Adult Resignation

I just recently discovered this little piece. To me it is powerful, captivating, and dead on with where I want to take my life. Enjoy.

“I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult.

I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year old again.

I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.

I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simple again.

I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth,justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.

So….here’s my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements.

I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, cause, ‘Tag! You’re it.'”

Changing Minds

I discovered the pen of David Roper about 13 years ago while interning for a church in Atlanta. Each day the interns had to read a devotional thought from Roper’s book, A Burden Shared: Encouragement for Leaders. Each devotional takes about 2 minutes to read, but the thoughts are powerful, thoughtful, and yes, encouraging.

I frequently return to Roper when in need of a fresh, grounded, incisive voice. Today was one of those days. By divine guidance I landed on Roper’s devotional about changing minds. This is a difficult topic for me. It’s difficulty because, honestly, when people disagree with me or are resistant to needed changes to engage people with the gospel I secretly think them stupid, ill-informed, disingenuous, unthoughtful, power-hungry or ignorant. Of course, I never tell them that. And down deep I recognize that I’m wrong for thinking and feeling that way, yet, I oftentimes do feel that way.

Roper helps me recalibrate my instincts and behaviors in the face of trying to move individuals and the church forward. First quoting Paul and then expanding the thought, Roper writes…

“The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will (2 Tim. 2.24-26).

“It’s a sin to bully people–to be combative and argumentative. Discussion and debate on the facts is one thing; assault is another. When we resort to coercion we’ve already lost our moral and rational force. The Puritans were right when they enunciated the principle of consent. Faith can never be foisted on another. Consent must be gained by gentle persuasion and reason rather than mandate. People are best charmed into compliance.

“So we should avoid what Paul calls ‘foolish and stupid arguments’ and always be ‘kind to everyone’–intelligent and relevant in our proclamation and nondefensive in our posture, gently instructing those who oppose, ‘in the hope that God will grant them repentance…that they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil who has taken them captive to do his will’ (2.24-26)

“Those who oppose are not the enemy but victims of the enemy, deceived and captured by him to do his will. They may be delivered, Paul insists, but only if we speak the truth in love.

“Truth alone is never enough. Without love it is mere dogma and it never touches the soul. And without truth, love becomes mere sentimentalism. Only truth delivered with lovingkindness has power to change another’s mind. Truth sounds good only when it’s spoken with courtesy.”

Good thoughts, David.

Me Worship

This video really captures much of the state-of-the-church. Like many things, it’s funny because it is true.

For readers of this blog, I don’t have to go into a lot of detail about the commercialization of the church. You know all too well the temptation of churches to offer more and more religious goods and services in the hopes of drawing people, not to Jesus, but to the empires we are building; to be successful by worldly standards.

The question is how do we move ourselves, our churches and pre-Christians away from a “me-orientation” toward missional living.

Anyway enjoy the video!

Humilty and Child Rearing

Having a child is a humbling experience. It’s most humbling for the mother; who is poked and prodded; shaken and stirred as doctors and labor and delivery nurses enter and exit her narrow hospital room in their seemingly endless quest to “measure” something. Then there’s the endless parade of nursery nurses and breast-feeding experts coming in and out of her room wanting to “check” to see how the nursing is going. Soon, I suspect, a woman begins to feel as though her body is simply on display like a nude exhibit at a seedy New York art gallery.

Newborns are humbling for dads too. As many of you know, I do my fair share of public speaking, teaching and preaching, so I’ve come to believe that I’m pretty good at it. Last night, my almost-one-week-old taught me differently. As her mother was slumbering, I began to tell Katharine about her family – who her mom, sister, and dad are, what she needed to know about Christmas and how we celebrate birthdays. Trust me, I was telling GREAT stories! Low and beyond, as I reached the crescendo of my magical story-weaving, I looked down anticipating the anxious eyes of my daughter and there she was…asleep!

Can you believe that?

I was insulted!

Yet, in my gentle, fatherly, comforting way, I leaned over to her ear and said, “Do you know people PAY to hear me speak?”

Alas I let her off the hook, telling myself; “This is just my first sermon to her, she’s got a lot more coming.”

::Your Inner Geek::

I’ve long held to the hypothesis that everyone has an “Inner Geek.” What I mean by that is that whoever you are, no matter how cool, there is something – maybe even multiple somethings – that you are a geek about!

I’m mainly a geek about church. When going out-of-town or away on vacation, one of my chief concerns is which churches I’ll be able to go to. For instance, this spring I’m going to Malibu, CA, and you better bet that I’ll try to arrange my schedule to visit Mosaic in LA. In addition the coming months will take me to Raleigh, New Orleans, Abilene, and some other places I can’t quite remember right now, and you better bet I’m going to try and catch some innovative, missional church in the area. As a matter of fact, this past Advent season I tried to make four different church services on Christmas Eve. Alas, my wife’s sensibilities and high gas prices colluded to reduce me to only two services plus the Pope’s midnight mass.

I’m just a geek for church!

In my free time I read books about church, I write ideas about church, and I blog about church. Amazingly, many if these things never reach the light of day. It doesn’t matter to me though, it feeds my inner geek.

I have other things that I’m a geek about too. The are the following:

Crossword Puzzles – don’t ask.
Preaching – which has something to do with church.
Gadgets – especially if it’s made by Apple.

So what are you a geek about?