Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Gospel, as you've never seen it before

I saw this a few months back. Tell me what you think....

Life in the big city...

A friend sent me the picture, taken from his backyard. The Cooper's hawk is perched on the bird house my friend put out for the little songbirds. That mangled thing in the hawk's talons? One of the little songbirds. I wonder if he realized he would be feeding all the birds when he put up his feeders and bird house...

UPDATE: I stand corrected. It's not a Cooper's hawk, but a sharp-shinned hawk. Still, an awesome display of predatory beauty...

Not necessarily the news...

I don't know how many of you have been keeping up with the latest news about the Somali pirates, but the following has to be the funniest take on it I've seen so far:
Pirates who seize $100 million in Saudi sweet crude won't be satisfied with a bottle of rum and Jennifer Lopez or Beyonce at their feet. Booty is not what it used to be.
-Wes Pruden, The Washington Times

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Engineer Humor

For some reason, in both of the churches I have served, there are a plethora of engineers. They are wonderful men, but certain quirks and habits are common to all of them. Thus, I have become something of a connoisseur of engineer jokes. Here's few favorites:
  • How do you tell when you've met an extroverted engineer? He stares at your shoes while he talks to you.
  • To the optimist, the glass is half-full. To the pessimist, the glass if half-empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as the specifications require.
  • Normal people believe "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Engineers believe "If it ain't broke, that's because it doesn't have enough features yet."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Domestication

I think it's in the movie Rocky III when Rocky's old trainer tells him that what has happened to him is "the worst thing that can happen to a fighter: you got civilized." The same thing happens to pastors too. Every year, thousands of bright eyed young men graduate from evangelical seminaries full of starry idealism about how they are going to preach the Word, reach the lost, and equip the saints to be a city on a hill. Within six months, many of these will be discouraged and depressed. Within three years, many will be out of the ministry. Among those that survive the initial onslaught, many will survive not as dreamers, but as domesticated drones, finally content to serve as a community chaplain and a poorly paid (usually) lecturer about the great God of the Bible.

What makes the difference? It isn't training, for all of them get good schooling. It isn't spiritual discipline or theological fidelity, for there are many devoted disciples who become frustrated pastors. It isn't giftedness, for the landscape is littered with gifted men who left the ministry. It isn't even personal holiness, for I know many holy pastors who aren't in ministry full-time anymore.

What it is, I think, is whether or not God's Spirit is moving in a particular church. Which means whether or not God's Spirit is moving in particular people. But as Jesus said, "the wind blows where it wishes..." The reason Tyndale, Hus, and Wycliffe died reviled and cursed rather than honored as a great reformer like Luther or Calvin is that they were spitting into the wind, like many pastors do today. The challenge is to remain faithful in your ministry until the wind changes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My take on the election

I've been thinking a lot about the election and it's meaning for the country in the past week or so. I've decided a couple things:
  1. It's healthy and good that we have elected a black man to the Presidency. I would rather it had been Colin Powell back in '96, but nevermind.
  2. The major political parties no longer believe that America IS a great country. They either believe that America WAS a great country, but is now troubled (the conservative vision) or they believe that America WILL BE a great country once they get done "fixing" it (the liberal/progressive vision). But America, for all her flaws, is still the greatest country the world has seen for at least 200 years, and possibly longer. Where are the politicians that have the same conviction?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Everything you needed to know about the bailout, clearly explained

I got the video below from a friend. Classic Ma and Pa Kettle, with remarkable applicability to today's financial meltdown...


video