stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind this morning:

  • It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted Friday Stream of Consciousness, because of travels. So, it’s good to back.
  • I’m at that point where my Evernote files are a jumbled mess in need of organization.
  • Ecuador was a spiritually pivotal trip for me. It wasn’t just spending time with those need that made such a difference. It was also having my vision of the Kingdom global expanded that changes perspective.
  • The Dodgers are 36-8 in their last 44 games. That’s ridiculous. This is good for baseball and Southern California given the recent death of the Angels and Padres.
  • Isn’t it good to see the San Francisco Giants languishing? It’s just good for America, really.
  • We’ve reached a new and disappointing day in the church when those professing to be Christians no longer believe in the wrath of God or at least believe its mention deserves exclusion from the hymnal. I’m speaking of the PCUSA’s decision to exclude the hymn In Christ Alone because of the lyric, “Til on that cross where Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” I’m not one to tell the PCUSA what hymns they should put in their hymnals.
  • Numerous passages make clear the existence of God’s wrath and Christ’s exclusive role in saving us from it. Romans 5:9 is one of the better known examples–and one of my favorite verses: “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”
  • Based on the PCUSA’s statement it seems the decision was based on the idea that singing about it would somehow warp the worshipers theological education. Huh? How can worshiping God for who He actually is warp the theological education of the worshiper, unless it was through overemphasis–which one line of one hymn would hardly qualify? If you’re interested, you can read more on the issue from both sides here.
  • Good for Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend for being unwilling to let the PCUSA change the lyric. It is powerful, thoroughly biblical lyric.
  • Emily and I have taken it upon ourselves to see a couple of movies during this Hollywood slump. We were pleasantly surprised by both movies we saw recently.
  • Fruitvale Station is a gem about the killing of Oscar Grant in an Oakland BART station a few years ago. It’s BRILLIANTLY acted and isn’t preachy despite its delicate subject matter. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who loves a good story, or those interested in urban/racial issues. Be warned it is a little rough in parts.
  • The Way Way Back (starring Steve Carrell and others) is a movie chronicling a teen boy’s coming of age in the midst of strained relationships and a toxic family situation. I thought Carrell was a great antagonist, but Sam Rockwell as the flaky mentor to Liam James stole the show.
  • What makes today’s lack of faith in government different is it’s breadth. Nearly every branch and agency of government has been called into ethical question recently. This is a bipartisan, deep and wide issue.
  • Leaders who are never take time off are not only going to burn themselves out, they will stunt the leadership development of their team through their omnipresence.
  • The church’s ability to function without the primary leader present is an indicator of leadership competency. After all, the task of the leader isn’t to cultivate the church’s dependency on the leader. It’s more to cultivate leadership at all levels of the church. We must see ourselves as surf instructors rather than lifeguards if we don’t wish to cap the growth potential of the church.
  • Some churches are fighting through changes that are rather unnecessary because they are easier to make than the changes they actually need to make.
  • I think its fair to question the consistency of what those who don’t attend church say about their reasons. If someone says the reason they don’t is because Christians are homophobes, or gender roles aren’t what they believe they should be–it’s worthwhile asking why they don’t attend any church–including those that practice what they say is holding them back.
  • The truth is people who aren’t Christians might be troubled by the aforementioned things–but the root cause of lostness is usually something more in plain sight–like a lack of willingness to submit to Christ’s leadership of one’s life.
  • If we aren’t willing to accept that some will turn away from Jesus (as has always been the case), we will spend our energies living in chronic reactivity rather than biblically rooted, consistent mission. I obviously believe we should listen to the perspectives of others. It just seems that right now we are allowing them to define what is good or bad for the church to do or teach.
  • One wonders what might happen if we redirected energy spent on our chronic worry about not being liked toward something higher.
  • After all, our first concern is whether or not Christ likes what we’re doing. These of course aren’t mutually exclusive. However, right now, it feels as though many of us are burning our energy on the wrong things.
  • Is the best tasting Mexican food available the perfect tacos, the perfect burrito, the perfect fajitas, or the perfect enchiladas?
  • Answer: none of the above. Nachos!

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?