Thursday, June 21, 2007

All I Really Needed to Know I Learned On the Daily Show

Some people watch television to unplug and relax. Others watch to plug in and be informed.

I watch for reasons all my own... and very different ones at that.

Jon Stewart is a culturist (as I attempt to be). He offers more than comedy. He gives nightly social commentary. And whether you agree with him or not, you must acknowledge its provocation.

Think about it. Watch. Think.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Parable of the Deer

This may or may not be meaningful to you. Personally, I'm not much of an outdoorsman. On a recent 1500 mile trip I was overwhelmed by the powerful imagery of (and similarity between) the way I found myself watching for deer and the ways in which I seek people who are not-yet-Christian. This story will contain the deer part... hearing the parable is up to you.

Seeing Deer
One can have a desire to see our fury friends and cease to lay eyes on a single one. There are several keys that I found helped me to see the deer. In a little less than two hours I saw 18 live ones and 9 of the other kind.
  • the right time of day (typically dawn or dusk) - they like cooler temperatures
  • knowing where to look
  • requires vigilance - constant watching
  • the looking makes time fly
  • there are even signs noting a historical presence
Distractions to Seeing Deer
As I was watching for and seeing these beautiful creatures I noticed that there were other things vying for my attention. They weren't necessarily bad things (though some were). But these things made it very difficult for me to see the deer.
  • trees
  • the speed at which things were passing me by
  • trying to operate a moving vehicle while watching
  • writing these thoughts down so I wouldn't forget them
  • phone calls
  • heat... as the sun and the temperature rose the deer vanished
Realities of Deer Seeking
I'm sure experiences vary and geography has much to do with my fortune of seeing so many deer in such a relatively short amount of time. This caused me to think... what were other realities that I was facing as part of this process?
  • some don't make it... remember the 9 mentioned earlier
  • most travel together
  • almost all were near the edge of a wooded area
  • few were out in the open looking for something to eat
I learned much that day. Truthfully I'm pretty sure I would have remembered it all without writing it down. But now you can know the story too.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Who Is God?

Much has been written and said about this One named God. In His name beautiful things have been done and ugly wars have been fought. He is credited with the creation of worlds and children. Many people have received instructions about life that they claim came from this God. Who is He... really? How can we definitively know what He is like and maybe more importantly, what He wants us to be like?

I've been thinking about this lately. It seems to me that especially when we draw near to things that are clearly out of our control we are prone to look to this God. In times of terrorism we have asked God to "bless America". Weddings, funerals, baby dedications... many of these events invite God to preside (or so we say/pray). My family and I are in a time like that even now and I have been searching for this kind of help from God.

There are many comforts to be found in knowing and believing the Scriptures. It is the journal of God. I can read it to discover realities about God. There is a place to uncover mysteries that are greater than my understanding. So I went to this book - the Bible - to see some of the ways that God dealt with people. I decided to start in Genesis... the book of beginnings. The things I have learned and been reminded of about God are too many to print. Allow me to share a few:
  • God is creative... it's always been that way
  • God made people to be together
  • God knows everything about everything
  • God made people in His image
  • God loves protecting people
  • God reluctantly punishes people
  • God is merciful
  • God says hard things too... He's probably the only One who ever should
  • God knows what is in people's hearts... He's probably the only One who ever could
  • God keeps all of His promises... He's probably the only One who ever will
There are so many other things. These are just a few of the high points of the first few chapters. God's history is clear in the pages of His Word. His present and future are equally clear as He continues to act and move in the lives of real people and their circumstances.