Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ten Things I Think I Think: August 29th

Peter King, a sportswriter for Sports Illustrated, is one of my favorite columnists. Each week in his "Monday Morning Quarterback", one of his features is "Ten Things I Think I Think", which are essentially nine subjects associated with football, and one subject non-related. Here's my first stab (with apoligizes to Peter King).

10) Every time I think it might be a good idea to pray for everyone dealing with the aftermath of Katrina right now. Please contact the Red Cross to see what you can do help alieviate the suffering on the gulf coast right now.

9) I was definitely not happy with my sermon Sunday. My mom summed it up best at lunch yesterday when she said, "I thought the ending was good!". My sentiments exactly.

8) I think that Pat Robertson has become an easy target for the mainstream media. As the world continues to change, and his worldview does not, the result is a story like the one last week. Already saw a bumper sticker lampooning his somewhat misplaced comment (WWJA - Who Would Jesus Assasinate?). I think Pat and Jerry Falwell (the guy who defended Apartied and the people keeping that system in place) have done plenty over the years to make Christians look more than a little bit kooky. While it's easy to say something you immediately regret when you talk for a living, the results of numerous "misquotes" like this one don't seem to be slowing these guys down, or erode their support base. Here's hoping that new voices will begin to be heard in the mainstream, that reflect a more moderate, sensible Christian perspective.

7a) I think Rick Warren is quickly becoming one of these new voices. Was facinated by the brief article in "Time" on Rick Warren's efforts to help the President of Rwanda turn that country into a "Purpose Driven Nation". Warren has become very well-connected through the sales of his latest book, and as a result, is using those connections to help Rwandan leaders learn new leadership strategies, raise the standard of living of impoverished Rwandans, and help the country open itself to Western markets. Because the nation is already overwhelming Christian (but still divided by tribal differences), the hope is that Warren's teachings will be accepted, put into place, and have an immediate effect (18 months is target for a few of the goals, which is pretty ambitious for a local church, let alone a nation). Between this work, giving away the profits from his best-selling book, and his efforts to work with the "One" campaign (ending global poverty), I must say that Pastor Warren is building the kind of integrity necessary to command an audience.

7b) I think other voices I'd like to start hearing include Andy Hamilton, Bruxy Cavey, Kirbyjon Caldwell, Brian McClaren, and Rob Bell Jr. Hey cable programmers, you've got about a billion hours of progamming to fill... why not knock on one these guy's doors?

6) I think that past memories are powerful motivators. Back in the old days, when I was the youth pastor here at Shawnee UMC (Bryan V1.0), we used to do a "Rockathon" to help raise money for the youth ministry related activities. The kids in the youth group now, who were in grade school at the time, asked if they could "reclaim" the Rockathon as one of their events this year. Who would have thought that something so mundane as rocking in a chair for 24 hours would stick out so clearly in those young minds? Just goes to show the impact you have on children.... Charles Barkley was wrong - we're all role models.

5) Here's a link (www.christianitytoday.com/le/2005/003/4.62.html) to an article lifted from the book, "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. The article, detailing the idea that a small group of Christians had for setting up a "Confessional Booth" on the campus of Reed College (named by the Princeton Review as the place where students are most likely to ignore God), is the centerpiece of the book.

4) I hope that this Thursday, when I'm on WLIO at 6am, promoting the "Back to School Blessing", I don't say something patently stupid. Let's just say that I'm not a morning person.

3) I think that "Dinner With a Perfect Stranger" is one of the more facinating, and interesting reads out there right now. It's kind of "under the radar" right now, but I don't think it will be for long. Check it out.

2) I think that golf is the most maddening sport in the history of sports. Even with all the advanced in equipment, and golf clubs equipped with heads the size of Delaware, there are so many different factors for error, that finding a groove as someone learning to play in his thirties is an impossible task. I usually pick up new sports pretty quickly, but I think I've met my match. Every time I play another round, it's like trying wrestle a grizzly bear.

1) I think I feel really bad for the family of Darren Potuck. Darren is currently in the midst of a divorce from his wife, Contemporary-Christian singer, Jaci Velasquez. I had the pleasure of working with Darren's younger brother, Michael, in the youth ministry at Goshen First UMC. Mike is just a solid young man, and I know that his faith is the product of two very faithful parents. Divorce is hard, but in the Christian music scene, it can be brutal. I'll be keeping them all, Darren, Jaci, and their families, in my prayers.

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