1 a : to give shape or form to : MOLD b : ALTER, TRANSFORM c : to mold into a particular character by influencing or training

Friday, December 30, 2005

He was just trying to do his homework!

It's simultaneously amusing and frightening.  You wonder how he pulled it all off, and I'm sure his parents are wondering how to make sure it doesn't happen again.  I'm glad to see that the parents aren't suing the school or the teacher (so far, anyway) using some twisted logic that their son was told to do this.  Hopefully this doesn't inspire too many other kids to leave home without telling their parents.  If you're an adult, then by all means go visit an area in need of help so you can see just how much help the world needs!

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

[emergent evolution]: The Evolution of a Conversation:

[emergent evolution]: The Evolution of a Conversation:

Finally! I've seen someone articulate a thought that has been rolling around in my head for years. It was in the back somewhere as a 'feeling' I had that I just wasn't sure what it was. I think there are two concerns here: the allure of fame and money and the loss of distinct voices.

Whether they become a movement, and institution or their own denomination, I hope they do not become tempted by fame and money and hold true to the efforts to share Christ with the world. I am certain that the allure of book sales and speaker's fees is strong and tempting and it would be a shame to lose thoughtful and passioned Christians to such things. Jesus did not command a speaker fee for His work, and even provided food for the crowds.

Secondly, as John pointed out, the creation of a formal organization leads to the loss of voices as the organization forms its official stances. I won't rehash here, please read what John had to say.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Year's Resolution: Know More, Say Less

"The more you know the less you need to say."
   - Jim Rohn

I feel the need to comment on nearly everything I hear, and lately I've been trying to restrain myself, especially when all I have to say is a sarcastic remark. For 2006, my plan is to know more. I'll see where this takes me on saying less.

Where has all the giving gone?

Every year, we have Christmas morning in our own homes, then our family gathers for the big family Christmas in the afternoon. We have dinner, presents and games and it's a lot of fun. We got together again this year, but it seemed that Christmas had lost some luster. We had dinner and dinner was nice. We had good fun and played games. When it came time to gather around for presents, it felt like the wheels fell off. People had other things to do - eat appetizers, talk, and wander around. Kids were playing computer games and listening to iPods. They could only be bothered if they had a gift to open.

Since there are so many people in our family, we have a 'gift exchange' where names are drawn from a hat and each adult has one person to buy for and one person that will buy for them. The kids have the same system. Since there are many cousins, this is a good way to still exchange gifts but avoid going broke. It also affords you the opportunity to put some thought into it, since you have one to buy instead of 21. As the years have passed, the interest in this seems to have degenerated. People get gift cards, or in some cases, they buy their own gift and label is as being from the other person.

As for the kids' exchange, they bragged that they didn't even know what was in the gifts that they were giving to their cousins - their parents must have bought something, but they certainly didn't know anything about it. It was a point of pride to be so disinterested.

For me, I love to see people open gifts. I love to see the person that gave the gift get to see that they gave the right gift. When I buy gifts, I try to pay attention to the recipient and to find something that they truly want. I try to get them something they wouldn't get for themselves, because if it's a drill, they could just buy it themselves. I like getting them something special - something they will view as a treat to have and something that will make them feel like I was paying attention to them.

I am saddened to see my family's loss of interest in the act of giving. Christmas gifts have become a checklist of names that the goal is to clear. Come Christmas day, there isn't any interest left in seeing what people got because the expectations are so low. The only remaining expectation is 'what will I get'. It's too bad, because giving is better than getting.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Aren't the efforts to create laws implementing Christian values just a modern form of legalism? I am by no means an antinomianist, but I think that many are missing the boat. The message of the Bible is Christ. It is a message of love and forgiveness.

In the efforts to ban pornography, homosexuality, and abortion, we are creating enemies of man. "Religious Right" has become a derogatory term. Groups are on edge, feeling the need to be ready to defend themselves. We must love these people, not despise them. Through the love, understanding and forgiveness of God they can be changed. Laws won't change them - God will. It is our job to bring them to God.

Friday, May 13, 2005

God the Biologist

Kansas, Georgia, and many others seem stuck on the "conflict" between evolution and creationism. It has even go so far as to create "Intelligent Design" (more here), a pseudo science effort to push creationism into science classes, but stay away from religion.

Evolution does not contradict or disprove creationism. Creationism does not contradict or disprove evolution. God's creation of man is a mystery to us. We have only the story in Genesis to go by, and that is merely a story. If you were God, thousands of years ago, and you were going to explain to man how you made everything, what would you have said? Biology, biochemistry, and evolution were simply unheard of in the Old Testament world. Details were simply unimportant. Even with all of modern science, we are only scratching the surface of the complexities of the natural world. Medicine is a formal method of guessing what is wrong and what will help. Astronomy changes constantly.

Evolution could well be the process by which God created man and the animals. Perhaps God worked on the world while the world was developing? Is the fossil record a historical trail of God's work in creating man?

The fight against evolution is a diversion; a subversion of purpose to borrow a phrase. We must focus instead on helping the world to understand the compassion and love that God has for us.