Thursday, May 14, 2015

We Love You, Scott Sterling!

I don't know what it says about me, but I adore this video!  What a ministry metaphor!  It makes me laugh every time see it!  The perennially sports crazed crowd goes wild after an idiot hero saves the day by taking repeated shots to the face...a class rarely taught in seminary.  Love it!

Take a look:

Scott Sterling, and his face of steel, has won it all.  Yea, Scott!

Loves Me Some Bubbles!

Laughing Reagan

Sunset on Ruby's Pier

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Apocalypse Draweth Nigh...

Just flew Spirit is not possible to be less impressed with an airline.

I love my wife.  I love my precious granddaughter and California kids.  Lest anyone ever again doubt my love and devotion, I now have a new phrase capable of ending all argument:  "I flew Spirit Airlines for you, sweetie!  Good Lord, I flew Spirit Airlines!"  Perhaps it isn't quite organ donation level devotion, but if you've ever flown Spirit, you'll know what I mean.

I'm going to bring along a picture of my granddaughter to tape to the bottom of the tray table in front of me on my four hour return flight home to Chicago next Saturday.  Conveniently, since there isn't actually space to lower the table during flight, I know I'll have an uninterrupted view of my photo the whole way home.  Taping my photo to its sticking place, I shall sit in humble, mumbling Zen meditation the entire flight home reciting my new Spirit Airlines mantra, "Grandpa loves you, honey!  Grandpa really loves you!"

I leave you with an actual stewardess quote from yesterday's flight.  Somewhere around the third hour, an elderly man asked for a cup of water.  When told it would be $3, he said, "Really?  But I don't have any money and I really need some water."  After a big sigh and eyeroll, the stewardess said, "Is it an emergency?"  The old man just stared at her in stunned disbelief, moved his lips silently for a moment and then shuffled back to his seat.

They probably have a 10% discount for emergencies, right?

Grandpa loves you, baby.  Grandpa really loves you!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pink Socks, Bare Feet

Horsey With Daddy!

Baby Changes (John 1:1-18)

 One of my coworkers gave me a very sweet little Christmas gift before taking off for her holiday break last week.  But as she gave it to me, she said, “I know you’re kind of Grinchy about all this Christmas stuff, but Merry Christmas anyway, Kevin!”  In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I had shared with her my fairly intense disdain for how most of us celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus.  On the one hand, some people treat this holiday season like magic even though Christmas isn’t a remembrance the Bible explicitly tells us to celebrate, even though three of four Gospels mostly ignore it and even though our December 25th holiday isn’t probably celebrated anywhere near the actual birthdate of Jesus anyway…yet some dewy-eyed naïve people treat it as though these few days of Christmas/holiday celebration are supposed to magically and miraculously cure all the world’s ills.  Humbug!  Even now, as many in our culture try to scrub Jesus out of Christmas, they still struggle to preserve “the magic.”  I actually saw a “holiday” greeting which said, “May the magic of winter give hope and happiness in the year to come!”  Have you ever heard anything so utterly nonsensical?  The magic of winter?  I’ll admit a fresh batch of snow can be pretty and inspirational sometimes, but a winter magical enough to give me sustaining hope and true happiness throughout the whole year?  Not last time I checked…  I’m so tired of a “magical” Christmas, whether it claims to be Christian or not!

But I’m even more bothered and “Grinchy” about people who claim to celebrate the birth of Jesus and yet demonstrate by their lives they couldn’t care less about Jesus.  It seems all they really care about is a holiday birthday party.  If these people celebrated/recognized the birth of their own children the way they do Jesus’ birth, they would be utterly horrible parents.

Obeying Miller (Hebrews 13:17)

In the fall of 1983, I took a creative performance class in college which required me to keep a daily journal.  At one point in my very scholarly journal, I actually made the comment, “I don’t believe I will ever be anything but a leader because I just can’t stand following!”  What an idiot!   What a naïve buffoon!  While my life never fully descended into crime and rebellion as many others have, suffice it to say there was a long period of my life when I had enormous issues with obedience and almost any sort of healthy submission to authority.  Do you know why God kept me in the Army for twelve years?  I truly believe it was because until I learned the true value of obedience and submission, God knew I would be of virtually no use to him.  Yet even now, even after all the often painful, difficult lessons God has walked me through on these very issues, even now the words obedience and submission don’t come easy to me.

And I know I’m not alone on this stuff.  Teaching or insisting on a biblical perspective on true obedience and submission to authority is a wildly counter-cultural idea even within a church context.  Churches are absolutely horrible at this obedience and submission stuff!  Talk to almost any pastor or church leader or simply hang around any church for an hour or two and you’ll see – our sins and failures in this area are positively epic!   Attend almost any gathering of pastors in this country and, after all the anger, heartbreak and tears finally fade away, many of the rebellion/disobedience stories are so spectacularly bad they become almost comical! 

Think about it.  We live in a nation born, at least partially, out of a massive rebellion against the civilian authorities placed over us.  And from this foundation, our nation idolatrously worships independence and autonomy like few other nations ever have in history.  

As I picture all this sinful nonsense in my mind, I quite honestly picture an entire nation standing around the growing stench of its own arrogant graveyard singing Sinatra at the very top of its lungs:  I did it my way!   But folks, the brutal truth of the matter is that we don’t want to do anything “my way.”  My way isn’t a way at all – my way is a dead and horribly defective way.  We want to do things God’s way – and that is a very different song indeed…

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Over The Hills

Driving home from Iron River, Michigan this afternoon
with ample reason for gratitude...