Monday Morning Musings 02.29.16

  1. The question that most human beings are trying to figure out is: "How do I get into heaven?" The standard belief is that "good" people go to heaven, but if that's the case then how good is good enough? Where's the cut line? The entire New Testament says exactly the opposite of the "good" theory - just as Jesus said to the rich young ruler in Mark 10: No one is good except God. Any belief that our moral goodness can save us can become a dangerous spiritual trap leading to a sense of moral superiority with which we judge others - or - to the false notion that we can obligate God towards us by our good deeds. When we use Jesus as the standard for goodness, then we realize we have no shot at saving ourselves. We are the thief next to Jesus who affirms his just punishment (Luke 23), but asks Jesus to remember Him. Who gets to go to heaven? It's not good people, just forgiven ones - the people who are with Jesus - the One who paid the debt we owed, stamping "paid in full" in blood across the door frames of our lives. ‪#‎debtfreepeople‬ 
  2. Yesterday was one of the most joyous days I have ever had at FPCO as we celebrated paying off our $15 million debt. Thanks to the initial leadership of Steve Cahill in 2004, we did nothing but pray for three months. We listened and we trusted God for our future. Twelve years later, here we are - debt free. The most amazing part of it, to me, was that much of this took place during the worst recession in 50 years. Even then, people continued to sacrifice - to chip away - and give. As I told one reporter who assumed we had received several large gifts, "No, that's truly not how it happened. It was the community coming together - many people taking part to partner in God's vision for our future." What a joy to serve a body that understands the generous nature of God and reflects that in its own practice. ‪#‎newbeginning‬ ‪#‎nowitreallygetsfun‬
  3. THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE: Poop. That's right. Dog poop. One of our local columnists, Scott Maxwell, spent an entire column talking about issues related to dog poop. He said the passion and response to his questions were far more than the norm. I realize I may be stepping in it here, but seriously? People are that concerned about whether a stranger puts bagged dog poop in their trash can? It's just poop, people. I have poop from other dogs in my front yard all the time. It's not radioactive. It's fertilizer. It goes away. (Yes, if children are playing in your front yard, that's an issue.). Surely we can invest our time, passion and energy in things a bit more important than what nature leaves behind. Think what might happen if we got that fired up about hunger? Or poverty? Or education?‪#‎poopageddon‬
  4. OSCARS: I was absolutely thrilled that SPOTLIGHT won the prize for best picture. I have not seen The Revenant, and I am sure it is worthy, but Spotlight deftly and honestly brought to light the horrors being inflicted on young children by the clergy, those assumed to be above reproach. That same struggle continues today as yet another Cardinal is being compelled to testify in a case out of Australia. it is a global crisis. See the film. 
  5. When Mexican authorities finally regained control of a prison in Monterrey following a riot that killed 49 inmates and officers, they found saunas, fully stocked wet bars, aquariums, modern appliances, food stands, and hot tubs. Excuse me? ‪#‎thejoyofprisonlife‬ ‪#‎clubfed‬
  6. "It should not surprise us that human appetites, when unrestrained by their creation purposes, can turn murderous. And it should not surprise us that the spirit of every age seeks to define human worth in terms of power and usefulness, while the gospel of the kingdom defines human dignity in strikingly different terms, as Christ Himself identifies not with the powerful, but with the vulnerable. Behind the hostilitiy towards the weak is an ancient guerilla insurgency against the human child who, as promised, will crush the old reptile's head." (Genesis 3:15). Russell Moore, Onward. For that reason, we move to protect life - to protect the weak from an "insurgency" that devalues life. ‪#‎speakingforthosewhohavenovoice‬
  7. I got a call from my daughter last week, a nursing student at Auburn who is now in clinical rotations at various hospitals. It was not a call I wanted to get. "Dad, I saw my first dead body today." Everything in me wanted to jump through the phone and grab her and hug her, but I couldn't. I could not protect her from death anymore than I can protect anyone else. She processed it well, but it gave me such clarity in why I do what I do, why I am so passionate about bringing God's Word each week: death comes to all of us. We have to face it - look at it - walk around it - and somehow find peace. What does the end of life mean - and back to #1 - will I get to heaven?‪#‎themortalityrateis100percent‬
  8. Start thinking now about who you will invite to our Easter Celebration at the Dr. Phillips Center on Sunday, March 27 at 9 and 11 a.m. We have learned much from last year regarding crowed and traffic flow - plus John Easterlin, the soloist from Christmas Eve, will be back with us! Spread the word! ‪#‎easterinthecity‬
  9. Steph Curry's shot to beat OKC at the buzzer in overtime - I have no words. ‪#‎bestshooterever‬