Sunday, February 14, 2010

Balumtine'th Day

Dave Barnes is a singer/songwriter from Nashville, TN with an unbelievable sense of humor. You can check out his music and comedy at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adventure is the Key

Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man. The masculine heart needs a place where nothing is prefabricated, modular, nonfat, zip lock, franchises, on-line, microwavable. Where there are no deadlines, cell phones, or committee meetings. Where there is room for the soul. Where, finally, the geography around us corresponds to the geography of our hearts.

Look at the heros of the biblical text:

- Moses does not encounter the living God at the mall. He finds him (or is found by him) somewhere out in the deserts of Sinai, a long way from the comforts of Egypt.

- The same is true of Jacob, who has his wrestling match with with God not on the living room sofa but in a wadi somewhere east of the Jabbok, in Mesopotamia.

- Where did the great prophet Elijah go to recover his strength? To the wild.

- As did John the Baptist, and his cousin, Jesus, who is led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

Whatever else those explorers were after, they were also searching for themselves. Deep in a man's heart are some fundamental questions that simply cannot be answered at the kitchen table. Who am I? What am I made of? What am I destined for? It is fear that keeps a man at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control. But the answers to his deepest questions are not to be found on television or in the refrigerator.

If a man is ever to find out who he is and what he's here for, he has got to take that journey for himself. He has got to get his heart back.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Walk or Beg?

Acts 3:2
Now a man crippled from birch was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.

Acts 3:6-7
Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.

These two verses are interesting when you look at them side by side. I think they kind of reflect two different ministry philosophies.

There's a crippled man. He needs help.
One group of people decides to help him by carrying him to the gate to beg everyday. Peter and John decided to help him by reaching down, pulling him up on his feet, and telling him to walk.

The ministry of Schweitzer should be more like the latter. We shouldn't have much interest in carrying people to the gate to beg. We shouldn't coddle and cater and spoon feed.

We'll reach down and help you. We'll impart the healing power of Jesus to you. But you've got to get up and walk. You've got to make a personal investment into studying God's Word for yourself.

How about you? Are you investing too much time in carrying people to the gate and droping them off to beg? Are you the one doing the begging when you should be lifting somebody else's burden?

Take some advice from Peter.

In the name of Jesus, walk.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Filling the City

Acts 5:28
"We gave you strict orders to teach in this name," he said.
"Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."

That's what I'm talking about.
If you're going to accuse the church of something, accuse us that:
You have filled your city with the teaching of Jesus.

Church, let's fill our cities with the good news of Christ.
Let's fill the places of poverty with our generosity.
Let's fill our schools with students who are not ashamed of the Gospel.

The future of our cities is empty and desolate without the power and the presence of God.

Let's keep preaching, reaching, giving, and loving until our cities overflow and can't deny it:
You have filled with city with Jesus.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Uncle Sam

Ryan Miller is the goalie for the Buffalo Sabres and in a few days, he will be in net for the U.S. Men's hockey team. Custom goalie masks have always been one of my favorite little things about hockey, and the mask that Miller had made for the Olympics is no exception. Nothing says America like a tattoo'd Uncle Sam rolling up his sleeves to stab you with what looks like a flaming spear. But seriously, it looks pretty cool.