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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « The Deadliest Sin | Who Do We Think We Are? »

    The Fellowship of the Unashamed

    Many people are familiar with, or have at least head of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. I love these books, and I love the movies for all the same reasons everyone else does.


    Real trials and life-and-death choices are faced and made by every character. The idea of holding on to hope in the midst of failure, destruction, war, and impending doom is addressed many times and rewarded.


    The concept of true, loyal-to-the-end friendship that remains encouraging, yet painfully honest is rampant throughout the books. And the good guys (and gals) win as the good guys (and gals) should.

    [Harry Potter can't hold a candle to these works! And someday I may write an entire essay on why.]


    The first book in Tolkien's trilogy is entitled, "The Fellowship of the Ring", and intricately sets the first stage of the story. The word "fellowship" means "company" or "companionship" according to Merriam-Webster online.


    This word and its meanings are thoroughly reflected in Tolkien's work, where the characters stick by each other through thick and thin, literally facing death (and one succumbing to it) in order to save their friends. Self-sacrifice, loyalty, respect for others, and doing good are all major themes.


    Another major theme is analyzing whether it is ever possible to take something fashioned for evil (in this case, the One Ring) and "reclaim" it to use it for good (it's not). You can also find this theme featured in "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Since evil things cannot be reclaimed for God or good, the authors' recommendation is to simply stay away from them. Period.  

    [The only exception is of course, Frodo, who has been specifically chosen to carry the ring to its ultimate destruction. The point being, out of nine companions, and countless other good characters met along the way, Frodo remains the only being in the world called to carry it. And he does not benefit from this task.] 

    Anyway, read the books and watch the movies maybe not all at once :) and you will not regret it. But this got me thinking about other fellowships. Marriages are a big one. Family relationships are another. What about our children and friends? What about our fellow church members?


    Do we treat the people in any of the aforementioned fellowships like Tolkien's characters treat one another? Do we cherish, respect, and care for one another like the Bible has illustrated for us? Granted, no one is perfect, but read the poem below, and ask yourself at the end if you could honestly count yourself as part of the "Fellowship of the Unashamed".


    I am a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His and I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

    My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I'm done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

    I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.

    My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.

    I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.  I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

    I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

    I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He'll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!"

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