Monday, December 31, 2007

Two books

I had breakfast with a new friend the other day. He's at Westminster Seminary, getting his masters in Theology, is working on writing a book, and is trying to get into Harvard to get his Theology PhD...which according to him is a long shot, but he's one of the brightest guys I, who knows.

Anyway, as you can imagine, I wasn't too jazzed about his book idea. Let's just put it this way, if you don't know Greek and Hebrew, you may not be interested.

But I did give him two very practical ideas I struggle with, and suggested he get after these two:

1. "The balance between wealth acquisition and missions". Where is the balance between providing for your family, paying for college, weddings, etc. and supporting every need that comes accross your plate. Literally, and I'm not kidding, I feel like I could give it ALL away, and they'd be great causes, but at the expense of what? And I'd want a large section dedicated to organizational wealth. When does a church decide they need a family life center or larger sanctuary? When does a Christian School expand and to what degree?

2. "Engaging the culture without compromising convictions" (with special emphasis on teaching children about setting boundaries and standards). This one should be easy for someone, but the challenge will be providing guidelines without writing "laws". However, I would like specific fact this would be great if it were written like a story, maybe a father son, working through all the specifics we struggle through, and using biblical references to support Dad's teaching.

Unfortunately, my friend nodded politely and is progressing with the Hebrew thing. Oh well. Maybe Brent will post on one of these if they peak his interest.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Got 12?

So I'm following this old beat up truck on my way to get my sons haircut and it has A L A B A M A in like 9" letters sprawled accross the back windshield. We stop at a red light and we make eye contact. He seemed like a nice enough guy - mid 50's, scruffy beard, camo hat, harmless - so I look at my son and say "watch this".

I lean over the steering wheel and when he looks back again I hold up 6 fingers in front of me...I'm wearing an AU ball cap, so he immediately gets it. The guy chuckles, pauses for a second or two and flashes 12 fingers (ten, then two) out his window at me...all the while laughing. My son asks, what's that I explain that UAT has won 12 National Championships and that's there way of saying "take that."

My son then says, "wow, what do you say to that?"

I explain that if I were in person with this trash talk, sign language exchange, you know, face to face, I'd say something like...Several centuries ago the Romans rulled the earth, but you don't hear the Italians playing that card during our current reign of world domination...and that tends to shut it down.

My son thought that was a great comback and encouraged me to pull alongside the guy and let him have it...I thought the moment had passed, so it ended there...but...

I've seen two more "Got 12?" stickers in the last week...on different rigs. It makes me want to preach the Roman message in a bad way.

Anyway...since I only have one reader, are you seeing this dynamic in FloMo?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Takeo Spikes

The great Auburn linebacker wreaked havok on the SEC during his time there. He was Mr. Football for his home state in High School and highly coveted as a recruit. He ended up being a first round draft pick by the Bengals and drastically improved their defense. He played out his contract in Cincinati and signed with Buffalo, and started their for 3-4 years. He's now roaming the middle for the Eagles...and still plays solid, if not very well.

So here's the rub. Every team he goes to gets worse after he gets there...and then when he leaves they get better.

Coincidence? Or, is Takeo Spikes an unheralded cancer of sorts?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas notes

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate...egg nog is like 3000 calories an ounce.

2. Does Santa wrap the presents or just sit them under the tree?
Set up all around the tree in sections for the kids...santa does not wrap.

3. Colored or white lights?

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

5. When do you put your decorations up?
A week after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Turkey...white a sandwich.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
My dad giving my mom a few rolls of quarters wrapped in a box...he saved them up like all year and said we kids couldn't touch them (for video games) 'cause he was saving for Mom's Christmas present...she cried...but it was funny at the time to a ten year old.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Neighbor kid...6 years old

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No...used to on my side.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
White lights, ornaments...many kid things.

11. Snow: Love it or hate it?
Snow is a prop to ski on...other than that...Hate IT

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Leather NCAA football...age football in the neighborhood...2nd - a high end set of head phones for the stereo at 15.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Butter nutt Cake

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Reading Luke 2 as a family (one of the kids reads it)

17. What is on top of your tree?

18. Which do you like best giving or receiving?
Giving...way best

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I hate Christmas music...ever since the arival of real praise music (David Crowder, etc.) Christmas music is just tired.

21. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Ralphy, you'll shoot your eye out.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

More on II Timothy

Again, a little repeat...John McArthur has me reading the same passages over for a I had a revelation of sorts.

The whole AWANA movement really took their tag verse out of context. Awana stands for Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed and it's buried in the middle of II Timothy 2 among all this scripture about not arguing over trivial things. It got me thinking...pastors, leaders, etc. do this all the time...find obscure verses that fit their needs and run with it...

Think...Prayer of Jabez, Eye for an Eye, etc.

It just bothered me today...that's all.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Investing Long

John McArthur (sp.?), on the radio a few weeks ago shared a Bible reading method that I found unique and inspiring, so I tried it. It involves reading the same book (or partial part of a book if long) of the New Testament every day for a month. He suggests to start with a short one, so I started with II Timothy.

Having read it now about 7 times, with 23 more to go, it's amazing how much reflection on scripture you get to have. I also get to pray about sharing certain things with people before doing so, not going in all willy nilly with's how this played out.

Day one I read about not arguing in Ch. 2...Paul dwells on it and makes a second plea later in the same chapter...I think Wow, my kids need to read this. By Day 4 I've prayed about it and purposed to wait for the right time to rush, I've got 26 days to go. I've also been able to get my hands around how important this arguing thing is to Paul.

So during breakfast this morning, I ask the interested in what I've been studying in my quiet time this week (captured audience, at the table, mouths full, chewing)...they grunt, sure.

Note: They argue a lot with each other...about everything...who's a better quarterback, what position is most important in Basketball, who the first NFL draft pick will be, what the words are to that get the point.

So I read Ch. 2 out loud. And ask them what the key point Paul was making here.

"Don't Argue"

Does he give any guidance to Timothy about how to correct wrong?

"Yeah, humble, gentle..."

You get where this is going.

Anyway, Thanks John McArthur.