Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This is not helpful at all to the cause of Christ. It doesn't surprise me, but it definitely saddens me. How is casting aspersions and dealing in rumor and innuendo Godly behavior? If it is the norm in that congregation, it's another reason to stay away.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Tuesday, April 22 is Earth Day, and there will be much hoopla over the rising price of gas, oil and food caused by the increased production of ethanol. Rather than engage in endless hand-wringing and navel-gazing, I offer you some tips. Most of them come from Creation Care, a site I encourage you to visit.
Stop junk mail. It reduces landfill waste.
Check out these guidelines from Creation Care.
Stop buying bottled water. Install a filter and use a reusable water bottle.
Ride your bike or walk instead of driving. It will help your body and save you some gas money.
Plant a garden and grow your own veggies. It will save on cost and transportation fuel use to get your food to market.
This is but a partial list. There are many more, and I encourage you to check out the Creation Care website.
Enjoy the world God has given us. But remember to worship God and not the creation.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I was thinking the other day about which actor I would want to portray me if my life were a movie. I realize my limitations here, trust me there is no Brad Pitt lurking in my mind. Instead, I thought of a guy who has played some great roles, is a bit boyish, slightly charming, is flawed and has aged as I have. I think I would like John Cusack to play me if there was to be a movie of my life.
Have any of you ever had this thought? Who do you think would best portray you? I'd love to hear your comments on this. Have a little fun with it.
Friday, April 18, 2008
If you haven't followed the situation in Texas, it's ugly. There is a Mormon sect there where the state alleges that girls as young as 13 were forced to marry older men and have children early and often. The State of Texas has removed more than 400 children from the compound and is in the process of holding mass custody hearings trying to protect the kids from what they allege is an abusive situation.
I'm a bit conflicted by this. I understand that a 13 year old cannot consent to marriage in the United States. And 50 year old men marrying them are pedophiles in my opinion. And I truly feel sorry for these young girls who are in essences brainwashed and abused, while their mothers sit idly by and watch it happen. But I don't like the idea of the state interfering in religious practice, because you don't know where it will stop.
I'm not condoning what went on at this compound in Texas. I just don't trust the government to stay out of religious issues. With the emergence of Obama's pastor's rants as a political issue, the church is receiving some interesting scrutiny. It is one thing when a rogue religion violates the law of the land on child abuse and polygamy. But I don't want to see government expand its powers to begin infringing on religious practices. Rev. Wright's sermons and events like this invite well-intentioned legislators to meddle in things where they should tread lightly. And government walks with a heavy foot.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
If you get a chance, go to your local theater this weekend and watch Expelled. Ben (Bueller, Bueller, Bueller) Stein has created a documentary about the battle between creationism and Darwinism in the public schools and universities.
I'm not huge on the culture wars, but I suppose that if we are supposed to watch Gore's propaganda film and Michael Moore's left-wing rants, we can watch Ben Stein's film and see what he says. I don't expect him to receive a Nobel Prize or Academy Award, but he may make some people think.
I've attached the trailer for the movie above. Enjoy.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Listen to the audio clip above and you get an earful. It seems that Mr. Obama seems to think that the people who "cling to guns or religion" are those who have become disillusioned with government.
So, in Mr. Obama's world the order of priorities are:
2. Constitutional Rights
And we only turn to faith when the primary deity, government, lets us down. Not sure what church that comes from, but I've not worshiped there.
That is an eye-opening look into what is important to this candidate. I don't have a stake in the Democratic primary, but Obama seems to be doing a fine job of tripping over himself on the way to victory. But that is a comment I am sure he regrets making.
I hate to say "I told you so" but I will say it. Actually, I take a little satisfaction in saying that. It seems that I was prescient in my thoughts on this. Global food prices are rising, and we still continue to divert food to energy production while ignoring the oil reserves in our own country.
In the meantime, food prices are rising and putting more pressure on the poor, who are struggling to feed their families. This is just plain wrong, at so many levels. Yet no one in Washington seems to listen or care.
I just have a nagging sense that we are being sold out. This is completely irrational at a policy level, yet it continues.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
If you have not read The Narrow Road, I encourage you to pick up a copy. It is a wonderful compilation of stories from believers across the globe talking about persecution and deliverance. It may seem hard for Americans to understand, but there are places where the church is under severe attack. Here in the U.S.A. we are concerned about our presidential candidate's stand on abortion, gay marriage and other "defining" Christian issues. In other parts of the world, Christians worry about arrest, imprisonment, torture and execution. Pray for those who serve the Lord where the church is not blessed with a favorable governmental structure. They need to know that their brothers and sisters hurt when they hurt.
Remember the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 12: 21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Let us share in the suffering of our brothers and sisters and lift them up. The video clip below is a beautiful reminder of how we are all in this together.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I think I have found a job that is close to what being God is like. I think it is a basketball referee. Where else can everyone hang on your every move and you can have everyone in a building angry at you at multiple moments in an afternoon or evening? I can't imagine how frustrating that job would be. Nor can I imagine being God and dealing with that.
I see several different types of people basketball games. There are those who are convinced the refs are against them. There are those who think that their team does no wrong. There are the players, who are hustling and doing the best they can. Yet others cheer the good and keep quiet on the not-so-good. And finally, there are those who want EVERYTHING called. Every rule, every violation, they watch with an eagle eye.
I spoke with a ref after one of my daughter's AAU games recently and he hit on that issue. For example, the 3 seconds in the lane call, at the 12-year old age level he only calls if a team gains an advantage. If a girl sets up camp in the lane and they never throw her the ball, there is no advantage. He will speak to her about it, but not call it. His observation is that people come to watch the kids play, not to hear the refs blow their whistles.
I like to think that we should operate like that. I know there is the "plank in your eye, speck in your brother's eye" saying from Jesus. But seriously, should we be watching people that closely? Or should we allow people to grow in grace as they mature in Christ? We cannot realistically expect a new believer to have the grace, wisdom and maturity of a seasoned believer. But that does happen, and people are spiritually harmed by it. That doesn't mean we turn our backs on sin. But we can adopt the ref's rule of talking with the player instead of making a big production out of it. Grace instead of judgment. If they persist, that is a different issue altogether.
I encourage all of us to look for the opportunities to extend grace and not be that guy yelling "3 seconds" all the time from the stands. Instead, let's cheer the accomplishments, and use the mistakes and failures as teaching opportunities. I suspect we will like the results that brings.