stream of consciousness

Here’s what on my mind this morning:

  • I spent most of the holidays in the DFW area visiting family. Texas is a great place…as is any place with Cracker Barrel.
  • Chicken and Dumplings.
  • When hiring for ministry, one of the most important traits to look for is thirst for ministry that transcends the “musts” of the “job.”
  • Spending time daily in God’s Word and prayer will bear more fruit in a person’s heart than a hundred mountaintop experiences.
  • Investing oneself fully in a church with all its warts over time will teach a person to love their neighbor more abundantly than a hundred service projects.
  • The terrorist situations in France this week are so sad. Lives have been lost and I have this sinking feeling this mini-campaign of terrorism isn’t going to end soon.
  • Whenever a difficult cultural issue comes up, it’s easy to observe our propensity to accept responsibility for others or blame inanimate objects like, “society,” rather than encouraging people to accept responsibility for their own being and offering to help them as they do so. Truly, there are victims and those who cannot care for themselves. We must look out for the least of these. However, we are not all victims or helpless. Few of us are, but you’d never know it if you listened to us Christians talk these days.
  • One can see this in the proliferation of articles about why people leave churches. The assumption is, if a person leaves a church, the church has done something wrong that needs rectifying. We ask questions like, “what did they do that caused you to leave?” Seldom are the better questions asked of people who leave churches.
  • Few are the churches healthy enough to resist the clothes-tearing spectacles of the “the sky is falling,” party. Anxiety is our weapon of choice these days. Create enough anxiety or fear, and we can affect change–we think. If the church doesn’t change it’ll be dead by 2020 (I heard a well-respected church statistician say that in 1999). If we don’t recycle and drive less …the planet will melt. Accept such and such or all young people will leave the church. The list could go on and on and on. Create the fear and you make the change happen.
  • Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety. This has become a real and effective weapon in a society with increasingly few leaders and churches with the nerve to remain well-defined, non-anxious presences in the midst of today’s anxiety storms.
  • Prediction: Oregon beats Ohio State by a minimum of 17 points.
  • The word on the street is that Google may be entering the car insurance market. What?
  • I’m thinking about getting rid of cable. My biggest hesitation is losing access to sports. Most of what we watch is on Hulu or Netflix anyway. If any of you have made that switch, let me know what you think.
  • There is a great debate going on about the future and price of education. In my mind, if it is an exceptional education, it has great worth. If it isn’t, one should be careful not to overspend or overextend oneself.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve seen a pastor get whooped up on as badly as Mark Driscoll. Some might say he deserves it. I might question the graciousness of that way of looking at another Christian.
  • Most of us haven’t been directly wronged by Mark Driscoll in any way. Yet, you’d think he was holding our families hostage. To me, he was forced out of a ministry he’d invested his life’s work in and has been negatively written about, blogged about, YouTubed about, Facebooked about, Tweeted about, etc., more than any pastor, perhaps ever. He didn’t commit adultery, didn’t embezzle money, and didn’t kill anyone. This, of course, is setting the bar near the floor of ethics, but he has paid a steep price for the spiritual abuse he’s accused of. As for us…
  • There is great irony in spiritually abusing someone for what we have perceived to be spiritual abuse.
  • We need to move on and let God begin the work of restoring this man and His family.
  • Chicken and Dumplings.

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?