Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random News and Thoughts

Well, the students are back at Harding. Counting graduate students, we have around 6,500 folks........and included in that number are another record number of incoming freshman. Kudos to the HU Admissions Office! If you get a chance to see a replay of chapel today, by all means do so. Andrew Baker has a very heart-wrenching story, and then different people at Harding participate in "cardboard testimonies". It's a footwashing for sure. We did this at Downtown several weeks ago, and it was one of the most impactful services that I have ever been involved with. WELCOME BACK HARDING STUDENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I am presently reading "Divine Nobodies: Shedding Religion to Find God". I am not very far into it, but it is REALLY good. Pick it up if you get the chance. It's out in paperback.


Here is a challenge.......scan through the Gospels and look for people coming to Jesus seeking SPIRITUAL help as opposed to PHYSICAL help. Kinda mind-boggling. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.


The last book I read was "Soul Cravings" by Erwin McManus. Jerry Morgan had suggested I read it, and I try to read anything McManus writes anyway after reading "The Barbarian Way". Here are a couple of excerpts:

"If those who are the religious elite are closest to God, why is it that they are so rarely closest to love? If God is love, those who know God best would love people most. Jesus said he came not to condemn the world, but to bring the world life. Why is it that so many who represent him are ever so quick to condemn?"

"Religion exists not because God loves too little, but because we need love so much. In the end all religions misrepresent God. They either dictate requirements for love or simply become a requiem for love. I think many of us have given up on God on this basis alone. We've been told that God is a reluctant lover and his standards must be met before there can be any talk of love. This is lunacy. Love exists because God is love. Our souls will never find satisfaction until our hearts have found this love that we so desperately yearn for."

"God is not passive, for love is never passive, but always passionate; and passion always leads to action."


Seems like something important begins this weekend. Could it be time for COLLEGE FOOTBALL?!?!?!?! I might watch a game or two this weekend, if I can find one I'm interested in. Did somebody mention a game in the Georgia Dome?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Funny How This Happens

Most days I have to walk across the street to get to the Heritage Building for work, and then back across again to the parking lot later to leave. Some days there is no traffic, so it's not a problem. Other days you wouldn't BELIEVE how much traffic there is in a little town like Searcy! I've noticed something, and no.....this hasn't been a scientific study or anything CLOSE to that. Just an observation. Most of the time, it's not the BMW or Mercedes or Lexus or fancy SUV that stops to let me and others go across. It's the 80's Plymouth K-car or beat up Dodge Caravan that usually stops. It may be TOTALLY coincidental. I don't think it would be very hard to make that argument at all. And maybe there are a lot more of those older vehicles than there are the nicer more expensive ones.

But what if it's not coincidence?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Nothing like stating the obvious.............Michael Phelps is becoming one of the greatest Olympians of all time. I'm not a huge fan of swimming, but I find myself glued to the TV every time he races. He not only wins every event, he sets a new world record!

Ok, so the question of the day is this: Who is your all-time favorite Olympic competitor?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Fax of Life

Rubel Shelley's "Fax of Life" email that comes out each week blesses me each time I get it, but I thought this week's message was both powerful and timely. Some of you may not get it (you should sign's free!) and I wanted to share it here. Thanks Rubel!!

Title: Faith and Politics
Date: For the Week of August 4, 2008

My title may be misleading. This essay isn't really about politics - although it is. It is about everything. It is about business, education, choosing (or rejecting) motherhood, and eating apple pie. It is about mowing grass, taking exams, balancing a checkbook, and changing oil. And, yes, it is about politics.
I confess to being bothered by things I am hearing already about "who a Christian will vote for in November." Some will vote for Obama, some for McCain, and others will either stay home or write in a vote for somebody whose name most of us will have never heard. Faith doesn't dictate a particular social order, and spiritual people are not all members of the same political party.
Part of the genius of faith is that it isn't American or French. It doesn't make you anti-democracy or anti-monarchy. And it doesn't require you to favor socialism or capitalism. In the case of Christian faith, it declares that one's true citizenship is in God's kingdom and that his or her life under whatever political system is to be lived for the sake of a divine calling.
On the one hand, faith is not divorced from one's social context. It should make one a better citizen in Africa, Europe, or America. A God-honoring way of life moves us to care for our neighbors and to seek the good of all people.
On the other, faith is not defined by one's social context. A woman can be a true and faithful child of God in Russia, Australia, or North Korea. Nothing about earthly governments trumps the value of a heavenly citizenship.
So what's with the title? Why raise the issue of "faith and politics" or "faith and business" or "faith and family"? Simply to make the point that good theology and authentic faith are always practical. They relate to life as it is being lived every day by ordinary men and women in our homes and workplaces.
Eugene Peterson says that a healthy pursuit of the spiritual life is "the development of awareness and discernments that are as alert and responsible in the workplace as in the sanctuary, as active while changing diapers in a nursery as while meditating in a grove of aspens, as necessary when reading a newspaper editorial as when exegeting a sentence written in Hebrew."
Faith is the orientation of a life to pursue God. Scripture is a compass to keep us from getting disoriented on our journey. Jesus is the defining personal example of what it is to live spiritually. If you believe all three of those statements - as I do - there is nothing about any one of them or all taken together that dictates your candidate for president, the career you must pursue, or the city where you must live. Yet all those decisions will be informed by your faith.
Faith is not your private opinion but your life-defining commitment by which everything in your public and relational life is decided.