Saturday, June 19, 2010

Music: Mirror of our Culture

click to watch on youtube

Confessions of a pastor time: I tend to like secular music more than Christian music.

That's probably because I grew up outside the church, and so music was the only language my soul understood through my formative years.

I have a special love for the singer/songwriter genre. This song, "Oh the Divorces" by Tracey Thorn is an example of why.

Tracey Thorn goes right at the reality that's touching all of us seemingly every week; divorce. I appreciate the honesty of her lyric and the way her music captures the frailty of our marriages.

And statistically I know that the truth she sings of is true whether a couple is Christian or not. So her secular song is sadly apropos for all of us, no matter what we say we believe.

I don't like wallowing in this type of song; but sometimes my soul and mind needs to be confronted with this kind of reality, in the way only a song can. I've recently read stats about divorce, but they didn't hit me deep inside the way this song did.

Peace--especially to those touched by and in the grip of divorce...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Vuvuzela: leadership miss

Fact: The FIFA World Cup comes around once every four years, whereupon the world's greatest soccer teams play until one team remains.

Fact: Players, coaches, television viewers, broadcasters are distracted and annoyed by the sounds of the vuvuzela; these turbo-charged-steroid-enhanced bee hives from Hades.

Fact: FIFA's leadership chose to do nothing about the vuvuzela at matches.

This is a great example of why leadership exists; to step in and make prudent decisions that are in every one's best interest. When leadership shies away, everyone loses.

It's much like the parent who refuses to actively parent their children. Pretty soon the children are a mess, parents are frustrated and no one wants to go over to their house. (FIFA's leadership miss is doing nothing to attract new fans "over to their house.")

Leadership opportunities are all around us, and every time we refuse to engage, people get more used to not being guided--get used to doing whatever makes everyone happy--and that rarely nets positive results.

Leadership matters.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Facebook Significance

I am usually one of the first to grimace at yet another piece of Facebook triviality or "poo" reference (although I'm guilty of the latter). But tonight I had a great IM with one of my FB friends whom I don't really know.

Here's the exchange with a changed name.

Can I bother you for some religious advice?


I went to Oakbrook 2 years ago for about 1 1/2 years...and stuff went bad in my life and I can't seem to not blame God for it! So I quit going.

Read the Bible much?

Not since I quit going--I didn't even believe til my buddy turned me on to Oakbrook--but the year and a half I went there, I did read it some, but not a lot.

When I read the Bible I see a lot of bad stuff happening. I also notice that it's man who causes the bad stuff and not God. I notice the same thing in our lifetime.

I am sure it is my fault just don't know how to reverse it so I blame God. Make sense?

Not really. That like, because stuff is going bad in my life, I'm going to blame the guy across the street.

Never looked at it that way--that makes sense to me.

God shines light on things--then they make sense. Satan like us to be confused and think illogical things like "it's God's fault."

Is there a book in the Bible to help me? I just feel lost.

Yes. Start with John. It's after Luke in the New Testament. I bet it will make sense. Then just keep reading from there. If something doesn't make sense, ask me--and I'll shine some light on it ;-)


No problem John--I'm glad you asked me this tonight. I'll pray for you after I sign off, if that's ok?

That's great I need all kinds of help lol.

I'll do it then bro. We can talk / IM later ;-)

ok, thank you Morgan


That was by far the most profound Facebook exchange I've ever had. I was glad he IM'd me. And I will be praying for him. And I will be wondering who else is I fart around on Facebook...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Irony of Everyone Having a Mobile Device

I love technology. I love that virtually everyone has an iPhone, a Droid, a Blackberry. So much capability, far beyond that of a phone, and we have them everywhere we go. We even evangelize to our friends about the brand and model . And yet...

We seem less accessible.

It seems that we now answer the omnipresent mobile device less frequently. As I call phones that go unanswered, I now picture the "callee" looking at their phone, then casually placing it back in their pocket.

And it seems the emails instantly captured be these devices are replied to with less consistency and speed (or if ever) even though it's in the palm of our hand.

And I do appreciate not having interruptions by whoever happens to be calling. But with all the technology in our hands, it is ironic how fewer calls and voice mails are returned. We seem to live in the moment more than ever.

I think we love being able to make contact with anyone we want whenever we like. Just not sure we like being contacted by anyone wherever we happen to be. I wonder if our zeal for the mobile device is more about what I want to do, rather than what someone may want of me.

But again, I do love technology.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I love it when the Church comes together!

photo by Anthony Mosley

I am excited to speak this Sunday at First Congregational Church in Kokomo. I was talking on the phone with Jon Tice (what a great guy!) and just threw in, "Hey, if you need any help speaking let me know." He shot back with, "What are you doing June 6th?"

I love it when churches "cross-pollinate" and conversely it troubles me that all these "franchises" keep so much to ourselves. I am so glad Jon and I were able to connect in this "chance" conversation. It's so good to be able to work together.

So I'm looking forward to this Sunday with a lot of anticipation and excitement. It's all for God and His people.