"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Honor: to value, to respect. Highly esteem, to treat as precious, weighty or valuable.

League of Justice
(DC Comics)

Many of us are familiar with the days of sitting in front of the TV and watching our favorite superhero or going to the local five and dime store to pick up the latest edition of our favorite comic book. I know for me at the age of eight I couldn't wait until 4 o'clock arrived so I could watch Batman & Robin.

Superheroes were cool. Superheroes, in the best sense of the word, were American.

The first superhero got its start in Cleveland, Ohio. And no it wasn't Lebron James. He was created by two Jewish men, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, in 1932. The character was inspired part by the times of the Great Depression and by the fact that Siegel's father, who was an immigrant, was killed at the hands of a robber at his father's clothing store on New York's Lower East Side in 1932. 

The superhero that was created was Superman

 (ill. by Damian Madray)

Many scholars note that the early story-lines shed light on the creator's left-leaning perspective when it came to social issues. Superman took on the role of social activist, fighting crooked businessmen, politicians and criminals. Roger Sabin, a comic scholar, has lamented many times that the creators creation was a reflection of "the liberal idealism of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal." 

Superman's debut in June of 1938 in Action Comics.
(Cover art by Joe Shuster) 

In days long ago superheroes were figures that received our respect and gained our honor. In our new sermon series at Cypress Pastor Ken began to canvass the topic of forgotten virtues. This week he started with the in lost virtue of honor and shared with us that respect is earned, but honor is given. Respect is earned by consistently displaying behavior that is admired by those around us. Behavior traits and admiral qualities such as integrity, honesty and a superior code of ethics all speak to ones character and it is our character that will ultimately gain the respect of others.

 (ill. by Damian Madray) 

As I mentioned earlier respect is earned, but honor is given.

Superheroes by the very nature of their name receive both respect and honor. The term hero was coined in 1387 and was derived from the Greek word heros. The term literally meant to "defend" and "protect"The 1387 term was believed by many scholars to be related to and to have found its origin from the goddess of Hera, the guardian of marriage.

It's hard to imagine that the term hero is derived from a goddess that assumed the task of protecting and defending marriage. 

Wow! That is a piece for another day.

I think we would all agree that the Hera the goddess has been MIA for some time now.

 (ill. by Damian Madray)

So with the small history lesson behind us concerning superheroes and goddesses the question that needs to be asked is, "Who do we honor?"

...besides superheroes.

Spiderman & the Hulk 
(ill. by Damian Madray)

Below are some of the sermon points that Pastor Ken outlined this morning concerning the people that deserve our honor.

PARENTS deserve our honor.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."
-Exodus 20:12

Parents deserve our respect. Period. I'm not talking to our children, but I'm talking to us adults. Too many us have too many grievances, argument and resentments when comes to our parents. Parents are human, they mistakes, they say the wrong things and at times they can mistakenly not have our best interest in mind. And yes there are parents that have committed unimaginable acts towards their children, and in those cases it is hard to forgive and respect them let alone honor them as our parents, but in some way, somehow, we have to begin to honor our parents daily. If your parents hurt you beyond belief then we must honor the institution of parenthood and ask God to bless us with forgiveness and respect for our parents in our heart. I must say that I have been blessed beyond any want or wish with my parents. My parents are simply the best. I'm honored to be called their son.

Those in AUTHORITY deserve our honor.

1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
-Romans 13:1-7

That is pretty straight forward. We all have a boss, figure out who they are and honor them. Their honor is not predicated on their commonsense, their intelligence or what they can do to further your career. Resolve today in your heart to stop the ridicule and begin the honor, if you can't do that then find a new job and new boss. 

Addison... aka the Green Hornet
...or something like that. Trust me when I say this is one of my "bosses".

PASTORS and CHURCH LEADERS deserve our honor.

"The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching." 
-1 Timothy 5:17

Please don't throw out the baby with the bath water. There are far more men and women in leadership roles in God's kingdom that honor the Lord than do not. Find a church that believes the word of God and the leaders make it their daily calling to follow the guidance of the Lord and get behind them. They deserve our support, they deserve our honor.

Honor ONE ANOTHER over self.

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."
-Romans 12: 9-10

To honor another takes humility on the part the person doing the honoring. If you constantly entertain the sad notion that your needs, wants and desires trump everyone else you will never be able to honor another human being. The key of humility will always unlock the door of honor. There is no way around this simple truth.

Our SPOUSE deserves our honor... if you have one.

 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. 
-Ephesians 5:25-33

Show me a man that loves his wife in that way and I will show you a valiant man, I will show you a man of honor. I have failed twice at being a valiant man and an honorable man... I will not fail a third time. The only thing that was important to me in the past was me. The sad thing was I didn't even realize it. I do now. It is said when a person knows better he will do better. I know better and I will do better. Abraham Lincoln also said, "When I do bad I feel bad and when I do good I feel good." I couldn't agree more.

"With great power comes great responsibility."
(ill. by Damian Madray)

GOD deserves our honor.

"You who fear the LORD, praise him!
   All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
   Revere him, all you descendants of Israel"
-Psalm 22:23

The word honor is borrowed from the Latin word honos. Honor is defined as the evaluation of a person's social status as judged by that individual's community. This is so true because one glance at Mark 6:1-6 we see that Jesus was anything but honored when he returned to Nazareth, his community. 

The beginning of Mark 6 states:

 1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.

God deserves and expects our honor. When we do not honor him he is actually shocked. God wants to do so much good for us, in us and through us. All he is doing is waiting for us to honor him. Psalm 84:11 exclaims; "For the Lord God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right."

God is the original superhero. He was sent here, in the form of a man, to protect us and save us.

Captain America

God deserves our honor through our actions not our words. Isaiah 29:13 states: "And so the Lord says, These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. And their worship of me amounts to nothing more than human laws leaned to rote. Because of this, I will do wonders among these hypocrites. I will show that human wisdom is foolish and even the most brilliant people lack understanding." 

Finally, I was originally going to entitle this piece "Decisions of the Heart" because honor is a decision of the heart that expresses itself in action, daily action. I thought by using the term superhero it would create curiosity amongst men and they might read the piece because at the end of the day men identify with, and gravitate towards, heroes. We have them on the football field, baseball diamond and basketball courts and if we're lucky we had them in our home while we were growing up. I know I did. And deep down we would all love to be a hero to someone... especially to our wife and kids. I know I do. Heroes are important and even today we have a hero in our home... his name is Tim Tebow.

My wife loves this kid as if he were her own.
#15 is her superhero... I have to agree he is pretty special.

We as a family respect him and have a great amount of admiration for him because of the way he conducts himself every day. He will fail someday, because he is human, and all the world will be there to pounce on him, but the greatest compliment I can give that man is that I hope all my boys turnout like him and that my daughter marries a man just like him. 

He is a better man than I will ever be or hope to be. 

In the end, we decide who we honor then we act upon it. You have heard me say many times that life is about the decisions we make and the relationships we cultivate.

What decisions are you making when it comes to honor?

More specifically, "Who, or what, are you honoring?"

In Greek to treat one without honor is to treat one as common or ordinary.

The real question is "Who are you treating as common, who are you treating as ordinary?"

Only you know the answer.

sbb  6.3.2011

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was fabulous, thanks for sharing your study. I enjoyed reading.