Friday, April 30, 2010

Professional Organizer

The other night I came in the living room and Lorie was watching a show I'd never seen, Hoarders. It's about people who have so much stuff they can't move in their own house, barely even live.

To this lady's credit she got professional help and started to make progress. But I was thinking while watching it, the help this person got was from a "Professional Organizer", someone who has a full-time job of organizing people's things because they can't or won't do it themselves.

And I started to think, is that how lazy and affluent we are? There is nowhere else in the world you would ever hear of someone being able to make a living of organizing other people's stuff. Not even cleaning, just organizing. We have so much stuff we need help to figure out what shelf to put it on.

I don't know, it just struck me as weird. At Bible Study this week we talked about looking at things (like church) from an outsiders point of view, and I guess I was still in that mindset. What would an outsider of America think watching this...


Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Action Is Character"

It's a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald. For some reason I felt like posting it since it's something we've been talking about at Bible Study lately. It's not about what you believe in your head and your heart, it's about what you do. If you really believe something your actions should mirror that belief.

Smart guy that Fitzgerald. He should write more stuff...


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Playing Jeopardy

For some reason lately, it seems like I have listened to or talked with a lot of people playing jeopardy with how they think. I'll explain.

Jeopardy is a great game, but the premise is you know the answer and now you're looking for the question. And lately I've been listening to people who know the answer and are looking for the question.

Like last night, I watched that new History Channel show on Aliens. Smart, interesting, etc. But if you watch the interviews, the people are all the same. The answer is aliens, now we just have to find the proof/question. There's an ancient relic of a guy with a hood around his head and a backpack. According to these people, that's not it, the guy is wearing a space suit. That's the "only answer" (they said that phrase a few times).

Of course it's the only answer, it's the only answer you're using for all you do. But to be truly objective, you need to look at the question and see all the different possible answers.

The problem is people are doing this in their lives too. This job is the answer, that person is the answer, this thing is the answer, this action is the answer and the problem becomes that they no longer look for other solutions but try to fit that one thing into any question that comes along.

Many times there's not one answer. Sometimes there's only one, but it's not the one you have. I know a writer who when he has a problem he forces himself to come up with 15 solutions, mainly because he's learned if number 2 sounds good, he'll go with it and stop the process, but if he keeps going past number 2, no matter how good it sounds, he might find number 13 will work better.

Smart guy, and a smart way to live. At least, that's my answer...


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Empty Churches

I was reading a little by Dan Kimball last night (he's a big emerging church guy) and he said something that I had never thought about but was so obvious I feel dumb for missing it.

All the time we talk about change at our church. We're even possibly in the midst of a big change. And all the time people want to keep things the way they are. Inevitably though, if things don't change, that means no new people and an empty church.

"But that will never happen to us" we say. "We still have people in churches and there are new churches and mega churches and all sorts of things." That's true. For now. What Dan pointed out that made me shake Lorie and tell her this is good stuff was this. To think a little longer down the road.

His example was European churches. Those big, wonderful, ornate, amazing buildings. A few hundred years ago those were thriving groups of Jesus-followers who gave to their church and community in such ways they built those big beautiful buildings. And now, they sit empty Sundays. During the week they are full, only because they now are nothing more than tourist attractions.

That phrase "those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it" keeps going through my mind. I hope we in America are not so arrogant to think it can never happen to us. Those who live like it will never happen to them, it usually ends up happening.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Reason For Recession?

Sorry, but I read this on the weekend and it made my head hurt. In 2004, the reported losses for gambling in America was $78 billion.

78 billion dollars!? Is that not insane to anyone else? And that's just reported, that doesn't include friendly wagers here and there. Think about it, that's an average of $260 per person, and that's just if everyone gambled (and reported it). So for people like me who don't gamble...

Sorry, that number's just staggering. We could end world poverty 4 times with that much money.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Thomas' Bad Rap

There's a piece of my heart that goes out to the apostle Thomas. He's forever named "Doubting Thomas" because he said he wouldn't believe Jesus rose again until he saw it for himself.

Yet, this same guy, he was one of the first ones to follow Jesus wherever He went. There's a famous story people know, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. However, what a lot of people don't realize is Lazarus lived in an area where the religious people did not like Jesus and wanted to kill Him. So when Lazarus died and Jesus wanted to go visit, all the disciples said no. They wanted nothing to do with that, they were scared for their lives. All except one.

Thomas was the only one who said "Let's go. If Jesus dies we die with Him."

That doesn't sound like a very doubtful attitude to me. That sounds like someone with a lot of confidence in Jesus and who He says He is. Maybe more of us need to be that "doubtful" in our lives. We'd probably see Jesus do a lot more if we were willing to follow Him when no one else will...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Too Stupid

There are times where I hear stories about people and wonder how they manage to tie their shoes in the morning. Here's one of them, and it kind of relates back to the April Fool's Post.

Disney has a policy in all their parks. No one over the age of nine is allowed to dress up. It helps avoid confusion between who work at the park and who doesn't. A fair policy if you ask me.

Well, the other day a woman showed up at Disneyland Paris with her daughter, both dressed up as princesses. The woman was wearing her wedding dress and Mickey ears. Security saw her, asked her to step out of line, politely explained the problem and asked her to change or else she would not be allowed into the park.

This woman gets upset. How dare they do this to her. How dare they have this rule.

The sad part, already I'm on Disney's side, it's a safety issue. But here's where it gets worse. The woman tells the security guards she had heard this rule. Wait, what? She new the rule? Apparently she had phoned and asked the park if she could dress up with her daughter and they said no for the reasons above.

So she knew the rule! Why did she show up anyway? Because she had called on April Fool's Day and figured it must be a joke and dressed up anyway. And here's the kicker. Now she's demanding an apology from Disney.

Okay, seriously?! This is one of the many problems with the world. Everyone cannot do everything they want, it's just not feasible. So we have a rule here for the safety of the millions of children who visit Disney Parks, a rule that this woman had explained to her personally over the phone before visiting the park, and she still did whatever she wanted and wants an apology for not being allowed to act like a seven year old.

What if we looked at the rules, understood they were the safety of many people and don't apply to just us, and then follow them, how much easier would things go? Just a thought.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Give Them Something To Believe In

I don't think it's a secret that there are many people out there who don't believe there is a God or that Jesus is the Son of God and can forgive us of our sins, etc. Well, people didn't believe it when Jesus walked the earth Himself, but here was His answer to the nay-sayers.

John 10:36b-38 ~ I am the one God chose and sent into the world. If I don’t do what my Father does, then don’t believe Me. But if I do what My Father does, even though you don’t believe in Me, believe what I do. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father.” (NCV)

Even if people don't believe in what you believe, let them believe in what you do. Give them something to believe in. Faith should be visible in your life, let it be. Act in a way so you give people something to believe in, you may be surprised at how it works.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Communication = Growth

Sorry it's been a while, Lorie and I were on vacation. Apparently she loves the ocean...

Okay, so today I was listening to one of the radio stations I usually do at work. It's fun because it's Disneyworld music (like the stuff you hear waiting in line, it's always happy and upbeat). While listening yesterday the "Spaceship Earth" ride at EPCOT was on. The full 20 minute ride. It was fun to listen to it and try to remember what was going on.

But the big key was this. I noticed something for the ride, I just hadn't really thought about it. The entire ride it about man's progress throughout the centuries. And here's the kicker. Every time we move forward, it ties back to communication. We leaped forward when we had a system of mathematics to communicate amounts to each other, we moved forward with the movable type press, the telephone, the internet. Every leap forward we take ties back to our improvement in communication.

So as you're at school, work, whatever it is, if you want to get further ahead, think about how you can communicate better. After all, Jesus is the prime example of this. For hundreds of years God communicated through priests and prophets, then He came and spoke to us Himself and opened up the lines of prayer for everyone to speak to Him directly. And relationships with God have never been the same...


Saturday, April 10, 2010


This weekend at Drink Deep we're doing a two week series on what Jesus said after the resurrection.

There's a common theme that hopefully the students will pick up on. It's "go". Go and make disciples; as Jesus was sent, so are we; feed God's sheep (which we have to go to the sheep to do). So if go is taught by Jesus so much after His resurrection right before He left, why do we like "stay" so much?

btw, if you want some verses, Matt. 28:19-20, John 20, 19-23, John 21:15-19 for a few...


Friday, April 09, 2010

Is It Still Easter?

Take a look around, listen to people talk, think about what's important. Now think about this for me (if you will), is it still Easter?

Jesus rose from the dead and gave us new life, an amazing thing. And on Sunday, all the churchy talk, prayers, attitudes reflected that, simply because it was a date where we celebrate that. It's almost a week later, are we still celebrating?


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Not Mine

Sorry, but this happened Sunday and it made me laugh. Two children, siblings of course, were playing in the gym and somehow a piece of garbage appeared on the ground. What's even more amazing is it must have come from an alien who disappeared because when asked to pick it up, both kids, "Not Mine."

Why is it that so many things aren't ours but appear magically? Or even more so, why when asked to do something that we may not want to do, even if it's easy and takes five seconds, we are quick to explain that it is not our responsibility and therefor should not be our job? Why not just do the little things to help out whoever left it or has to clean it up?

Just a thought. Apparently we're teaching kids this... What will the world look like in a few years when they're adults and everything is "not mine"...?


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Why Is It So Popular?

I read a familiar section of the Bible it other day. It's found at the beginning on John 8. You may know it, it's a story of a woman caught in adultery and Jesus tells the people who want to stone her that the one without sin can throw the first rock. They all walk away, Jesus tells the woman she is forgiven and to go and sin no more.

The thing that baffles me is this story is not accepted by all scholars. In some early copies of John's Gospel this story doesn't appear. Yet, it's probably the most used story of all time. Every Easter play I've ever seen uses it in some way. One of Jesus' most famous quotes is "go and sin no more".

So if it's so "maybe" in the Bible, why is it so popular? Is it because it shows the true heart of Jesus? Is it because it is the best example of how we should not judge others, not throw the first rock? Is it because it shows we can all be forgiven and shows that true repentance is not just being sorry but stopping our sin?

So many questions...


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Do We Ever Miss It?

Growing up in church my whole life, going to Bible College and Seminary, I have heard a lot of arguing about what one little piece of Scripture means. I don't know if it's comforting or worrisome to see it happened with people around Jesus too.

John 7:40-43 ~ When the people heard Jesus’ words, some of them said, “This man really is the Prophet.” Others said, “He is the Christ.”Still others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee. The Scripture says that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived.” So the people did not agree with each other about Jesus. (NCV)

We should all know this one, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. If the people had only done a little more research and made sure they knew what they were talking about, they would all agree. And yet, instead they decided to argue over who was right instead of looking to see the whole story.

And then after, they try to grab Jesus again and can't (but how?!)


Friday, April 02, 2010

What That Must Have Been Like

There are certain verses in the Bible I wish I could have seen. It just would make things so much easier in my mind. Here's one I mean:

John 7:30 ~ When Jesus said this, they tried to seize Him. But no one was able to touch Him, because it was not yet the right time. (NCV)

What does that mean?! Did Jesus manage to get a crowd in front of Him so they couldn't get near Him? Did He become like air and the people's hands went through Him? Did Jesus make some sort of force field and people were trying to get to Him but bouncing off some invisible energy wall?

I know, I'm probably going places in my imagination that didn't happen, but how are you unable to "seize someone" when they are right in front of you? Crazy...


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Happy April Fool's Day

I don't know why, but for some reason you can mess with people however you want today and all you have to do to get away with it is say "April Fool's". I don't know why, but I like it! Have a good one!