stream of consciousness

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

  • Election season is upon us. Then again, isn’t it always?
  • Rather quietly, New Vintage Church turned 4 on April 17th. I’m nostalgic by nature, and these sorts of days make me reflective and ask, “Would I do it again?” Heck yes.
  • Last year, I wrote 2 posts on the ten things I’ve learned from starting a new church. I haven’t updated them, but I still agree generally with what I said there and it seemed to really help some people. Click here for the first five. Click here for the second five.
  • My big takeaway from the last few weeks of ministry is simply confirmation of something I’ve always believed rationally but have lived out experientially: the Church’s greatest asset in its quest for growth, impact, and connecting with generations–is the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • At this year’s Pepperdine Bible Lectures, I’ll be teaching a class in Elkins Auditorium at 3:30pm (Thursday and Friday only) on surviving and thriving through the pains of ministry. It will be aimed at anyone serving the Church (volunteers as well), and will be full of real stories of ministry I’ve never shared before. All of it is aimed at keeping runners in the race–I hope you can join us.
  • The title for my class is, Clenching the Thorn, which the title of a recent series I preached on 2 Corinthians—but the class is completely different. I’m just using the title for a different purpose.
  • So, if I steal material from myself, is it plagiarism? I had a heartfelt Sister in the Lord suggest that to me once after I preached a portion of a sermon and illustration she’d heard me preach before. Nah.
  • I also remember the good Sister who responded this way when I asked if I could have a copy of the sermon I had just preached on CD to listen back to (this is before MP3s): “Sure… that’ll be 2 dollars.”
  • The softball regular season is coming to a close. This is a mixed blessing. I absolutely LOVE coaching. But, it’s a big commitment if you are going to try to do it right.
  • The Chargers look like they are headed to Los Angeles. That will break this city’s heart.
  • It seems to me Christians have a right to feel like the media and certain other establishments are hostile to them until those establishments pay 10% as much attention to mass executions of Christians as they do to who Christians bake cakes for. That seems like a reasonable viewpoint to me, albeit, blunt and politically incorrect.
  • Was that too blunt?
  • Perhaps, but fair.
  • If we need to have the cake discussion, let’s have it. But, we won’t get anywhere if one side seems to care little if the other lives or dies.
  • I mean that for both sides of the discussion, by the way. Human beings have value, no matter what side of the cake (or sword) they are on.
  • I agree with Pope Francis, “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard by everyone who can still distinguish between good and evil. All the more this cry must be heard by those who have the destiny of peoples in their hands.”
  • Earth Day was this past week. I am all for earth care, and believe this is always something we can all come together on…if we can avoid the demonization or doomsday pitfalls. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. We should treat it that way without coming to worship the creation instead of the Creator.
  • The Padres are off to a good start, but the bullpen seems shaky for the first time in years. The Dodgers seem like the more complete team now in the NL West. But, the year is young.
  • Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is coming up. I haven’t looked forward to a fight this much since Hagler vs. Hearns when I was a kid. I’m actually going to make it a point to watch it—something I also haven’t done since the days of Mike Tyson. I’m pulling for Pacquiao all the way.
  • Hats off to Molly Schuyler, the 35-year-old mother of four who ate more than 13 pounds of steak in one sitting. Oh yeah, she also had to down 3 rolls, 3 shrimp cocktails, 3 side salads and 3 baked potatoes. She did it in less than 20 minutes.
  • I guess she was hungry.
  • So am I. Time for a bowl of cereal.

What’s on your mind this morning?