Sunday, September 28, 2008

Emotions and Politics

This political race has reminded me of my humanness. In the midst of the watching of debates and speeches, the reading of platforms on various party's websites, and the various conversations regarding various political arenas, I have experienced the full gamut of emotions. Why? And is this appropriate?

1. Why? We get emotional because we take things seriously. There are serious issues at stake: e.g. health care, poverty, abortion, terrorism.

2. Appropriate? Yes and no. Yes, we need to let our whole being (emotions included) affect our voting on November 4th. No, God is in control. A Democrat or Republican President or controlled-Congress will NOT solve the problems in our fallen world. When our emotions become out of control, it shows that we have forgotten to trust in God and instead have put our hopes in a people to solve our issues and we fear if the wrong people are put in place the sky will begin to fall.

Today I am praying for the major political parties (both of them!). Both of the major presidential candidates. And for people groups who stand on opposite sides of important issues to me. This is my commitment to my nation today. And since it is the Lord's Day, I am going to rest in the Sabbath that Jesus chrsit has offered from His cross and resurrection (see Hebrew 4).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ride 'em, cowboy!

Samuel is seen here riding an elephant, which he loves, and singing just a little bit. He's mostly just hamming it up for the camera!
video

Mega-churches work?

I have been known to be bit critical of megachurches at times, but this article offers some interesting sociological and theological benefits of the megachurch culture.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/18/AR2008091801703.html?hpid=topnews


"Researchers at the Institute for Studies of Religion, who defined megachurches as those with more than 1,000 worshipers, found that their members were twice as likely to have friends in the congregation than members of small churches. They also displayed a higher level of personal commitment to the church -- attending services and tithing more often than small-church members."

For an opposing opinion, you can read this satire from Professor Doug Groothuis of Denver Seminary: http://theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-not-start-megachurch.html

The Emerging Church's Death - Read Up

It is not surprising that a movement that violently opposed labeling and definition is slowly fading into blogosphere history.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/outofur/archives/2008/09/rip_emerging_ch.html

Some of the most interesting points in the article:

Dan Kimball's (author of several emergent books): "I can't defend or even explain theologically what is now known broadly as "the emerging church" anymore, because it has developed into so many significantly different theological strands. Some I strongly would disagree with."

The article concludes: "As the emerging church rides off into the sunset, where does that leave things? Well, news has been leaking about a new network being formed by Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, Scot McKnight, and Bob Roberts among others. I understand further meetings will be happening this week to help solidify the group. The still unnamed network has agreed to start with the inclusive but orthodox theological foundation of the Lausanne Covenant, and they intend to emphasize mission and evangelism. They appear to have learned from the emerging church’s mistake—define purpose and doctrine early so your identity doesn’t get hijacked. If they do their work carefully, perhaps the new network can avoid getting "wacked" in every sense of the word."

Airline financial crisis leads to establishment of new airline:

LUTHERAN AIRLINES

The preferred airline of Ole and Lena.

One of the best advertisements for flying with Lutheran Airlines your next trip.

---WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE LUTHERAN AIRLINES IS NOW OPERATING IN MINNYSOTA! ALSO SERVING VISCONSIN, NORDERN MITCHIGEN, AND NORT AND SOUT DAKOTA.


If you are travelin soon, consider Lutran Air, the no-frills airline. You're all in da same boat on Lutran Air; here flyin is a upliftin experience. Dere is no first class on any Lutran Air flight. Meals are potluck. Rows one tru six, bring rolls; seven tru fifteen, bring a salad; sixteen tru twenty-von, a hot dish, and twenty-two tru tirty, a dessert.

Basses and tenors, please sit in da rear of da aircraft.

Everyone is responsible for his or her own baggage. All fares are by free will offering, and da plane will not land til da budget is met.

Pay attention to your flight attendant, who vill acquaint you wit da safety system aboard dis Lutran Air flight. Okay, den, listen up; I'm only gonna say dis vonce: In da event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly gonna be real surprised, and so vill Captain Olson, because ve fly right around two tousand feet, so loss of cabin pressure would probably mean da Second Coming or someting of dat nature, and I wouldn't bodder with dose liddle masks on da rubber tubes--you're gonna have bigger tings to worry about den dat. Just stuff doze back up in dair liddle holes. Probably da masks fell out because of turbulence, which, to be honest wit you, we're gonna have quite a bit at two tousand feet..sorta like driving across a plowed field, but after a while you get used to it.

In da event of a water landing, I'd say forget it. Start saying da Lord's Prayer and just hope you get to da part about “forgive us our sins as we fo rgive dose who sin against us,” which some people say “trespass against us,” which isn't right, but what can you do?

Da use of cell phones on da plane is strictly forbidden, not because dey may confuse da plane's navigation system, which is by da pants all da way. No, it's because cell phones are a pain in da wazoo, and if God had meant you to use a cell phone, He wudda put your mout on da side of your head.

We start lunch right about noon and it's buffet style wit da coffeepot up front. Den we'll have da hymn sing; hymnals are in da seat pockets in front of you. Don't take yours wit you when you go or I am gonna be real upset, and I am not kiddin!

Right now I'll say Grace:

Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest,
and let deze gifts to us be blessed.
Fader, Son, and Holy Ghost,
may we land in Dulut or pretty close.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Intriguing piece on the role of faith and politics in America today . . .

"There are those who call us "Christianists" and claim we are attempting to "impose a theocracy" because name-calling and scaremongering are easier than engaging us in debate. But there are also those who makes such claims out of honest ignorance. For example, many of the people who use the term "theocracy" are probably unaware that the largest Protestant denomination in America, Southern Baptists, cannot even tolerate a centralized church government much less a central government controlled by the church. Thinking that a nation full of Southern Baptists wants to establish a theocratic regime is about as absurd as believing anarchists want to create a centralized government. Keep in mind, though, that we live in a country where 34 percent of the population believes in UFOs and ghosts; we shouldn't be surprised to find that Americans will believe just about anything."

Joe Carter in "An Open Letter to the Religious Right"
http://culture11.com/node/32162?page_view=1

If you're happy and you know it....

Nuff said.
video

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trip to the ocean

Here's Samuel's first dip in the ocean while we were visiting family in Norfolk, VA. Cousin Stacy and her kids Ethan and Addy make appearances in the video. Also along on the day trip were Aunt Paula and 2 friends of the family. We loved it!!
video

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A call to thoughtful democracy

Please go and watch the speeches of both candidates and then check the facts. I was able to take in the same amount of speeches from the both the GOP and the DNC. I was recommitted to my selection of president. Are you voting through research and information? Or are you voting for something else? We need a president with a moral compass. We need a president with global abilities. We need a president with leadership and governance acumen.

Whoever you might vote for, I think Rudy Giuliani offered some sage wisdom, "Change is not a destination, and hope is not a strategy." Voting is about something more than gut feelings! Read the Scriptures, pray for the country, pray for your own vote, compare party platforms and the agendas of each candidate and then go vote for the candidate you believe best aligns with the principles of the kingdom of God.