Providence, Grace, Convictions, Preferences, and Choices.

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I know that is a big mouthful of words. But I want to challenge you to think about the differences in them. The other day I was reading on Facebook and a friend was bragging about Carolina’s Victory over the Clemson Tigers. I joined into a little friendly banter with him, and then he said, “Come on Brad, convert and come over to our side, you know you want to.”

So that lead me into an interesting thought cycle. I choose to be a Clemson Tiger, win or lose. Some of that choice was made for me when it came time for college. It was the late 60’s, early 70’s, and my Dad thought that there were a bunch of “hippies” down at USC, even though he graduated from there. (Ironically, he was a Terrapin fan first, and a Tiger fan second, and not a Gamecock fan at all). So at college time, my Dad said, “You can go to Wofford and live at home, or to Clemson and live on campus.” I chose Clemson.

Even though I admire the Gamecock baseball program for their two back to back National Championships, and I have respect for Ray Tanner as their coach, I still choose to be a Clemson fan. I was a Clemson fan in the early 70’s when they not only lost, but got killed. I was a fan when Danny Ford led them to a National Championship, and I am today. I will be when I die. But it is a Choice.

It is providential that I was born in 1951 in Spartanburg, SC to Jack and Frances. I had no say, no choice, no preference, nothing to do with that. It was by the Providence of God that I was born in America, not Japan, not Germany, not Viet Nam, not Iraq, not Africa, not Mexico, etc. It is providential that I have brown hair, what is left of it and hasn’t turned grey. It is providential that I am a male.

It is by the Grace of a Loving and merciful God that I am a born again follower of Jesus Christ. I had my heart enlightened by the convincing work of the Spirit of God, and I surrendered to him as a teenage boy. It is without any merit of my own. It is by God’s grace, first to last.

It is by Conviction that I am a Southern Baptist. Baptist because of some convictions from the Scripture. Southern Baptist because of the commitment of this denomination to missions. I am of the settled conviction that the International Mission Board of the SBC is one of the greatest mobilizations to get the Gospel to every people group in history.

By preference I like the New American Standard Version of the Bible best. By conviction I choose a translation that is a “Word Translation” such as the King James, New American Standard, or English Standard versions, over a translation that is an “Idea Translation,” such as the New International or the New Living versions.

By preference I like a certain style music, and select one restaurant over another. By deep settled conviction I do not eat English peas (just a joke). So all this rambling.

I simply want to challenge you to think about the differences. Some things we have no choice over. Others we can choose. We can choose to forgive, or not. We can choose to become angry or not. If we choose to not forgive, bitterness is inevitable, we have no choice. If we choose to become angry, we will do things we cannot control the consequences of. If I choose to jump off a building, I will fall. I cannot choose to fly. I cannot choose to be a different ethnicity. I can choose what color I wear, (even though we all know orange is better than garnet, again just kidding, well sort of).

Until next time, this is BradUnleashed.

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