stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this morning:

  • One way you can tell a religious movement or church that is doomed: when confronted with decline, they don’t seek people who have “done it well” for a long time and consider real change. Instead, they find churches, theologians, etc. that allow them to remain the same to the greatest extent but provide them hope.
  • Our daughters started school a week ago. They are now in 8th, 6th, and 1st grades respectively. It’s hard to believe we are just a couple of years from having to check out colleges. Yikes.
  • Two prolific platitudes spouted nearly everyday by well-meaning Christians: 1) Jesus was about accepting people as they are (different than “come as you are and be changed), and 2) the idea that if someone doesn’t like Christians or Christianity it is Christianity’s fault.
  • Two prolific beliefs that lead churches away from growth: 1) Christianity in America is in decline because of what Christianity does/says, and 2) Millennials are a relatively monolithic group who believe only what they read on Buzzfeed or the Huffington Post.
  • It’s actually disputable whether Christianity is in decline or not (see Rodney Stark’s new book). But, if it is—who said it would meet no opposition—and why would we use the ideology of non-Christians as a guide to how we should behave or think?
  • I know some people don’t like the Babylon Bee—I personally think it’s hilarious—even as it roasts my own kind. Maybe if Christians laughed more (even at themselves) our anxieties would be lower and people might buy the Christian life as one of abundance and joy. We can debate whether the BB is an appropriate tool. But, dude…we need to laugh a lot more.
  • This brings me to Joey Bosa. It’s been a while since my opinion of a young player has turned this quickly against him. It’s easy for people to blame it on the organization, saying it’s just the Chargers—they’ve always had holdouts. Blah blah blah.
  • I really don’t like the Chargers. I’m teamless right now—but they are right on this one. I think they probably mishandled the early part—but Joey Bosa is way out over his skis now.
  • Why don’t I blame the organization? Because the offer they just made him is reasonable—and they’ve moved far more in negotiation.
  • Why isn’t this just like the other Chargers holdouts?—you have a different GM, and the previous holdouts were all seeking more money. Bosa can’t get a dollar more. The pay is set. He’s squabbling over what month he gets paid in and the right to double-dip if the Chargers cut him and he signs with another team (highly unlikely). I’d also note all of those players signed additional contracts with the Chargers later and will head to the Hall of Fame as happy Chargers.
  • The Chargers are absolutely right to lower their most recent offer—which was for a full season of quality play. You get paid for playing football…not for getting drafted. More time off should mean less money. It does for everyone else, no?
  • If I were a veteran teammate—it would take a while for him to earn my respect. Those players didn’t have a guaranteed rookie contract like Bosa’s—and eventually found their way. They know they need training camp. Bosa skipped out on all the work—and is holding the team back with his holdout.
  • I repeat—I don’t care about the Chargers. They lost me when they tried to move the team to LA.
  • In a random but fun turn of events, a rant on the Padres in a local publication led to an invitation for me to be a contributor. So, I’m now a contributor to the East Village Times.
  • No pressure or quotas…just writing when something comes up I want to write about. They write only about the Chargers and Padres…so it’ll give that sports part of my brain an outlet. If you have the Bleacher Report’s Team Stream app, you can find the articles there as well.
  • I’m thinking about playing in an adult baseball league for fun. I wonder if I can get the old wing built back up to the point I could still pitch for more than about 3 pitches without needing an amputation. We’ll see.
  • Illy coffee is the best I’ve had as a daily coffee. But $14.95 for 8oz of grounds? Nah.
  • Which critics should you listen to? Some would say, “All of them.” Not really. I spend my energy listening to the guidance of people who truly seek my good and the good of the church–not just say they do. It’s a tone thing…a heart thing. Criticism without genuine love tends to do more damage than help…even when it’s “accurate.”
  • You’ll get better feedback from good mentors and close friends than from vocal critics. Don’t seek feedback from critics. Seek it from mentors and friends who are willing to be critical if they must.
  • Who makes a better prospective church leader: a person who is young in the faith but is on fire and has the right temperament for it–despite some occasional lapses into worldliness? Or, a person who has a long track-record of faithfulness to Christ and the church but struggles with a critical spirit or gossip? You can only pick one.
  • The Cubs look like this might be the year for them.
  • Would you rather eat the world’s best steak or the world’s greatest dessert?
  • We start a new sermon series at New Vintage Church this Sunday. I still get excited starting new sermon series. If that ever stops–I’ll know something is off. I’m thankful God has gifted that excitement to me for nearly two decades now. What a blessing it is to still love what you do, when what you, “do,” is ministry.

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?