Month: November 2006

Get your Starbury’s …

I enjoy playing basketball. I really enjoy playing basketball. When it comes to exercise, I would rather play basketball than run on the treadmill. This in no way intimates anything about my skills on the court, just my enjoyment of the game. I prefer to make a good pass than a great shot.

Last week’s Newsweek offered a story about which I am just now hearing. In a piece titled, "Maybe It Is the Shoes!", Allison Samuels notes the wild success of Stephan Marbury’s project, "You Feel Me?" (Starbury). Here is the line that got my attention, "It just makes no sense for sneakers to coast as much as they do and put families in the situation they get in when their kids want them."

I have not read much about the campaign but I plan to. I also plan to buy a pair of Starbury’s for the upcoming league in which I will be playing. In fact, there are several reasons. First, it makes sense that if a pair hold up under the rigors an NBA star puts them through then my weekly attempts at success will not be marred by "the shoes." Second, I join with the sentiment that we have created something kids "think" they need and press their parents for shoes that are exorbitant in price. Third, many would be better served taking the difference and investing in their child in other ways – pay off some family debt, purchase clothes, buy several other pairs to give away if you  are bent on spending $100. At $15 a pair, you could outfit a team for under a $100.

How about getting yourself out and buying your pair of Starbury’s?

Central authorities, connectionalism and trust …

Today begins the Annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Early this morning I read my mentor’s words regarding the goings on in the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Rick used to be employed by the BGCT and if you peruse his blog you will find some comments about the experience. He offers some thoughts pertinent to the analysis of any situation marking the realization of a new day.

We live in a cultural era long on individualism and consumer
materialism. Money for small membership churches (the mass of us in
this mess of us) is harder to raise. Large and megachurches mostly keep
their money at home. They provide world class entertainment, an aura of
success and depend on the smaller churches around them for evangelism
and discipleship.

   We live as well in a socio-economic era wherein real wages and
benefits for working class people fall behind actual Cost of Living
increases annually. More of us are in more debt than ever.

   We are in an era, a kairos of time, wherein doctrine/theological
understanding is mostly lost on the populace, producing a murky
understanding of the place where the spiritual and the material
conjoin. People are more likely to hear about how to overcome their
depression in church than to hear the saving gospel news.

   We are in an era decidedly distrustful of central authorities and
superstars at the same time we are dependent on them and fascinated by
them. The central bodies, conventions, associations, et al, must
constantly find ways t remind us how relevant they are to us.

Recently reading a blog entry by the new president of the SBC Executive Committee – unwilling to link to it here – magnifies these thoughts and broadens them beyond state denominational relationships.

Preparing for Darfur Sunday … November 19

I picked up a copy of Newsweek. The front piece indicates the periodical will contain articles about, "The Politics of Jesus." I have read several of the articles and found it well noted some of we who are younger and may well be considered "evangelical" (though many Baptists, and Southern Baptists deny the label) are interested in a broader understanding of ethics in our world. If we can lay claim to value the "Sanctity of Human Life" but weigh in way late on the genocide in Darfur or the slave trade going on around the world, our message falls on deaf ears.

With that in mind, we are gearing up to spend some time thinking about the ethics of Jesus and our call to stand for the weak, the poor and the outcast in conjunction with Darfur Sunday, November 19. The idea we can be "thankful" while those in other parts of the world suffer is difficult. Watch the following and pay careful attention to the song being played. Maybe we will find some bravery.

Full-page Darfur …

I am in Virginia with the Riddle Group consulting with St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Sterling, VA. Reading the Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today this morning, I was heartened to find in all the overwhelming coverage of the election full-page adds raising awareness for the crisis in Darfur.