stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:

  • I’ve resisted commenting on the Trayvon Martin situation because there are a lot of people out there doing a lot of commenting and I just didn’t see how it would add anything except increased anxiety. The whole situation is sad and complicated. My heart goes out to Trayvon’s family and those who feel there has been an injustice here. There are no winners in a situation like this.
  • While I”m not going to comment on the verdict, I do have some thoughts for the media and clergy in the aftermath…
  • Media coverage of the Trayvon Martin trial has been an embarrassment to journalism from the beginning. It continues by calling rioters, assaulters, thieves, and vandals, “protesters.”
  • Here’s some news for the news: If you beat a woman in a car taking her granddaughter to the hospital because you claim it’s for Trayvon Martin–that’s criminal assault and a hate crime. Everyone involved in that sort of disgraceful conduct should be put in prison for such “protests.” Calling crimes of this kind “protests,” is a terrible disservice.
  • To the clergy (thankfully few) who stoke racial fires in the midst of times like these rather than seeking to be peacemakers (as a guy named Jesus said), you need to repent. In the Los Angeles riots of 1992 which I witnessed first-hand as a 16-year-old, I believe people died as a direct result of the clergy’s stoking of racial tensions during that time. One image that sticks in my mind from that time is of a well-known clergyman with a “no justice, no peace” sign around his neck, standing on the streets of Los Angeles among the rioters as they killed, stole and burned things around them. Billions in property was stolen or destroyed, 53 people who had nothing to do with the Rodney King verdict (or the deeper issues surrounding it) lost their lives and more than 2000 were injured…and this disgrace to the ministry is standing there egging it on?
  • If we follow Jesus the Peace-maker and Prophet, He is Lord over our passions during times like these. Speak out if need be–but do so in an effort to make peace. Seek justice and peace together. We know how to do this–we’re preachers for goodness sake. No one’s perfect at this, but if you lack the personal discipline or theological foundation to do so during times like these–you need to get out of the pulpit until you figure it out. To all of my fellow pastors who are honoring Christ as peace-makers–thank you. Keep going.
  • Enough of that…
  • I’m full of appreciation for Youth Ministers right now. They remain some of the unsung heroes of the church and are on the front lines pastoring those who are special targets of the Evil One. Bless them.
  • I love the TV show, Longmire.
  • Church construction projects are a bear–but it so awesome to hit those spots along the way where you can see genuine progress and catch a vision of what the finished project will look like.
  • I’ve really enjoyed Wayne Cordeiro’s last several books. I really appreciate his insights on caring for the souls of leaders. The Divine Mentor was fantastic.
  • I miss Dallas Willard these days. I can’t believe we’ll never have the blessing of reading a new Dallas Willard book.
  • The Home Run Derby is just fun to watch. I had Bryce Harper as my pick before it began. So close…yet so far.
  • No one films baseball like FOX does.
  • I don’t know how Hillsong does it–but they put out great album after great album of great worship music. I’m thankful for them.
  • We’re beginning a new message series on Sunday at New Vintage Church, entitled, “Made: the Seven Days of Creation,” this Sunday. We miss so much of what’s happening in Genesis 1-3 when we argue over science instead of asking, “what does this reveal about God?” It’s not that the other questions are unimportant–they are just secondary in reading/interpreting this vital section of Scripture.
  • At the science of ministry level, I’ve observed three things separate churches under 1000 that will grow to that size from those that won’t: 1) the quality/chemistry of staff, 2) a serious commitment to “making things better,” consistent with mission that pervades the entire congregation, and 3) the health of the leadership system in which ministry occurs.
  • I’ve heard over the years that “dips” are the most complete total body exercise one can do. I wonder if that’s true?
  • It’s amazing I can still hit well in the 80mph batting cage after all these years. The bat speed is slower, but the eye is still there 😉
  • Tomorrow night, the Robertson clan from Duck Dynasty will be preaching at Saddleback. That may just be worth the hour drive.
  • Detroit declared bankruptcy? Wow.
  • It’s never a bad thing to spend time with those less fortunate. It shapes us in so many powerful ways–because we are so close to Christ when we do so. I’m heading to Ecuador soon with Compassion International—and really looking forward to how God will work.

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?