|Last Breaking Final News Story of 2009:
James Dobson Back From Retirement
Just ’cause this is on a post with cartoons, doesn’t mean we’re making it up.
“Focus on the Family founder James Dobson announced that he will host a new daily radio show with his son Ryan in 2010.” More commentary on this in the new year; in the meantime read the story on The Church Report.
December 31, 2009
December 30, 2009
December 29, 2009
December 28, 2009
December 27, 2009
It is with a mix of gratitude and humility that I realize that anybody should want to read my thoughts and opinions on anything enough to provide the readership base that this blog now enjoys. Though it’s small in comparison to the “biggies” in the world of Christian blogging, some of you — including some people in the worldwide Christian community whom I greatly respect — have even bothered to subscribe to this particular online voice.
One thing I have tried to do is stay focused on faith issues, religious news and devotional concepts. I don’t talk about tech, or gear, or blogging itself, and I’ve tried to leave my wife and family out of this, but still give the blog enough ‘personality’ that it represents my heart, and isn’t just an exercise in Christian news journalism. That said however, there have been a few stories that I thought were significant that other bloggers didn’t pick up, and so I’ve tried to be faithful to importing some things from news pages into these blog pages that people might have otherwise missed.
I’ve also tried not to rant, though that can be difficult. (I have two other blogs for that very purpose!) There are times when it’s just too easy to complain about that which isn’t ideal, but I’ve tried to make those comments enlightening and constructive.
In a way, writing — whether it’s correspondence or keeping a journal (or weblog) — is very much what separates us from the animals in general and is rooted in Christian tradition in particular. “Bring me the scrolls;” the Apostle Paul asks, “and especially the parchments.” Much earlier, Solomon notes, “There is no end to the writing of books.” And to think that was before the printing press or any other kind of “mass” distribution of the written word, let alone print-on-demand which as of now releases more titles than conventional book publishing.
Which means there are so many voices competing for your attention that I am, as I said at the outset, thankful and humbled that you should happen to stop here.
I once wrote the biography for a Christian musician’s press kit. He described the early part of his life this way, “I had a message, I just couldn’t carry a message.”
It’s easy for me to sit at the keyboard and have a daily message for my readers. But I have to be the kind of person who is a spiritually viable carrier for the message I want to bring. I need to be able to carry the message, and like all of us, I am learning as I go.
December 26, 2009
I’m the last person you want to whom you want to give tickets to a sports event. Seriously. It’s not that I can’t appreciate baseball, football, basketball or hockey; it’s just that when one team actually scores, I’m usually focused on something else happening on the sidelines, or watching the TV crew, or checking the printed program.
Of course I am fully aware of the aftermath of the home run, touchdown, basket or goal in question, and I cheer along with everyone else, but secretly I wish I was watching the televised game where I could at least catch the replay.
Or worse, I’m one of those people who turns to his friends and asks, “What just happened?”
I did it again last week, only I probably will never in this lifetime get a chance to catch what I missed.
The 2010 Winter Olympics are being held in Canada this year, and so the Olympic torch relay is now in progress, making its way from one end of this very large country to the other; and, as it turned out, passing right by my workplace on a day I was working and free to venture outside to watch.
I stood there with a guy who works in our building. He was to my left. The runner was approaching in the distance and then ran in front. He passed by the guy to my left, and then passed by me on the right. I watched for a few seconds more, and then turned to the guy on my left and started a conversation.
I can’t help it. I’m a people person. I like to talk.
By now, I would expect that the runner was a considerable distance down the block, but my building neighbor was continuing to point is camera to my right, and at one point got rather animated about something — like, oh, I don’t know, some idiot gabbing away about nothing in particular — and I turned back to see that the runner had only advanced a few more inches since I’d looked away, and had just passed the torch to another runner just a few steps from where I was standing.
And I’d missed it.
That’s why they call it a relay. Seeing the Olympic flame pass from runner to runner is a big deal It’s history. And I missed it. (And I think I kinda wrecked his video of the whole thing…)
I wonder sometimes if we are guilty of ‘missing the moment’ in our spiritual journey? You can be ‘right there’ and it can be happening ‘close by’ but you don’t catch it because you’re distracted with other concerns.
You can be a member of your church’s board, or a worship leader, or maybe you even have a Christian blog; but God is busy making history right nearby and you’re not seeing what he is doing. Maybe because you’re looking at — or doing — something else.
If you read your own biography or heard a speech at your funeral, how much of it would be about what you’ve accomplished as opposed to what God’s accomplished in and through you?
We can be so busy — even busy doing “the Lord’s work,” but we can miss some fantastic moments where God is working out something far better than the deal we have cooking. Something where we could be the one making history.
I grew up in a family that celebrated the milestone moments when car odometers roll over to a significant number. Two summers ago, we had a couple of cars roll over to the 100,000 (km) mark, but while I knew both were coming up, I got distracted both times and missed the moment. (Tomorrow’s roll over to blog post 1,000 reminded me of this, but alas, there’s no odometer equivalent.)
I think that distraction is the enemy of spiritual awareness. And busy-ness is just another form of distraction. (If the devil can’t get you to watch pornography online, then he might get you addicted to blogging!)
Don’t be so busy that you ‘miss the moment’ spiritually speaking.
Don’t be so distracted by the TV crew, or the program, or the sidelines that you miss the game play.
While there are other days and other games, some things, like the Olympic runner passing right by your front door, only happen once in a lifetime.
God is working. Lives are being changed. You can have a part in a great adventure.
Don’t miss out.
December 25, 2009
December 24, 2009
Christmas play for the thousandth time
A store bought doll lying in the straw
Bed-sheeted shepherds walk down the main aisle
Following a cardboard star
But just when we think we’ve seen it all
Our callous hearts are caught be surprised
We look all around for people have found
The expectation in the children’s eyes…
Another family get-together
Shortbread, pudding, Christmas cake
Sleigh rides, parties, singing carols
Shopping done before it’s too late
The fireplace glow, the people we know
And those who just each year are seen
The babies, the old, the stories are told
While snow reflects the lights of red and green…
The stockings are hung, the “Twelve Days” are sung
The Christmas cards were mailed last week
The presents are wrapped, our energy’s sapped
The turkey’s served, we’ll pray and then we’ll eat…
The preacher reads the words from the gospel
Then Isaiah, chapter nine
The baby will become a King
And reign until the end of time
The manger, the desert, the temple, the cross
Five thousand fed, calmed angry seas
Wonderful counselor, mighty God
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace!