Monday Morning Musings for 11.20.17

"The most disturbing thing about the fact that greed is idolatry is that hardly anyone owns up to being a worshipper." Brian Rosser

  1. Money is an interesting topic in life. We'll talk about almost anything OTHER than our money. We hold that information very closely. It's ours and it's no one else's business. Jesus blows that up in Luke 12 when he makes two statements: 1. "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed" and 2. "To whom much is given, much will be required." We've been given the incredible privilege of serving as the stewards of God's good gifts – an incredible privilege and yet a daunting responsibility. He knows what we are doing with His things, and He asks us to be both faithful and wise. Our temptation, however, as Rosser suggests above, is to worship at the altar of greed: using the Master's things for OUR pleasure. I have certainly bowed down there many times. The antidote to that temptation is generosity. God leaves no ambiguity in regard to how we steward His things: if He gives us a lot, He has higher expectations - and make no mistake, if you are reading this, you most likely have more income and education than 99% of the rest of the world. He expects us to do what He asks, and to do so wisely. I pray we'll ENJOY God's good gifts while recognizing the responsibility they carry.
  2. GIVING THANKS: When we recognize what God has given us (#1), gratitude becomes the posture of our heart. It becomes our constant practice, our repeated expression. This week, I am grateful for the family that will gather around my table, for my daughter Kaylee unexpectedly being able to come home from Nashville for a few short hours, for my mother-in-law's cornbread stuffing (don't even start with me on bread/crouton stuffing), for leftovers all weekend, for the joy of eating stuffing and gravy for breakfast, for the fun of the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning, for Leigh and her Mom who selflessly cook the entire spread every year, but most of all, for the rich conversations that unfold when we linger together in the same room. It is the joy of being together, the joy of belonging, the joy of community – all a foretaste of what God will bring one day in full. It is what every Church seeks to create: the unity of the family of God, bound together at the foot of His cross.
  3. ONE MORE THING: all families are imperfect, including ours and including the church. We're all a mess, so instead of pushing Uncle Fred's button this year because you like to see his face turn red, try seeing good 'ole Uncle Fred as one desperately in need of God's good grace, just like you are. And then give it to him.
  4. When you make a mistake, say so. I have found most people to be incredibly gracious and forgiving.
  5. I continue to be mystified by the double-standard exhibited by so many of Hollywood's elite as they rail against the revelations of sexual impropriety on one hand while honoring the one who wrote the book on male power and female objectification: Hugh Hefner.
  6. MIKE AND MIKE: After 17 years, ESPN's Mike and Mike morning show concluded last Friday, and I have to admit I am truly sad about it. Mike Greenburg and Mike Golic made me laugh, kept me informed, and brought perspective to sports and life. They've been with me on my ride to work every day during that time, so Monday is going to feel awkwardly and painfully different.
  7. VALUE OF ART: Perhaps people who understand the art world better than I do can help me with this. I find it beyond comprehension that a DaVinci painting could sell at auction for $450 million. Yes, the arts bring untold beauty to life. The arts are an indispensable part of both cultural formation and renewal, yet $450 million for one painting? I also don't understand why we pay people who can dribble or pass about the same amount while we pay teachers a pittance to educate our most precious gifts. #thingsIdonotunderstand
  8. AT&T DECISION: For the first time last Thursday, I asked for some help on Facebook when trying to make a decision about UVerse vs. Spectrum. I got 94 comments. Apparently, you people are serious about your television!! When the AT&T guy came back the next day to hear my decision, the first thing he says is, "What did you do on social media last night? My boss called me and said something was trending in this area." I have no idea how they would know that, but I continue to be amazed by the social media phenomenon. So… drum roll, please… I am going with UVerse. They assured me it will remain at the same price, and I was given my own "retention specialist" with a direct line to ensure that happens. So, we'll see, but saving $50 a month plus a $200 Visa Card was too good not to try.
  9. Since you did so good with the ATT question, then what's the meaning of life?