1) I think I fell asleep during the NCAA Championship last night during overtime. Don't tell me college basketball is better than the NBA. Any team that plays a gimmicky defense like a "Box-And-One" shouldn't be a national champion.
2) I think spring is here! Thank goodness or things would have gotten ugly around here.
3) I think right now I'm looking for a vehicle that seats seven. In the last week I've looked at a Buick Rendezvous, a Ford Conversion Van, a Ford Expedition, numerous minivans, and the occasional Chevy Suburban. Just more proof that we've got one big family.
4) I think that after school my boys have been living on the trampoline in our backyard. They've also been going to bed earlier while sleeping sounder. Is there a connection? I think so.
5) I think all the rhetoric right now in the city of Lima over issues of race is unearthing a deep wound in the community. The racial divisions here are very real. The question is how to begin to mend the divide. My guess? A whole lot less grandstanding, and a whole lot more prayer and discussion among the lot of us who will never see our names in the newspaper.
6) I think I had a brainstorm while watching TV a couple of nights ago. During a commercial for Target, the company trumpeted the fact that 5% of all their sales was channeled back into the community through donations to local agencies and non-profits. They're tithing their sales at a rate of 5%. Hence, I want to hear no more arguments regarding the place of tithing in the life of a congregation. A French conglomerate can do it as a means of proving it's commitment to the community. Why not us?
7) I think my brother-in-law is really, really smart dude. Dr. Jeffery Allen (or as we call him, Jeff) is an Assistant Professor at Michigan Tech. After a number of years working for the Center for Microgravity Research where he worked with NASA doing experiments conducted in space to understand the effect of a lack of gravity on how fluids flow (I'm guessing), now as a prof he's working on how to get water out of hydrogen fuel cells (which is a problem). Even more impressive is the force with which his elbow can hit your cheek after garnering a rebound. Those elbows are vicious. Click on his picture to read the article on his work.
8) I think this Sunday that I'll have to fly to Dallas to do more dissertation research. St. Luke Community United Methodist Church (or as they call it, "The Luke") is a historically black UMC church in Dallas that was pastored by UMC pastoral legend, Zan Holmes. That the church hasn't missed a beat since his retirement is a real testament to both the quality of leadership on the part of current senior pastor Tyrone Gordon, and the considerable thought Pastor Holmes put into thinking about the future of his church. Chase Oaks Church's (formally known as Fellowship Bible Church North) succession has become a model that other churches around the country are emulating. As a matter of fact, former senior pastor, Dr. Gene Getz, has done quite a bit of consulting on the matter with other congregations. It should be two very interesting case studies.
9) I think I'm sick of Oprah Winfrey. Have received numerous emails, phone calls, and face-to-face inquiries about Oprah's book study on Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" and how "orthodox" it is or isn't in terms of Christian doctrine and teaching. Here's my question: Who in the world looks to Oprah Winfrey for orthodox Christian teaching? Of course it's not orthodox. It's just a lot of very Oprah-esque language round stuff like "positivity", "unlocking the you within", and crap like that. People act like it's the most serious threat to Christianity since the "Black Plague"
But I'm not worried about it. Why? Remember how popular Phil Donahue used to be? Well, this too shall pass.
If you really want to do some work on yourself order Dallas Willard's "Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ", and if you are interested in what thinking globally as a Christian might mean for you, check out Brian McLaren's "Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crisis, and A Revolution of Hope". You'll get much, much further with these two fine books.
10) And finally, I think a couple of Athens, Georgia based-bands have scored two new fine albums. With apologies to Brother David (who is not a REM fan... one of the few places our musical tastes differ), REM's new album, "Accelerate", is it's best since "Green". Seems like the band has finally gotten over the departure of their drummer, and decided they were allowed to make some rollicking, imaginative music again. Same goes for the B-52's new effort, "Funplex", which reminds of some of the band's best stuff (Rock Lobster, Private Idaho, Dance this Mess Around, and all the great tracks on the "Cosmic Thing" album, which Aimee and I pretty much wore out back in the day). Too bad pop radio and MTV are dead, cause "Living Well Is The Best Revenge" and "Pump" would be all over the place.
Just goes to show that the 80's didn't die... they just gained a little weight and a got a little more stylish. Amen and Amen.