Monday Morning Musings for 10.17.16

  1. The human mind is a creative, intellectual marvel. Science is only beginning to understand it's depth and capacity. For example, there are more neuronal connections in our minds than stars in our galaxy. There's a universe in our heads! Even so, we seem to pay it less attention than we should, especially as it relates to our faith. Paul says we are transformed by the "renewal of our minds." (Romans 12:2). In other words, our spiritual transformation happens as we cultivate our minds – as we explore the wonder of both God and the world He has made – the world in which He has called us to live and serve. The more we know, the more we come to know both the wonder of God AND His good, perfect, and pleasing will for our lives – a will we know to be His call to live as Christ – as those poured out for the life of the world. One of the ways we love our neighbor well is when we turn our knowledge into service for the greater good of our human family.
  2. Our church hosted Q Commons for the first time last week, one of 100 national and international sites. It's basically Christian Ted Talks; however, it is built around the idea of asking questions. We need to enter into dialogue and discussion in respectful, healthy ways if we are ever to make progress on the issues of our time. The vitriol and polarization of our culture, as evidenced in this Presidential campaign, are tearing us apart. We have to start listening. In our local context, please join us at FPCO on Sunday 10/23 at 9:45 in 300EMC for a discussion on race in our community and our country. This is part of the work of our Diversity Committee as we continue to prayerfully seek ways to heal and grow as the Body of Christ from every "tongue, tribe, people, and nation."
  3. Well, it happened. Sometimes my brain moves faster than my mouth and my mouth can't keep up. During yesterday's sermon at 9:45, I said "Fart Smones." The last part of "smones" was hardly audible, but I was trying to say "smart phones" – and in my haste, it came out "Fart Smones." I went on so quickly that no one but Kara Boardman Pastis could start laughing.
  4. The media has been ablaze with a conversation on the marginalization and objectification of women. Trump dismissed it as "locker room talk", but that is actually the point. The fact that our culture continues to tacitly approve such conversations among men in locker rooms (and other locations) only perpetuates the behaviors being described. We need to teach our sons better. Case in point: author Kelly Oxford tweeted out a request for women to tweet her "their first experience with sexual assault." She got 27 million tweets back – 27 million. As the father of a daughter, the fact it is so widespread is infuriating. I have been in plenty of locker rooms and it's real. I haven't said enough myself, but it's time for all of us to stand up and say, "No more!"
  5. NEW FAVORITE SHOW: I am completely hooked on ABC's Designated Survivor with Keifer Sutherland. Granted, I was a "24" addict, and it is a bit like 24 was, only now Jack Bauer is a more restrained President of the US facing a terrorist attack on the Capitol. And his name is Tom, not Jack. Who cares?
  6. THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE: People are using clown outfits to scare others, causing some schools and businesses to go into lockdown. A clown-costumed man wielding a chainsaw ran across the campus of Brunel University in London last week, sending the campus into "terror attack" mode. Two clowns in a van approached two elementary school girls and "invited them to a birthday party" in Essex, and here in our own community, a clown was seen brandishing a knife outside a local high school. Once again we see the nature of a fallen world: it takes what is good and corrupts it.
  7. San Francisco and Oakland have just passed a one cent sales tax on soda as a way of fighting obesity. Seriously? Do they think a penny is going to help? Are they going to start taxing Big Macs and fries next?
  8. THE BIGGER QUESTION: As we watch the deterioration of this election, as we scream about its lack of decency, respect or honesty, we may be missing the actual question it creates. Our culture - this very society - created what we are seeing. This election didn't happen in a vacuum. Thus, what does it say about us that this is what we created#timetolookdeeper
  9. It's been a long time since I have really enjoyed watching the Dallas Cowboys. Beating Green Bay at Lambeau – while scoring 30 – was like the good old days!