Droid Day

November 6, 2009

at the risk of sounding like every other christian person on the planet i’m going to be ironic…

today is droid day.  translation: motorola droid is being released as the so-called iphone killer.  we all know this is going to fail.  even the most optimistic person knows that down deep the droid won’t be able to compete, really.  nothing can beat the original.  trying to recreate something never really works out.  look at the zune for instance.  even if it is equally as awesome as the ipod (which, beleive me, it’s not) why would someone buy one over the ipod.  if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  the key to having a truly successful market for an item is originality.  the radio was awesome, but something was missing.  you couldn’t put a face with the voice.  the black and white television was awesome, but you couldn’t see the colors.  color television was awesome, but it’s just so bulky… you get my drift.  what the droid brings to the table doesn’t exploit what the iphone lacks.  it’s a carbon copy of the original. there are two obvious conclusions:

1) the church will never work as a copy of culture. when the church is attempting to recreate what it sees in the “real world” no one is going to bite because, well, why go for the fake when you can stick with the original.  personally i would never buy the droid, simply because it’s letting it be known that they are simply imitating the iphone.  when the church uses this method people will ultimately be turned away.  imitation is the highest form of flattery, after all.
2) the world will never work as a copy of the gospel. this is the more important of the two points.  since the first sin, man has tried to find it’s fulfillment elsewhere.  everywhere we turn someone is telling us what we need to be satisfied.  of course, if you’ve ever bought that thing that you “needed” you soon found out that you didn’t need it at all.  in fact you probably don’t even want it anymore because it’s just not fulfilling you like the new thing will.  this isn’t just for material things, of course, but for relationships, social stance, political party, etc.  the good news is this: christ’s grace is sufficient for you.

so…
as the church let’s be original, authentic – be family.  what you have is better than this world, in fact it’s what the world has always wanted to be.

disclaimer

Imitator

October 14, 2009

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

There are several modern day “Pauls”, if you will, that I have fallen under the influence of over the past few years.  One that comes to mind is John Piper.  Today marks his 30th anniversary of the day that he felt the call to be a pastor.  You can read the article here.

The article mentions that as Piper first stood before his church he told them the aims for his life.

  1. I will aim to love Christ with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my strength. Because when I die in the midst of my ministry and say farewell to a beloved flock and a cherished family, I want to be able to believe that it is gain. And in my dying I want to be able to bear witness to a church that Christ is great indeed and worthy of all our trust.
  2. While I live and minister, my goal is going to be to make the people glad in God. Woe to the pastor who uses his position to hammer year after year in chiseling out a hard sour people! He has forgotten his calling. “I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your advancement and your joy of faith.”
  3. Since joy comes from faith, and faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of God, it will have to be my main goal–my tremendously fulfilling and joyful goal–to feed that flock the Word of God every week, week in and week out. I will pray that Jesus’ words will become fulfilled in my words. The banner of every sermon I preach will be this: “My words I have spoken to you in order that my joy might be in you and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).

It is my hope and prayer that whatever form of ministry I’m in that this will be my attitude.

Homeless Count

January 30, 2009

Last night I had the opportunity to participate in the 2009 Homeless Count.  It’s something that’s done every couple of years and it’s mandated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  There’s a lot that goes into the process and a lot that comes out as a result of the count.  More interestingly, though, is the look you see in someone’s eyes when they are actually telling you about their homeless situation.  Sure, this count is used in some ways to simply quantify the Homeless, but it ends up being a much different experience for the counters.
As I was talking over my experience with my supervisor this morning, she told me that no matter how long she’s been working with the homeless population, it never ceases to shake her when someone is litterally living outside. 
There is great frustration in speaking to a homeless gentleman and him telling you that he doesn’t want to participate in the count because he’s been on the street for 15 years, filled out innumerable surveys and his situation hasn’t changed in the least.  That’s terribe, but the fact remains that after talking to that guy, I went home, got in my bed, checked my email on my $200 handheld ipod touch, and fell asleep warm and comfortable.  Meanwhile, he slept in the stairwell of a parking garage less than 5 miles away.
I can’t begin to understand his frustrations.

Means to an End

January 14, 2009

my friend jeff just told me that he heard a sermon where jesus was a means to an end.  jesus isn’t a means to an end, he is the end.  he’s what we get.  he’s enough.  he’s sufficient.

Chronicles

December 6, 2008

So over the past couple of days I’ve been thinking about the importance of chronicling the events of my life.  I’ve been reading in the Old Testament for close to a year and a half now.  It’s interesting the emphasis on remembering the things that God did in the lives of the Jews.  Maybe the problem is when you don’t have a record you forget.  Kind of like the old adage “if you don’t learn from history you will repeat it.”  I wonder if I’m repeating history.  Maybe I should just put the pen to the pad and see what comes out.  It may be difficult at first, but maybe the jar will begin to tip, then spill everywhere.  Maybe that’s what I need.

Clausmas

December 5, 2008

ClausAs we all know, Christmas comes this time each year.  Though I’m not married and don’t have any kids at the moment, I wonder about a time when I might.  I have been wrestling with the question of whether or not I will tell my kids the lie of Christmas – that is Clausmas.  I know, I know that’s kind of harsh, but be honest, it is a lie.  One of the most significant moments in history seems to be distorted year after year with the fairy-tale of Ole St. Nick.  Now, my parents still haven’t admitted to the falsehoods of my youth, and as a result, it was  much later that I got the full meaning of Christmas.  Lauren’s sister cried this week when her family finally told her the truth.  She said something like “I thought Christmas was 100% about Jesus, and 50% about Santa.”  In some ways she had it right.  It is 100% about Jesus, so anything above that is just added on.  There in lies my question.  How do we allow our children to participate in culture, but not be of it?  I know many of my subscribers/loyal readers (ha) probably don’t have kids yet, but what will you choose to do when that time comes?

*Before you answer, remember your kids would love to spoil the fun of Santa for everyone else who falsely believes…my cousins of little faith tried that on me.

Campaign Hate ’08

October 29, 2008

In the spirit of being a cool, in-the-know, type of blogger, I would like to give a little commentary into how I wish politics were done.  Please note that I am not an expert, nor am I claiming to be.  I am actually quite uninformed on Politics, I’m sure.

I don’t understand negative campaigning.  Can someone explain to me why we can’t get a leader to run for office that is a good enough leader in his/her own right that they don’t have to crucify their opponent so that they are the only one still living to take the job by default?  Wouldn’t it be nice to see a clean campaign that talked only about the candidate’s strengths?  One that convinced us that we weren’t having to choose the lesser of two evils but that there was actually a good candidate?  It seems to me that the more corrupt campaigning there is the less likely an actual good candidate would want to run.

Let’s stop looking for skeletons in the closet.  Let’s campaign based on our good qualities.  Let’s don’t lash out against our opponents.  This isn’t 7th grade anymore.  Grow up, be men and women of integrity, and be the leaders that this country needs.

Double Edged Sword

September 19, 2008

Isn’t it funny how love is much like a scalpel: it can cause so much pain but through the pain comes healing.

Columbia Bound

July 31, 2008

As I move to Columbia in 2 weeks from today with no job and no prospects (not to mention all the other uncertainties and insecurities that are surfacing) I am reminded of a quotation that is scribbled in my Bible:

“I’ve tried to hold many things in my hands but I no longer possess them, but the things that I put in God’s hands, I still possess.” -Martin Luther

I walked on the beach last night for a really long time.  Actually, I can’t think of a time where I walked anywhere longer – ever.  As I was walking South along the coast I noticed something very interesting.  If I looked to the right I saw multi-million dollar homes with people sitting comfortably inside.  Lights were shining from every opening.  TVs were flickering blue and red.  It was the easy life, I guess, but I don’t know if you could call it life.  It was just the easy.  But, as I looked to my right I saw the ocean.  It’s waves beating against the sand.  The black sky mixing with the black waters.  It went on for eternity.  The only lights it saw were the billions of stars overhead.  It was so much more dangerous than the easy, but I imagined life there.  The Beast was full of life, nothing but life.  It’s tentacles stretching out to me with every step wanting to devour me, but not knowing it.  It reminded me of every quotation I had ever heard about the safe harbor.  I realized that life is for living.  It maybe hard, but it still has to be alive.