Saturday, August 04, 2012
DC may have killed this one off too fast. Homicidal conjoined twins granted a power ring? Come-on the comic possibilities are endless. This is our friend Duel Eknham - one of the many characters to appear and disappear almost as quickly as power rings became rainbows and proliferated throughout the universe.
Like Boba Fett, Duel Eknham seems to have taken on a life of his (their) own despite the creators intentions. But they killed him off!? I think ring energy can probably fix that.
Here's what I imagine for a guy like 'ol Duel. Both he's resurrect reconjoined, and somewhat reformed, but still more or less nuts for obvious reasons - and one ring between them. The constant battle for control will result in flickering constructs like Plaz used to change shape on a whim. It is perfect GL comic relief.
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Friday, August 03, 2012
What Place Social Media?
weekly church social media chat #ChSocM has been providing some good fuel for blog posts recently and last night’s chat about social media and denominations was no exception.WOW - where to begin with this grossly oversimplified view of things.
It’s no secret that denominations are on the decline. Most mainline denominations are losing members. Meanwhile non-denominational churches and non-denomination para-church ministries are continuing to grow. I believe much of it stems from the rising value in Christianity to work together where we agree.
Offline, I can work with you to bring food and the gospel to people who are hungry without agreeing with your view of baptism. I can join with you for a city-wide evangelism event without first needing to agree with you on end-times theology.
First off, the mainlines have worked together on local social justice projects like soup kitchens, etc for decades. I don't know where this guy gets off saying that such projects is one of the reasons the independents are thriving while the mainlines are dying.
Secondly, this view implies that theology of baptism and eschatology are not important things for the church. They are very vital tings for he church, though I agree they have a proper context.
But then we get to his essential thesis - that social media can be a platform where cross denomination conversation can be fruitful - but of course - all conversation is useful.
From the wrong to the obvious in pursuit of a thesis worthy of good discussion.
That's the internet for ya!
Thursday, August 02, 2012
1. Am I gaining the kind of wisdom that will help me know how to be a parent even at the odd, unexpected moments?What do you note? None of those are about career - they are all about character.
2. Am I growing in the virtues of Christ, so that I am responding to my wife in a godly manner, even when I am tired and exhausted from the day?
3. Am I developing as a Christ-follower so that I am following Jesus into the will of God, no matter what stage of life I am in?
4. Am I maturing as a minister so that my words and actions are appropriate and godly?
A prerequisite to doing any job well is that we be good people. That seems to get lost in the self-help sorts of churches we run into these days.
God has blessed me - richly. I say that and I can also say I have succeeded and I have failed at many things. But this I have learned. In failure, if I am God's man, I am blessed and content. In success the same is true - and being content is the key.
Focus on being God's person and let him worry about your career.
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Wednesday, August 01, 2012
In one study of some 5,500 women and men ages 45 to 84, participants were more likely to be obese the more religiously active they were. Each step of the way, from those never attending worship to those attending weekly, greater religious activity was associated with significantly higher rates of obesity.Here's a factor no one considers - people of faith are less concerned about living forever so they don't work so hard at doing so.
The integral role food plays in many religious rituals and social functions and a desire not to stigmatize overweight members are among the reasons researchers offer for this anomaly in findings related to religion and health.
Health, and particularly behavioral health issues (smoking, obesity, etc...) have become obsessions in this country - to the point of being idols. So what is the church doing? Why capitalizing on the latest idol - "Come to church, get skinny!"
Come on people, I more than most understand issue associated with weight (Lost 200 pounds, remember) but there are weight issues and then there are weight issues. Let's consider three categories:
1) Monstrous - that's what I used to be - While I did not suffer from many of the typical associated ailments (diabetes, high blood pressure) my joint pain was intolerable. I was a burden to my wife and those I loved simply becasue of the limited mobility. THIS IS AN ISSUE - there are acute an immediate ramifications here.
2) Plump - this is the average person in this day and age - they may live a few years less than the skinny alternative, but when you consider the grossly increased life span we enjoy these days don;t see this as an issue, unless...
3) You have to live longer because I am paying for you health care. And herein is the real issue. Are we really going to make a spiritual issue out of something so blatantly materialistic?
Personally I think there is some to be said for living in gratitude for the abundance God has given us, and if that means a few extra pounds, so be it.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Martin Luther regularly gave personal and pastoral counsel to his friends to seek cheerfulness. He himself was subject to discouragement and depression, which he usually attributed to the attacks of the devil. His letters and table-talk have much to say about ways of overcoming dark moods. Luther’s advice is characteristically earthy and bold, while at the same time he clearly points his companions to Christ. This combination of utter humanity and spiritual insight is one of the features that makes Luther so attractive as a mentor.Mike then goes on to discussion prohibitions against drinking and other activities that done in moderation can help bring cheerfulness. I will leave that to him.
I simply want to point out that in this age of self-help Christianity where deep faith and the 12 steps are often confused - going to church, and especially going to small groups, can feel like a visit to a mental health ward.
Christians are supposed to be winsome - cheerfulness is winsome. I'm not talking about pumped-up like at a game cheerful, just hail fellow well met cheerful.
Do you think Christ and the disciples sat around at night and discussed all their problems? Maybe once and a while, but I bet they spent a ot of time sitting around telling jokes and laughing - enjoying each other company - and others wanted to join.
I wonder what a church that focused on good cheer would look like? I know it would succeed.
Monday, July 30, 2012
For those who require rational explanations of everything, this is a problem. They ask: How can we believe that which we cannot fully comprehend? (By the way, I believe all sorts of things I can barely understand, the theory of relativity, for example.) For others, the fact that there are things about God that are beyond our apprehension is to be expected. In fact, they are wonderful. These mysteries call us, not to skepticism, but to worship. As Paul writes in Romans 11:33-36:How few people have come to understand what it even means to be "rational." They confuse "rational" with "proof." these are two very different standards. They also confuse the model with reality.Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.
When attempting to explain how something works we develop a "model" in our minds and then test it. When it fails we should modify the model. Sometimes we don't know enough about the thing to create a model. I would say that is very true about any relationship. I can never know enough about another to build a reliable model. Yes, after 17 years my wife can still surprise me. Trouble often brews in relationships when we relate more to our model of a person that the person themselves. For a relationship to work, the rational thing to do is let go of the model.
Finally, it is worth considering that God is entirely rational. If there is a failing it is that we are not rational enough to comprehend His ultimate rationality.