Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Tuesday Rambling 6.28.16 – The False Dilemma of King Jesus vs. King James

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Let the rambling begin:

  • The Cavs’ championship brought excitement to many in NEO.
  • The basic topic: is sports a god, or idol that believers in Jesus choose over the true God?
  • I saw a meme on Facebook asking which King you worshiped last Sunday (the 19th, of course).
  • Is this really a dilemma? Did I worship King James like I worship King Jesus?
  • By investing a couple hours watching a game and going completely bonkers when a team does something no team has done do I really supplant my worship of King Jesus?
  • Do I trust King James for my salvation if I’m excited and glad for what he did, how he played, how he displayed leadership on the basketball floor?
  • Is it possible for believers to be caught up in cultural events without worshiping those involved in those events?
  • Let me run another parallel. I have gone to a lot of concerts in my day. Should I have put all that money in the offering plate instead?
  • As a pastor I am deeply concerned over the souls of those I love. Can sports distract?
  • Yes, sports can distract. The constant noise of sports talk radio, the endless infatuation with speculation of player movement and development can seriously hamper spiritual growth.
  • But idol worship begins in the heart, not at a T.V. or a basketball game.
  • Believers with eyes fixed on Jesus should never hesitate to engage cultural opportunities such as sports, the arts, or other interests.
  • Believers who spend more effort in the pursuit of hobbies should check their heart.
  • I pray God will grab hearts in a way that Facebook memes may fail to do.

Monday Challenge 6.27.16 – Cost of Impatience, Fictional Church, Humility

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Good Monday Morning!

Time for another challenge. Enjoy these articles and see how they can challenge the way you think and live!

The Cost of Impatience

A video game profits off people’s impatience. So many lessons.

Question: Have you ever paid money for convenience, or out of impatience? Why?

Fictional Church

Not a pastor? This article may help you think about setting realistic expectations for the local church.

Question: What adjustment can you make as a participant in a local church after reading this article?

Positive Morality

This will stoke you thinking about morality, but you’ll find it well worth the time.

Question: How can you bear a positive witness for morality?

Humility

As part of our Akron service project Project Shine, humility is a theme of focus of the week. This article adds much to consider on the topic.

Question: What steps can you take to increase humility in your life?

 

 

 

Tuesday Rambling 6.21.16 – Why Is This Such A Big Deal?

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Good morning. Time to ramble.

  • So the Cavs won it. Big deal, right?
  • Yes it’s a big deal! But….why?
  • One reason is unity – it’s great to feel a part of something.
  • I’d argue this championship brings the Northeast Ohio region together and boosts the spirits of many. Nothing wrong with that on a purely civic level.
  • LeBron’s hometown drive. LeBron has always stayed active in Akron. He really wanted this for the local fans in the NEO area. The local fans appreciate that.
  • The redemption/return story looms huge.  People identify with redemption. LeBron has redeemed himself and redeemed the harsh wait of the fans, no doubt.
  • History – the way this happened truly amazes so many who follow sports.
  • Golden State choked. People identify with seeing the insurmountable foe fail.
  • Father’s Day. Men like sports. This happened on Father’s Day, making it extra special for many men and their sons who enjoy and make memories around the pastime of sports.
  • Because it’s an idol and people find their identity too much in sports, sports figures, and “their team”? Well…possibly?

Monday Challenge 6.20.16 – NBA, Two Words, Gender and Anxiety

Monday

One more Monday. One more opportunity for a challenge. Here we go!

NBA

Steph Curry’s mouthpiece chuck stood out. How does a believer respond after making a big public mistake?

Question: How do you respond when you sin it in a public way?

Raising Children

Two words you should say to your children: watch me. Sometimes I feel like I get this all wrong. But I do hope my kids learn certain things from me.

Question: What would you most like to change about the way your kids see you?

The Trinity

For those who love a little theology, this is worth the read. Even if you don’t, would it hurt your brain to try thinking about the Trinity?

Question: Do you shy away from trying to think about deeper things in relation to God? Why?

Gender and Anxiety

Is one gender more prone to anxiety than the other? This article says yes.

Question: What do you make of the reasons for why?

Tuesday Rambling 6.14.16 – Orlando: The Clear and the Blurry

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Time to ramble about the horrific tragedy in Orlando.

What’s clear:

  • Fifty people lost their lives. It hurts to type those words. Tragedy visited Orlando Sunday morning.
  • No one should carry out a crime to the physical harm of another human being out of opposition to lifestyle or religion.
  • The availability of semi-automatic weapons means they can and will be used to take many innocent lives at once.
  • According to the Bible, Satan-influenced sin (of the attacker) against God is the primary reason for any such attack.
  • Hundreds of real people (not caricatures in a story) now must pick up the pieces and move on after surviving the trauma of the attack or learning of the loss of a loved one.
  • The Bible and the Judeo-Christian faith speak clearly and directly to this situation regarding its cause, God’s role, and how survivors and those grieving can find hope.

What’s blurry:

  • Love and hate. As someone who disagrees with the gay lifestyle on Biblical grounds, I can BOTH weep with those mourning loss AND disagree with their lifestyle. A saying such as “Love, not hate” can blur thinking depending on what’s meant by love and hate.
  • Islam. I think many Americans and especially Christian Americans have difficulty separating radical Islam from all Islam. This blurs understanding and attitudes, enhancing fear.
  • The government’s role in preventing this. Both presidential candidates (and to be fair, President Obama as well) have addressed the difficulty of identifying the lone attacker type. I label this blurry due to the difficulty in identifying them and the need to profile (by ethnicity and religion) to effectively prevent these types of attacks. Very blurry on many levels!
  • Public grief. I debated placing this in the “clear” category, but I leave it here. Social media blew up shortly after the event with divisive posts regarding all the socio-political dynamics involved (yes, there are many). Politicians and leaders talk about tragedy and grief, but by refusing to ignore the politics in lieu of calling for a season of grief it blurs the lines. I wish leaders would simply say they won’t answer any questions about the politics of the why until a season (at least a week?) of mourning and respecting the dead has passed. My heart tears observing our inability to grieve.
  • Human life. Obviously human life is devalued in a mass murder. Human life, in my opinion, is also blurred when we won’t focus on grief, respecting the dead, and encouraging support of those fellow Americans who suffer immense tragedy. This mass murder is a real event with real life changing consequences. Blanketing the situation with political talk only blankets and mutes the value of human life – both the dead and the surviving suffering.