only refers to it as a fruit.

* The Bible doesn't say that God helps those who help themselves. A lady at church once told me this was her favorite verse, and I, being a young and foolish pastor, told her that no such verse existed. She pointed her finger at me and said, "Sonny, don't tell me what's in the Bible. I may not know where to find it, but I've heard it all my life, and I know it's in there."

There are many other things that we believe that have no basis in truth, and yet we hang on to them as if they're proven scientific fact. Things like...

* The best days of my life are behind me.

* This relationship can't be salvaged.

* God can never forgive me for what I have done.

* I’ve let God down so often that God is fed up with me.

And on and on and on. Too often we live our lives as though these falsely held beliefs are true.

Now, the fact is, if you go through life with the wrong idea about ostriches or Vikings or Abner Doubleday, it will not negatively affect your life in any measureable way. But, if you go through life believing that your best days are behind you or that your marriage can't be better or you’re your mistakes are greater than God’s mercy... your life will never be what it can be.

There are so many things that we think that we know. The world is always telling us this that and the other. Just like we might be misinformed about which country pastries come from, we're also misinformed sometimes about the extent of God's mercy, or the power of his forgiveness, or the possibilities that he can bring to pass in our lives, even after we've failed him so many times. You cannot let the world dictate the kind of relationship you will have with God, with others, or with yourself. He has given you his truth, in his Word, and it has the power to change your life.

I would encourage you to immerse yourself in the Bible... to let the Word of Christ richly dwell in you, so that you can live with wisdom and grace and a song in your heart. Through his word, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you can see his will come alive in your life.

See you in worship,

Pastor Ken