stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:

  • The tragedy of the Oklahoma tornadoes dominated the headlines. I have nothing to say at this point, other than, “I’m so, so sorry,” to offer my prayers, and find ways to help.
  • John Piper probably should have stopped there. He put out this tweet that got a lot of people upset. The following two tweets, posted consecutively, are simply passages of the Bible: @JohnPiper: ‘Your sons and daughters were eating and a great wind struck the house, and it fell upon them, and they are dead.’ Job 1:19@JohnPiper: ‘Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.’ Job 1:20
  • A subsequent furor erupted–predominantly among anti-Calvinist, and generally liberal bloggers and pundits. They attributed to Piper either 1) the intent of blaming the victims, and 2) the insensitivity of “going Job” too soon. However…
  • I would like to defend John Piper. He did nothing of the sort–and I’d like to add that most of his critics responded to the Oklahoma tornadoes with their version of a biblical explanation before he did–also too soon, in my opinion. It’s fair to question Piper’s response to things in times past. But, he DID NOT blame the victims of Oklahoma. His critics know this, or have forgotten the plot of Job. The very plot of Job is his plight despite his innocence. How then do Piper’s tweets suggest guilt of the victims? Doesn’t those verses rather suggest their innocence?
  • I’m not a Calvinist. But, I do believe Jesus controls the winds–as every Christian should. It also seems to me that if one doesn’t believe Jesus can say, “Peace, be still,” one is essentially a form of deist.
  • Piper has subsequently pulled down the tweet and offered this response.
  • What makes baseball so wonderful isn’t just the game itself, but the games people play while the game’s going on–conversation, scoreboard games, guessing what will happen next, foul-ball catching, finding their other friends in the ballpark, kids playing games. It’s the games within the game that sometimes make the game.
  • I was blessed to spend some time this week learning from Gene Appel and the good people at Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, California. That church has gone through an enormous amount of change over the last 4-5 years and have done it well. Those of you interested. Gene is an exceptional church leader and I’m so thankful for large churches willing to invest time in sharing their ideas with others.
  • Most churches are unable to change not because they don’t know how–though for some that is the case. Most churches can’t change because they are unable or unwilling to tolerate the pain that goes with the change for as long as it takes.
  • Change hurts. That’s a guarantee.
  • If Miami plays San Antonio in the NBA Finals, the floor is going to look like the deck of a fishing boat with all that flopping.
  • I’m thrilled to see the number and caliber of people interested in planting churches on the West Coast. If you would be interested in helping fund these churches, please contact me. By “you,” I mean you personally, or your church.
  • Same goes if you are interested in planting a church on the West Coast.
  • Good-bye to The Office. What a TV show! In my opinion, it might be the greatest sit-com (or top 3) since Cheers.
  • Glad to hear RG3’s rehab from ACL surgery is going well. He’s a phenomenal player and, from all appearances, a great guy. The NFL needs guys like him.
  • Following up on big ideas that come across one’s mind makes a huge difference in life. I wish I had followed through on several ideas I’ve had. But, I either never finished the thinking, or didn’t make the time to follow up on it. Boooooooooo me.
  • Due to an odd set of circumstances, I ended up with a Samsung Galaxy S4 — and Android phone. I still have my Windows Phone and like it’s UI the best. However, it’s good to have all the best apps again. I’ll have to decide which to keep. It’ll be a tough one.
  • I like both Android and Windows Phone better than Apple’s iOS.
  • I think church leaders benefit greatly from reading outside their disciplines–as long they maintain a biblical worldview and Scripture as their primary guide. I’ve learned a great deal from fields of business, psychology, literature, communication, etc.
  • Ministry is far more interdisciplinary than we are led to believe in seminary.
  • I really, really need to learn Spanish. What’s the best way to do that?

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?