Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hating Serving

Okay, the title may be misleading making you think I hate serving. Well, we all do to a degree. This is from something I read today, Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline":

More than any other single way the grace of humility is worked into our lives is through the Discipline of service... Nothing disciplines the inordate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition.

After reading that I had to stop and come here. How True! It's one thing to get someone to help volunteer and serve, but man, ask them to do it and tell them no one will ever know about what they did or why? Never happen. For most people the only reason do something good is so others will know they did something good.

It reminds me of Friends where Joey tells Pheobe there's no such thing as an unselfish good deed because even if you do a good deed, you still feel good about it, or better yet, know that you made someone else feel good. Take it a step further. What about feeling good about it because the other person knows you did it for them?

Agree or not, the original statement is true that it's hard to serve and harder to do it in secret. Disagree with that? I have some stuff for you to do then...

"Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. Whoever wants to become the first among you must serve all of you like a slave. In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people.” - Jesus from Mark 10:43b - 45

Thursday, December 14, 2006


So the other day Lorie was sick and since we drove to work together, I got to come home early. Trying to help Lorie get to sleep we decided to watch afternoon TV, usually really easy to do the job since your only choices are Dr. Phil, Maury, and "Mama's Stories". So we flipped around and for the first time in months Maury Povich was not asking some guy "Are you her baby's daddy?" Instead they were talking about 120 lb. 4-year-olds. Much better.

But we stopped for a second because they were interviewing a dietician who said something that hit me right away. Someone asked if eating a carrot cancels out eating a cookie. Isn't that the stupidest thing you've ever heard? You just ate 5000 calories, but you cancel it out by eating an apple. Ludicrous. The dietician had to explain that no, good does not cancel out bad. Good = good and bad = bad, no matter what.

This is the part that hit me though. How often do we do that in our spiritual lives? I said something I shouldn't have, I'll pray five minutes more to make up for it. I thought something bad about someone, better go say three Hail Mary's. Our spiritual diet is just like our physical diet. Fifteen minutes of Bible reading does not counteract a half hour of kicking puppies (I don't know why I always use kicking puppies as an example for sin, just work with me here). Sin = sin, just like bad food = bad for you. If you want a good physical diet, you simply have to cut out all the bad food and exercise. Likewise, for your spiritual diet, eat good food, cut out the bad, and exercise your spiritual muscles through serving and sharing the Gospel, etc.

Mind you I'm writing this while living in one of the most obese nations on earth... Physically and spiritually...


Sunday, December 10, 2006

We Think We Know It All

Sorry it's been a while, but I think you'll like this.

So I'm reading the news today, all fine and dandy. I had something else I was going to blog about tonight, but then this hit my eye. It was just too much to pass up.

As we all know, scientists know everything, they tell us that all the time. Even if they don't know their guesses are right. Well, one of the facts they have told us about is there are creatures they have found that are literally millions of years old. They date them and tell us they went extinct oh so long ago. Like this one I read in AOL news today:

"An underwater peak in the Coral Sea was home to a type of shrimp thought to have gone extinct 50 million years ago."

So, it's not really extinct. It's been here all along, we just couldn't find it. And since we couldn't find it, that means it must have died off long, long ago, otherwise, that would make us look a little dumb. Kinda like now.

When will we realize we don't know everything...?


Monday, December 04, 2006

So Who's The Good Guy?

It's something I've been thinking about the last few days. Matt (Liz's husband) and I talked a little about it (we have a liking to the same show which got me thinking about it, but again, I'm off topic).

How do good guys know their good guys? It's a valid question. Start small. You play on a soccer team. Your team thinks they deserve to win the game. But the guys on the other team also think they deserve to win the game. To you, you are the good guys, but to the other team they are the good guys.

Get bigger. What political party are you? Republicans think they are the good guys, that they are making all the right decisions and the other political parties are, well not bad, but not as good. But Democrats think they're the good guys, that they are what's best for the country.

Still bigger. Winston Churchill led Britain through World War II. He's a good guy, right? Martin Luther King taught us peace and caring for each other despite the color of our skin, also a good guy. Hey, let's go with Moses, knew God better than any other human being. Good guy. But, Hitler thought he was a good guy. In his mind he was doing what's right. Stalin believed he was doing what was best, in his mind a good guy. Atilla the Hun, Mussolini, Nero, all believed they were the "good guy".

So then how do you know if you're a "good guy"?

It obviously can't be how you feel, because almost everyone who does anything believes they are doing it for some sort of good, no matter how out of whack that "good" is. So you feel like you're a good guy? Good for you. You're equal with Hitler. How do you really know if you're good or not? How do you base your actions to know if they are "good"? Wouldn't you need some sort of role model to aim for, some sort of rule or measuring stick to know what good is, something or someone truly "good" to be able to measure yourself up against?

So who would that be...?


Friday, December 01, 2006

Smashing A Wii...

Okay, I just watched this and still don't know how I feel about it. There's just too many variables.

Basic run down. These two guys see that Nintendo's new Wii is coming out. They wait in line, buy one, then take it outside and smash it in front of everyone else waiting. That's basically their lives. Some people applaud them, some hate them. They've done it for most major new pieces of technology (PS3, X360, iPods, etc.). Are they idiots? Here's where it gets interesting.

The first reaction is to say they are idiots. They wasted money on something they weren't going to keep. They wasted time in line (apparently they have no lives) and they take away something from somebody who would appreciate it (they ran out, so of course, people went home without them, while these guys smashed one). It just seems mean. They're tormenting people for no reason.

But then you wonder, is there a reason? Some people say they are trying to show the world how materialistic we've become. A new video game. Oooo. And we wait in line and pay hundreds of dollars for it. Is that our society in a nutshell? I'm guessing other countries feel that way. Plus, you've got the added bonus that they received tons of hatemail before they even did it, showing how people hate for something they really shouldn't even care about. It's not your time or your money, if they waste it, so be it.

But I have a third opinion. They're geniuses. Far and away geniuses. Why? They make a website dedicated to this stuff. They're famous. The story was featured on AOL (how I found out about it). Millions of people know who they are now. And as for the money they spent, they raised it at their website. They had people send in donations for them to buy something to smash. They're website reported that they made slightly more than the Wii cost, but they could be lying about it. They could have made more money waiting in line than you make in a month. Who knows? Then, to see all the emotions they raised over something so trivial. Unbelievable.

So here are my thoughts. Let things go. People who have never met them, never talked to them, never knew why they were doing it, all they knew was someone wanted to smash a video game system so they sent hatemail. Are we really so insecure or love our first amendment so much that if someone does something out of whack with our views we have to curse them for it? Reminds me of "Trading Spouses" tonight. I may talk more about that later...