Thursday, July 30, 2009
"The New Testament proclaims that at some unforeseeable time in the future God will ring down the final curtain on history, and there will come a Day on which all our days and all the judgments upon us and all our judgments upon each other will themselves be judged. The judge will be Christ. In other words, the one who judges us most finally will be the one who loves us most fully." - Frederick Buechner
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I have pondered this problem from different perspectives. Is this a case of wishful thinking? Think positive, cool thoughts and maybe it will happen. Ignore the heat and maybe it will go away. Or, is this some kind of teaser? "In our beautiful lobby it is always 72 pleasant degrees, so come on in where it's nice and comfortable." Or, could this be a timely lesson on consistency, sort of like the mailman? "Rain, sleet, or snow . . . scorching heat or high humidity, we just keep going and keep cool, 72 degrees." Or, maybe, just maybe, the stupid sign is broken.
I tried to make a joke about it to the teller in the drive through. Apparently, I was not the first guy to mention the 72 degrees, maybe not in the first thousand people who pointed out the problem. My teller had lost her sense of humor about the sign several weeks before. Can't say I blame her.
What do you think? Maybe there is a helpful lesson here for us, something about life and faith. Someone suggested that many Christians today suffer from a form of spiritual malaria, going back and forth from fever to chills, red hot for God one day and cold as ice the next, up and down, hot and cold, with no consistent, steady commitment to keep them healthy and on track. Maybe the best thing we can do is seek to follow Christ, strong and steady, no matter our circumstances, with little or with much, in calm or in crisis, whether suffering or celebrating, just following Jesus no matter what each new day brings to us.
Spirit of God, set my heart upon you and set my thermostat to 72 degrees, no matter how hot it gets or how the wind blows.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Then, it occurred to me that Tillie and Kristen are really just two different stages of the same person. Kristen is a young Tillie just getting started with God's call reverberating in her soul. And Tillie is a more mature Kristen having invested her gifts and her years in fruitful Kingdom work.
Two of a kind. Isn't it just like the Lord to bring these two faithful women together for a summer to serve side by side?
Monday, July 6, 2009
I appreciate your prayers as we travel and serve together.
Friday, July 3, 2009
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. - Edward R. Murrow
"My country, right or wrong" is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying "My mother, drunk or sober." - G. K. Chesterton
In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - H. L. Mencken
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are two visions of America. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, hostile to science, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America as a religious nation. It views patriotism as allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom.
The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution and in the leaders of this nation who embraced the age of reason. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces science and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism as love of country and of the people who make it strong. It defends all citizens against unjust coercion and irrational conformity.
This second vision is our vision. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies. - Rabbi Sherwin Wine