Sunday, December 29, 2013

Scratch list of topics for a Book

I have been brainstorming about subjects I would like to write on.  I am thinking of blog posts in 2014, but also beginning to write a book on one or more of these topics.  Here's my scratch list:

Coaching as a discipleship tool Team Sports/competition as a discipleship/spiritual formation tool Navigating competitive youth sports as a Christian parent
Personal Foster care/Adoption Journey
A balanced view of Foster Care/Adoption related to local churches
Pastoral/Discipleship Ministry team development
Trickle down (Leadership to Laity) Church unity
Corporate worship with biblical, historical, and contemporary considerations
The simplicity and timelessness of a Word/Sacrament ministry
Lessons learned when I was a young senior pastor (30 to 40 era)
The pastor as a Coach instead of a CEO or Military Leader
Social Media as a Pastoral tool
Why a plurality of elders/pastors is better for a church
Pastoral ministry is not a one man endeavor/advocacy of pastoral ministry team model
Building a ministry team for a mid-sized church (considerations, approach, ongoing nurture, mistakes made, etc.)
Keeping it real in Suburban Church ministry
Suburban Christianity that is still Christian
Guilt free Suburban Christianity
Spiritual Battle with the idol of food/weight and body image worship
Walking the faith, Not just talking about it
Sent by Jesus to bring: The Gospel, Compassion, Truth, Peace
Being Reformed and still fit to live with
First generation Christian fatherhood (more of a “how not to” guide, I’m guessing)
A biblical view/practice of hobbies, recreation, entertainment, etc.
Suckering a woman who is way too good for you, to marry you

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cardinal George makes sobering prediction

As the social landscape of the United States changes ever so rapidly, it seems toleration for historic Christian positions is lessening.

Cardinal George of the Roman Catholic Church recently made a sobering prediction.  I think his forecast  holds true for the whole of Christianity in the U.S., not just the Roman Church.  First Things captured him sketching the implications of radical secularization for America:

“I will die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die as a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.”

Friday, December 13, 2013

20 Year Anniversary of Nirvana's historic unplugged concert

I remember driving to work in Wichita, Kansas on April 8, 1994 and hearing the body of Curt Cobain had been found in his Seattle home.  A few days prior, he shot himself in the head after getting high on heroine one last time.

Cobain and his band Nirvana were pioneers of "grunge rock" in the 90's and with each passing year the genius of their music becomes more evident.  There were many such "grunge" bands from their era, but none were better.

Cobain himself was such a tragic figure.  A musical and lyrical genius, he battled drug addiction the whole of his short adult life. He seemed to struggle with awful mental/emotional and spiritual demons.  He sang about Christian themes, questioned the purpose of life, and wrote of meaninglessness regularly.  The band's name echoes his tendency toward a Buddhistic kind of philosophy.  Despite such a connection, he never showed a peace that remotely resembled what the band's name was supposed to conjure.

Four months before Cobain's suicide, Nirvana performed a truly epic unplugged concert.  I watched it again today as I was studying and working.  There is an eery sense of his impending death as you watch him fidget and talk awkwardly, all the while singing Nirvana's deeply profound songs.  Such a sad case of a man apparently without Christ.  Obviously no one but God knows if he ever came to trust Christ before taking his life- I sincerely and deeply hope so.  Whatever the case, gifted musicians like Curt Cobain receive their abilities from God.

Here's the concert:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Awesome recap of the epic MLS Cup final

Following Sporting Kansas City as a season ticket holder for over 6 years has been a great ride.  This season was the most magical yet.  Here is a tremendous recap of the battle for the ages played last frigid Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

President Obama and the First Lady provide some entertainment

The First couple are more like a regular couple than you might think.  At the memorial activities for Nelson Mandela, President Obama was caught laughing it up with the Prime Minister of Denmark.  He was even seen talking some selfies with her.  The priceless part of this picture is Michelle's death stare.

The situation only gets better when the next picture shows Obama doing what every husband would have to do, after such a situation...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thank God for Using the complex Mandela

Nelson Mandela died yesterday at the age of 95.

The usual outpouring of praise for an impacting leader like Mandela has been ongoing for the last 24 hours and will undoubtedly continue for several weeks.  I find it fascinating to see the high praise in eulogy for Mandela, especially coming from people under 30. These younger folks can't honestly know that much about him, right?

Heartfelt condolences to the people of South Africa for losing such a extraordinary figure and key player in that country's move to a more just society. But honestly, reading the posts that attribute incredible attributes to him make me wonder how much people really know of the actual man. He was most active in enacting transformation when I was in high school and the ten years that followed, so I have read quite a bit by him and about him. Let's just say, on the chief dimension he is known for,  he is a symbol of something that was monumental and clearly a principal person to be appreciated for many incredible actions affecting human rights. However, like every person who has ever lived, except One, he was not one dimensional and deeply flawed.  As is the case for all of us, time will test all his works and put them on display.

Nevertheless, at Mandela's passing, it is appropriate to give thanks for God's use of him in relieving the oppression of so many.