More on Plagiarism

The topic of sermonic plagiarism keeps coming up – a product of the internet and podcasting age, no doubt. Here’s yet another article on the subject. I guess when The Wall Street Journal gets involved, it’s news!

Most public speakers and preachers “borrow” material at some point. We’ve all done it – even if only when we were new to speaking and more influenced by the thoughts of others more than our own interpretations. For some of us, something that we’ve read or heard is meaningful to us and seeps into our mind and heart becoming expressed in a sermon or talk – this is mostly good. For others, preaching unattributed material is a way of life and work.

It is surprising to me that there is not more uniformity regarding the ethics of sermon plagiarism. I find myself agreeing with Thom Long that, “Every minister owes his congregation a fresh act of interpretation,”and “To play easy with the truth, to be deceptive about where the ideas come from, is a lie.”

Tony Dungy – Super Bowl Winner

I love Tony Dungy!

And am so pleased that this man of deep faith, integrity, and character has reached the pinnacle of his profession. As I told my wife earlier tonight, “I like to see good things happen to good people.” I’ve followed Dungy since his days as defensive coordinator in Minnesota and was sorely disappointed when he was fired from Tampa Bay, only to see the team he built go on to win the Super Bowl the next year. I first heard about “All Pro Dads,” an organization dedicated to helping fathers father better, from Dungy, who was then the head of the organization. Our family hurt for his last year when his son – suffering from depression – committed suicide. Through it all, Dungy has faced life with character, righteousness, dignity and admirable sense of self.

Here are some paraphrases of things he said during his press conference after the Super Bowl that make him a great man.

1. This win doesn’t validate anything (for Peyton Manning). Great players are great players regardless of whether they win the Super Bowl.

2. God doesn’t care about who wins and loses (in football); it’s about the journey.

3. This should prove that a black coach can do it and a Christian coach can do it.

4. This proves that you can coach football, be a Christian and do it the right way. You can respect people AND be successful.

5. Whatever you do, God has prepared you for it.

What a good man. The NFL, and the world, could use a lot more like him.

A Lesson Learned – Out of the Mouths of Babes

Here’s another video for you all. Sorry the audio doesn’t match the video. The Japanese to English dubbing was hard to do.

Church Shopping – King of the Hill

You owe it to yourself to watch this video. There is so much that can be said about this, but I will refrain. Your own reflections will be commentary enough.

20 Questions

Every now and then I’m struck by the fact that so many questions that rattle around in my head never get answered. They just remain questions. And at the same time I realize that more and more questions there are the less and less real answers seem to come. So today I thought I would just share some general questions that have been on my mind.

Ready? Here we go, in no particular order.

1. How come I’ve never heard of most of the movies nominated for Academy Awards?

2. How come newscasters think they must spend 4 hours re-telling us what the President just told us?

3. How come Nancy Grace is still on TV?

4. Why does the weatherman start the “forecast” by telling us what already happened that day?

5. Why does my mother-in-law do her crossword puzzles in pen?

6. Why do both me and my mother-in-law do crossword puzzles?

7. Why doesn’t Starbuck’s have free WI-FI like everybody else?

8. Who are the people who haven’t learned to not use permanent marker on a whiteboard?

9. Why do people care about Brad and Angelina or Tom and Katie?

10. Why can you negotiate the cost of a house or car but not a computer or a sandwich at Subway?

11. Why was I such a jerk to so many people in high school and college?

12. Why was Shepherd Smith (of Fox News) wearing a Parka last night to cover the State of the Union? Was he covering it from Alaska?

13. Why didn’t the Texans draft Reggie Bush or Vince Young?

14. Why does Arizona not observe Daylight Savings Time?

15. Why do people like cats?

16. Why do ultra-fundamentalist Mormons think polygamy is a good idea? Isn’t one family difficult enough? (I mean, well worth it, but how many college tuitions and weddings do you want to pay for?)

17.Why are there ethnicities and races in the first place? Wouldn’t there be much more peace if we were all, say, black?

18. Why do people enjoying belittling each other so much?

19. Why do people of character and conviction so rarely rise to power?

20. How come so many of us Christians praise Martin Luther King, and Mother Theresa, but so seldom want to do the kinds of things they did?