Someone says something

There has been some crazy stuff in the news about ACORN and videos where young 20 somethings pretend to be a pimp and hooker and receive a lot of tax help. Ironically the network news stations have not reported about the corrupt organization that will receive billions is stimulus dollars. But my favorite video regarding ACORN this week, which is a little rough, is by

( WARNING!!! If your kids are in the room, there is some language in this video you do not want them to hear!!!!!!!!!)
Jon Stewart. I am not always a fan of Jon Stewart but he is honest about the situation when his peers(political and professional) are not.


Nerd Alert........

I have been thinking about about God and numbers. I know that sounds nerdy("I wonder how much the median wedding costs") but it shows a difference in perspective between me and God. When I pray about doing things for God my pride always brings numbers into it, a measuring stick. But God does not seem to need numbers, it is the other way around. In Matthew 18 Jesus compares the Father to the Shepherd, who leaves the other 99 sheep to find the one that has wandered off. The Father will do anything for his children, even just one. This is because God is relational, finding joy in knowing us individually instead of groups. That is why the shephard leaves to find the one sheep. But too often I reflect our christian culture and not my God. Obsessed about church growth instead of church health. Keeping myself busy with things of this world and others distant where as Jesus went to others and was always invested in eternal matters.
P.S. Congratulations Courtney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Walking away from God......

Perhaps some of our worst theology and doctrine comes from phrases we use that have no biblical basis. The title of this blog is one that I have heard before and is I daresay, a catch phrase in contemporary christian culture. My dad heard a man comment at a bible study on how hard is was for him to come back to God because he had walked so far away. My dad thought about bringing it up, but it wasn't the focal point of the conversation and he didn't want to hijack it. We discussed it later and I have thought about it and felt like this was the type of place to discuss it, so here I go......

I do not believe we walk away from God. This statement implies a distance between us that does not exist. It is not a theological statement but an emotional one. Another phrase we hear often is being close to God. I think that is also an emotional statement instead of a theological one. Therefore whether we think someone is close to God or far away from God they are really equal. So what is the difference? It is not about our distance from God but our face to him.

To say one has walked away from God is really saying someone has turned their back on Him. When I turn my back from God I have taken my focus off of Him. At this point my eyes are no longer on Him but on other things. When we turn our back on God we are showing we are not interested in listening to Him or talking to him. You never see people having a conversation with their backs to each other. They face each other and engage in dialogue, listening and speaking to one another. To turn our back on God is to stop focusing on, listening to, or speaking to God. Now the opposite is true when we are close to God. We have our eyes fixed on him and are engaging him in dialogue, taking the time to both speak with Him as well as listen to what He has to say for us.

I believe this perspective is important when understanding repentance. In the Greek the word means to do a U-turn, to turn 180 degrees and go the other direction. When we repent we are recognizing that for a moment we have taken our back on God and are turning back towards Him. It just occured to me that perhaps when I feel far from God it is not horizontal but vertical. I am not miles away from God, I just realize the depths of my sin. I also realize that when I feel far from God, it is just me realizing my need for repentance.

Luke 15 gives the parable of the prodigal son. He squandered what his father gave him and pursued a life focused on himself. Upon realizing that it was better to be his father's servant than his own master he went home to talk to his father. He found a compassionate father who forgave him for running away and immediately restored him. The father did not hesitate to restore him, feeding him and clothing him better then the son expected or deserved! The focus of the parable is not on the son's distance from home or his long journey. It is about the immediate willingness of the father to forgive his son and rejoice in his homecoming. The father never asks the son where he went or why he left, or even what happened to the money. He just forgives him. The Father is all about forgiveness.


Congressional Prom King struggling as President

It is one thing to say that the Republicans are frustrated with Obama. No kidding. But it seems like the the most bipartisan thing in Washington may now be that frustration. Many Democrats are now frustrated and don't feel like they have a handle on who Obama is. The most interesting article on this I found here where a Democrat feels like Obama has betrayed him. The ironic thing is that this should not have been a surprise.......

A former classmate once described how Obama could win any debate at Harvard because he could make both sides believe he agreed with them. Basically, he told them what they wanted to hear. Those are the skills that win Presidential elections....but they don't make you a leader. The problem is many people didn't vote for a President, they voted for Congressional Prom King instead. When you elect a President you are looking at their record and what you think that shows about how they will lead. When you elect Prom King it is more about how popular you are, how good you look with your shirt off, or how cute and well dressed your girlfriend is!

Obama didn't have much of a public record. He had served as a congressman for 4 years with his name on one bill(and two profitable memoirs.) But to me the oddest thing about him was his voting record. When you vote on a bill it's normally yea or nay based on whether you agree or disagree, but not Obama. Many times he voted "Present" instead of a normal vote. His unwillingness to take an opinion or a stand on an issue shows a lack of conviction that he is showing now. We all know he can give great speeches and many pictured him as some sort of William Wallace, a common man with great intelligence and cunning who would lead the normal citizens in their fight versus the establishment ruling over them. So what is the difference between William Wallace and Barack Obama? When Wallace finished talking to his supporters on the battlefield, he immediately turned around and led them into battle. Obama finishes reading the remarks off the teleprompter, then gets on Air Force One and retreats back to the White House. And sometimes he lets Pharmaceutical Representatives come into the Oval Office and breaks campaign promises he made, even Billy Tauzin who he mentioned in a national TV ad.

Now what does this mean for Republicans? I think politically no one saw this coming. Most people thought he would have better tact and push through a liberal agenda which the Republicans would hate and that is to be expected. But he has dropped the ball and his dreams for health care will not be realized. There are some who think that renaming the currently debated health care bill after Ted Kennedy will change national opinion but no one had a problem with the name of the bill. The problem lies with what is in it! A lot of people don't trust him which will help during the congressional elections. His coattails will not be very long and people won't be as impressed when Obama shows up to talk about how trustworthy Harry Reid is. But could the same thing ever happen to the Republicans? My immediate thought is Sarah Palin....someone great on the campaign trail who will draw large crowds but is weak on actual policy. In this way Palin and Obama have a lot in common. I know some people don't agree with me about that but I am not pulling for her in 2012!