Saturday, October 28, 2006

Called to be different...

As Christians we are called to be Salt & Light to a lost world...

To quote Will Farrell in "Kicking & Screaming" - "...different, but good...better"

I tend to think of things in a linear bear with me. On one end of my line, to the far right are these Baptists from the midwest who are picketing soldiers' funerals against homosexuality. In their hearts they think they are doing something profoundly good for the Kingdom, not far from jihad if you allow other religions on my linear chart. But since I'm not letting others in, it's just a Christian chart...these wackos are at the far right.

I'm not sure who is at the far left, and the examples I give may not be there, but they are truly left of center and their appears (to a lost world) to be a total disregard for holiness and the pursuit thereof. These were my buddies in the college and career class years ago who were going clubbing to "witness", and ended up coming home with someone.

I'm willing to bet that if...those who are picketing and organizing boycots of Ford and Walmart would put as much energy into sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ lovingly with the lost...the Kingdom would benefit.

And, if those who are using relationship theology as their crutch to continue an un-holy lifestyle, would maintain those friendships and relationships and practice 2 Cor. well as 1 Tim. 1:5...the Kingdom would benefit too.

As for the rest of jockeying for position around mid-point on my line...lets take it easy, get along and let the Holy Spirit work in the lives of those inching their way left AND right. This is what's taking place in my spiritual walk right now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Brent's Book

My friend Brent solicited ideas for a book he is contemplating. I spent an inordinate amount of time this morning responding in his comments, only to Halo kick me out without saving...because my original plans were to write these thoughts here goes...

Your book should be about balancing personal conviction with grace. I just finished reading Galatians (very Grace oriented) again...and the same guy wrote Ephesians and Corrinthians (very conviction oriented)...all inspired words of God. So here goes some conflict...

Music - I like Elton John. I love his music. When Saturday Night comes on the radio, I turn it up and sing along. I bought the song for $.99 at iTunes. A portion of my $.99 goes to Elton John to support his lifestyle, which is as far from the Kingdom as possible...hence the conflict.

Walmart - I like Walmart. I get my hair cut there. I buy boneless bbq wings for lunch from their deli. I go 6-8 times per year. Walmart's employment practices are suspect. The way they treat their suppliers is predatory and forces many suppliers to compromise generations worth of ethics and go offshore and create what most would call human rights violations, all with the goal of "rolling back prices"...hence the conflict.

Truth - 2+2 = 4. 2+2 is not 3 or 5 or 7. If an associate with whom I work thinks 2+2 = 3 I can tell them the truth, or I can let them learn on their own, showing an attitude of patience and grace. Unless they are doing my payroll, then the truth (or lack thereof) negatively effects me, and when I tell them, I am INTOLERANT. Intolerance could be the ugliest word in the current english language. Intolerance carries with it bigotry, homophobia, fanaticism...and Christians who have convictions are by definition intolerant...and we can't have that now can we...hence the conflict.

So there you have it...convictions and do we live a life with both as we are commanded to do.

Brent, you've been teaching your teenagers this (I assume) for over a decade...put it in writing...write THAT book.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Classic Rock

My son and I had to travel yesterday to an out of the area soccer tournament, so we spent much of the last 30 minutes scanning the airwaves for a good song (because we keep the same CDs in the changer...we were a bit tired of them). Anyway, my take is that no era of music resonates with people like Classic Rock. It appears in every market there are four classic rock stations, at least two more than any other format, other than country.

Another note of interest if you start writing down artists names who have 4 or more hits that would draw people in to stop the scan on the radio and sing along, or cause a 9 year old boy to say, "that's a cool song" there any era of music other than classic rock that comes close?

So here goes...these artists/bands fit my profile: Bad Company, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Molly Hatchet, Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Steely Dan, Alman Brothers, George Thoroughgood, Pink Floyd, Boston, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, CCR, Three Dog Night...these bands had hits, big hits, we can all sing along to between 1970 and 1980, at least four of them...did I miss anybody on my list? Has there every been another era in music like this?

P.S. No religiousity present...please invite Jilly.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Interesting Question

Our local paper (which I read online daily) does an online quiz called Polk Pulse, inspired by both alliteration and the name of the county from which we hail. Usually the results are pretty biased toward a more progressive leaning as the respondents are those who read online periodicals...until today...

So here goes...

"Do you think that body art should be covered up at work?"

459 people responded to the poll...84.9% said yes...go figure...

And here's the kicker...I voted NO...

What do you think?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Prosperity v. Wrath

One of my sales associates, while sitting around the Tiki Bar following a meeting, asked me my thoughts about a recent article in TIME magazine about Prosperity Teaching taking place within many large churches. I'm not a fan of TIME, nor did I read the article, but if what he layed out there is a remote representation of what they printed...TIME is right.

This oppened the door to share about darker side of the Gospel that most people keep hidden in a closet, in an effort to "win people to Christ"...the wrath of God. You know, the wrath of Sodom and Gamora, the wrath in 2nd Thesalonians and Revelations, and too many other places to take it off the table and hide it like some hidden finance charge you hope nobody notices while you are trying to sell them Christianity. You know, the part about what happens to those who DON'T pick up their cross and follow Jesus. We seem to have taken Hell off the table of late. We don't count the cost much do we anymore?

And when did TIME become a more accurate source for the portrayal of the Gospel of Jesus Christ than many of the largest Evangelical Churches?...if even for an issue.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Things I liked...
- that my son had a good time
- the French pastries
- The British Invasion
- The World Showcase Players' Camelot
- Soarin'
- Fast Passes

Things I didn't like
- $200 Princess Dinner in Norway
- the fact that none of the "countries videos" have been updated in 20 years
- why the USA insists on painting itself in negative light, but China and France come off like cultural icons with much more sordid histories.
- the number of drunks by the end of the day...much resembled a college frat party...stumbling, cursing, toungues down each others' throats, groping, hands all over fannies...all with tons of families'd think the Mouse would do something here, not encourage it.

I'm not sure the good outweighed the bad. I'll have a hard time going back to Epcot.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I subscribe to two business periodicals (Business 2.0 and Harvard Business Review), and both recent issues had feature articles on sleep deprivation.

One detailed "nap cafe's" in Manhattan, where for $14/hr. you can climb in this cave with headphones and recharge.

The other detailed the corporate responsibility of ensuring executives and management don't burn the candle down too low...with horror stories like a man taking the redeye from the west coast to participate in a M&A meeting in NYC at 8:00 am.

Both articles drew comparisons to driving drunk or drug use and claimed executives who consistently work 80 hour weeks (sleep on average 4 hrs. per night) are equally as dangerous as one who gets behind the wheel of a car after too much to drink.

The data was compelling too: in 1950 Americans averaged just over 8 hours per night of sleep. In 2000 that figure is down close to 6 hours per night. Pre 1950 was pretty consistent...with a slow drop till 1980 and a drastic drop since.

I'm feeling it now. After a round trip to Guatemala, followed by a round trip to Miami, with a mad rush to finish end of month/quarter financials before the 10th...I'm running out of gas with the mad rush staring me in the face.

I'm going to bed now...Good night.

Monday, October 02, 2006

First Trip to Guatemala

Some thoughts from Guatemala City...
- Flying in you see mountains and lush green landscape...very fertile...very beautiful.
- Children everywhere when you step outside the airport grabbing for a piece of your luggage so you'll hand them a buck...very stressful, unexpected, and sad...I'll be more prepared next time.
- Cities with 4 million plus people look pretty similar everywhere...especially inside the Marriott lobby
- We were supposed to hang out with our future son for a day or so, but were told that he was admitted to the hospital yesterday because he was matter how you hear it, it's a scarry thought.
- Our contact down here whisked us to the hospital, to the children's ward, and briefed us on how we were going to get in. We ended up on a floor with hundreds of children, in a hospital, in a developing nation (new term for third world) praying over dozens of children individually. I can't put into words what this experience was like...but I can say God's hand is all over this and we were in a position to be usable by him yesterday afternoon.
- we have such a peace about the goings on here...