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Archive for May, 2009

Things that make you say, ‘hmmm’

May 31, 2009 16 comments

Let us suppose that a church holds the following two policies:

  1. Women cannot teach adult classes that are co-ed.
  2. Only approved curriculum is allowed to be taught in said classes.

Now let’s assume the curriculum that is being taught was written by a woman.

Does that present a problem? How would you handle this situation?

This is not a question about whether women should teach or not but about whether this situation causes a clash of desires for this institution.

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There’s No F In Weigh

May 29, 2009 9 comments

I quite whole-hardily agree with the title of my post.  You can’t argue with the logic that it states… at least not in a sane manner.  But say it aloud and you  may get a completely different vibe from the statement.

For example:  let’s suppose  a young woman who has just had a baby decides to step onto the scales for the first time following her pregnancy.  You may hear her speak my title in an exasperated manner and wonder why she is so excited about that machinery’s function.  You might suppose her to be a tad insane for lecturing the scale about correct spelling in such an adamant way.

Ok.  So this is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it brings me to the point of my post.  There are many things that seem different when read versus when they are said aloud.  A person who carries themself with great authority could say the most assanine thing and people will buy it hook, line, and sinker where if someone with less clout had said it OR if they had merely read it, they would have dismissed it summarily.

I am worried that we are becoming a people that know what the bible says only through what other people have said about it instead of knowing what is in it through the act of reading it.

I am convinced that across any country that holds regular Sunday services with a sermon and a bible study that there would be many people who, if they brought their bible and were holding the teacher/preacher accountable to it, would whisper under their breaths,

There’s NO F in Weigh!

The sad thing is that curriculum has replaced the bible in many churches.  The reasons for using the curriculum are varied but the one that is most worrisome in my mind is this: the people teaching do not have a firm grip on the material that they are delivering and have to use the curriculum as a crutch. (NOTE: please do not interpret this as a hard-line stance against using curriculum as a help in ministry).

I think the bible has something to say about what happens when the blind lead the blind.  You may want to read Matthew 15 because it also has something to say about people who teach the precepts of man as if it were doctrine.  Hmmm… I could go into a longer post about Topical Teaching here, but I better not.  Go read it for yourself.

Here is my question to you: What are we supposed to do when things appear to be branching away from what the bible teaches?

All Sex Public Showers in Columbus, Ohio

May 28, 2009 3 comments

I bet that title has you thinking.  Don’t worry, its true.  It really happened and it happened last night.

Here is how it went down.

Our men’s group decided that it was time to get out from behind a table and put some legs to what we have been discussing –  that being our involvement in the discipleship of our families.  But we didn’t want to do it the old fashioned way which is to sit everyone around a table, read some verses, and then ask them how that made them feel.  Instead we chose to take them to a minor league baseball game.  Columbus, Ohio is home to the Clippers and is very close to where we live and attend church.

You may be wondering what baseball has to do with family discipleship.  Here are a couple of thoughts for you to consider.  At one point, baseball used to be considered America’s favorite sport.  It is a game that has nuances that have to be explained and considered like the double-switch, what count is a good count to throw a change-up or a curve ball, when should the reliever come in, and the suicide squeeze.  Most people who have no understanding of the game may find the pace of baseball to be boring because there is not enough action to entertain them.

Baseball is a thinking game that involves training and time to learn all the ins-and-outs.

Someone needs to take the novice by the hand and spend time with them explaining what is happening and why the people are doing what they are doing.  Doesn’t that sound a lot like what  family discipleship should be? But, alas, we live in a society that’s wants the visceral entertainment that is supplied by 2 guys, who each weigh 300 pounds, hitting each other as they try to get a ball over a goal line.  I am not saying that there isn’t a place for it but it needs to be balanced with activities that  engage our intellect as well.

Think about it – do people going to church resemble more the football crowd mentality or the baseball crowd mentality?

Anyway, we took our families to watch a baseball game last night.  There were men and women of all shapes and sizes in attendance which brings me to the public shower bit of this post.  Around about the 6th inning, the storm clouds started rolling in on the back of a westerly wind.   And all of a sudden the skies just let loose.  We, the public, were all standing or sitting together in this spring shower.  Some of the people started running for shelter, others pulled out umbrellas, and there were some of us that just decided to wait it out.

You know, in the midst of our desires to raise our families in a way that is structured and wholesome, there are going to be times that things just don’t go as we expect.  The storms of life are going to blow in and catch us by surprise….maybe we even see them approaching and hope that they stay away.  There are times that we are going to need to turn to some shelter and there are some storms that we are going to be prepared for because we planned ahead and brought our ‘umbrella’.  But there will also be those times that we will just weather the storm and having come through it, we will be able to look back and see that it added to our experience instead of taking away from it.

I sure enjoyed spending time with my family last night.  We got a little wet but that was ok because the storm just added to our story.  The Clippers went on to finish the game and won 6 to 4 but the real win was with my home team.  We are all looking forward to going back again.  Maybe I can find a way to make family discipleship just like that.

Oh My, I gotta Sty, In My Eye

May 27, 2009 6 comments

The body is a weird thing sometimes. Or maybe, more accurately, what happens to the body is a weird thing.  I woke up Tuesday morning with my right eye swollen.  Well, not my eye but the baggy area that exists under the eye.  It went from looking like a polite overnight case to an entire family’s vacation luggage.

It looked like there was a ‘head’ on my lower eye lid… kinda like a zit?  So when I got home from work I asked my wife to see if she could pluck that sucker outta there.  I had hoped that doing this would help unpack some of the baggage.  It actually accomplished two things: my wife got the heebie jeebies trying to get her nails that close to my eye and following this delicate but savage surgical procedure, my eye looked worse.

This morning when I looked in the mirror it appeared that the family had bought half of Orlando’s souvenirs and packed them into the carry-on under my eye.

Don’t worry though, I have a great comment for those people who give me a sympathetic smile and ask me what happened.

My wife punched me.

Conversation over and back to work…. and everyone is now afraid of my wife.

Love Movies & Theaters but Hate the Movie-Going Experience

May 26, 2009 8 comments

Over this past Memorial day weekend I took my family to two movies.. at the theater.  There is something mesmerizing about the giant screen and the surround sound that makes the theater the best place to see a sci-fi or action movie.  Those are the good things about going to the movies.

There are a few things that take away from the movie-going experience though:

  • Long previews.  I was so tired after 30 minutes of previews that I fell asleep during Night at the Museum #2
  • Sticky floors and seats.  My phone fell below my seat during Star Trek and I had to go boldly into unexplored territory.  I think I still have some foreign substances under my nails.  There was definitely alien life under my seat… no question.
  • People and their food.  I always get the guy with plastic wrapped candy and the 45 gallon popcorn to sit down behind so that I can enjoy his additional sound track during the movie.  Nothing like hearing chewing during a quiet, intense scene.
  • Late Arrivers.  We have to show up early to shows in order to make sure we can get at least one companion seat next to a wheelchair slot otherwise people fill all those seats and Lauren has to sit by herself.  Star Trek was in a small theater so my wife and I had to sit in the row behind our daughters because we could not all get companion seats.  Sitting behind them kept us close so that we could interact with them.  A family of about 6 came in about 25 minutes into the previews and after taking seats asked my wife and I if we would be willing to move so that they could all sit together.

All-in-all, I would much rather watch a movie at home but it sure is hard to create that kind of movie-going-experience …. 😉

What are your pet peeves about the movie-going experience?

My Twisted Mind

May 23, 2009 5 comments

I have lots of time to think on my drive home each evening which gives me time to think of some weird questions.  Like this following sequence:

Who ultimately is responsible for church growth?  Think about, why are some churches so huge that they can ‘afford’ to have dozens of people on staff while other churches are so small that the pastor has to be bi-vocational in order to keep it going? 

Should the little churches just close down and join the big churches? 

Or, how about this?

If God is responsible for the big churches doing so well then do they have a responsibility to help support the smaller churches?

Having been the son of a pastor who had to work a ‘secular’ job in order to afford to be the pastor of a small church, I have life experience in what it means to do without.  We were the boys whose clothing came from local yard sales or the Salvation Army.  We very seldom went out to eat and if we did it was to a McDonalds… those were the days we were living big!

And yet, there were churches in the same town whose pastor’s children were the best dressed and went on great vacations.

Was it meant to be this way?  That God would pour His riches on some churches and withhold it from others?  Or did He mean for their to be a bigger collective that helped each other? 

That first church in Acts seemed to have something different.  It said that the people’s needs were met because they each sacrificed for the other.

Even Paul did some work to support himself and wrote about carrying one church’s offerings to another.

Sometimes I wonder if we just don’t have a clue and make our logic fit to the God we want.  Or maybe we are just too callous to notice that we practice an us versus them ecclesiology.

Or, maybe I just have a twisted way of questioning things.

A Very Serious Silly Question

May 21, 2009 47 comments

Some time ago, I was in the middle of a discussion that was concentrated on where and when we read books.  I have books all over my house that I am reading or longing to read.  And yes, one of the places that I have books is the ‘library’ – that room where the throne stands alone.  Or does it sit?

Anyway, I mentioned that I did a lot of reading in the ‘library’ and my friend Kenny made a statement about how he wouldn’t read the Bible while on the throne.  He said that it just didn’t seem right to do so.

Ok.  So here are my questions:

Do you think its inappropriate to read the bible while sitting on the throne? Why or why not?

And what other activities would be inappropriate to do while reading the bible?

AND…… GO!