stream of consciousness

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

  • My mom, a typically healthy and active woman passed out while on a walking trail, hitting her head pretty seriously. As it turns out, she has a bad heart valve and will need surgery within the next few days. Prayers extremely appreciated.
  • Isn’t it amazing how your parents freeze in time in your mind until you are in your thirties or so?
  • So far, the single best thing I’ve changed this year is to get up earlier than everyone else in the house in order to have my devotional before anyone else wakes up. Yes, it hurts occasionally. Yes, I fall asleep a little earlier. But, I’m so much more balanced for the day ahead. I also welcome the pitter-patter of my daughter’s feet–rather than fearing them (it stinks to have your kids wake you up at  6 every morning). They no longer wake me up…I welcome them. I hope I can keep this going. It starts each day much better.
  • I’ve always been a better early bird than night owl. I’d rather get up at 4am than stay up until midnight.
  • I’m trying to get back into “playing shape.” So, I’m altering my diet and getting back to the gym. My reward system is the hot tub at the end. All 3 L.A. Fitness hot tubs within 10 miles of my house have the hot tubs closed this week.
  • First-world problems.
  • It was a joy getting to be with Mike Cope at a lunch previewing the Pepperdine Bible Lectures. Mike is a fantastic person and communicator. I also love what’s on tap for this year’s Bible Lectures.
  • For the first time in fifteen years on the program, I’ll be in the post-lunch (1:30pm) slot. I’m hoping I can stay awake 🙂 The class title is, “Stronger than Hell,” and I’ll be going through some original material on church health and growth. I hope you’ll think about attending.
  • One more “announcement”: The RENEW conference in Fresno is coming in just a couple of weeks (February 7-8). Randy Harris, Dan Kimball, myself and several others will be there for a weekend of seeking “A Renewal of Compassion.” It’s only 25 bucks and it’ll definitely get you thinking. You can register here.
  • Executive orders were designed for state emergencies…not as a political last resort for those who can’t work with others.
  • Did I say that out loud?
  • When church members take the time to let us know something is bothering them in a respectful way that shows reverence for our church and a desire to make things better without power-playing or threats…how can we get upset about it? Isn’t what we ask them to do? So when they do it, that’s good news.
  • In the midst of conflict, saying, “I agree completely,” or “I’m sorry,” authentically, have amazing healing power.
  • If you haven’t seen the TV series, Revenge, it’s pretty good. As you can tell by the title, there isn’t a whole lot of New Testament Christianity in it. However, you can see the lasting impact of sin on people’s lives and the web of mess created when people seek revenge.
  • Google is turning into another hyper-proprietary company–save Android. Microsoft and Yahoo should team up a little more and become the new Android of cyberspace and office technology. Open up, y’all!
  • Some preachers have a rather utilitarian relationship with the Old Testament–if not even Marcionite. If one reads a book on contemporary book on giving, one would think the Old Testament means nothing. If one reads a book on social justice, one would think the Minor Prophets are all that matter.
  • It would be a bit cynical, but some publishing house should put out a line of bibles (satirical) that leave out parts of Scripture spiritual special interest groups leave out. It would be expensive, but funny. A little roasting might calm us all down a bit.
  • You could have the social justice Bible (includes only the minor Prophets and selected portions of Luke), neo-reformed Bible (with two Romans), gender justice or complementarian bible, the hipster millennial “Bible” (no text at all–just a sketch book for writing down one’s opinions and a really cool Bible-like cover), the political shill Bible (special editions with texts used as weapons by each party) and so forth.
  • Oh come on…Don’t be so touchy.
  • Having had some fun with all of these, I’m not a “flat Bible” guy at all. Some parts are more weighty than others, of course. But, to say they are weightier to not to say they are alone.
  • The Gospel has implications for nearly every aspect of life and society. But, it takes a full, responsible reading of Scripture to read faithfully the Gospel’s implications.
  • I haven’t seen all of the Oscar nominee films (though I hope to), but my early Oscar picks for the big five categories are: American Hustle, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Barkhad Abdi, and Lupita Nyong’o.

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?