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

Tuesday Rambling 6.13.17 – The NBA Finals

Yes, I realize the NBA finals has little to do with faith, but I’ll take a slight detour today to express a few opinions. I will say that if your emotional engagement in today is affected because your team lost, do a heart check. At the very least you’ll have to think for yourself regarding some of my opinions (which are just that – my opinions). Time to ramble about the Finals:

  • Golden State won under the rules set up by the NBA. I don’t think they did anything particularly unfair. Congrats to them. No doubt they fielded the better team.
  • That said, what captivates you about the story?
  • Not much? For me, Durant getting his first ring and MVP brings a little draw.
  • Also, the talk of the Warriors having too many good players adds intrigue.
  • Those in sports commentary judge players by how many rings they have. How could you fault KD for joining the Warriors trying to get one?
  • That said, they should have won. Anyone wanting to trash Cleveland has very little basis for their argument.
  • Fact: Cleveland got very good performances from some of its players and just couldn’t overcome Golden State. They really need another superstar to make it competitive.
  • I simply prefer a more contested Championship as I think intrigue, opposition, protagonist/antagonists make for a more interesting story line.
  • A few statements about the NBA will at least make me feel better, as this is the last I’ll interact with the NBA likely until next year’s playoffs.
  • I really really don’t like watching this product or brand of basketball. It IS a quantifiably different and substandard game compared to some of the greats of eras gone by.
  • Don’t believe me? Hop on YouTube and watch some basketball when Jordan’s Bulls played, or when the Celtics played the Lakers.
  • The game now at times resembles football with all the pushing and shoving.
  • The level of unprofessionalism (from ALL players) really does take away from the product for me.
  • Stay with me. My favorite sport is baseball. The way NBA players complain and whine about officiating is the exception in MLB (and often comes with ejections).
  • MLB players know complaining comes with consequence (consistent complaining in baseball hurts you and your team) and takes away from the game.
  • The NBA should spend some of its summer watching true professionals in baseball.
  • Further, the officiating has ruined the credibility of the NBA in ways the officiating continues to strike at the credibility of the NFL.
  • The inconsistency of calls in game and from game to game make the product less than credible.
  • Okay, I’m done. Enjoy the championships, Golden State. Yes, you’ve earned them.
  • And your team will draw plenty of jersey sales that come from front running fans.
  • But your act will truly captivate few outside of California due to the lack of true challenge involved in the way you’ve gone about it!

Tuesday Rambling 6.6.17 – Before You Want Someone to Love You…

No, it’s not Valentine’s Day. But, I’m up for some rambling about our concept of love. Almost everyone wants someone to say “I love you”. Before you desire that, ask yourself:

  • Does that mean you could never disagree with that person?
  • Does love mean feelings always must drive it?
  • Must love always lead to a romantic relationship or encounter?
  • Can someone who doesn’t accept my opinion or way of life still love me?
  • How might someone’s love for you reveal your faults, and theirs?
  • What role does forgiveness play in your concept or definition of love?
  • If true love is present, do you give more or receive more in the relationship?
  • How can you restore love after someone has hurt you?
  • What percentage of love in a marital relationship revolves around romance? In actuality? In what you see on T.V. or in the movies?
  • Could you “love” until death do us part? If your spouse had a disabling event and lost all human faculties, would “love” drive you to serve that person until their death even if it meant very little in return for you?

Tuesday Rambling 5.30.17 – Totally Rambling Questions

Totally rambling questions this Tuesday morning…

  • Is God TRULY my chief desire in all of life?
  • What competes most for my allegiance to Jesus? Is He truly my king?
  • Am I growing in my faith: in knowledge, perseverance, godliness, love, etc. (2 Peter 1)?
  • A big question I have related to ministry: how should we establish clear expectations with people who have legitimate physical needs while making it clear we desire spiritual growth above all?
  • How do you get people to commit who have never really committed to anything…but themselves?
  • At times I wonder what the future will hold. How will my personal obedience and our family’s obedience look five or ten years from now?
  • I’ve always said I am willing to die for Christ. In the situation, whether to glorify God outright or in protection of others’ lives, would I really? Would you?
  • Why am I drawn to certain people and what does that say about me?
  • Specifically, why do certain “famous” people hold my interest and what weaknesses (or strengths) might that reveal?
  • When I say I trust God but struggle at times to understand His plans, how do I evaluate whether that really threatens my trust?

Tuesday Rambling 4.25.17 – About Churches and Aging Believers

Tuesday means rambling thoughts. Today: about churches and aging believers.

  •  I’d venture to say most newer or growing churches in the U.S. have a smaller number of aging believers (perhaps a lower number of those age 60 and up? – just a guess).
  • A question: what would happen if a number of new believers – equal to 20% or more of a church body – over the age of 60 just showed up and got plugged into a church targeted at younger believers?
  • Would it feel like an inconvenience? Or moving backward?
  • Would the leadership change the style of worship to adjust?
  • Would the younger congregation welcome them with some of the struggles they might bring?
  • Older believers by default will have more health problems and require more visitation.
  • Would anyone see such a situation as a blessing? Would leadership work to connect the aging believers with younger believers in need of godly wisdom and counsel?
  • I don’t write this to condemn, but to challenge.
  • How can our churches honor our older members, whose lives have changed so much?
  • How can our churches welcome their service and influence as part of the larger mission?
  • How can our churches help us learn compassion for people at different stages of life, even that stage which leads naturally to death?
  • For all ages: who do you know in an age bracket 30-40 years or more away from you?
  • Do younger folks know older folks? Do older folks really know younger folks? Both in a way that allows for prayer, relationship, and connection inside and (gasp!) outside of church?
  • Read Titus 2 here and get a picture of the types of relationships the Bible describes.

Tuesday Rambling 4.18.17 – Do You Have Faith?

Rambling about faith:

  • Definition of faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
  • Let’s start there. Assurance? Do we have it?
  • The point of faith involves believing without seeing. That does not preclude assurance.
  • Evidence of faith abounds. God intends the history of His works to sustain our faith.
  • He commands OT believers to remember through the Passover.
  • He commands NT believers to remember through celebrating communion.
  • We should remember the great works God has done and let those fuel our trust of His present and future work.
  • If we have no faith in past promises, how can we trust His promises which guide the future?
  • A practical question: Do we act like we have faith?
  • If we always question everything that doesn’t go our way, do we look for God’s purposes? Or do we wallow in self-created confusion?
  • Faith does not mean we get everything we want. It means we trust what God gives us.
  • Does it mean we shouldn’t struggle, or admit the difficulty of situations or seasons? No. We should admit those in the process of seeking to understand God’s will and plan, increasing our faith.
  • Faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9). Faith is a defense weapon (Eph. 6:16 and a great companion comparison in Genesis 15:1).
  • In times of great unknown, we can create a weak shelter of our own views and strength. Or we can actively trust God and marvel at His work, however much we may understand at that time.