Month: October 2010

State Questions in Oklahoma

Ernest offers some advice for Oklahomans to consider before Tuesday when we consider State Question 775.

Friday Photo – Frames and Balloons

Grammy does it again! Our last photo shoot book in picture frames and balloons. While we are having fun with these photos Grandpa Doc is certain one day Cohen will wonder why in the world his mother allowed such “tomfoolery.” You know, the kind of photos that show up in graduation slides and wedding videos.

I am guessing he will just have to get used to it.

We are glad to report the little fellow continues to add what the doctor refers to as, “chub.” You know, that insulating fat that we carry around proudly. 🙂

Enjoy. We do! Read More

The Color of Your Eyes – Thoughts from the Edge

Rather than write a completely new intro for this weeks, “Thoughts from the Edge,” I offer something from my weekly email to the community of faith I share life with here in the Tri-City area.

“Familiarity breeds contempt.” Or so goes the old maxim. Sometimes I wonder if there are times where we hear a passage of Scripture so frequently we tell it what to mean. There is little doubt I have expressed something like this before. But, this week one of our texts is that story of “Zacchaeus was a wee little man.” Children’s songs are catchy. And, like some of the adult songs we sing they stop short of the whole picture. Combine our memories of these little jingles and the repetition of the telling of the story and we are often left thinking we know the story too well. Luke intends to tell Theophilus the story of Jesus. He includes this story. Christian musical artist/theologian Michael Card considers Luke to always point out that the “people who should get Jesus don’t, and the people who shouldn’t get Jesus do.” Maybe he is on to something when we come to Zacchaeus.

Sometimes Sunday mornings require a certain sensibility. We do have “young ears” sitting with us. Many times I wonder if our interest not to have to explain what the “preacher” said keeps us from letting the reality of the stories sink deeply into our understanding of the love of God in Jesus the Christ. For instance, when we think of Tax Collectors it is a bit ambiguous for the pastor to ask you to consider who represents that “class” of person for you. It is unclear because we often do not think deeply enough about what this means. We are not talking about your most troublesome relationship. We are not talking about your ethnic phobias. We are talking about people who for you represent everything that is wrong with society. Read More

Dad, Transmission, and Translatability, Part 1

What does electric power transmission have to do with faith, the Gospel, and pastoring? I am sure the other 60 people in the room wondered after Dad announced I had come to be his guest at the recent Frontiers of Power Conference, the 43rd version. Truth be told I just wanted to hear my Dad give a presentation at Oklahoma State University. For me there was more than a little irony in a Sooner grad presenting in Cowboy country. And, Bedlam is weeks away!

Listening to a variety of presentations on a subject I knew very little about left me thinking about growing up in the home of an EE – Electrical Engineer. I had been to the various offices my Dad was offered over his 31 years with Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company. I saw the blueprints. I looked at them even. They did not tell me a whole lot. Those engineers who shared that space knew well what the lines and symbols meant. All I knew was it had to do with getting electricity from point A to point B.

Ciphering power poles on Sunday afternoon drives was not always my idea of the way to spend the day.
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Subverting the Norm – Intentional Conversations, Part the Fourth

The year was 1993. Be-decked in my Sunday best I walked with a group of fellow graduates. After just turning 30, I had earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from what was considered at the time the “flagship seminary” in our denomination. Most consider the endeavor a professional matter. The DMin for most is a professional degree. My preference is to view this period in my education as a foray into intentional “practical theology.” I care not to argue the merits of the PhD as compared with the DMin. If I live long enough and have the opportunity, I may well pursue a PhD. But that is for another series of posts.

From my earliest memories I had developed an interest in learning, in education. To this day I am something of an eclectic learner. You may prefer to describe it as a nuance of ADD – acquired diploma disorder. Even as something of a vocational “teacher,” some pastors are viewed in this way, I still find it a thrill to learn. So interested to maintain a connection with the academic environment I contacted my alma mater to encourage them to send reading lists from DMin and PhD seminars each semester. I would have been willing to pay for this list. No takers.

So, with that I would look around for a conference to attend. I was not interested in a “preaching conference.” It was not that I could not learn from great preachers. Over the years some make it their cause celeb to let you know someone else they heard preaches “better than you.” Read More