While the industrial revolution certainly marked a turning point in the global economy, I’d agree with Seth Godin that those outputs are being challenged in our present economy. It’s no longer about who can work the fastest, for the cheapest, in a factory. The global economy will be impacted by the present and next generation more so in their ability to connect, adapt, and innovate.
I think we are living in the beginning of a creative revolution. More Here...
In 2008 I wrote a two-part blog post about the Christian dating practice of sleeping over but not having sex. The first was called “Sleeping Over: The Latest Trend in Christian Sketchiness” and you can access Part 2 here. The posts were so popular that I re-posted them again a year later, and those posts have since become two of my most popular blog posts EVER. To this day, I receive frequent e-mails from readers asking questions about them.
I took a pretty hardline stance in those posts, and while I might employ a more nuanced approach if I was to tackle the topic today, I still believe the practice is totally unwise. The reason I might take a different approach today is that my black-and-white position may have implied a legalistic mindset that is, to some extent, unhelpful. Most of the readers who have contacted me want to know if such-and-such scenario is an exception to the position I took. I have received e-mails about numerous sleeping arrangements and dating scenarios, all concluding with some version of the question: “Is this ok?”
In essence, readers have contacted me asking for permission. They want to know if I think God would permit certain behaviors or actions in light of my stance on sleeping over. Given the volume of e-mails that pose some version of this question, I’ve realized that I need to elaborate on this issue further, and perhaps correct myself as well. More Here...
The road is long and many of the turns lead to sadness, disappointment and grief. This song could be the theme song for what real community should look like in the church. I understand why so many Christians are reluctant to jump into unvarnished and honest relationship with other believers. Immersing yourself in the lives of others is messy, sad and difficult. And in a great paradox of our faith, it is the most fulfilling thing you can do. I have taken the risk of trusting a group of men with everything that is true about me. They have done the same with me. That commitment to trust these men with my weakness has been one of the best things I have ever done to grow in my faith. We have shared triumphs and tragedy. Hilarity and heartbreak. We have confessed our fears and exposed our shame to the healing power of relationship in the light of the Holy Spirit. Putting all of your cards on the relationship table is a scary play. But when you play all of your cards and you are still loved it is the most exhilarating and freeing thing you can imagine. More Here...
The parable of The Good Samaritan has always been my favorite. When I was a small child, maybe three, my daddy and I would read every night from a tattered old Children's Bible. The Good Book is still in the family. Penny, the baby dominatrix, is now the Book's owner. I was lucky to find exactly the same book cover online -- a less tattered version of course.
Every night I would ask for the story of "The Hurt Man", what I called the Good Samaritan when I was a toddler. I know this is the same cover because of the water-colored artwork.
This is the story of The Good Samaritan from the NIV Bible:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” More Here...
Lately I've seen videos and Facebook interactions which consist of claims that thinking and the use of reason are unnecessary for Christians who have an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. All these claims come from Red Letter Ministries and those who follow the author of the website. The claims come from a pretty isolated group but this isn't a new claim historically by any means.
A gospel that preaches against reason, logic, thinking, and various sorts of mental processes (even study), is blasphemous because it twists what is good into what is evil. Anytime someone says what God has made good is "evil" they lie and sin for they lead others away from the truth. Just as the Pharisees called the work of the Holy Spirit through Jesus demonic, so we err when we say the mind, brain, use of reason, logic, or thought are bad or even unnecessary. At no point does the Bible promote the idea that the mind or brain are to be escaped, set aside, neglected, or the like.
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There are events from my early teenage years that still haunt me to this day -- wounding memories that bring to mind aspects of myself that are painful to even contemplate, but I must so that those seeds that led to the events when I was young don't grow and consume me.
I don’t understand why so many people react to the concept of 'sin,' though granted it is often misused and has been wounding too many. However, it seems that to not believe in the reality of ‘sin,’ or the likely possibly of ‘transgression,’ can lead to something worse. In some spiritual paths the word ‘ignorance’ is used instead of sin, which can work, since it is not hard to do very bad things, evil things against others and be ignorant of the depth of harm that was committed -- or to use another word, the transgression committed against another human being.
I was 13 and in High School, in Panama, Canal, Cristobal High; it was 1962. There was a young man who was a senior at the time -- well I think he was. I did not know him and I don’t think he even knew I was alive, for five years difference in age is a lot when that young. I will not use his real name for obvious reasons. He would be 68 or 69 at this time and perhaps what happened has been forgotten by him; or forgiven, I hope so. More Here...
You’ve probably heard of the 5 Points of Calvinism. Maybe you’ve even memorized them using the TULIP acronym, but now there is a new expression of those 5 points. This one should be a bit more appetizing and palatable to those who are offended by flowers or by the big theological words used in the typical TULIP.
Unfortunately, some people hate flowers, or are otherwise offended by the TULIP illustration. Okay, so, yes they are more likely offended by the Doctrines of Grace that the TULIP represents, but play along, please. In order to be a little less offensive, and a little more tasteful, things had to change.
Without any further adieu, I bring you the new acronym. From the folks who probably didn’t bring you TULIP, I bring you the new, more appetizing, more palatable, and slightly less kosher, acronym BACON.
I had planned to write a different post for today, and I will probably write it later this week, but I am just too burdened to write much. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that way–the reality of this broken world confronts you so powerfully that it sucks the life right out of you. It drains you and breaks your heart and siphons off all your creative juices. That is how I feel today.
Right now Ike and I are watching a friend go through a time of suffering. In a lot of ways we feel incredibly helpless, and there are some nights when all I want to do is lie on the floor and weep because I feel so tired and sick about it. Other times I sit in a chair and literally shake with rage. This world is just not as it should be.
Yesterday morning at church, Joni Eareckson Tada spoke on the subject of suffering, and so much of what she said was helpful for me as I process this situation. In case you are unfamiliar with her story, she has been a quadriplegic for 45 years after diving into shallow water and injuring her spine as a teenager. Her testimony is powerful, and she is both spunky and searingly honest. More Here...
It is hard to understand how important we each are to each other in our different families, neighborhoods, countries, as well as in our different belief systems. The effect we have on one another is often underrated, and I believe can lead to a great deal of suffering, as well as fragmentation, both in our lives as well as in the lives of others that we meet along the way.
I carry memories that go back to the time I was two years old, and I think a couple that were before.They stick because they played a big role in my life that make me the man I am today.Some of the influences were good; others, well lets say I am still struggling with their after-effect.Though I suppose if I continue to try to work with them, it is all for the good.
I seem to need some kind of inner struggle to actually be conscious of what I am doing -- inner conflict leads to choices, important ones in how I am to relate to the world outside of my subjective inner universe.It is amazing when actually going over these past memories, how common they are, everyday, yet they impressed themselves on my memory and from time to time force their way into my conscious mind.So I try to pay attention to them.Healing, when it comes, may be shrouded in mystery, yet some choice still has to be made to at least start the journey towards integration of the inner self. More Here...