Saturday, July 29, 2006

Are You Bored? Here's Your Sign

I ran across this quote several weeks ago:
Boredom is a sign of satisfied ignorance, blunted apprehension, crass sympathies, dull understanding, feeble powers of attention, and irreclaimable weakness of character.
James Bridie

My kids learned very early on in their lives that if they wanted to see me get really angry, all they had to do was tell me, "I am bored." Now, I know I'm guilty of uttering this phrase more than once in my life but I have grown over time to believe that this little three word statement encapsulates the entirety of our vast human capacity for selfishness. To say, "I'm bored" is the same as saying, "I am the center of the universe and all of creation fails to entertain me!"

Boredom is a product of attitude, not circumstance. Even in a silent, colorless, windowless room, we have the oft forgotten blessing of IMAGINATION - a wondrous gift from God. The most incredible organic multimedia supercomputer ever conceived is between our two ears. Its potential has not yet begun to be tapped.

A stand up comedian, Bill Engvall, has an entire schtick built around the line, "Here's your sign!" The sign he's talking about reads, "I'M STUPID!"

Are you bored? Here's your sign!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Why do they sing?

As I sit on my back stoop writing this on my Pocketpc, the day that was thick and heavy with humidity is transforming all around me. To the northwest there's the rapid flickering of what I grew up hearing called "heat lightning." The air is tangibly cooler from occasional puffs of breeze high in the treetops. Thunder rumbles in the distance and the dogs are nervous - especially Ziggy - he's such a wuss during storms.

The light show high above the solid ceiling of the clouds is working its way steadily to the south southeast maintaining its apparently regular yet certainly random rhythmic dance. The thunder sounds like bowling balls sound when pushed down the alley by a very young child - meandering its way along the hard wood before reluctantly thumping into the gutter just short of finding its goal - the pins. Though the light show is now overhead, the children's bowling birthday party stays far away yet nary a pin has fallen.

Now the promise of more relief as there's a light but steady and gentle push of air from west to east down here close to the ground while the treetops are quiet. The cricket's chatter and sing. - Is it because they anticipate the storm or because they are oblivious to it? I don't know.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back in the Saddle

As I tour my list of blog stops, I'm discovering that July can be a slow month for posting. Vacations, conferences, strange summer schedules, they all conspire to knock us out of our routines (or ruts).

Since the July 4 holiday I've been focused on Young Musicians Camp and Music Mini Camp at White Oak Conference Center in South Carolina. For more than a decade, these camps have been one of the highlights of my year. I've seen children "grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man" year after year. One young lady who attended our first Music Mini Camp as a soon to be second grader many years ago was on faculty for the first time this year. This same child whose blazing blue eyes captured my heart all those years ago had become my colleague in ministry to this new generation of children.

I'm "back in the saddle" this week.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I Wish I Had Written This

I want to see people's lives changed by the power of Jesus Christ but the word 'relevant' sticks in my throat to the point of making me gag! I discovered these words in a post from October 2005 over at Ryan Bolger's The BolgBlog.

Relevant churches are rarely even closely relevant. Most Christians don't even like them. They might be better than Mom and Dad's morning service, but they usually are quite irrelevant to the outsider. The church person cannot 'guess' what the seeker wants, doubtedly getting it wrong. What Christians need o do is create meaningful worship through bringing their very own lives to God. Worship must reflect the culture of the community that is currently part of the church, not replicate current worship CDs, nor 1980s soft rock, nor 18th century hymns.Instead of mimicking other church cultures, the community collectively brings their own idiosyncratic ways of life to God,whatever they may be. Indeed, the church may have the stray outsider finding themselves in the worship service and joining the community. But if the focus is on them, simply to be relevant, their worship will satisfy neither the church members nor the outsider.

Read the whole article at Please, No More Doing Church for "Them"
Dr. Ryan Bolger, Assistant Professor of Church in Contemporary Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary.

Excellent Advice...

...for a Monday...or every day, for that matter.

Jim Martin's How Will I Live Today.