Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to my blog! Thank you for reading this, my first entry. My purpose in this initial posting is to explain why I have chosen the name "On the Jericho Road" for the blog. There are two reasons, one sentimental and one practical.

First, the sentimental reason: I selected the name as a tribute to my father, the late Champ Ruffin. My father was born in 1921 and died in 1979. In those intervening 58 years he lived a good life. I learned a lot from him in the twenty years that I had him with me and no doubt the things that he taught me will crop up over and over in my reflections. Sometimes I will know that he is the source of what I am saying and I will give him credit; at other times his heart and mind will come out in me as naturally and as unconsciously as some of his facial expressions show up in my visage. One of the things that he and I share is a love for music that is not matched by any discernible musical talent. Although Daddy could not read music he was the song leader in our rural church for many years. He loved to sing. He particularly loved Southern gospel music. One of the songs that he sang all the time as he piddled at home or as he drove or as he worked in his garden was called “On the Jericho Road.” I can still hear him singing “On the Jericho Road, there’s room for just two, no more and no less, just Jesus and you.” So, I have named my blog On the Jericho Road in honor of my father.

Second, the practical reason: I selected the name because it does a good job of summarizing what I hope to address in my postings. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is set on the road to Jericho. In that parable, a man is beaten and left for dead by robbers. A couple of religious leaders see him but pass by on the other side; a Samaritan stops and helps him. The scenario of the parable informs the approach that I hope to take in this blog. As we go along in the life of faith, we witness and participate in all kinds of events that impact the lives of people. In the light of those events we have to make decisions about how we will respond or not respond; we have to decide what we think and then we have to act in accordance with the decisions that we make. Our journey is very much a journey along the Jericho Road; it is a journey during which we must face what it means to be a neighbor and to act like a neighbor. That’s what I want to reflect upon, to write about, and to engage in conversation about in this blog: what do we do about the situations and the people that we encounter along the Jericho Road? Sometimes I’ll write about other things that attract my attention, but in the main, such is the direction that I’ll be taking.

I look forward to having you share in the journey and the conversation with me.

6 comments:

Alan Mitchell said...

Michael,
This is a great undertaking! I look forward to reading your thoughts. There are so many issues that need to be addressed by "thinking Christians." Thank you for your time and effort.
Alan Mitchell

gdeloach said...

Congrats on your blog. Istarted one about a month ago as a link to FBC Augusta's website. Pay me an electronic visit sometime.

Peace,

Greg DeLoach

Ken Smith said...

I will struggle with you.. I think the average guy in the pew does not have a clue about discipleship and we have a huge task to get them to the point that they will think...but I am excited for you and will be a regular.

sndwd said...

Bravo. Gotta love the internet. I look forward to keeping up.

Chap. (I Lt.) Clark Sneed, US Army

Rio Abajo Rio said...

This is beautiful, heartfelt and deeply moving. Thank you so much for sharing this Wisdom with us. It is a wonderful witness of how love and wisdom expressed to us by our families (first and foremost) help shape the people we become, and even how we continue to grow spiritually and transform throughout life - and how we help others through our actions.

Such influences can also become an inspiration and opening to allow God to work through us more and more, gently guiding us to act as Jesus would.

Deeper yet, the gifts of wisdom, love and compassion we are given by those around us throughout life: those we will encounter on the Jericho Road - if we are open enough to recognize them as such (regardless of packaging), continue to foster our spiritual and interpersonal development as we become closer to God. This in turn, we share with others.

A great example, although many times what really happens is more subtle, is to look at the story behind the movie "Pay it Forward" -it's a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

What we put forth into the world has more of an impact than one would think. It may be small, or appear to be nothing at all, but any words we speak, or actions we take, are continued in some manner, through the one (or many)we have just come into contact with.

I am looking forward to visiting your new site again, and hope many others come across it and benefit from the wisdom found here.

In Gratitude and Peace,
Melissa A. Wetmore

http://rio-abajo-rio.blogspot.com

http://there-is-no-fear-in-love.zaadz.com

Ben said...

Dr. Ruffin, Welcome to the blogosphere! I posted about you on mine this evening at http://revisitingmyreligion.blogspot.com

Again, welcome!