Thursday, February 28, 2008

Take it from an expert

It may look glamorous, but it will get you no where.

‘Lay off the dope,’ Keith Richards advises - Music-

Irony and faith

I think that faith is ironic. Without irony, there is no mature faith. We can't prove faith, yet faith is the strongest of motivators. God created a Law that separates people from himself, but through faith consequences for the violations of Law are null. As Jesus is God who became flesh, the religious of Jesus' day were his worst enemy. I dare say the religious of today are often the worst enemy of faith and legalism set a wall that drives so many away from the God of grace.

I propose that real, solid, growing faith is riddled with irony. Conversely, black and white faith, is stagnant or dead. If things are black and white in your life, then perhaps, your faith has gotten stuck in the mud. I know this happens to me. But it happens in times of weakness. Ironically, when I a weakest, is when I feel the strongest. When I don't feel that I have anything left to give, that is when God is most able to work on my faith and work through my ministry.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No Second Turns

I was just watching the kindergardeners in my church play games during our club night. The didn't quite get the goal of the very simple relay race. One line of boys continued to take turn after turn even though they were only supposed to go once then sit down. It took a while, but one boy noticed the other teams were "winning" because they actually finished the race. He began to shout to his teammates, "No second turns guys. No second turns or we'll loose."

They didn't care. They wanted second turns. It was more important to them that they get to go again that for their team to win.

As a adult that doesn't make sense. We want to win. But in reality there are many things that we take "turns" beyond what we need or should even when it hurts the bigger body. We drive a bigger car than we need because we can, and we don't think about the effects on gas prices, the environment or the socio-economics of the middle east. We own bigger house. We demand more from our government or our spouse. We do these, because, to us, we don't see that we are causing our team to loose. We only know that we want more for ourselves.

I sure the kindergarteners will learn how to run relays. I hope that more adults learn how to live for the bigger community.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Conflicting thoughts?

I'm working on two potentially conflicting thoughts that I think both could be valuable guides to the way I approach my ministry and my life. The first comes from my father several years back. "It's better to be a big fish in a small pond than to be an ordinary fish in the ocean." The second comes from a discussion with a friend. It is the mantra of the advertising firm Wieden + Kennedy, "Fail Harder."

I'm not sure how to reconcile these right now. I connect to both of them, but can't quite put them together. Maybe I'm still searching for what I want to be when I grow up.

The world needs better fathers, and more mentors

The Belmont Foundation, a group dedicated to a ministry to children of single parent households, quote these stats in today's blog.

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. (U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
  • 75% of adolescents patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. (Rainbows for all God’s Children)
  • 70% of juveniles in state operated insitutions[sic] have no fathers. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report)
  • 85% of youth in prison had no fathers at home. (Fulton Co. Georgia jail population, Texas Dept. of Correction)
  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. (U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
  • 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (National Principal Association Report on the State of High Schools)
It is clear to me that Belmont's call for more mentors is appropriate. Just as appropriate is the need for better parents, especially fathers. The church needs to focus more attention on the issue of uncommitted fathers.