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Littering, Litterers, And Laziness
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 10:11

 

Littering is something I’ve never been able to understand. Does it make any sense to pollute the environment, much less your own property? Yet people do this everyday.

In my view littering is little more than laziness. It’s the unwillingness to expend enough energy to walk to a trash can, to stuff trash into your pocket until you find a waste receptacle, to place trash or garbage on the floor of your vehicle until you stop where disposal can be cared for properly. And so it goes.

It always amazes and incenses me to see people pitch bags of food trash or beer/soda cans out their vehicle window or to drive behind someone as he or she blithely tosses cigarette butts onto the road.

Littering is damaging, destructive, and sometimes dangerous. Litterers are irresponsible, immature, and lazy.

No matter how you cut it, littering is wrong:

 

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2014  

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com.

 

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Does A President's Religion Matter?
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 15:15

 

Every four years—or what increasingly is every two years, fast moving toward every year—candidates vying for the office of President of the United States proclaim their religious affiliations and affirmations to the voting public. It’s a US phenomenon and not a bad one, really.

A would-be-President’s religious convictions are interesting to know. As free-society voters we probably ought to know what a candidate believes about religious matters because in some way, small or large, these beliefs help define his or her character, personality, and possibly approach to leadership.

Then again, if history is any guide, we might be forgiven for asking whether a duly elected President’s religious views mean much to everyday governance.

Let’s take a look:

 

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2014

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com.

 

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Listening To The Donkeys In Your Life
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 09:27

 

Everyone walks a path in life, one that features many forks. Some directions could lead us to better things, others to serious difficulties. Sometimes we can ascertain the possibilities before we make a decision about which fork to take; sometimes we cannot. 

Importantly, at times the Lord provides us with clues if not outright clarity about the direction we should take. These clues or clarity come in the form of friends who speak into our lives.

In the Old Testament, Balaam rode his donkey down a path leading the wrong way. The donkey balked, Balaam beat him, and then God did an amazing thing: he gave the donkey speech. The donkey clearly warned Balaam away from destruction, but Balaam did not listen to the donkey in his life.

Question is: Do we listen to the donkeys in our lives?  Here's more:

 

© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2014

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com.

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C. John Miller, Peerless Friend
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 23:06

 

Aside from my father and two grandfathers no man influenced my life more, and more positively, than C. John Miller.

John was my friend, mentor, and confidant, sometimes amazingly even my fan, and certainly always my most faithful prayer supporter.   

Last week, this twenty-plus year hero in my life went to be with the Lord. He was 82 and as the Scripture said of King David, “He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor” (1 Chron. 29:28).

I think John also fit God’s description of David as “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22).

I met John in 1991 when he was Chairman of the Board at Grand Rapids Baptist College and Seminary (later Cornerstone University) and I was a young and untested candidate for the institution’s presidency. He and others gave me a chance to run that race and run we did. It was a good run and I enjoyed every minute of it, in part because John was running with me.

I’ve been privileged to work with many trustees and supporters in several nonprofit organizations, including three in which I was charged with a leadership role. John ranks as the best trustee I’ve ever witnessed. He’s the best because of the total package he brought to the task: 

  • faithful—he always showed up
  • optimistic and positive—he was always “up”
  • proactive—he was not only open to new ideas, he looked for initiatives and helped cast vision for what could be
  • spiritual and ethical—he was a Christian who wanted to live and act in a godly manner, personally, professionally, organizationally
  • generous—he gave with an eye toward the good his gifts could do for others.

 

John was a quintessential leader. He led with respect and love for others. He really never tried to stand out, but he always stepped up and stepped out, and when he did, because of his character and example, others invariably followed.

John liked to say he was “just a kid from Kentucky,” but his affable personality, talent, work ethic, and genuine Bible-based spirituality helped engage his fellow board members and others in a desire to increase the academic quality and spiritual effectiveness of the institution, see it through a tipping point name change, and support the idea that a small school could dare to be more in a transition to university status.

John’s leadership helped reposition the “little school on the East Beltline that wanted to be left alone” into a truly Christian institution of higher learning capable of excellence. Why? For John it was always so students could learn to love and live for the Lord. John’s positive influence upon Cornerstone University lies deep yet today in the university’s DNA and it will for years to come.

John blessed more than the university. His family, friends, and those he touched can tell stories without end about John’s generosity with his time, talent, and treasure. I always believed God entrusted John with much because John was trustworthy. He was a faithful steward who didn’t wait for needs to appear at his door. He went looking for them, without need or desire for recognition. I know of seminary students, missionaries, pastors’ families, Christian educators, family and friends, business associates, and more who benefited from John’s helping heart and hand.

I know people, including me, who visited John primarily so they could unload their cares. He would listen, sometimes at great length, then talk about what could be done and, more importantly, what the Lord was doing or might do. He trusted the Lord and he helped me trust him. John was upbeat in the face of trials and he helped strengthen my resolve. John told stories of drilling several dry oil wells in a row and what God taught him during this stress, and then he helped me learn the same lessons. So it went, John sharing godly insight in a way that fit the situation at hand.

God gave John a sense of humor, a leadership talent he coupled with impeccable timing to disarm potentially volatile or paralyzing discussions. We’d be sitting in a board meeting getting stuck on an issue and John would say something about backing ourselves into a corner where “We had to vote on whether to mow the grass.” Or to put in perspective a group of churchmen’s rather egregious behavior toward the university John wryly observed, “Those guys couldn’t run a two-car funeral.” He laughed easily not because he was always happy but because he was always joyful.

John achieved both vocational and avocational success and received many accolades from a variety of business, political, civic, and religious sources. But he never forgot that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17). I remember John telling me more than once about driving by himself along an interstate, thinking about his life, and suddenly it would hit him anew how much God had blessed him. Then he’d tell me about welling up in tears and praying and praising God for this unmerited favor called grace. If anything, John’s humility became even stronger with age and accomplishment.

John was a good, forever friend. As Board Chairman, the first thing John ever said to me was “I want to be your partner in this.” He never wavered in this commitment.

Years later in the midst of a trial John said something I’ll never forget: “I’m walking right beside you.” I cannot put into words what this meant to me other than to say it was one of the most moving moments of my life. I cannot repay him for this, but I’ve tried to pay it forward by writing or calling others in the midst of their trials.

During what turned out to be our final discussion, the last thing John said to me was “How can I help you?”

This was C. John Miller. He was quite simply the finest man I have ever known.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2014   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.         

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Facing Evil, The Boston Marathon Bombings
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:08

 

Periodically, we look evil in the face. The Boston Marathon bombings are the latest sickening evidence evil exists and is all too alive and well.

No matter who we are, or what kind of character with which we live, evil intrudes, either from within our own hearts or from the hearts of others. It crashes in without regard for life or limb, without sensitivity or restraint, and without conscience or compassion. It’s just evil. It maims and kills and destroys. Its end is death.

President Obama said, “Make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this and we will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”

In times like this partisanship shouldn’t matter. I’m rooting for the President, the FBI, the Massachusetts Governor, Boston officials, and everyone else involved in the justice, security, and military system. I hope we discover who did this and that they feel the “full weight of justice.”

But we already know “why they did this.” It’s called “sin,” or to stick with our theme, “evil” (Genesis 3:14-24; Romans 5:12).

I’m not in a position to assist professional responders. So how do we respond to this? You can send funds, donate blood, pray, but beyond this there’s not a lot we can do.

We can, though, work to restore our soul and the souls of those around us. Tragedy is disheartening. It generates fear, anxiety, discouragement or disillusionment. It creates a need, whether recognized or understood, for theological perspective and spiritual refreshment. Toward that end, here are a few thoughts from Scripture:

--God is sovereign. No matter what happens, no matter what evil occurs, no matter the fragility and brevity of our lives, God is still God, still in charge, still loves us, still able to bring hope and peace (Psalm 103:15-19).

--“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2-3).

--“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

 --“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

--“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

--“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

--“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Evil ascends for a time, but in the end it will not win. We must combat it within (ourselves) and without (in the world), availing ourselves of the power of the Holy Spirit of God. But we’re not responsible for victory. God is. In fact, he’s already finished his work (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57).

Evil like what we see in the Boston Marathon bombings is gut wrenching and sad. But it’s not whistling in the dark to say, “We will trust in God. We will have hope.”

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2013

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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Contemporary Culture: A Celebration Of Irrationality
Written by Rex M. Rogers   
Saturday, 06 April 2013 19:14

 

Contemporary culture seems bent upon finding ways to embrace, even promote, ideas, attitudes, values, and practices earlier cultures considered lacking in common sense. Indeed in much of this it seems contemporary culture is, in sum, a celebration of irrationality.

Some of these relatively recently embraced ways of life (culture) are irreverent, some are immoral, and some at one time were illegal. I say recently embraced, but there are really no new practices under the sun, just old ones recycled (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Of course, what you call irreverent, immoral, or illegal depends upon your point of view, which in turn depends upon your worldview. What you believe about God, life, and truth influences what ideas, attitudes, values, and practices you embrace as legitimate. This is a prime reason contemporary culture celebrates irrationality. It does so because the current cultural zeitgeist, or spirit of the age, has jettisoned the idea of moral absolutes in favor of a new, ironically, "absolute" called moral relativism.

The existence of ultimate truth is rejected. And the existence of clearly knowable, objectively established truth is rejected. In their place contemporary culture enshrines “There is no truth” or “What’s true for you may not be true for me,” so people believe and do whatever they want. Consequently, since we can know nothing for sure, we cannot believe anything for sure. If we can know nothing and can believe nothing for sure, what we believe, and therefore what we do, doesn’t matter, at least not to anyone but us.

A culture that does not believe in objective truth, i.e. objectivity, is vulnerable, nay, is wide open, to subjective "truth," i.e. subjectivity. In other words, if we don’t believe truth is determined outside of us than it must be OK to determine it within us. We do what’s right in our own eyes.

This approach to what’s right pretty much lets us determine what to do based upon personal experience, not based upon the Bible, the Church, religion, or even history. So if we want to get an abortion, why not? If we want to say heterosexual expression outside marriage or homosexual expression is morally acceptable, why not? If we want to believe life began by chance and that human beings are descended from apes, why not? If we want to spend not only beyond our means but spend other peoples’ means (our children and grandchildren), why not? There’s no piper to be paid, no reckoning. It’s all just going to work out…somehow.

To state what should be obvious, celebrating irrationality is not rational. Our culture cannot sustain itself indefinitely with this kind of pell-mell rush to senselessness. Yet lemming-like, we keep running toward the cliff.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2013

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

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Dr. Rex M. Rogers

Dr. Rex M. Rogers

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