Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Frank Admission

O.K., I don't mind admitting I watch and really like Glee--the Fox program about a high school teacher who begins and  nurtures a school show choir. Many in the choir are those tossed aside by the high school culture, racially and otherwise--one guy is in a wheelchair, one girl is Jewish, another is Asian, etc. Along the way he is harrassed by the cheerleader sponsor of an award winning cheer squad named the Cheerios. 

Although the program is not Christian as some would view that, the writers do manage to get in some core values.  Last night's program was probably the best I have seen.  There was a message to the whole student body via the song "I Am Beautiful" saying that no matter what we look like--boy, girl, red, black, fat, thin, handicapped, athlete, blond or red-head, we all have value, and we are all beautiful.  It was sung by an overweight black girl who had been struggling to fit in by losing weight.  I don't know of a more important message for adolescents who hear messages every day about what it right and perfect and beautiful from their peers and the media.

The program is pure fantasy and could never happen in a real high school, but I enjoy it.  Kristen Chenoweth was guest last night.  Brandon was telling me that she is a strong believer, which of course not easy in her

Friday, April 23, 2010

For the Children

Otter Creek is winding up a building campaign designed to bring our Kindergarten (now at the old building)
to our new location and to provide more classrooms for children and adults.  Our child population has grown 31% since we moved into our new building.

Stirring and emotional videos have been made about the effect of Otter and its teachers on the children of the past (many of whom now attend and bring their own children).  It is good to see results of good teaching and living come out in our children, and I am glad that is being emphasized.  The past is important in shaping tomorrow.

All too often parents do not realize the effect that godly teachers and their own daily habits have on children. Surrounded by a loving church family can make a lot of difference in the lives of tomorrow's Christians.  Our children and grandchildren will not follow the exact same path as we have (they may find different ways of doing things like we did) but those deep springs of core values will be there for them to draw on.

So, praise to all of you who use your time to prepare for teaching our children and to show them what Jesus would do  and who hang in there year after year.  I do appreciate you!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Human Side of Jesus

I don't often stop and look at the human side of Jesus.  I remember when Max Lucado said in one of his books that Jesus blew his nose and that stopped me dead in my tracks--never had thought about that.

Someone has said..."he came among us frying fish, telling stories, weeping over deaths, drawing in the dirt, spitting and making mud..."  I would add to that  cursing an unproductive fig tree, making wine for a feast, walking in sandals on a dusty road, working with wood, and riding on the back of a donkey.  He picked flowers, noticed birds, broke bread, drank wine, sat in the living room of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, called little children to him and washed the feet of his friends.

He spoke to and shared time with the poor, the disenfranchised, the homeless, housewives, and women who later supported him out of their means.

Somehow it helps my faith to look at these mundane actions and to know that my Christ valued them.  As I live out my life on the same planet where Jesus walked, I pray that I too will value each day, each action, each circumstance as Jesus did.  Kathleen Norris wrote, "There is transforming power hiding in the simplest things."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tokens and all things green

Tokens is one of Nashville's somewhat unknown treasures, although interest is picking up.   Modeled after Garrison Keillor's show, Tokens is a combination of music, mostly blue-grass, theology, humor, and old-time vaudeville.  Lee Camp, a theology professor from Lipscomb University is the creator and show host.  There is a several piece band led by Jeff Taylor.  And there are always feature singers and musicians.

Last night Amy Grant and Odessa Settles were featured along with the somewhat regular Buddy Green--the harmonica virtuoso.  The topic of the show was Back to Green and emphasized the importance of proper use of God's creation.

I loved Settles' rendition of "His Eye is on the Sparrow".  Amy sang several unfamiliar songs, but one was a Joni Mitchell hit --- I am not sure of the title "Put Up a Parking Lot" ? 

Also regularly on the show, Lee interviews authors of books.  The two guys last night  I had never hard of:  one wrote a book called Revolution in a Bottle, and the other had done a documentary called "Killowatt Ours".  Very interesting though.

The whole thing is a feel good hour with excellent music and thought-provoking ideas. It's a fun way to take a spoonful of theology.

One of the regular features of the show is "Class and Grass" in which the band mixes a classical piece with blue-grass added.  Last night was Haydyn's  The Creation, from which "The Spacious Firmament on High is taken"  I really enjoy seeing what they can do.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Easter Sunday

We had a wonderful day together at worship and my house.  Fellowship was very good, although I missed going to Otter Creek for their celebration.

The Fellowship minister Mike  proclaimed agressively that people who do not believe in the resurrection are just playing at Christianity and are not truly Christian.  How can people claim to be Christian and deny i the inspiration of the Bible, the virgin birth, and the resurrection?  I don't know--maybe they just like the trappings of the church and the peaceful atmosphere.  At any rate, our whole Christian culture is becoming more and more like the Laodician church in Revelation--luke-warm, tepid, univerasalist and more and more unwilling to say that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ His Son.  Mercy, mercy, I pity them for sitting in luke-warm bathwater when the Spirit calls us to a more glorious worship.  And I thank God for His promise that death is not the last word.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Troubled Again

For the last few weeks that old problem of the way women are treated  in my fellowship has been bothering me.

We have been studying the Last Supper in Luke, and as I looked at it, I remembered John Mark Hicks" good book on the subject called Come to the Table, Reimagining the Lord's Supper.  In it he says, that the only table in the church that women are not allowed to serve is the Lord's table---the context of the statement was that Jesus was being a servant at the Last Supper and was modeling servanthood.  Despite DaVinci, I know there were women there--who else got the food ready, swept the room, and cleaned up? ( There were women all over the end of Luke following Jesus everywhere, even to the tomb, why should they not follow him to a Passover celebration?) And if one examines Acts 2:42 and following, the Lord's supper was celebrated in homes (probably everyday) with women again heavily involved.  So?

In his blog this week on why young adults are leaving the church in droves, Mike Cope quotes one young adult as saying the church is sexist.  "I don't believe Jesus was sexist."  The student then goes on to compare the church to a "boys club for adults."  I have said for a long time that our daughters and their daughters will leave our little masculine fellowship and not come back--just sayin'......