Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Steve Saint Seminar

Last Wednesday, I took advantage of a day-long seminar with Steve Saint. Steve is the son of Nate Saint, one of the missionaries that lost their lives some 50 years ago in the jungle of Ecuador to the Auca Indians. If you don't know Steve's story, how he essentially grew up there and befriended, along with his family, the same people that took his father's life - it's a remarkable story. There are plenty of summaries online, or you can check out the book "End of the Spear", which was also a major motion picture a few months back. Picture at the left is Steve working at i-tec, the company he founded that helps indigenous people build airplanes, dental equipment, etc. Some to be used in indigenous areas, some to help stimulate an economy in places where there is none. Rather fascinating.....

It was falso ascinating to listen to Steve's stories and insights. A few that he shared:

"Christ gave the Great Commission to the church - that's our purpose. The purpose of missions is to establish churches where there are none, so the church can continue to do the Great Commission.

"If you don't have kids, they probably won't either...."

"The Church may not be perfect, but nonetheless its the organism through which Christ has chosen to reach the world."

"Evangelism is a relay race, not a marathon" (nor is it a sprint...) "Unless the baton is handed off, the relay ends" (Steve compared this to what has happened in England, the very country from whom the Gospel was exported to us...the baton ceased to be passed, and now only 4% claim to be evangelical Christians in Great Britain)


A classic from Heywood Banks. Best tribute song ever!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus Suspension

I'm not much a follower of Don Imus. Couldn't find him on my radio if I tried. One of the monitors at the YMCA sometimes has his MSNBC show, which is essentially his radio show being shown live on TV. Anyway, he said some stupid things. And he has apologized. There are those who are protesting, demanding he be fired. Though I do think the comments he made were wrong and way over the top, he has gone out of his way to apologize and repent of his words.

I've always sort of been a "benefit of the doubt" kinda guy. Right or wrong, its where I land. I tend to give anyone who's acting out or saying something rude or unkind that benefit of the doubt. Sometimes you just don't think before you speak. Sometimes, you're just moody or cranky and you inadvertantly say something you shouldn't or don't normally say, or you say it with a certain tone that just changes the whole meaning. I also believe second chances are good things. We've all had them. Truth be told, we've all had many more than just 2, haven't we?

This is radio "shock jock." (he's been called that....I just thought he was a folksy kinda guy who happened to have one of those radio voices and made a career out of it...) He doesn't have a track record of racism or bigotry, and I don't think this one circumstance should make him a card-carrying member of that group. So if he needs to be suspended, fine. I'm not sure that's necessary either, but fine. But the guy has learned a valuable lesson. Let him back on the air to help the many who apparently do listen to his show come to learn those lessons from him.

In the mean time, what can we do to get Sharpton & Jackson off the air? And BTW, what little I've heard from Howard Stern...how can THAT guy not be suspended??

Friday, April 06, 2007

A New Era Begins

The Kentucky Wildcats have had 6 coaches since the 1930's. They don't put just anybody on that sideline. Today, they added another in that small fraternity. Billy Gillespie, who just had a ton of success at both UTEP (more on that irony in a minute) and Texas A & M. Some of us were hoping for the "other Billy," but after watching the press conference, seems like a pretty sharp guy. His record speaks for itself. Hey, as long as he can beat Louisville & IU each year, its all good!

As for irony, UTEP was once Texas Western. The movie "Glory Road" depicted the true story of their basketball team, all of whom were black, who went on to beat the Adolph Rupp-coached Wildcats, all of whom were very white, in the national championship game. That was an imporant game in the history of sports, in a Jackie Robinson kind of way. Fast forward a bunch of years later, and you've got a coach who has had the reigns at both programs. Just interesting, that's all.

As for Big Blue Nation, just an amazing amount of passion for all things Kentucky Basketball. This guy flys in last night from Texas, has a marathon interview session late into the night, and in a matter of hours there is a huge pep rally, with the band & everything, just to announce that he's the next head coach! Memorial Colisseum was full! Look at the size of the crowd in this picture! The press conference that followed was attended by many former players, and even former coach Joe B Hall was in the crowd! That kind of thing doesn't happen anywhere else in America. Very cool...you can see the pep rally here. You can also listen to or watch the press conference, too. Just unbelievable. A week after the NCAA tourney, where your team bows out early and you later see the departure of your coach and basketball should start moving to the back of your mind, and just like that - a pep rally just to introduce your new coach! (Oh, and you can already get the Billy Gillespie wallpaper for your computer). Now that's passion.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Global Warming?

I'll admit to knowing very little about the whole Global Warming thing. I'll also admit that those you listen to most in the media will very much slant your opinion. For instance, listen to conservative talk radio, and you will be convinced that all of this to-do about the environment is a bunch of hooey. I've also noticed that the more conservative you are, the nastier you become with the name calling and pious discrediting of anyone speaking out about the environment (all sorts of Al Gore slams, tree hugger references, etc.) If you're outspoken about the environment, you're automatically labeled as an aforementioned tree hugger, and somewhere the label "liberal commie" us undoubtedly used.

Well, can't we all get along? Seems to me there is a happy medium here somewhere. I am tired of Christians simply following the "loud" voices out there of Rush and other blowhards who are misquoting and taking Scripture out of context to suit their "the sky certainly isn't falling" theories, while ignoring the Biblical evidence that this earth is ours to steward appropriately.

Here are a few quotes and soundbites that I came across today that I thought were thought-provoking and somewhat humorous...on both sides of the ozone (so to speak).
  1. conservative radio host from Cincy named Bill Cunningham in a promo for his afternoon show, commenting on the drastic cold snap that has swept into the region - "Today we'll talk about whether this 50-degree drop in temperature is even more evidence of global warming." He, of course, is in the "hooey" camp.

  2. "71% of the population believes in global warming while the other 29% are still trying to resolve the 'earth is flat' debate" - ad in Outside magazine for a company called simpleshoes, who make shoes out of recycled tires (the April issue is the Green Issue, with lots of environment stuff)...

  3. Chip Giller of www.grist.org quoted in Outside mag...I think this quote is also on a Starbucks cup..."So-called 'global warming' is just a secret plot by wacko tree huggers to make America energy independent, clean our air and water, improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, kick-start 21st-century industries, and make our cities safer and more livable. Don't let them get away with it!" Very funny!

Post # 200

I thought that an occasion this momentous deserved a fresh start. So for the ever diminishing handful of you who happen by, you'll notice a new look. I'm not smart enough to design some cool look, so I'm captive to the free templates that the fine folks at Blogger have to offer. But I liked the look here, it seems to give more space to some of the "frills" with which I am experimenting, and its fresh. At least to me! So enjoy the blueness.

David Crowder Video

This week, the David Crowder Band video is featured over on MSN. Check out the video and be sure to vote for Crowder. No idea what the voting thing means, and its obvious that hords of Crowder fans (or is it a pack of rabid squirrels?) (NOTE: Voting is over, but you can still watch the video.) have frequented and given lots of love. In fact, the tag on the picture says 2006 Artist of the Year. If you've followed Crowder much, you may 'get' some of the video images. If not, its a cool song with animated video featuring some squirrels who seemingly become Crowder fans! Its fun...he's absolutely the best thing going in Christian music right now. Check it out! (Go there, click on the band's photo, and it will start soon thereafter).

Passion Featured on Christianity Today

Passion is the cover feature for the April Christianity Today. Very good article highlighting "the most influential annual gathering of young evangelicals" and its plans to go global.

In case you're unfamiliar, a brief overview of the Passion movement. Louie Giglio founded it a number of years ago to mainly focus toward Christian students on college campuses and mobilize them to influence their campus and their world. In the process, several cutting-edge worship leaders emerged from the group, including Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Charlie Hall, and others who have associated themselves with Passion, including Matt Redman, Shane & Shane and others. Not to mention a number of powerhouse teachers including John Piper, Beth Moore and others. You can find out more info at the Passion website. Read the very interesting CT article; there are a ton of links at the end of the article for some terrific resources you can check out, too.

I love the heart of these folks, and their desire to "make God famous", based on their foundational verse Isaiah 26:8 "Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts."

Easter Quotes

Several thought-stirring quotes regarding Easter week at Christianity Today. Check them out. Here are a couple that struck a chord with me - read more here.

"FOLLOWING JESUS doesn't get us where we want to go. It gets us to where Jesus goes, where we meet him in Resurrection surprise: "My Lord and my God!"
-Eugene H. Peterson, The Jesus Way

"SOCRATES mastered the art of dying; Christ overcame death as "the last enemy" (1 Cor. 15:26). There is a real difference between the two things; the one is within the scope of human possibilities, the other means resurrection. It is not from ars moriendi, the art of dying, but from the resurrection of Christ that a new and purifying wind can blow through our present world. … If a few people really believed that and acted on it in their daily lives, a great deal would be changed. To live in the light of the Resurrection—that is what Easter means."
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Big Butter Jesus by Heywood Banks

Song by Heywood about this giant statue of Jesus that looks like its made from butter (some locals say it looks like cheese...they call it Cheesus) IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED, first of all, life is too short, so lighten up. But don't watch this if even the title of the song bugs you...this is awfully funny!