Thursday, February 24, 2005

hope for us all

What an interesting headline...

"Brian 'Head' Welch Leaves Korn, Citing Moral Objections To Band's Music."

OK, so I was hooked. Seems that through some miraculous set of circumstances, the band's lead guitarist and one of its founding members has converted to Christianity. As one of my friends so eloquently pointed out, "Good for him!"

I agree. And good for us all. If there's hope promised for Brian Welch (and a host of other folks out there just like him), then guess what? There's hope for that person in our lives we just assumed was hopeless. That could never be reached. The object of lots of prayers that never seemed to get through. My hunch is, somebody in Brian's life was praying that God would intervene.

Just how far has Brian come? Pretty much full circle. For instance, once in the recording studio, Korn had a woman tied up with ropes, and for fun would whip her and shock her with a taser. Profanity and drugs were prevelent, as was an open fascination with pornography. Their songs were about such pleasant topics as suicide, killing their family, and choking women to death. Nice guys. I intended on quoting some lyrics, but couldn't find any that weren't laced with f-words and the like.

But Brian has found a way out. That's good news for us all. God is, after all, "patient...not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance ." (2 Peter 3:9)

Read the article about Brian Welch here...

Another article you need to check out, which highlights Welch in a CA church....

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


I'm learning a lot about obedience these days. Opportunities to be obedient are abundant and necessary (imagine a world where it was "up to you" to stop on red, etc.) Sure, ultimatly obedience is our choice, but nonetheless the expectation is there.

We obey the laws of the land, our parents, our boss. We should obey our doctor, the food pyramid, and those pesky insurance charts that say "if you're this height, then you should be this weight...otherwise, we'll charge you through the nose." We stand in line where the sign tells us to, and we pay our bills by the designated date.

Is it really all that tough? I mean, we learn early on that green means go, and red means stop. So when that bright light is in front of you, you know what to do, right? Sure, you can choose to ignore, or maybe even get distracted and miss the sign, but its there. You know it. Doing what we're supposed to do isn't all that tough, especially when the signs, voices, and images all around us are reminding us of that which we're supposed to obey.

The lesson I seem to be learning is that it's not always that clear. Sometimes, there are no signs, voices, or images to tell me precisely what my act of obedience should be. Or more importantly, why I should behave, act, or follow a certain path. For instance, its not that tough to teach a child that putting the seatbelt on in the car is not only obeying the law, but smart for lots of reasons. But aren't there times in life when we're compelled to obey, but the reasons don't seem so smart? Or the reasons don't seem to be there at all? In fact, maybe the reasons seem, well, not so smart.

Put yourself in Abraham's shoes. What do you think was going through Abraham's mind as he led his son up the mountain to prepare for the sacrifice, even allowing Isaac, the "target" of his affection, to help with the preparations? Were there doubts? Questions? Was there pleading with God? Would there be if YOU were wearing those shoes? "God, I want to obey you, but does this seem all that smart?"

Nowhere are we promised obedience is easy. But God expects it. Certainly its not a popular notion in an era where making your own rules to live by is a badge of honor.

Have you had a mountaintop/altar experience like Abraham? It will look radically different than Genesis 22, but the choice will be the same. Obey...or not.

"Do what you know you should do, and you will know what to do. God clarifies in the midst of obedience, not beforehand."
-Erwin McManus, "Seizing Your Diving Moment"

Friday, February 04, 2005

father of a teenager?

It's true - I'm officially old. My son entered "teendom" this week. At first it didn't seem so bad. After all, he's a great kid. But after a little bit of reflection, it hit me sort of like an equation from Geometry class. Something along the lines of:

son is a teenager + I am his father = I am the father of a teenager = I am old.

OK, so maybe the math isn't too good. Geometry was not one of my better subjects back in the day. Which, coincidentaly was a long time ago. Remember, I'm old.

I have lots of life and experiences ahead of me, and so does my son. There are a couple of realities that have occurred to me this week.

First, have I been a good dad? I suppose that's a question that lots of people ask (actually, I wish more people would ask that question). How have I done? Have I instilled in him the things he needs most from a dad?

Second, is his "molding" process over? Some say that by the early teen years, most of us have developed beliefs, attitudes, and worldviews that we'll take with us into adulthood. Most who commit their lives to Christ do so before the age of 14. After that, there's only a 10% chance that you'll ever make a decision of that magnitude. Fortunately, I know a lot of folks who fit into that 10%.

I suppose one of the unknowns of parenthood is, well, how are you doing? I'll stick with my simple rule that seems to be working - love my kids. Unconditionally and without question. Love them. Will they make great decisions all the time? No. Will they be perfect now and in the future? Probably not. I'm privy to the genes they inherited, so I'm confident there's plenty of "blow it" genes in the mix.

But will they know that their dad loved them and couldn't wait to see what God had in store for their lives? You bet. Many parents may be trying to give their kids the whole world. Perhaps all they really need is to know they're loved.