State of BE..

Be different…Be countercultural…Be revolutionary…Be brave…Be second or third…Be thoughtful…Be challenging…Be introspective…Be friendly…Be out there…Be challenging…Be unafraid…Be loving…Be thankful…Be happy…Be encouraging…Be focused…Be End!

The Importance of Women

One of the themes that I want to explore over the next while is the role of women in church and society. Let me be upfront about this highly charged and confrontational subject: I am a major proponent of increasing the role of women in all aspects of our lives (especially leadership). I will be the first to say that this was not always the case with me, but the more I think, read and discuss the subject, the more I am convinced that we need a greater and more varied presence of women across our society. Inside the church, we can argue biblical interpretation about women leading, but for every one verse against, there is one or more for. Jesus showed clearly that he valued women when he invested so much of his life in Mary, Martha and a whole host of other women who proved to be faithful disciples that ministered to Jesus even after death. Additionally, who did Jesus first appear to? Who was the first to utter “Jesus is alive”? Yes, you guessed it, a woman. If Jesus entrusted a woman with the important task of carrying the good news of his resurrection, we perhaps could also do the same. But I don’t want to stop at the church walls, I would like to carry this conversation beyond the church and explore it in a fuller context. More later…

Choices and the Christian

Welcome to The Barna Group!

Very interesting data (though nothing new) on the Barna site today. “Born Again Christians are just as likely to get divorced as non Christians.” I am still working through the reasoning, but let me take a stab. Christianity is a zero sum game. Yesterday’s score does not matter, only today’s. This cuts both ways of course. Yesterday’s failures can be forgiven and forgotten (good for us.) Yesterday’s heroic deeds can be just as easily forgotten. (not so good for us.)

Take this a step further. Are you more concerned about what God will do for you tomorrow or what God did for you yesterday? We are forward looking and so is God. Okay, there is the groundwork.

Now what about this divorce thing? Every single day we must wake up and choose between God and ourselves. Each day we are given the opportunity, completely independent of what happened yesterday, to do good or not good (also called “bad” in the prepolitcally correct society.) While it is true that Christians have more weapons in this daily battle, the fact of the matter remains the same. We all must choose each day whether we are going to follow God or someone else.

So…just because a person is a born again believer does not mean that they will avoid poor choices in the future. The stock brokerage industry is fond of saying ‘past performance is no indication of future performance’. This goes for the believer as well.

Can we make good choices? Does God want us to make good choices? Is it possible to live without poor choices? Yes, yes and yes!! Here comes the but…this is only possible with God’s help. When we turn our back on God and the power of the Holy Spirit, we Christians are just as susceptible (maybe more) to making poor choices.

So does it suprise me about the divorce rate? No. Does it sadden me? Absolutely.

And let me go on to say that before we judge anyone Christian or non-Christian, let us be sure we have the full story. How many people in our society are hurt each day because we recklessly jump to conclusions without walking in their shoes? That is not my intent in this post. My intent is to call all of us to make good choices about not only marriage but career, relationships and a host of other important things in our lives.

To Think or Not?

With all of this political swirl hitting us over the last month, I am particularly amazed at the lack of anything remotely resembling details. The communication from the political groups is so very predictable and uninteresting. When will we hear the real meat of the issues concerning poverty, education, terrorism and the economy? Or, have we heard all we care to hear? It may be my imagination at work, but I think that if we truly cared about the details then the candidates would provide them at least occasionally. But do we want to dig, think, and come to our own conclusions or are we satisfied to make judgments based on soundbites and appearances? This goes much deeper than simply politics. Too often, I find myself drawn to making convenient conclusions with only a partial representation of the facts. I find myself much more willing to read a newspaper, magazine, or website rather than make the effort with a novel. Perhaps it is because of the overload of information available in our society? Perhaps it is our hectic lifestyles that do not allow for reflection? One think I do know, relating to God is a reflective, thoughtful, all inclusive experience. If we are to intimantly know the One Holy God, then we must be willing to immerse ourselves in the things of God. No shortcuts, no soundbites, no quick appearances will substitute for the lifelong journey that a rich relationship with God requires. Drink long, often and deeply from God’s well my friends.

Cowboys Win, Vinny’s Old

My Cowboys looked okay last night. It is so tough to tell much with all the second teamers playing for both sides. However, there was one thing that I picked up on right away. If I heard it once, I heard it 40 times that Vinny Testaverde is old! If the announcers weren’t calling him old they were calling him veteran. Okay, come up with something more insightful. These guys get paid a lot of money to announce a game and all they can come up with is “old” and “veteran”. How about telling us more about Vinny’s legendary workout program? Or maybe talk about how Vinny didn’t let anyone tell him he couldn’t play anymore? This guy is inspirational to be competing in a young man’s game at the age of 40. Vinny’s story conveys the power of laser focus, perserverance, and hard work that is available to anyone who chooses to use it. These are lessons for all of us whether we are athletes, business people or students. Good things take a lot of work, they take a lot of focus, and we probably will fail more than succeed.