Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm an ADD Reader

I'm usually reading several books at once. Okay, not at the same second, but I'm in the middle of more than one book at any given point in my life. It's not something I'm proud of, but ... there it is. On occasions I can steam roll through a book, taking it out in a couple days, but generally, no.

Currently I'm in the midst of the following:
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart (Tedd Tripp)
  • Have a New Kid by Friday (Kevin Leman)
  • Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman (Gladys Aylward) -- Missionary to China beginning in 1932
  • The Best of E. M. Bounds on Prayer -- I'm reading a couple pages a day during the course of my devotions.
  • The Best of Dwight L. Moody -- I read 1 sermon for my Sunday morning devotions.
  • Leap Over a Wall (Eugene Peterson) -- I'm reading this in connection with our Adult Bible Study on the lives of Saul and David.
Plus, I read aloud to various members of my family. They enjoy it, and so do I.
  • Snitch (Rene Gutteridge) -- I'm reading this to Sara as we have time.
  • The Boy Who Saved Baseball (John H. Ritter) -- Reading this one to Andrew
  • The Whipping Boy (Sid Fleischman) -- Reading this for the second time to Caty
I've quit reading Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (Donald Miller). I'm about half way through, but I can't take much more. I want to spend my time in more profitable reading. I have two hangups I can identify. One is that Donald Miller appears to like just about anyone and everyone--everyone, that is, except for traditional conservative pastors and people who are trying to lead holy lives. Not that he necessarily lambastes them. But if there's a villain in his story, it's definitely conservative Christians.

My other hangup is what appears to be a disregard for holiness. He accepts the fact that we all sin. No problem, there. But he seems to also accept as fact that we can't help it, so why bother? I don't know that he would word it quite this way, but what I fail to see in his "theology" is a striving against known sin in our lives, and certainly the Bible calls us to that.

What are you reading right now? Click on "comments" and tell me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Seen on a Sign

I saw this on a Dairy Queen sign today, the one at State and Sherman:

HIRING
CAKE DECORATOR
CHICKEN BASKET
3.99

Isn't that rather low pay for either job?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Is the ancient sun out of date for today?

"A great many people seem to think that the Bible is out of date, that it is an old book, and they think it has passed its day. They say it was very good for the dark ages, and that there is some very good history in it; but then it was not intended for the present time; that we are living in a very enlightened age, and that men can get on very well without the old book; that we have outgrown it. They think we have no use for it, because it is an old book.

"Now you might just as well say that the sun, which has shone so long, is now so old that it is out of date, and that whenever a man builds a house he need not put any windows in it, because we got a newer light and a better light; we have gaslight and this new electric light. These are something new; and I would advise people, if they think the Bible is too old and worn out, when they build houses, not to put any windows in them, but just to light them with this new electric light; that is something new, and this is what they are anxious for."

--Dwight L. Moody, 1881

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Don't Be Anxious

As I was contemplating the financial crisis this morning, I became a bit anxious about our own personal financial situation, speculating about how this U.S. crisis could affect us.

After a while of this depressing foreboding, the Lord clearly brought to mind Matthew 6:34: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

A wave of relief. To be honest, my mind returned to the earlier foreboding throughout the day, but I had a word from the Lord to help as well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Random Reflections of a Mostly Political Nature

I was excited about Sen. McCain's pick of Gov. Palin, but I knew we were still two months out, and a lot can happen in two months. I also knew the media would go hot and heavy after Gov. Palin.

Now some are saying that the economic crisis plays in Sen. Obama's favor. And the fact that some conservatives are calling for Gov. Palin to step aside doesn't help Sen. McCain, either. So today my nerves were a little shaken.

As I watched the presidential debate end just now, I suddenly realized that I would feel a lot better if Sen. Clinton had been up there debating Sen. McCain. It's not because I think Sen. McCain has a better chance of beating Sen. Clinton than Sen. Obama, and it's not because I want Sen. Clinton to be president. But if the Democrats are going to win the White House, I would much prefer it to be Sen. Clinton. Sen. Obama is too extreme.

But the person who really bothers me most in this campaign is me. I was so depressed both times Pres. Clinton won the national election (in 1992 and 1996). But I don't like that response in me. It reveals to me that I am way too tied to this world as opposed to my God.

I am told to fear not even in the most drastic of situations:

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3 NIV)

Let me paraphrase something I read in my good friend Eugene Peterson today. (I call him "Genie." You should see his face redden when I do.) He said that there are times when we find ourselves in the wilderness like David did when he was running from King Saul. In other words there are times when we find ourselves in desperate circumstances, be it financial upheaval, relationship upheaval, job loss, or whatever.

The wilderness, Genie says, can be a dangerous place, and we know that. But it can also be a place of beauty. It can be a place to see and hear and learn things we cannot see and hear and learn anywhere else.

The U.S. economic crisis, the possibility of a liberal president and a liberal congress, etc. could bring on such a wilderness. But I want to trust God more. I want to hang onto him more than I do. So, there's a part of me that is not as afraid of an Obama administration as I might have been a few days ago, thanks to Genie's reminder.

Who knows? If Sen. Obama wins the White House, I may actually smile.

September 26, 1980

28 years ago today, I started keeping a journal. I kept it for over 4 years straight, and since then I have returned to it for several months or even a few years at a time.

One of the things that the kids enjoy is having me read my journal from time to time. They like to see my life as a kid, and they like to hear about themselves when they were younger.

In the fall of 1980 I was 11 years old and had just started 6th grade at Kekionga Middle School.

(Without any editing) my first entry read,

September 26, 1980 -- Friday
At school I got the forms for magazines and records to sell. They had neat prizes. Tonight at family night the first three games of ping-pong I won then I saw a movie called "The African Queen." "I Love Lucy" was when Lucy decided to redecorate the Myrth's apartment. Lucy took out the feathers of the chair and Fred turned on the fan and it blew all the feathers all over the room and it even stuck to the new paint.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

9 Other Abuses for PETA to Target

Today I learned that PETA is lobbying Ben and Jerry's to "cease and desist" from using cow's milk for their ice cream. They want them to use breast milk instead. In their laudable efforts to elevate the concerns of animals, I humbly bring some other abuses to their attention:
  1. TV antennae are derogatorily referred to as "rabbit ears."
  2. If someone is called a "rat" or a "rodent," it's usually not compliment.
  3. Perhaps cities of refuge can be established for pit bulls who "accidentally" kill people.
  4. Various animals (pets) are being forced to relieve themselves in certain places, not wherever they want.
  5. Pets for that matter are becoming soft because their owners do way too much for them; they're becoming pampered and spoiled.
  6. When trickery is suspected, it's "fishy."
  7. Orkin
  8. What about all the predator animals? Like lions that kills wildebeests, bears that eat fish, and owls that eat rodents? They should be tried and executed to make the animal kingdom in general a safer place. And if you don't believe in capital punishment, lifelong incarceration.
  9. Sharks are unfairly linked to lawyers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sober Concern for the Soul

I wonder if we American evangelicals don't take certain Scriptural warnings concerning salvation and damnation seriously enough.

For example, Matthew 19:23-24:
I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. (NIV)

One implication, I think, is that wealth can easily have a powerful negative effect on the soul, and we do well to help wealthy professing Christians examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). (When you consider we Americans are among the wealthiest people ever, we should soberly consider examining ourselves.)

The poor more readily trust God, whereas wealth can easily insulate one from daily dependence on God: we do not have to pray, "Give us today our daily bread." Shifting dependence from God can be a spiritually dangerous thing.

Or consider 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)

Or Revelation 21:8:
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (NIV)

Are there not American "evangelicals" who would also fit into one or more of the categories mentioned in these verses?

Do we under emphasize repentance when we proclaim forgiveness? Do we not speak enough about deliverance from the power of sin when we talk about deliverance from the penalty of sin? Perhaps we emphasize freedom from the slavery of sin so much that we don't talk about our deliverance unto "slavery to obedience" (Romans 6:16), "slavery to righteousness" (Romans 6:18), and "to God" (Romans 6:22).

Then consider Jesus' positive statements about discipleship, about how we need to deny ourselves and about how we need to give up everything to follow him. Are we doing that? If not ...?

It has been impressed upon me recently that as a pastor I don't want to be too cavalier in assuring people of salvation, be it in personal counseling or in funeral messages or from the Sunday pulpit. One's eternal destiny is at stake.

The pastor's heart of Paul in 1 Corinthians has jarred me toward this line of thinking in recent days. In ch. 5 he is horrified at the Corinthians, that they tolerate a fellow brother to continue in sexual sin, proud of their reputation as a church of grace. The man's soul is at stake, and they do nothing to help him! Paul says, "Turn him out of the church so that his soul might be saved!"

In ch. 6, Paul is concerned about a lawsuit where both the plaintiff and the defendant belong to the church. He excoriates the church and the plaintiff. And then he turns to the defendant: "Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong!" That's where 6:9-10 come in: "Do not be deceived: Neither ... thieves ... nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." Paul is concerned for the defendant's soul. The defendant's behavior suggests his soul may be in perilous straits.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hobbit Birthdays and Autumnal Equinox

Happy Birthday to both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins!

According to the first chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring, both Bilbo and Frodo celebrate their birthday on Sept. 22, Bilbo being 78 years older than his nephew. And of course both hobbits played a critical role in the ring that threatened to cover Middle-earth in darkness. Bilbo found the one ring in Gollum's lair (or rather, the ring found him), and Frodo, as the ring bearer, destroyed it in the fires of Mt. Doom.

I know what you're thinking--"You're a geek." I would respond to that, but I need to finish this post quickly so I don't miss Star Trek. (Kidding, kidding. I'm not a Trekkie.)

Today is also the first day of fall, my favorite season. Here are 9 things I like about fall:
  1. bonfires
  2. jacket weather
  3. apple cider
  4. Thanksgiving
  5. colorful trees
  6. pumpkin pie
  7. Advent
  8. a sense of slowing down to reflect and enjoy
  9. the World Series

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Dream

Last night I dreamed I was at some kind of a Missionary Church conference. My friend Jerrod Carter was the speaker (which was interesting, because in real life he "converted" from the Missionary Church to Roman Catholicism), and the president of the Missionary Church was sitting next to me. The president, peering at me through larger glasses than I remember him ever wearing, was apologizing to me for terminating my employment, something of which I knew nothing about until someone on the other side of me handed me a paper indicating my termination. That same unmemorable person quickly handed me a second piece of paper reinstating me as Northside's associate pastor. The president said, "I originally cut you loose because I have a real problem with small churches having two pastors when there are churches out there who don't have a pastor at all."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

If Republicans are racist, are Democrats sexist?

So I've heard that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius recently declared that Republicans won't vote for Sen. Obama because they're racist.

I have a couple of very simple responses to that. First, I think a lot of Republicans aren't going to vote for Sen. Obama because he's not a Republican. (That may seem like a difficult concept to wrap one's mind around, so maybe one should re-read that slowly.)

Now before I heard Gov. Sebelius's statement, I was pretty sure that a lot of Democrats were not going to vote for Sen. McCain. And I just automatically assumed that the primary reason for that was that he is not a Democrat. But given the new line of logic I've learned from Gov. Sebelius, I think it's because Democrats are sexist; they don't want a woman in the VP mansion. Or maybe it's because they're ageist.

Second, I'd be happy to vote for an African-American who was much closer to my ideology than Sen. Obama. I'd take a close look at such people as Alan Keyes, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, or Condoleezza Rice, if they were running for office.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

9 Comfort Foods

  1. cheese
  2. Homemade Brand Peanut Butter Chip ice cream
  3. chocolate chip cookies and milk
  4. potato chips and sour cream & onion dip
  5. milk shakes
  6. peanut butter M&Ms
  7. Taco flavored Doritos
  8. fudge
  9. eggnog

Saddened by the News about Ray Boltz

I was saddened to hear the news of Ray Boltz "coming out of the closet," so to speak. Though his most popular songs, like "Watch the Lamb," "Thank You," and "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb," were overplayed for my taste, I nonetheless like those songs, and I have respect for him as a songwriter.

He says he is involved in a loving (gay) church, and he's come to realize that God won't send him to Hell since he made him that way; he's struggled with homosexual inclinations since childhood.

I am saddened because regardless of what Mr. Boltz thinks, the Bible seems to be very clear about homosexuality--it is sin. The Bible also seems to be very clear about the destiny of practicing, unrepentant homosexuals--Hell.

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV)

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 NIV)

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:15 NIV)

We must take Scripture seriously. When it calls something sin, we must avoid it. When Scripture calls something sin in our own lives, we must work by the power of the Spirit of Christ to overcome it. We must repent of that sin.

Grace abounds from the throne of God. But it's grace to do what we cannot do on our own--repent of sin. We need to attend to our souls. The warnings of Scripture are serious, written to warn us away from the destruction of our souls in Hell.

"I dreamed I went to heaven," Mr. Boltz has often sung. I truly hope he does, but the Bible indicates he must repent of this lifestyle.

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:9 NIV)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sen. Obama Consistently Shows Bad Judgment

One of the characteristics we want in our president is good judgment. Joel Rosenberg delineates how Sen. Obama continues to demonstrate just the opposite:
  • OBAMA SAID IRAN IS A TINY COUNTRY AND NOT A SERIOUS THREAT.
  • OBAMA SAID THE "SURGE" IN IRAQ WOULDN'T WORK, AND WOULD MAKE THINGS WORSE.
  • OBAMA STILL REFUSES TO SAY THE "SURGE" IS WORKING NOW.
  • OBAMA TOLD GEORGIA TO SHOW RESTRAINT WHEN RUSSIA INVADED HER.
  • OBAMA OPPOSES DRILLING FOR AMERICAN OIL IN AMERICA AND OFFSHORE.

See Joel's entire post.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Question

Is it wrong for a Christian to voluntarily put her/his baby up for adoption if s/he does not have control over who the adoptive parents will be?

Maybe there is an accepted Christian answer to this, and I'm out of the loop. If not, I just wonder.

Two Links

Church of England Apologizes to Darwin
The Church of England has formally apologized to Charles Darwin for misunderstanding evolution and for taking him to task these last 126 years. Afterall, evolution and Christianity are fully compatible. (That last statement was typed with sarcastic fingers.) Read the article.

Palin Better on "Change" Than Obama
Sen. Obama says "change" but has actually demonstrated, by his voting record, a failure to change. Gov. Palin, on the other hand, has brought about change, and that within her own party. "THE INFURIATING FACT for Democrats is that Obama and his call for change have been trumped by the Palin selection. Trumped big time." This American Spectator article is long. At least read the first few paragraphs and the last few. They prophesy very ugly attacks on Gov. Palin, ones like those visited upon Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas times 10.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Seeker-Sensitive Cult?

UPDATE (9/16): This video is no longer viewable due to a copyright claim by The Way International. (I don't blame them for pulling it.)

The Way International is attempting to go culturally relevant. They sing ... and dance!

Check out this video, and then tell me who could do something similar at our church? And why haven't we seen them on America's Got Talent?

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Hey Kids, Let's Go to Parkview Field!"

How exciting to have our new baseball stadium name: "Parkview Field"! I'm not sure that anything generates more enthusiasm for a baseball team than having their stadium named after a hospital.

That name may conjure up all sorts of images: a player limping off the field, a fan fainting from dehydration, a fly ball catching a spectator's nose unawares, a drunken fan running down a young couple as he attempts to exit the parking lot after the game.

Parkview paid 3 million to have that name for 10 years. A good investment, I think. When someone at the ballpark has to go to the hospital, they'll automatically think, "Why, Parkview, of course!" Two or three customers from the ballpark in the first season may more than pay for the 10-year investment.

I can't wait to see the new team name. How about "The Gurneys"? Or perhaps more fitting, (albeit they're only moving a few miles) "The Transplants"?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prizing Young'uns

1 I read about children today in Luke 9:

46An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest." (NIV)

One of the things I take from this passage is the Lord highly prizes children. Therefore, I should highly prize children. (Jesus was "indignant" on another occasion when his disciples prevented children from coming to him [Mark 10:14].)

I know this, but do I do it? At one level I absolutely agree I should prize children. But at the level of behavior, do I in fact do it?

Many of the children at the church I know on a first-name basis, and I greet them whenever I see them. But there are some other kids at the church I have never really engaged in conversation. Jillean, Jennalee, and Jessie come to mind. Why?

Well, "I'm busy on Sundays." Or, "I'm not great with kids." These are just excuses. In truth, I just don't think about it. And that itself is a problem. Shouldn't I be more intentional? (Hopefully) after my time with the Lord this morning, I will be.

2 I read later today an article by some guy who listed 10 things he would do differently if he had his life to live over. One of them was spend more time with his kids when they were younger.

He said when they were really young he thought he would pour his life into them when they were older, but in the meantime, while they were elementary age and younger, he would throw himself into ministry and projects. But he sees now he would have had more impact on his kids in the later years if he had invested in them in the earlier years.

Sobering words.

I try to spend a lot of time with my kids, especially one-on-one; but there is often the pull toward other things, other accomplishments. "I'm almost 40, and what do I have to show for my life?" is a real temptation sometimes, a real temptation to throw myself into projects.

I'm glad the Lord brought this Word and this article across my path today.

3 During testimony time at church recently, one of our single moms stood up and praised the Lord for our congregation. We've had a big part in shaping her 2 sons for the good, she said. And I know what she means. How many times have I seen men in our church talking to and interacting with her teenage son? (Answer: "Many.") And he's changed for the better over the last several months.

How grateful I am for the many connections my kids have with our congregation! This past Sunday, for example, one of the ladies in our church was checking up with Caty on her schoolwork, history in particular.

Another reminder that I need to take an interest in children's lives, my own and others', for their sake, and for mine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy (Shhh)!


Our friend Cheryl didn't turn a nifty _0 yesterday, and she's not turning a nifty _0 tomorrow. But we want to wish her a Happy Annual Special Day! So Cheryl, we appreciate your friendship, your encouragement, and your indiosyncrasies, particularly as they relate to canines.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Law & Grace

I am thankful for both.

The law keeps me humble; grace keeps me grateful.

It is so easy to get frustrated with myself as I see how time and time again I fall short of the law, God's standard, God's will. And I do get frustrated.

But then there's God's mercy and grace ... I am thankful for God's Word, which reveals God's heart:

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom 8:1 NIV)

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast." (Eph 2:8-9 NIV)

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Heb 4:16 NIV)

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God; that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption." (1 Cor 1:30 NIV)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Classic Movies

The downtown library has a classic movies section. I'm enjoying that section. For instance I just picked up Bad Day at Black Rock. I'd never heard of it, but I put it in last night, and Sara, Anna, and I were riveted by the story and the suspense (and the scenery, too). Lots of good actors, too, including Spencer Tracy, Lee Marvin, Walter Brennan, and Ernest Borgnine. Found out on Wikipedia it won 3 academy awards.

I've watched a lot of classics since I was kid. Some I really enjoyed include:

  • The Philadelphia Story
  • The Big Sleep
  • Key Largo
  • El Dorado
  • 12 Angry Men
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • White Christmas
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Charade
  • Rope
  • Ben Hur
  • The Thin Man
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • The Sound of Music
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Brigadoon

Friday, September 5, 2008

Political Links of a Random & Brief Nature

Here are 3 brief news items that caught my attention.

Jon Voight's a conservative! -- Actor Jon Voight on media bias: "There's a lot of conservatives in Hollywood, and I'm fortunate to know many of them." (1-minute video)

Oprah's not -- Oprah Winfrey not to have Gov. Sarah Palin on her show; but maybe after the election: She also blocked having Judge Clarence Thomas on her show last year to talk about his autobiography. (brief article)

Best quotes from the Republican National Convention: I only heard a few speeches (Rudy G., Gov. Palin, and both McCains), and I loved what I heard. I enjoyed these quotes from these and some I missed (like Thompson and Huckabee). (article)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Like Gov. Palin

I've got to tell you, I'm impressed with Gov. Sarah Palin. I was impressed with her record and with her family history when I first heard about her last Friday. And her speech last night was fantastic.

She spoke with confidence and poise. She looked and acted every bit an executive, someone used to governing. She appeared genuine and authentic. She could be gentle and compassionate on the one hand, and tough and unflinching on the other, depending the subject matter. She made her assertions with confidence, as one who believes what she says and not as one who says something because she thinks that's what her audience wants to hear. She was down-to-earth and relatively free of political jargon.

But I try not to be swayed just be a person's eloquence. If I were, I'd be voting for Sen. Obama. What I'm especially interested in is the content. And Gov. Palin is certainly conservative, probably more so than Sen. McCain. Way to go, Sen. McCain; good VP pick!

"But she's only 1 heartbeat away from the Oval Office!"

Well, I'd much rather have her in the Oval Office than Sen. Obama (or Sen. Biden).

By now you know from the media that Gov. Palin hit a grand slam with her speech Wednesday night. Apparently it impacted Sen. Obama powerfully as well. On Wednesday the Obama campaign said it would not go after Gov. Palin; they would let the Democratic bloggers do that. But they broke that promise once they heard Gov. Palin's speech.

I am looking forward to the vice presidential debate. Gov. Palin will definitely hold her own.

Christians Different Than Usual Hotel Guests

I receive a weekly email from Micah Clark of American Family Association of Indiana. This week's email featured the following news, the kind of which every true Christian likes to hear:

Creation Museum Guests Get A Reputation With Local Businesses
I have lots of friends at my church who took their families to the Cincinnati, Ohio area this summer to check out the new and one of a kind, multi-million-dollar Creation Museum. They aren’t the only ones. The museum recently celebrated its one-year anniversary and in that time, an estimated 400,000 people have come to see the center built by Answers in Genesis, far more than originally expected. This large influx of visitors and families has had an impact on local businesses, including a reputation. The director of sales at a nearby Country Inn and Suites told museum personnel, “Creation Museum guests are very different from our other guests . . . they are friendly and are respectful of hotel property, staff and other guests.” She also noted that the hotel staff are amazed at how many people pray before their meals and clean up their table or area afterwards. This report from hotel leaders is a great reminder that our everyday routine public behavior speaks louder than words.

I recommend subscribing to Micah Clark's weekly email. It usually contains only 2-3 articles and is "spot on."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

When the Church Conforms, She Has No Voice

... the fact [is] that the evangelical Church, for some time, has been slowly but inexorably stripping itself of its truth, doctrine, and discipline. In that process, it is stripping itself of the very things which would make it distinctive in this culture, those things that would give it a place from which to speak, and those things that would give it something to proclaim. So, while the cultural drift is one that is opening up a chasm between itself and Christian faith, Christians by their techniques for growth and their compromises with the spirit of the age are, in effect, trying to close that chasm in order to be successful!
--David Wells, Above All Earthly Pow'rs: Christ in a Postmodern World, p. 313-14

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Day a Dad Looks Forward to ...

... when he gets to teach his daughter how to shave.