Hump Day Hope: Welcome to Stupid Week!

One of my ministries as a “bad Christian” is to make you feel better about yourself as a Christian. Today my sacrificial gift is to make you feel better about yourself as a human being. I am going through a stretch of amazing stupidity. I am serious. I am talking Guinness Book of Records stupid. However, I have adopted the philosophy that if you will laugh about something a year from now you might as well start today. So here is my stupid week in review. In one calendar week I lost my drivers license. Twice. That is not a mistype. Recovered both times thanks to honest citizens. I went to retrieve a toy from the pool for canine friend Maggie. You guessed it. I slipped and fell head over heels into the water. I surfaced to the curious looks of my Labrador who had decided the pool was too cold for swimming. Oh yeah, I hurt my back in
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Monday Musing – Live Like You Are Loved

Regular readers of the humble ramblings (you both know who you are) know that I often confess how my brain was not wired to factory specs. There is no other explanation for the dizzying turns my mind makes. For example, this weekend I heard a song from my ’70’s disc jockey days. The song was Tin Man from America and the normal brain would have heard the song, registered a like it or don’t like it vote and moved on. Not my brain. I fixated on a piece of the lyric and spent time linking it to a spiritual epiphany in my life. You may recognize the lyric that started this Monday Musing. But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man That he didn’t, didn’t already have The lyricist double negatived his way to an important truth. The Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz went on a long journey to try and find a real heart. But
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Weekend Wildcard : Where Does Healing Begin?

I interact with a lot of wounded people. My books and a big hunk of my writing have been directed toward those who are beaten up by life, religion and too often by other people in the church. There is a better way. A song titled “Where The Healing Begins” by one of my favorite groups, Tenth Avenue North, describes that way. So you thought you had to keep this up All the work that you do So we think that you’re good And you can’t believe it’s not enough All the walls you built up Are just glass on the outside All of those years of working hard (and then harder) to be Godly and I found out to my great sadness that it wasn’t enough.  Not only was self-effort not enough it was counterproductive to my desire to experience God’s presence and love. The walls so carefully constructed were, in fact, see-through to those who really knew me well.
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Hump Day Hope : Come on. Say it! Say it!

The use of Hump Day to describe the midweek turning point has been around for awhile. It became a bigger part of the national lexicon thanks to a commercial and a camel.   I wish I was mature enough to say I was only mildly amused by the Geico commercial featuring the overbearing camel wandering through an office. I can’t. I stopped whatever I was doing every time it came on. The hope of this humble rambling each Wednesday is to provide a little hope to get you to the weekend. This is how hope is defined as a verb by …to feel that something desired may happen. Example: I hope that the Cleveland Browns will play in a Super Bowl before I die. It is interesting that the next meaning of the verb hope is noted as archaic. …Archaic. to place trust; rely (usually followed by in) Call me archaic (my sons and workmates often do) but that
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Monday Musings : Reminder. It is just a game. It is just a game.

I have been known to be a bad sports fan in addition to being a bad Christian. I suspect those confessions could be related. I grew up a rabid Cleveland Brown’s fan and that is, unfortunately, a lifetime condition. You try and manage your Brown’s addiction while hoping to lead a somewhat productive life. I completely related to a story about a Brown’s fan who passed away last year. Scott Entsminger placed this request in the Columbus Dispatch obituary.  He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time. I became a Baylor Bears fan (thanks to my boys) much later in life. Incredibly, the Brazos Baptists have become a national football power. So I geared up for a big game last Saturday against forever power Oklahoma. During the game I agonized over missed opportunities. Fumed over momentum changing penalties. Expressed frustration when a defender missed a tackle. Baylor overcame a tough
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Weekend Wildcard – Who Are You Serving?

Bob Dylan wrote some powerful songs about his faith journey in the late 70’s. One song he composed popped up on the iPod recently. “Gotta Serve Somebody” simply says that no matter how independent, self-sufficient or in control we might try to be we still serve something or somebody. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody That lyric struck a spiritual chord because it reminded me of some seriously head and heart messing stuff I have been reading from Tim Keller. Keller wrote a thought provoking definition of idolatry and how we can substitute even good things for God. “Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily idolatry.”
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Hump Day Hope – Dealing With the Newly “Elect”

Last night may or may not have been good for you politically. I am hopeful that real change can happen in this country. Just know that I do not put my hope in parties or political action groups or rising political stars. Been there, done that, using the t-shirts to wipe up messes. My hope is in revival through grace inspired communities that serve and love and make a difference. In a recent article I touched on how a bunch of disadvantaged and essentially powerless believers truly changed the world with a new movement called Christianity. An article about the early church from Christian History Timeline had some answers. The earliest Christians did not have church buildings. They typically met in homes. (The first actual church building so far found is at Dura Europos on the Euphrates, dating about 231.) They did not have public ceremonies that would introduce them to the public, and they had no access to the mass media of their
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