Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good question

I thought I would share this; I found it interesting. This fits so well with a conversation I was having with someone earlier this afternoon. What do you think?

Why Aren’t Your People Inviting Other People to Attend Your Church?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tears in Heaven

My favorite guitarist of all time is Eric Clapton. I can't remember when I started listening to his music, but I know that once I discovered him I've never turned back. Lately I've been reading his recent autobiography. As expected, it is his own retelling of a life centered around sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.

Clapton's story is a sad one. Not only did he battle (and I'm sure still struggles with) addictions of various kinds, but his home life was a mess as well. I can hardly imagine his grief after the death of his little boy. The good news is that he has in more recent years been able to maintain sobriety as well as a pretty steady family life. But I still say that Clapton's story is a sad one.

I don't presume to know what goes on in his heart. In the book he reveals that he prays daily, something even I have trouble maintaining. Reading between the lines it seems that the "new life" of family, sobriety, and the music is what brings him happiness today. There is no real mention of seeking God and His ways let alone any notion of Jesus Christ as savior. This saddens me deeply. Here is a man that I am in awe of musically speaking, yet I have good reason to believe that he will spend eternity apart from Christ.

In the song that he wrote after his son's death Clapton says, "Would you know my name, if I saw you in heaven?" That's a pretty big if, an eternally significant one. It may be a fantasy that one day EC and I will be jamming on Fender guitars in non-stop praise to God in heaven, but I would be willing to trade all that if I knew I could lead him to faith in our savior Jesus Christ. There's still time--Lord, open his eyes, open his heart.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This is the day?

It's cold here. Way too cold. When I got up this morning it was below zero. Cold enough that when you walk outside you feel like your face is going to crack. I don't mind all the snow, but it's too cold. Spring will be nice. Things turning green again, spring training baseball, no heavy jackets; it will be nice.

Why is it that we are never satisfied with the way things are today? We're always wishing today away so we can get to a later date or time. Right now isn't good enough; later things will be better. I don't know, it's an odd cycle. Time goes by and then you look back and wonder what you accomplished back then.

I would really like to get to a point where I enjoy every day for the day it is. It's hard to do when your weeks often look the same, and you're always working toward something at the end of the week. For me its working for Sunday. For others I'm sure it's all about working for the weekend. How do we regain that spirit that this is the day that the Lord has made and we should rejoice and be glad in it?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What if we get it wrong?

This afternoon I've been doing some thinking. I've been thinking a lot about preaching, interpretation, and application. This is what I'm paid to do. As is typical for a Wednesday afternoon I am deep in exegesis preparing for Sunday's sermon. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term just think 'Bible study'.) This week we are in Titus 1:5-9 and the topic is church leadership, specifically the NT role of an elder/overseer.

Here's my issue. In this passage listing various qualifications for church elders there is much room for interpretation. This isn't the place to get into the details, but depending on one's interpretation a church may have a greater or lesser pool of potential men for leadership. That in itself isn't a problem, for, whatever qualifications we hold our leaders to ought to be taken directly from the text of Scripture regardless of the outcome.

The question I have is, what if were interpret incorrectly? Lord willing, under the direction of the Holy Spirit that won't happen. But let's say in our fallible state we get it wrong. That would mean we are either including men who should not serve, or we are excluding men who could bring leadership to the church. The latter is an especially troubling issue for those of us in smaller churches.

So is this a matter of being better safe than sorry? Again, hopefully when we come to a decision on a particular issue of biblical interpretation we've not only done the work, but we've been open to the Spirit's guidance along the way. I know myself and I can't imagine that I'm getting it right 100% of the time; I know there are always godly men and women out there who disagree with me.

Your thoughts? (comments welcome)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Not all Buckeyes are nuts...

...but apparently some are. It's just a game; get over it!

Don't Dream it's Over

As a native Buckeye I'm of course saddened by yesterday's game. "Surely they can't lose two national championships in a row, can they?" Yes they can, and don't call me Shirley. I've done a little pondering over the game itself, but not too much. Instead I'm counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report for Cubs spring training.

The one thing I do keep thinking about from last night has nothing to do with Ohio State. Early in the game one of the players for LSU had to come out because of an injury. It turned out that it was too severe to return to play. The worst was that this guy was a senior. Little did he know that he had played the last play of his last game. In the end his team finished number one, but I imagine it was bitter-sweet. I'm sure he would have given that arm just to play a few more minutes in the biggest game of his life. It was like he was the anti-Rudy (you know, Rudy, Notre Dame, guy that played Sam in Lord of the Rings.)

Makes you wonder about what dreams we've missed out on over the years. Looking back, I can think of a bunch of things I should have tried when I was in high school and college (good stuff mind you.) There are still things I'd like to do, but I realize I'm just too lazy. I'll never know what I'm missing. That guy on the sidelines had worked so hard to get there, and all that kept him out was the trainer's ok. So who's in the better (or worse) spot, the guy who tried but was kept from finishing, or the guy who never tried (never failed), but never knew what he missed?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Good News / Bad News for a Pastor

Now this is funny. Nothing like a little humor at the pastor's expense. Happy Friday!

Good News / Bad News for a Pastor

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sitting on an Angry Chair

A couple weekends ago we got sucked into watching some show on VH1 about the music of the 90's. I tried to resist but there's no getting around the fact that I am a sucker for any kind of countdown show.

Since the 90's was the decade of my college years, that music has pretty much stuck with me. I like 80's music, and there's nothing better than 70's classic rock, but the music of the 90's would make up a lot of my life soundtrack.

As the countdown got closer to number one I noticed that the songs got angrier and angrier. Each song was a commentary on society and how much that band or lead singer hated the world around them. I thought about it and I realized that at the time I thought that I was most happy when I was angry. It was cool to be angry. So, after a tough week of classes I would return to my dorm and crank up some of the angriest stuff I had on hand. Little did I know that that stuff did a number on my then immature faith in Christ.

Now, the music I listened to never made me do anything that I shouldn't have, it just seemed to have an influence on my thought life. I'm not sure if I would describe what was happening in my mind as a battle of worldviews, but I was soon discovering that there wasn't much room in there for the two of them.

Today I still have most of the CD's that I bought in college. (Sometimes I wonder if the BMG CD club stayed in business thanks to me.) Some of the stuff I still listen to, others have collected a lot of dust. What has changed for me since then is where I turn to answer life's questions. Trent Reznor, Kurt Cobain, and Layne Staley asked some great questions back then, but none of them had very good answers. I've found that that the truth rests in what God has chosen to reveal to us through His Word and through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Thinking about it all now, I have to agree with Homer Simpson when he said to the Smashing Pumpkins on the Hulabalooza tour: "I'll miss you Pumpkins, but I just can't share your bleak world view."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mmmm....Free Books

Check out this site. Every month they give away a free audiobook download. So far all the ones they've offered have been worth having. You can't hold them in your hand (unless they're on your ipod) but hey, a free book is a free book.

Free Downloads -

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