Archive | November, 2011

“Courageous” and the Construction of Modern Camelot in Houston, Texas

24 Nov

“Courageous” and the Construction of Modern Camelot in Houston, Texas

The conception of what noble men should be – men like us (if I may be so bold as to categorize us in this manner) – is by no means a new concept. Men like us have been chosen by God and given active sentinel responsibility to those who depend upon us. Those who rely upon us do so not only for the necessities of life, but often more so for leadership in behavior, ethics and morality.

I was blessed in running across the following quotation from Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte Darthur” (written in the middle 1400s – you can get it for free from Project Gutenberg ). It contains some of the earliest written accounts of King Arthur. The book is so old it was written in Middle English.

King Arthur’s Pentecostal Oath (Modern Translation):
“… then the king established all his knights, and bestowed on them riches and lands. He charged them never to commit outrage or murder, always to flee treason, and to give mercy for those who asked for mercy, upon pain of the forfeiture of their honor and status as knight of King Arthur’s forever more. He charged them always to help ladies, damsels, gentlewomen, and widows, upon pain of death. Also he commanded that no man should take up a battle in a wrongful quarrel – not for love, nor for any worldly goods.”
– “Le Morte Darthur”, Sir Thomas Malory, Translation supplied by Dorsey Armstrong, Phd.

What strikes me so soundly is the alignment of our goals of becoming “Courageous” men with the highest charge given by King Arthur to his Knights of the Round Table. The notion of us all together – bound by common cause and moral purpose – charged by Almighty God Himself – with a code of behavior closely aligned with that of King Arthur – implying that we are a modern team of knight class men – men who are the modern equivalent of The Knights of the Roundtable – is indescribably gratifying.

A closer look at the charge given by King Arthur in The Pentecostal Oath as relevant to “Courageous” men:

1. We are already given, by God, valuable worldly possessions and family – a reward in His Good Faith – of our oath, duties and promise of loyalty.
2. Honor (righteousness) is the highest charge given.
3. Compassion and mercy are specifically required.
4. One must defend the weak. Women, and (I would argue strongly, by extension, children), are specifically named as individuals who we are charged to treat with largess, generosity and defense. Upon pain of death….
5. We are not to use our power for greed. Knights are strong, powerful, efficient, and effective. We must never use that power wrongfully, in league with evil forces or for personal gain. We are to always use our strength for good – in pursuit of honor and righteousness.

If we learn our lessons, if we apply what we learn, and if we step up with courage and discipline, there will be a new Camelot. Right here in Houston. Right here in our midst. With God as our King. And we as His Holy Knights of His Roundtable, His Hands in this Kingdom.

In passing:
As a parting thought, I thought it might be nice to provide the Middle English Version of King Arthur’s Pentecostal Oath – predating the King James Version of The Bible by about 150 years:
“than the kynge stablysshed all the knights and gaff them rychesse and londys; and charged them never to do outerage nothir morthir, and allwayes to fle treson, and to gyff mercy unto hym that askith mercy, upon payne of forfeiture of their worship and lordship of kynge Arthure for evermore.”
– Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

Finishing Up Lesson One

20 Nov

In advance of our December 10 meeting, the following is offered for contemplation in finishing up Lesson 1. The following is intended to bring us to action by transforming what we have learned, what is in our hearts, and what we know we should do – to incorporation into the behaviors and actions of our daily lives. It is found on pages 20-21 of our study booklet. Remember that Love is a verb and calls us to action; the point of the lessons are to bring us to better Love those we are entrusted to care for by attaining a higher level of achievement of Love – an enhanced level of action on behalf of God – through God – in expressing our love for those we influence.

Summary:
We can all stand to improve in consistently reading God’s Word and obeying His voice. Like Joshua, we may need to recall that God will help us lead your families and will never leave us as we obey Him. We may need His reminder that He is calling us to spiritually lead, guide, and protect those under our care. Our commitment to the Word of God:

Write three steps you will take this week to better read God’s Word and obey:

1.

2.

3.

Dads and Moms
Consider how God wants you to sacrifice your life for the sake of your family.

Consider how He wants you to be a hero in your home. Consider the threats that war at the doors of your children’s hearts and lives every day. Sometimes they can be physical threats (yellow grenades and carjacks), but often they are spiritual ones.

For example, boys often face bullying or peer pressure at school. Starting very young, girls may face issues of body image and a sexually pervasive culture. Even a toddler faces threats. Identify threats you think of in the following space.

Other dangers to your family are not as easily spotted. What about attitudes of bitterness toward your spouse or children (Heb 12:15)? How could unresolved marriage issues hurt your children? Do you allow harmful Internet, TV or movie content into your home? What about friends who pull your children away from God? Do hobbies or other activities keep you or your children away from church involvement?

Many Godly parents have been where you have yet to go. You can benefit from their wisdom and friendship.

Constantly pray for courage to address in a Godly way the threats to your children. Pray for each child as he or she faces these challenges. Intentionally spend more time with your kids, learning their day-to-day routines. Like Nathan, hang on tightly to the wheel!

Pray for the wisdom and boldness to step up and be the dad you need to be – to serve, lead, and protect your family. God is calling men and women to courageously follow Christ and His Word. He is calling us to make more sacrifices needed to fight for our faith, for our families, and for future generations.

It Is Time To Answer The Call.