Friday, December 05, 2008
Friday, September 21, 2007
Friday, August 11, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
Could you put someone's eye out that way?
I took an elbow to the cheekbone in a pick-up game of basketball Friday night. The shock was worse than the pain, so I shook it off and kept playing.
When the game was over I found a mirror in the men’s room and noticed a small slice and some puffiness just below my right eye. It was probably going to swell some more. It did. By morning it had also turned several shades of red and purple.
Several people have advised me that it might be time to consider giving up basketball. Maybe I should admit I am getting older, they offer with seemingly sincere concern for my well-being.
I am not ready to concede that I am too old for a pick-up game of basketball, but I have given thought to whether or not this accident means I should consider finding calmer hobbies. I don’t think so.
I can’t imagine giving up basketball just because I took an elbow to my cheek. Such a risk is part of the game; anyone who is afraid of the possibility of such a minor injury, it is true, doesn’t belong on a basketball court. I enjoy playing basketball enough, though, it is worth the risk.
It seems to me that to attempt to live a risk-free life would be incredibly boring. It also seems to me that many of us Christians have attempted to live just such a life, at least in spiritual terms. In the interest of reducing risk, we seek tame, docile, boring lives, then we wonder why we don’t know the joy that King David, Nehemiah, Peter and Paul knew.
Jesus offers us not just life, but abundant, full, joyous life. It will come with some risk. I believe it is worth the risk to live the life Jesus invites all of us to live.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Divorce is tough on everyone involved. Some friends of mine are in the process right now. I have been through it myself, and would not wish it on anyone.
It is especially difficult on the children involved. Some people will tell you that it is harder on smaller children, but in many situations I have known, grown children of divorcing couples are affected deeply as well.
If you have read this far and are ready to set this column aside because you are not and don’t plan to be involved in a divorce, hold on! Keep reading; I promise this column will be relevant to you, too.
As adults, especially as parents, we all share a responsibility for the raising of our children. I happen to believe that this responsibility is not only to my own children, but that part of being an adult means sharing a general responsibility for the raising of all children.
In our society today, though, many adults are preoccupied with their own lives and desires and interests. Sometimes this is to the detriment of their children. Certainly parents need to do things to take care of themselves, but we have to learn to do this in ways that do not impinge on care of their children.
This obviously affects single parents more extremely than married parents. If two parents can work together to make sure the needs of the children are held in high regard, space and time can be found, negotiated or carved without such severe effects on the children.
This summer I have met youth from all over this part of the country. I have heard many stories from them, and seen in casual observation at these events and just out and about in the world that youth are hurting. The children and youth of our culture are in general paying a high price for the too prevalent selfish desires and appetites of the adults in their world.
Our children and youth deserve better. We owe it to them to do better.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Coming to an end...
I am moving to noncon. For the next several weeks I will be sending emails and otherwise helping people find me there.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The Middle East
Whatever else I can tell you about the current war in the Middle East between Israel and Hizbollah, let me assure you of one thing. These events are not part of God's plan to bring an end to the world.
This is a difficult week to write a column. It is Sunday afternoon. The difficulty arises from having no idea what might happen between now and Wednesday/Thursday, when most of you will be reading this.
By the time you read this, there may be some Christians who are excited at the escalation of violence in and around Israel. Those who pick and choose and convolute scripture to say that Jesus will return and we will be saved when such things happen are no doubt actually cheering these recent events. It is a depraved mind indeed that rejoiced in the suffering of others in the name of imagined future peace for oneself.
I am very concerned about what is happening in the Middle East. The area has been a tinder-box for war and aggression seemingly forever. Even during times of relative peace, people there must be constantly on guard.
By comparison, many of us, even most of us, live in relative peace. The biggest real threat to our peace here at home from day to day is an unexpected traffic jam or an irate parent at a little-league game. I fear we have been lulled into a false sense of security by virtue of living in this land of freedom and peace and seemingly unending opportunity.
It strikes me that throughout scripture God's people have equal difficulty living as faithful followers in times of peace and the resulting complacency as they do during times of war. Whether in times of war or peace, we all share a need for God to be more involved in our lives. He promises he will, if we will but ask.
People who are following Jesus are not rejoicing over war in the Middle East. They are, however, praying that God will make himself known there, as well as here.