Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I have to admit, I absolutely love this picture. I found this on Greg Boyd's blog, a pastor in Minnesota, a few weeks back. It shows Jesus washing the feet of Osama Bin Ladin, who is right next to the world's major leaders, including President Bush. Its so easy to hate a man as evil as Bin Ladin. Don't get me wrong, I do not like him and I think the world would be safer without him. However, I was reminded of something today. My Dad has started a blog that is reading through the Bible in three years starting today. He has asked his church to read along with him while sharing their insights about the particular chapter being read as well. Today's chapter was Genesis 1, the creation account. Genesis 1 is such a beautiful, poetic account of the way God created the world. In it we are taught that God created humanity in his own image, male and female he created them. God created us. We, as humans, reflect God in the world as his creation. We all are fallen, we know that in chapter 3 of Genesis. But I love that the Bible doesn't start with the fall. It starts with the beautiful poetry of how God created the world, and the perfect rhythm that the world was in when God created it. Jesus came to restore us to that rhythm. One of the things he wants us to do in part of the restoration of the world is to love our enemies. I think this ties back into creation. We are all apart of humanity, all loved by God. In Christ's kingdom how you conquer enemies is not by forceful violence, but by loving service. It is through a towel and not a sword. What a great reminder this picture is. This year, let's show Christ-like love not only to our friends and family, but also our enemies.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
While I enjoyed hearing the stories of these men and women, and I think that they should be honored, there is a part of me that cringes at this sort of thing in church. Let me say, I love my country, and I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice that our military men and women have made to make America a safe place to live. The problem that I have is that these stories become sermons of nationalism and American patriotism rather than stories of honor. I'm all for honoring these brave people. However, when patriotism and the church come together, the message of Jesus often gets drowned out. Patriotism has the tendency to take the place of the Gospel. I promise more amens are given during a patriotic service, especially in the South, than a sermon on loving one's enemy. Yes, most of the people who founded our nation were Christians, and most were influenced by Judeo-Christian ethics. However, if you read the Declaration of Independence, the god of that document is a creator god. The God in which Christians serve is a God of redemption. God redeemed the world not by force, but by sending his son to die. Jesus did not lead a violent revolution, he only had two swords. But Jesus and the church that followed did not conform to the society around them, which was all about Roman power. I think their goal was to try to model what God has done in their lives and transform culture. So what do we do with national days like Veteran's Day? I think we honor those who served, but be careful about the language about America getting away from God. Our job as Christians is not to conform to patriotism, but rather transform the world through the love of the Triune God.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Love-- as Defined by Children
The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:
"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca- age 8
"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4
"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7
"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss"
Emily - age 8
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7
"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7
"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6
"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
Cindy - age 8
"My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6
"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 7
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4
"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4
"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (what an image)
Karen - age 7
"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
Mark - age 6
"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8
I think we can learn from these kids! No wonder Jesus said whoever enters the Kingdom of Heaven must enter it like a child.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
My last post was rather negative toward Baptists and public schools. Let me say that it is not the majority of Baptists who believe that way, but many in leadership do feel that way. That's what scares me. What also scares me is that most people in the pew do not know that is going on. Just on my own experience within churches, I would guess that 5-10% of the congregation is made up of public school leaders: whether they be teachers, coaches, janitors, principles, or administrators of some kind. I commend you and your willingness to be a Christian in the public schools.
"Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen."
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Almighty and ever-living God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen
Peace be with you all.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Bible and Beer
Wednesday, March 07, 2007