Thursday, December 13, 2007

When I'm ashamed to be a Southern Baptist

Read the story here:

Absurd... but true

I look for a course of action, but i fear there are none.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Steriods: Who's to blame?

So Barry is in big trouble now. Someone is throwing allegations that he somehow used steroids to double his physical size at 37 years of age and break sacred home run records. I was terribly surprised and didn't know how to handle myself, really.

But my question is: Who is to blame for this? Our kids (well not "my kids" but figuratively speaking so...)are being influenced by a "role model" who shouldn't even be influencing a Flintstone character.

I think this started way before bonds, though. I don't think he is solely to blame for the steroid problem in sports today. We have to look back further and deeper into our cultural roots for that.

I think we have to look here!

That's right folks. Mario is to blame for our problems in sports today. You don't agree? Let's look at the very visible evidence!

He needs to grow a little bit to overcome an enemy? What is his remedy? Go train and practice and do it honestly and naturally? NO! He simply bangs his head on a block and consumes one of these!

Then he magically transforms into a larger, more powerful version of himself. It is absolutely ludicrous.

What kind of example is this setting for our children?!?!

So, it is only natural for poor little Barry to follow his own personal role models when he needs to grow a little bit.

I bet poor Barry was influenced at a young age. Here is the worst evidence of all!

What are we going to do?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Teddy Bear company, based out of Beverly Hills California, has produced a talking Jesus action figure. I promise the toys are real and you can pick one up at one of 400 local Wal-marts across the nation.

Click here and read it for yourself.

Some folks are saying "anything that teaches kids about religion is good" and others "it trivializes Christianity." My question is, what else does it do? Yeah, a child can pull a string and hear a Bible story from a 12' inch plastic Jesus, but bad decisions always have side effects and I know this one is bound to. Doesn't this little dude break a commandment or something?

Where could I send my design for a 5 x 7 budah?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Justin Taylor posted this on his blog. I love examples like this where people have thought through their faith enough love someone around them instead of seperating themselves.

For the last couple of years on Halloween I've posted an excerpt of this great post from Tim Challies, and I'll do so again:

I am guessing my neighbourhood is all-too-typical in that people typically arrive home from work and immediately drive their cars into the garage. More often than not they do not emerge again until the next morning when they leave for work once more. We are private, reclusive people who delight in our privacy. We rarely see our neighbors and rarely communicate with them. . . . In the six years we have been living in this area, we have never once had a neighbor come to the door to ask for anything. . . .

Yet on Halloween these barriers all come down. I have the opportunity to greet every person in the neighbourhood. I have the opportunity to introduce myself to the family who moved in just down the row a few weeks ago and to greet some other people I have not seen for weeks or months. At the same time, those people's children will come knocking on my door. We have two possible responses. We can turn the lights out and sit inside, seeking to shelter ourselves from the pagan influence of the little Harry Potters, Batmans and ballerinas, or we can greet them, gush over them, and make them feel welcome. We can prove ourselves to be the family who genuinely cares about our neighbours, or we can be the family who shows that we want to interact with them only on our terms. Most of our neighbors know of our faith and of our supposed concern for them. This is a chance to prove our love for them. ...

Read the rest of the article"> here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

If I left the zoo

Today I simply offer a “what if.” I’m typically not one to speculate on hypothetical circumstances that are beyond my control, but this one is a bit different. It’s not my attempt to play God, but maybe to hear his heart.

I was sitting in a church pew recently and began thinking about the future. This isn’t out of the ordinary. It really happens rather frequently in this wonderful “Hey, I’m actually about to graduate and hit the ‘real world” season of life.”

I began running through my options and thinking about all the different paths I could take. Literally, there are dozens. Then I started to feel pressured; thus, the conflict and reason for my writing here.

I’ve begun to realize that I’ve been inadvertently lead my entire life to buy into the American Dream. At one point I found myself convinced that “happiness” in life comes from a house, big money, 3.5 kids, a mortgage and a brand new car. Don’t hear me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this situation, but I would challenge that it doesn’t contain everything it’s sold for.

We who are in this, above mentioned, season of life are called to make big decisions. So, it makes sense that we take time to make sure that our priorities are in the right place. If we walk with no direction we’ll never end up where we intend.

It could be compared to a lion in a cage. If you’ve seen them, you can confirm that the beasts are intimidating, even from behind the steel bars. Small children won’t go near the exhibit and it makes even my insides a bit uneasy to stand behind what I know is an inadequate barrier. I wonder if this is how an enemy, who is intent on convincing a limitless generation to settle, views us.

I fear the lion because as I stand on the outside I know it’s potential. I’ve seen National Geographic; I know what these guys can do. I wonder if the enemy stands on the outside, sees the potential, and feels his insides shake at the thought this generation’s Pauls and Peters standing up and changing their world for the fame of Jesus Christ.

Culture desires to cage prospective potential with bars of convention and expectations. I’ve sat in churches that do the same. So my question today is “what if?” What if the ones who felt “called”, “marked”, and “scared” by Jesus really didn’t just sit still and settle for guaranteed comfort? What if our knees didn’t weaken at the thought of a risk; what if it makes our hearts race? What if a generation threw down their nets? What if, WE said “I don’t want to fund other people dreams? I want to chase my own!”

“Full life” requires that we step through the bars and look for more. When Paul penned the infamous words “to live is Christ, to die is gain” he was sitting in prison. I would offer that he was probably not concerned about his retirement plan, newest car, or designer jeans. These things aren’t bad, I enjoy them myself, but they simply aren’t worth planting a life on.

So that’s my heart as of late. Step through… and look for more.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It all started with a couple phone calls and a good idea. Add a big pile of wood, some freshly cut cedar trees and pick-up trucks to the equation and you get a night in the country with some good food, a nice fire and the best company anyone could ever ask for.

Yes sir, you guessed correctly, it was bonfire time at my house. Dunnahoo sat with his camera ready as Bob and I depleted the cedar tree population in Auburntown Tennessee.

"Don't you need a permit to do that? Forget the fire, you're cutting down trees!!!" No sir, it's not like we have a shortage and when you live somewhere in-between Woodbury and a place called Auburntown no body really cares what you do.

These pictures were no "disposable camera accident." They are the handywork of skilled photographer Mr. John Dunnahoo.

As the stray car drove by I'm sure they admired our masterpiece of a 15ft bonfire. Ladies and gentlemen that right there is a picture of a successful Royal Ambassador Alumni building a fire, minus the string and stopwatch, of course.

The reaction above is the result of adding 6 feet of Blackcats to a fire. It was probably the best idea I've ever heard of.

The above are from when we decided to do a Fire Worship Dance, Old Testament Style... or not; but they are the other half of the tree cutting duo and a chair we found... and burned after it served it's purpose for a short time.

And finally a conclusion to a perfect evening. Six hours of fire warmth, star gazing, and the entire Double Disc Garth Live CD. I don't think it gets much better.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

So, I've decided that blogging isn't just for "important" discussions... sometimes it's just for "life."
I've got a beautiful blessing in my life named Abby and a couple weeks back I got to go to the beach with her family. I thought I'd share a couple pictures with the blogging world.

A day in Seaside where Truman Show was filmed. It really looks just the same in real life.

Baytown Wharf one evening.

NO, they are not capri pants... just rolled up to not get sandy (just in case you were thinking that...)

The ladies... (Abs, her mom, Megan, and sister, Rachel)

Jon, David, Lynn (the dad) and myself

One of those things I get easily talked into doing...

Jon and Rach

And finally another one of those pics you can't leave the beach without...

The Lord is good. It's nice to live life know that I can see him outside the church walls. Maybe even in vacations. He is a tangible God who is faithful to his promises and is infinitely more valuable than we could ever imagine.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bread... but Chains

Social Justice. To be honest, the term has started to strike a nerve when I hear it. Not the kind that irritates, but the kind that catches my attention. It’s been said that this term will define our entire generation. Specifically, Bono has said the way we respond to the Aids crisis in Africa will define us.

It’s true. We live in a world full of dying orphans, child soldiers, sex slaves and filthy rich white men who justify it all. We live in a world that’s broken to its very core on every level. Where do we find a solution? How do we solve the problems that seem to outnumber my ability to count them all?

As Christians we’re given two commands; to love the Lord with all my heart (number one), and then to love my neighbor as myself (coming second on the list). This is where we find our problem. Somewhere along the way the action of “loving” someone got watered down to mean “feed them”, “build them a well”, or “just meet their need.”

My fellow redeemers, if we look at a man and give him bread but put forth no effort to break his chains we do not love him. We simply use him and leave him a captive to the enemy we were set free from. Our actions then are not rooted in love but pride. The motivations behind them were not to “love” him, but to make ourselves feel better about our own life because we did something noteworthy. In reality, it’s a rather selfish attempt. We can’t loose sight of the fact that no matter how bad this world seems to be, it is temporary. Our intentions must be to meet more than just his physical needs.

As light in a dark world it is our responsibility to not live a self-centered life. Jesus actually said “whatever you do for the least of these, you’ve done for me.” (Matthew 25:40) We are called to meet the needs of those less fortunate than a western-culture-college kid who drinks Starbucks three times a week. I’m called to not be so wrapped up in my iPod that I miss those who haven’t eaten this week.

We’re called to go. We’re called to love the unlovable. We’re called to meet needs, but more than anything we’re called to “deliver from bondage those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42)

Take them water.
Take them relief.
Feed their children.
Deliver them from slavery.
Give them a second chance.
Show them life.
But ABOVE ALL ELSE, show them Jesus.

Love without Jesus is not love.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I typically would not consider doing this, but I stumbled (term used loosely) upon a very well written blog by a Mr Steve McCoy. It offers a different perspective on a debate I've often found myself a part of.

Just because I offer it doesn't mean I agree whole heartedly with it, just that I think it's worth tabling for discussion.

Let's keep thinking through alcohol and abstention.Generally speaking, both sides of the issue of alcohol agree that there is no way to prove biblically that Christians should abstain from alcohol. I know there are exceptions (some of them in my inbox this week), but let's start with the premise that we can't build an air tight case for abstinence from the Bible.

The case is then often pushed to two areas (surely there are more). First, sometimes the case is made for a less fermented wine in the Bible or Welch's flowing at weddings. Some people (I've become a magnet for some of them) will go to great lengths to explain how wine in the Bible had much lower alcohol content. I've read long, rambling posts, discussion board threads, etc on this.

I'm not convinced, but I don't think it really matters that much. People in biblical times were getting drunk and so are people today, so who cares how much alcohol content there is in a drink? There are abusers looking to abuse. The biblical point doesn't change. It's abuse that is the problem, not the alcohol content. You can sip whiskey, mix the Captain with Coke, or whatever. As long as you don't get drunk and drink for the glory of God, you are cool, biblically speaking.

So the argument for alcohol content, in my opinion, is a bit of a red herring. It is off topic. The biblical command remains, and is sufficient. Isn't that great?! It's sufficient whether we buy and drink a Smithwick's or a Seagrams 7.The second thing the lack of biblical evidence for total abstinence does to the alcohol conversation is drive some to say that we live in a culture of abuse and therefore abstinence is a must in THIS culture. But that's almost never really the point of those who argue this. If it were, they would allow for alcohol consumption for our missionaries in other cultures where things are different. But they don't allow that, which shows they really want to make an extra-biblical rule (legalism) for all of us.

But let's give the benefit of the doubt, at least for the sake of the argument. Let's say people with this position really believe it's about an abusing culture, and their inconsistency in application is out of their hands (denominational monetary pressures at work). I get that. And I understand this position and argued for it until a couple of years ago. In fact, I remember being at a Founder's Conference while in seminary and spending a couple of hours one night arguing my guts out with a Presbyterian guy about how everyone should abstain. This guy *gasp* made his own beer!

I completely disagree with this argument for abstention now. I could take the easy route and say I'd rather follow biblical rules than extra-biblical ones. But even more, my reasoning is found in the Cross that created the Church. The church is a redemptive community. We live not only the experience of redemption (I'm redeemed/being redeemed) but also the works of redemption (I'm redeeming). That's why our mission is both words and works, speaking and doing redemption.

And if we are working out our salvation through being redeemed and redeeming, then our response to cultural abuses is not to abstain but to redeem. That not only pushes us to maturity by teaching us how to eat, drink, and have sex to the glory of God (though it won't come easy), but it is also a witness to the world that God redeems. The pervert throws away the pornography (abuse) and learns to love sex with his wife (redemption). The glutton refuses to order a 5 piece fried chicken and fries meal (abuse) and learns to order a salad with light dressing instead (redemption). The alcohol abuser stops drinking until drunk (abuse) and learns to stop after a beer or two (redemption).

As long as we make the issue "abstaining," we will miss expressing and embodying redemption. And I'm afraid the message we will send is that good things can be perverted beyond redemption.

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