Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Best Thing I've Read from the Middle East Since the Bible!

Since the invasion of Iraq, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of attacks on Christians living in Middle East nations. From Iran to Iraq to Palestine to Egypt, the Christian minorities have been threatened, beaten, bombed, and killed. Churches have become hostage sites while worship services have been rocked by suicide bombers.

Arab Christians have begun fleeing their homes and staying away from worship gatherings, fearful for their lives.

The one thing that would easily solve this problem from exploding hadn't been happening, but now it has...Muslims are stepping up, speaking out, and standing beside their cousins in faith.

This news story articulates the recent turmoils in Egypt and how Muslim intellectuals and activists are calling for Muslims to support the Coptic Christians in Egypt. By going to church with them, Muslims are becoming "human shields."

How amazing. How Christ-like! And I say that with total admiration for my cousins in faith. God bless you! May our LORD, the God of Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac bless you and keep you. May the God of our Fathers and Mothers protect you and our Coptic brothers and sisters.

Insha'Allah, we can have peace. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Boiler Up!

#12 Purdue @ #1 an Ohio State University tonight!

Can Purdue win? Absolutely! Will they win? Well, that's why they play the game.

The key matchup according to the media is 6' 9" Fr. J. Sullinger of aOSU vs. 6' 10" Sr. J. Johnson. Both lead their teams in scoring and rebounding. Both are the top candidates for Big Ten player of the year. Each have a lot to prove about being the dominant post player of the year...

BUT...I'm going with the guards. I think that Sullinger and JJ will both play well, and thus negate each other. The key is going to be Etwuan Moore and Purdue's defense vs. Lighty and Buford. If Threetwuan Moore continues to play like he did vs. MSU and Purdue's guards are able to deny the aOSU guards entry passes, it will be a long frustrating night for the school that pays their players...umm...I mean aOSU. If Purdue is not able to deny Sullinger the ball, it will be the beginning of a long, terrible darkness over the Big Ten as Sullinger's game will open up aOSU's long game, spelling certain doom for the forces of good.

I don't think it will go like that, though. I think it will be a hard fought game going down to the wire. Threetwuan Moore hits the game winning three.

Purdue 71
aOSU 69

P.S. Look for Seth Davis to still say Purdue is not good after the win.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Respecting Your Elders

In my line of work, I deal with a large percentage of older adults. It is no surprise, and it is often admitted by older adults themselves, that this demigraphic strongly dislikes change.

However, life is full of change, and we are living in a moment in history when the change from week to week is literally equivalent to the changes occurring in a century for most of history. Change has exploded into an ever quickening pace. More has been learned in the 20th century than all of human history combined. It truly is an unbelievable time to live!

Leading an organization, leading for best practices in communities, that means I am advocating change often. Sometimes those changes are small. Sometimes they are big.

Unfortunately, I have found that resistance to change often finds the most base, ad hominem arguments, which gets to my point: At what point does the "I'm 90..." become a trump card?

It leaves us with giving up and letting resistance to change have its way, or it becomes the perception that you're "attacking a 90 yr. old."

I guess maybe I'm jealous. I want a trump card that shames everybody even when their logic is sound. "No! You can't do that! I have brown eye brows! You just leave little ole me with brown eyebrows out. You non brown-eyebrow-liker!" Man that would be awesome to pull out when I'm obviously not right. The brown eyebrow trump card...something I didn't decide and don't control...but makes me right nonetheless.

I'm also tired. Tired of fighting. I'm tired of "That's not the way we've done it." I'm tired of "You're just young." I'm tired of "You'll learn some day." I'm tired of "Old people are left out." These accusations are merely that...accusations, ad hominem attacks that surface when the facts prove a point.

Yet, culturally, we let these arguments stand...and win. I guess I have a lot to learn about respecting my elders because I just can't when they play these games.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cheaters Do Win!

One of the lessons I'm going to have to teach my son and daughter is that cheaters do win. Contrary to what Daddy and Mommy have taught them their short lives, the NCAA is proving time and time again that it DOES pay to cheat (pun intended)!

Last night a player whose family asked for $200,000+ to play for two different schools was lauded as a hero for winning the BCS National Championship Game. In case you haven't heard, his father asked for money for Cam to go to different SEC schools. The schools turned this in, and the NCAA, ever so moral and righteous, deemed that Cam nor Auburn can't be held responsible for his father's indiscretions. The cheater wins.

This year O$U players were actually caught receiving special perks for being players and for selling Big Ten Championship rings. They were suspended for 5 games next year...BUT, they were allowed to play in the Bowl game this year. Again, the cheater wins.

John Calipari, the cheatingest coach in all of sports, has been the head man at two different universities that were given sanctions for improper recruiting violations and recruits having someone else take their SAT. Yet, the NCAA has cleared him every time. Yet, here he is the lauded Coach Calipari, at head of the (formerly) prestigious Kentucky basketball program. This cheater really knows how to win!

Here's to the cheaters! Yours is the victory and the glory and the wins! Cheers to the NCAA for being a leading force in the change of antiquated ethics...pshhh...who needs integrity...It doesn't give you trophies or $$$.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Than We Can Handle

1 Corinthians 10:13 is often misquoted/misused...I've heard it (and probably said it this way myself) "God won't give you more than you can handle." And, while this is true in a sense, it is often pulled out of its context to mean something like "God will not allow stuff to happen in your life that you cannot effectively overcome." This is false.

John Ortberg pointed this out in It All Goes Back in the Box, as he correctly writes,

People twist that statement into saying that God will never give us
more than we can handle. Really? Look around the world:
holocaust, death, martyrdom, cancer, war. Whether it's a special
assignment or just living in a fallen world, people all the time are given
burdens they cannot handle...Paul's point is that we can never worm out of
responsibility for sin by saying it's God's fault.

I'm glad I ran across this. It challenged a reading that I had blindly accepted. I knew people had more than they could handle. I've read that verse and said to myself, "There are things, I'm not sure I could handle." To be honest, I felt a sense of pressure when reading this. Nothing can break me? Really? No...that's just religious platitude.

God gives us an out when it comes to temptation, but there are circumstances in life that will beat people down, sometimes even take their life...literally and/or figuratively.

That is why it is so important for the Church to be involved and missional in its endeavors to the community and world in which it exists. There are evils and oppressions out there that are taking people's lives slowly and painfully. And it's more than any of us could handle...alone.

This is why I believe in the Church: I have seen, felt, and participated in Her Salvific mission given by Christ to redeem the world. The message of God's love and mercy are so vital to give hope, and the active love of the body of Christ through mercy and caring ministries demonstrates what salvation is really all about: wholeness.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Holiday wishes to everyone! I hope that your Christmas and New Year were fun, safe, and meaningful. This has been such a unique year, but I can say that I am learning a lot about myself lately...mostly where I need to grow as a person. As long as I can follow through with it, that's a good thing!

Speaking of growing, I've made some resolutions for myself this year. They are:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a reasonable diet.
  • Lose 20 lbs.
  • Not lose my temper as much with my children.
  • Get back to dotting more i's and crossing more t's. 2010 was a huge step back in that area!

Do you have any resolutions? Want to share?