Police stand next to a pickup truck that slammed into a crowd and other vehicles, causing multiple injuries, coming to a stop against a dump truck. — Police on Sunday identified the intoxicated man who allegedly plowed into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade. NEW ORLEANS (AP)
Should Christians Keep Mardi Gras?
“Mardi Gras has its roots in religious tradition. But what does the Bible say?
Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/GHrgfdxFKfI
[Steve Myers] “Colorful costumes and masks and pageantry. That’s all surrounding Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is one of those traditions where…sometimes I’ll talk about the fact that it reminds me of the three Ds. There’s dancing in the streets, there’s drunkenness and debauchery. That kinda categorizes Fat Tuesday. That’s literally what the term Mardi Gras means.
Religiously it’s called Shrove Tuesday because that’s the day before Lent. Lent of course being more of a Catholic kind of a tradition that’s rooted in pagan holidays. And what would happen at Lent is that you would give up something for Lent. And so before you give something up, you certainly want to overindulge and fatten up and, you know, get into food and drink and all those things so that you can then put that behind you and repent for the rest of this religious season.
But when you really think about the implications of that religiously, it’s really ridiculous. In modern carnival traditions and celebrations all around the world and whether it’s in New Orleans or Rio or Nice, France. These are areas where they’ll often celebrate for weeks, leading up to that time. When we lived in New Orleans for a while, I remember they talk about Fat Tuesday, and then instead of Ash Wednesday, they’d call it Trash Wednesday because there was so much junk leftover from these Mardi Gras celebrations. Well, is that something we should have any part in?
These Catholic traditions that are not really based in the Bible at all. I mean, there’s a couple of interesting aspects when you consider this. I was thinking of the passage that’s found in Romans 13:13. It says the basic things. As Christians it says, “Let’s walk properly in the day, not in revelry or drunkenness.”
Of course on TV, they’ll show the parties and the fun but they don’t show all of those types of things because that would certainly take away from the tourism of all those areas of the world. Romans goes on, “don’t walk in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.” And it’s kind of a reminder, those are the things we should give up, but that’s not good enough.
This whole aspect of Mardi Gras and Lent, I think it is something that miss directs us to what the truth of God’s word really is. Yes, we’ve got to give up lewdness and drunkenness and revelry and all those types of things that are against God’s way of life. But Romans points out, it’s not just about giving something up. We have to put something on and so verse 14 in Romans 13 says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lust.”
And so that’s an important aspect of Christianity, true Christianity. We not only put off those things that are wrong, but we’ve got to take it a step farther. We’ve got to put on everything that’s right. So when you begin to hear about Mardi Gras celebrations, and all of those types of things in this upcoming Lent season that this religious world will keep, remember, it’s not rooted in the Bible. In fact, let it remind you of the fact we need to put off the ways of the world, but more importantly then, put on Jesus Christ.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/should-christians-keep-mardi-gras
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
The goal of Christian conversion and transformation is to become like Jesus Christ—to think like Him, to love others as He does, to have His mind in us.
Paul lists some of the changes that are necessary for a natural, selfish human mind to become like Jesus Christ’s mind. We must remove selfish ambitions and “empty pride,” replacing them with “lowliness of mind.”
“The Greek word suggests a deep sense of humility. Although the pagan writers used the word negatively, in effect to mean abjectness or groveling, Paul did not. What Paul was calling for was an honest evaluation of one’s own nature. Such an evaluation should always lead to glorification of Christ” (NKJV Study Bible, comment on Philippians 2:3).
Elsewhere Paul says it is not wise to compare ourselves with others (2 Corinthians 10:12). But when we do assess ourselves and do consider others, we should “be severe upon our own faults and charitable in our judgment of others” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary, comment on Philippians 2:1-1”1).
For more about developing the mind of Jesus Christ, see “Christ in Us: How Does He Live in You?” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/let-this-mind-be-in-you/?
Acts for Today's Disciple, Part 6
“A scene from the early days of the Church offers us a lesson about effectiveness for us today.
Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/B-sNfZrgbm0
[Darris McNeely] “One of the things we sometimes ask ourselves in our role as a disciple, a follower of Jesus Christ, how effective are we? Are we really accomplishing something with our obedience, with our works, with our service to people, to God, to His Church?
You know, the story of the Book of Acts and the role of the disciples in the early church can help us come to an answer on that question.
There was a scene in the early days of the church in the fourth chapter of the Book of Acts where persecution begins to come out against the church in its earliest days. Peter and John have healed someone in the temple. And that creates a great deal of following and people are listening to their message about the kingdom and about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His role as their Savior.
The Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews in the temple, they don’t like it. They bring Peter and John before them and they question them. They then tell that “We’re doing this all in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the one whom you kill.” The Jewish leaders don’t like it. They kind of give them a little slap on the wrist and say, “Don’t do this anymore.” But they say, “Well, we have to. We will.” They leave. They go back to their followers. And they recount to them what they have done.
And as they’re in a small group setting in Chapter 4, the church kind of rejoices over what has happened, and the fact that the power of God is quite evident in the actions that they are taking. And they make this statement. It is actually a prayer in Acts 4, beginning in verse 27, 28, and 29 here. They say to God, “Lord, now pay attention to their threats and grant to your servants to speak Your message with great courage.”
The disciples were threatened by the Jewish leaders. The disciples are praying to God, “Please give us courage while You extend Your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” This was their prayer to God in a collective prayer. When they had prayed, it says, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God courageously.
It’s like God took His little finger and just kind of reached down and shook the room that they were all gathered in and praying in to give them an encouragement that, “You’re on the right track. What you’re doing is of Me. I’m supporting it. Keep doing what you’re doing.” And they were encouraged. They were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The disciples in their early days in the church, they were a praying group of people. When they were faced with a difficulty, opposition to what they were doing, they got together, they read Scripture, and they prayed to God. And they were effective. And their works were works of God and God supported that. And there was fruit born from what they did.
When we look at that in our own life, how effective are we? How effective are we in the larger church?
This is a good story to go back to, to recognize the elements of what they did. They supported one another, they read Scripture, and they prayed to God. And that was the core of their plan. That was their strategic plan. And God was behind them at that time. And they were effective. Something to think about, when we worry and wonder about what we’re doing, what you’re doing with your life and your service before God.” From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-daily/acts-for-todays-disciple-part-6
Bible study on Sunday afternoon was cancelled because the pastor was sick.
Monday was the Brazos Valley Strengthening Relationship seminar’s last meeting, and she brought us some chicken and veggie stew, and we each were given a certificate and gift card for completing the course. This was funded by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
Tuesday, my daughter came over here with her two dogs and we took all three to the park. One of her males, another American Eskimo, came from the same house as my little skittish little Foxie, and they seemed pleased to see each other, but Foxie thought that Wendy’s other dog, a male Aussie Shepherd, was the bee’s knees. They romped and played the best way they could on leashes, that is until we got back here, then she guarded me and wouldn’t let the other dogs near me.
On Wednesday, another Aggie, from Family and Community Health A&M University came to give us a preview of a new health program that they are starting here. We were issued pedometers and now they will be coming twice a week and trying to get these old seniors to walk around the block! We are supposed to walk 5-10 minutes a day to get into the habit. I walk quite a bit anyway, exercising the dog.
As I was still feeling a bit droopy from my cold, so I just took cookies to the church potluck. The sermon was about “It Takes Courage, It Takes Heart”. About the many examples of people’s courage over the years. King David, Daniel, Jesus Christ, the negro underground railroad, and he even mentioned my going through the bombing during the war. I told him later, that it didn’t take any courage, because as a child I didn’t know any different, I just accepted it as a part of life.
Each day is different for little scared Foxie, she will be fine, peeing outside like she should, then she will hear the big trash truck, a noisy train, or people shouting, and she will be all shaky and won’t pee for the rest of the day.