Month: March 2010

New Things – Thoughts from the Edge

We all love new things. In a few days the much hyped iPad will be available. What will Apple’s entrance into a tablet styled computer mean? No one really knows. Expectations are all over the map. Even if the iPad revolutionizes computing like the iPod did for music, it could hardly be compared to the newness promised  in Jesus.

We pastor types often describe the future in a way that bears little resemblance to the present. With the exception of a reference to no more tears and sorrow, we tend to be more fatalistic when it comes to the here and now. The Apostle Peter learned a different lesson. The realities of the Lordship of Jesus changed thing in the present. No longer could he abide the old ethnic divides. He learned the old categories of clean people and unclean people had been ruined in the newness brought by Jesus.

Here are some thoughts on the texts for this coming Sunday and the celebration of Easter.

Another Reason Why Words Are Important – Women, Children, Abortion and the Church

Saturday evening. Kentucky just fell to West Virginia. Butler bested Kansas State. Patty is not feeling well. I am reading through a manuscript for a friend. I needed a break. I popped over to see what my FB friends are up to and was drawn to an update that Apple giving away a free MacBook Air to its first 100,000 fans. If you are not familiar with Fan Pages on Facebook, don’t sweat it.

Drawn into the web of advertising gimmicks I played along. Once sucked into the web, I discovered it was indeed one of those subscribe to this or to that and we will send you a MacBook Air. For all of my gullibility, I am reminded words mean something. It is not until you get to the page attempting to hook you do you discover the use of Apple in the ad was simply a way to “hook” you. Apple was not giving away a laptop to its fans. Instead a group of businesses conspired with a “reward” company to give one if you will sign up for their offers. While it said 2, it is really something like 13. Words mean something. Read More

Friday Photo – Perched

Last week Patty and me spent a few days at Madeira Beach, Florida in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. We have family in the area and my parents have been enjoying an extended vacation near the beach. We took some time at John’s Pass. You could call it a touristy boardwalk with shops and restaurants. Pelicans abound. Flying high and low. Here are a couple of the birds we saw as they flew in for the scraps offered by a young man preparing fresh fish for cooking.

We really enjoyed our time. Who knows, this may become a regular trip. Nothing beats the beach when a “snowpalooza” threatens the OKC metro!

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Lent and Our Mind – Thoughts from the Edge

The coming week in the Christian calendar offers an illustration of dissonance. Hallelujahs ring for the One who altered the human experience of many maimed physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Jeers dominate the scene just days later. How people may hold competing beliefs about one subject, much less a person seems hard to fathom. Yet, we sometimes bear in our own bodies an illustration of that kind of dissonance. With our words we make certain claims. With our actions we evidence something opposite.

In Philippians 2, Paul offers a hymn we should not just sing but memorize. Our minds are a terrible thing to waste on inactivity in the body. So, to have the mind of Christ is not to hold one thing and do another – something of a dissonance of being. Instead, we are to hold on to our place in Christ in such a way we are willing to follow him all the way down, to the death of self and an allegiance to God expressed in trust and faithfulness.

Here are some thoughts as you anticipate Palm Sunday and Passion Week. What are your thoughts?

Following Godin’s Advice … Dreaming of Theological Education on Demand

I am nearing my trek through Seth Godin’s Linchpin. One of the ways Godin has prodded me is with his suggestion that many keep what they are thinking to themselves out of fear of what the “teacher” might say. He contends the “lizard brain” resists innovation and is driven by fear. So about the time someone has a good idea, the lizard brain convinces us, through a variety of excuses, to bury the dream.

For many in my vocation questions represent a fault line along which it is perilous to travel. That is, if we begin to ask questions ourselves. And really some would contend it is not a matter of asking questions that is the bad instead it is instead being unprepared with the “right answer.” Many times people then choose to simply keep the questions to themselves. With no safe place in which to comfortably ask questions and pushing for something other than the “approved” answer, many wither from the inside.

Over the years I have found some safe places to question and think through a variety of responses. These friends are occasionally on someone’s “unapproved” list. Read More