ReligionJune 12, 2024
Discover a week's worth of thought-provoking insights from confessions to inspirational quotes. Explore reflections on faith, leadership and the purpose of rules in our lives. Dive into Larry L. Bollinger's latest musings.
Larry L. Bollinger
Larry L. Bollinger

Hello. I hope you had a good week. My week had a few ups and downs, but nothing drastic. For today’s column, I would like to share with you a few items I found helpful and interesting this past week. Therefore, I will be jumping around somewhat with different things for your consideration.

My church and many other churches have a prayer of confession as part of their worship service. The following prayer was helpful to me: God who formed our inward parts and knows our hearts, forgive us. Instead of acknowledging you as our God, we make our own idols. Instead of proclaiming Jesus Christ as our Lord, we proclaim ourselves. Instead of turning to the Holy Spirit, we attempt to attain your way in our own understanding. Redirect our wrong ways and lead us to the ways that make Jesus visible in our lives.

"He tends his flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11 NIV)

Have you ever been told what to do? I sure have, and even told where to go as well. At times, I cherished being told what to do, especially when it was done in a Christian-like manner. Then there were times when other parties were clearly out of bounds. This type of action was distasteful, and hard feelings often developed. I threw out this question for you and me to ponder on. In the days ahead, without doubt, we will encounter circumstances where others tell us what to do. Maybe we should take time to school ourselves and be more prepared to cope with future issues.

"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better." (Albert Einstein)

While waiting my turn to get my hair cut the other day, I picked up a golf magazine and found this quote by Arnold Palmer: “When you’ve reached the top, send the elevator back down for the others.” I found that quote to be very interesting, and I have been wondering if I am even in the elevator at all. If I am in it, am I on the way up, stuck on the third floor or going back down? Or am I at my peak, and it is time to exit and send the elevator back down so it will be available for others to use? If you are young, you may be just getting on an elevator. If you are an old codger like me, you may need to consider ways to make your elevator available for others.

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“Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic. Be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord!” (Romans 12:11 CEB)

Rules. Why do we have rules? And do we always need to obey them? What a loaded question, but one that we probably need to look at in depth. In the United States, we drive on the right side of the road. If you are overseas , this may not work so well. Different rules for different circumstances. I will simply express a few of my feelings on this subject. There is a need for rules, and they can be very beneficial. Manmade rules often become outdated and need to be revised. Governments, organizations, churches, etc. often have rules. In my opinion, manmade rules are usually written very specifically, but in a vague way. The last sentence may seem to contradict itself, but I think it has merit. The authors want to control, put restraints on some aspect of a person, group, situation, etc. Then they apply the letter of the law, but often bend or interpret the rules as they see fit to meet their needs. Let’s keep in mind that manmade rules are simply guidelines and, in my opinion, should be implemented using Christian principals as foretold in the Bible.

Matthew 22:37-39 comes to mind. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself." (King James Version).

It appears to me that if we as a people were to put more love into our hearts each day, such an act would result in fewer rules being necessary.

What do you think?

LARRY L. BOLLINGER is a former Patton resident now living in Ballwin.

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