Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"Just because someone is not doing something, it doesn't mean that their not passionate about it."
Tap the Breaks
I am a big Cardinal fan. I have a few friends that are unabashedly homers. These are guys who enjoy Mike Shannon. (I cringe every time I hear John Rooney introduce the "Moon Man" as "The Voice of the Cardinals). We are all tempted to be proud of the fact that the Cards won more games this April than any other April. That is great compared to what the "experts" were expecting out of this team (fourth or fifth place in the Central). But the "record" has to be looked at with some perspective. This year the Cardinals played more games in April than ever (29). They used to only play about 21 games every April (season didn't start until the 6th with several off days).
Still great, .621 winning percentage. That translates into a 100 win season. I'd take that!
Underrated band again
I used to love the Smithereens. Mid to late 80s band. Albums like Especially for You, Green Thoughts and 11. "Blood and Roses" has a great opening bass line. Green Thoughts was their most complete release with "Only a Memory", "House We Used to Live", "The World We Know". Smithereens 11 had "Girl Like You" (probably their biggest hit), "Cut Flowers", and "Blue Period" (with Belinda Carlyle on background vocals). Great pop songs with a hard rock edge.
Check out "Drown in My Own Tears".
Monday, April 28, 2008
It is very fashionable to look to Jesus as a limitless agent of love and tolerance. In a recent Christianity Today interview with “progressive” evangelical Jim Wallis (where I found a surprising amount of agreement with him on several views), he discusses the attitudes of evangelicals (mostly himself) toward homosexuality:
My point is that sometimes the church, at the instruction of Jesus, must deal ever severely with unrepentant rebellion and sin. Tolerance has a limit. Love continues to abound, for there is the hope that discipline will lead to repentance, but we do see a picture of loving Jesus excluding a member of the community because of willful, continual failure to conform to his image.
Friday, April 25, 2008
A few thoughts: as for Christology, Jesus as the founder of the movement sets the primary template; Missiology is our purpose and function; ecclesiology – church comes out of our missionary engagement.
I know this all too well. When I was on staff at a church in suburban
Unfortunately, that was the mindset of our leadership (myself included): attractional outreach. We had abandoned small groups as the outreach arm of the church (which used to be the M.O. of “my denomination” for decades.) Small groups really served to educate our attenders. We transitioned to let our worship service be the outreach arm of our church. When you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and you are using your worship service as your outreach, it better be a pretty good show. People could drive to see Ed Young (who planted a campus less than 15 minutes from our campus). Young people were driving 45 minutes to go hear Matt Chandler at The Village Church. Prestonworld was only 10-15 minutes away.
I learned a great lesson. I realized I had made that mistake when I went to an Acts 29 boot camp in 2005 and heard Ed Stetzer discuss this. It was a great lesson. I am not bashing the attractional style of outreach. Ed Young (Jr.) always inspires me to think creatively, Rick Warren has baptized over 20,000 people and planted 100s of churches, and Andy Stanley is reaching people for Christ in Metro Atlanta and has planted 17 other churches mainly in the Southeast. What I am saying is if you are going to draw people by putting on a show, it had better be the best show in town.
What I would do differently? I would eliminate a lot of the programs that draw people to the church and stop recruiting people to use their gifts to serve the “church” (by that I mean the programs that make up a local church). I would seek to get our people more involved in their neighborhoods, in their schools and elsewhere serving the community all for the purpose of impacting the Kingdom both socially and individually.
My old church may be faced with this dilemma soon.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Below is a video of "Life Begins at the Hop" from around 1980. Not the greatest video (pre-MTV) but a great song.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
I had been following the courtship of Kansas Men’s Basketball coach, Bill Self by his alma mater,
I wonder how I honor God with all of the time I waste following people who think like this. The aptly named Bill Self is hardly the only figure in the sports world that thinks like this and has this skewed sense of reality.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
- Don Denkinger
- Bill Buckner
- Steve Bartmann
With his Boston Red Sox up 3 games to 2, Buckner allowed a ground ball go between his legs in '86 which allowed the Mets to score the winning run in the 10th inning of game six of the World Series. The Mets went on to win the Series the next night.
Steve Bartmann reached for a foul ball in the eighth inning of game 6 of the NLCS that Moises Alou appeared to have been ready to catch. The Cubs had been leading the game at the time but went on to give up 8 runs in that inning and lost the game and eventually losing the series the next night (after having a 3-2 lead in the series).
What do all three have in common? These men have been blamed for costing teams there championships (or in the Cubs instance their chance at going to the World Series). They are infamous figures in St. Louis, Boston and Chicago. Their blunders took place in Game 6. Get that? Their blunders took place in Game 6! Each team had an opportunity to win their series the next night! It has driven me crazy that all of the fan bases of these teams have blamed these men when their teams could have overcome these issues and won their series merely by taking care of business. It seems as if Buckner (the most notorious of the three) had a homecoming yesterday and threw out the first pitch and got a standing ovation. So, they may be over it. I guess it is up to St. Louis and Chicago. I'm a big Cardinal fan and I am more disappointed in the showing of game 7 in KC than I am in Denkinger's call.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Shane is a great storyteller. He states that for folks of his generation political ideologies and religious doctrines just aren’t very compelling, even if they’re true. And stories disarm us. I think many of us would agree and Shane weaves creative and compelling stories into his wake up call to a very self-centered American church. Along with his teaching of a “simple way” he shares stories of a summer spent in
I have listed a few assorted thoughts from his book that spoke to me:
Telling about his experiences at youth revivals during his youth: I came to realize that preachers were telling me to lay my life at the foot of the cross and weren’t giving me anything to pick up. I was just another believer. I believed all the right stuff – that Jesus is the Son of God, died and rose again. I had become a “believer,” but I had no idea what it means to be a follower (p. 38).
Reflecting on his time with Mother Teresa and the lessons she taught him – I knew that my Calcutta was the United States, for I knew that we could not end poverty until we took a careful look at wealth.
Shane conducted a survey of people who claimed to be “strong followers of Jesus”. He asked whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question. I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time with the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did (p. 112).
It is a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer just a missions project but become genuine friends and family with whom we laugh, cry, dream, and struggle (p. 128).
More to come...