Monday Morning Musings for 06.06.16

  1. King David's life was one of great complexity and challenge, yet he never wavered in his faith in God. As I listen to the many expressions of anxiety and fear regarding the future, the election, our country, terrorism, not to mention living in a post-Christian society, I am taken back to the Psalms and David's secret to faithful living: "I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." (Psalm 16:8) He consciously decided to set himself regularly in God's presence, and the result was spiritual depth. No matter what occurred, he knew he "would not be shaken." Do we live in the shallows or the depths? ‪#‎roots‬
  2. When we mature in faith and learn the art of setting ourselves in God's presence, then like David our lives bear fruit. Because we have been in God's presence, we naturally take His presence with us into the lives of others. For that reason, I was not surprised to find that in a recent survey, 65% of committed Christians had given money, volunteered, or helped provide goods or food to the poor in the past month. By comparison, only 28% of those in the "non-religious" category had done so. This has been true throughout history. It is why there are Christian hospitals all over the world. Our faith calls us to be in God's presence, but that moment is not merely for us. We are called to take His presence, peace and love and bear it into the lives of those in need.
  3. Heard a great line in a country music song last week: "Funny how falling feels like flying...for a little while." I'm not sure I've heard a better description of how I see so many people living today. They're falling, but they think they're flying. ‪#‎theupsidedownKingdom‬‪#‎carefulthatyouarenotdeceived‬
  4. I am officially ready for college football season and the first cold front of the fall. Really. ‪#‎dogdays‬ ‪#‎Ihatebeinghot‬ ‪#‎herecomestherain‬
  5. Don't look now, parents, but more young adults 18-34 live at home than live with friends or "significant others" - 32% to 31% - this is the first time ever that the "at home" group has been larger. You may only think your nest is empty. ‪#‎rehoused‬ ‪#‎youcangohomeagain‬ ‪#‎howmuchistherent‬?
  6. THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE: This week's round of presidential election shenanigans. I didn't think it could sink any lower or become less dignified, but it did. Instead of telling me what the other person can't do, how about you tell me what you CAN - and WILL - do?
  7. Sometimes you read stories that make you rejoice, stories that restore your faith in humanity, and this week, we had two: first, we saw Jordan Ellis graduate from Edgewater High School, tenaciously walking across the stage despite her long battle with cerebral palsy. She's as gutsy as they come and she's been that way for the 12 years I've been her pastor. Second, we saw a young man I do not know, but who inspires me nonetheless, also walk across the stage to graduate. John Michael Night (Mick Night ) was hit with a rare brain stem stroke nearly six months ago, yet he courageously fought his way back. With the help of friends and to the applause of hundreds, he made the walk. I paused and watched the 12-minute video posted to Facebook. If you watch it, you will be inspired to see your life quite differently - and to never give up. To Jordan and John Michael, thank you.
  8. As science and technology continue to advance in a post-Christian society, new advances create the question: We can, but should we? These are the ethical questions that will be before our culture for years to come, the latest arising out of a new 10-year project in which researchers will chemically manufacture DNA which would then lead to creating an entire human genome. What does that mean? It means that in the not too distant future, we could have the ability to create a child with no actual biological parents. Dr. Drew Endy, a bioengineer at Stanford University said, "Before launching into such a momentus project, with such enormous ethical and theological implications, a basic ethical question needs to be asked, starting with whether and under what circumstances we should make such technologies real." ‪#‎PlayingGod‬
  9. Performing my son's wedding ceremony and the celebration that followed was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. And it makes me smile that Caroline Maddox Swanson's friends all call me "Dad" in their conversations with each other. Ashley Fox Lucy MacLeish Katyrose Carpenter Brooke Bourgeois Mary Beale Maryellen Maddox Jeannette Maddox