True Religion

From my journal this morning….

7/17/2004 6:31 AM

S:</b? "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is
this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep
oneself from being polluted by the world.”

O: Interesting to note that this is looking after orphans and
widows IN their distress. James makes it sound like this means to look
after them when they lose their parents or their husbands. But after
their distress is gone, you can move on. Orphans may always be in
distress, but perhaps not. Once someone took them it, it would be their

A: I think the church does a pretty good job of taking care of
widows. They are usually old ladies and we spend the time comforting
when the initial shock of things hits. We spend time helping around
their house, etc. Orphans. I don’t know of any orphans other than
grown children except for maybe ________. She was about 13 when her mom
died and she was essentially alone in life. Her older sister took her
in at that point and that worked out good also. But it seems like we
did okay with that one too. I don’t think it’s about overtaking the
parent’s role, and I don’t think it’s about becoming the parents to
them, unless they are very young. But it’s about seeing them through
their stress, helping where they need it, and getting them back on their

But the next part of this is interesting to me – someone who pushes for
and wants to do evangelism at such a huge part of church-life. This
next statement actually sounds like we should build walls of protection
around us – “keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Does that
mean that we should move away and build walls around ourselves, and take
the time to stay away from people of the world?

I guess when I first read that, I almost thought that. But as I read it
again, it’s not saying stay away from the world. It’s not saying to
ignore the people of the world. It’s not saying we should do something
different, but it is saying that we should follow God and stay pure.
It’s like Jesus’ statement that we should be in the world, but not of
the world.

P: I think that’s what is going on here, Lord, at our home. We
are in the world, but not of the world. We haven’t sold our house. We
haven’t sold our home and haven’t found anything that we all were
comfortable in and didn’t know how we would get to move there or here or
wherever. In other words, we’re on the edge of the country. In a
matter of 5 years, we will probably be surrounded by houses that will
put us directly into the city. Perhaps then we will move.

I just kind of feel like, Lord, that you may be leading us to stay here.
Our garden was in full bloom when we first put the house up for sale –
so it’s been about 10 months. The average is a year. Well, what are
you calling us to do, Lord.

I know that you are leading us. I trust your leadership, Lord. It
almost appears as if this verse really pertains – keep yourself from
being corrupted by the world. As the father of my house, I need to make
sure that I spend enough time with my kids, designing a plan that will
keep them listening to you. It’s my responsibility right now to make
sure that they are keeping themselves pure in you. Lord, I pray for the
Holy Spirit to lead me. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me. I pray
for the Holy Spirit to lead me and to focus my energy and my family
towards you. Please come in, Lord.

I pray for the outdoor service today, Lord. I pray you will bring
people to come and listen to you. I pray you will bring people to focus
on you. I pray that Jim will speak to us and he will be comfortable to
do so. I pray you will help us to listen to you.

I also pray for the weather, Lord. I t looks like the fog will burn
off. Rain could be a problem, but I pray you will lead us, Lord and
keep the weather good for us.