Monday Morning Musings for 02.06.17

  1. If you jump into a story in the middle, you will always be frustrated in trying to understand what is happening and why. You simply don't have all the information you need to answer the big questions. The same is true in life. The story of your life begins at God's creation in the beginning – and NOT in the middle – when you were born. However, when you go back to Creation and the Fall (Genesis 1-3), you will find the truth necessary to learn where you came from (a good and ordered God), why you are here (to be a co-creator in HIs ongoing Kingdom work), why the world is a mess (we want to be our own gods which break our relationship with God and others), and what God is actually doing to redeem and restore the world we see (empowering His Church by the Spirit to fulfill His purpose). What Adam and Eve failed to achieve in the original plan, the church is now fulfilling, being fruitful and multiplying His Kingdom. We work to restore the lost Shalom of Genesis 3 knowing that the story ends in the ultimate victory of Christ. It is a security-enriching truth that remains unknown… unless we go ALL the way back to the beginning.
  2. I think it's safe to say things are a little unsettled in the world right now. The broken nature of our relationship with each other, resulting from our broken relationship with God, is on FULL display. For that reason, the ministry of the church stands out in contrast. It matters all the more. This weekend, I watched the church surround and care for a grieving widow, host and serve young women at a conference which challenged them to think about their future, surround a couple with love and affirmation at their wedding, baptize the child of an interracial couple living in Beijing, China, and begin teaching 60 people who want to start a journey in Christ's Church. All these things make a difference in people's lives. They are all moving to restore the broken parts of life while offering security, community, and hope.
  3. Not once last week, but twice, I nearly killed someone on a bike. Both times, I was turning down the curve in my alley when a cyclist came flying around the same corner, going the wrong way. On both occasions, they were forced up into a fence and off their bike to avoid me. Why are bikers flying the wrong way down alleys all of the sudden? 
  4. BEST QUOTE: Our church has hosted a community celebration of Easter at our downtown Performing Arts Center for the past two years and will again this year. One of our families took their children to see Wicked last week, and the youngest asks the Mom, "Why is this show in here? I thought this was a church!"
  5. I have never seen so many people in Orlando sick at the same time. Last week, with one exception, all of our pastoral team was out (granted, Jack Peebles is still out with a bad back – pray for that man!)
  6. Back to the broken nature of our relationships with each other, I still find it hard to believe the growing nature of a violent anarchist movement taking place in our country. The latest chaos erupted at Cal Berkeley, long known as a bastion of free speech, when protesters set fires, broke windows, and stormed buildings on campus in order to prevent a speech by a well-known person on the far right. After five were injured and growing damage to infrastructure, administrators canceled the speech. Similar protests erupted at Univ of Washington on January 20 with one person being shot by the anarchist group. The NYT reported, "this secretive culture is attracting new followers all over the country." Disagree, sure. Protest, absolutely, but if this is allowed to continue we are allowing a culture of fear and danger to significantly curtail free speech.
  7. THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE: A 24-year-old woman was featured on the front page of last Friday's NYT describing in glowing detail how smoking pot had helped her pregnancy and not damaged her child, now three months old. As if she was some expert, the Times quotes her saying, "I wouldn't say you should go smoke a pound of pot when you're pregnant, but in moderation, it's OK." Sadly, all the science which utterly crushed that view was contained on the inside pages. It was, in my opinion, grossly irresponsible in its placement. 
  8.  A big shout out to Ellis Khalsa for the outstanding artwork of me preaching on Sunday. I am not quite sure about the black marks on my face, but I am honored!
  9. My prediction of Falcons 31, Patriots 17 was solid if the Falcons had remembered how to play football in the second half. The Pats made some plays, but they never win that game without a serious choke job from the Falcons. That will be remembered not as the game the Pats won, but the super Bowl the Falcons lost. Reminded me of Norman's collapse at the Masters… Faldo won, but that wasn't the story.