Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello, Good-bye

In spite of how the title of this post may sound, I'm not giving up on blogging yet. [Some of you will recognize the title of a Beatles song (not least my friend Gene, who could tell you off the top of his head whether Paul or John was more responsible for the writing, where it was recorded, and on which album it appeared). Others will ask, "Who?"] Rather, I am reflecting on something God has reminded me of over the past couple of weeks: He knows better than I, even when we disagree . . . make that, especially when we disagree.

Though I haven't checked with Gene on this, I think it's safe to say that the focus of Lennon and/or McCartney was on human relationships, not on theology. But the point is valid nonetheless. Sometimes God is saying "yes" when I'm thinking "no," "stop" when I'm thinking "go." Hello? I don't know why. [Okay, enough of that before I ruin the song for you.] Truth be told, I do know why. Because God is God, and I'm not. My range of experience is somewhat more limited than God's; my vantage point is a bit less infinite than God's. Because of that, some of the choices I've made and some of the directions I've taken have not, to put it mildly, achieved optimal results. In plain English, I've screwed up. Or I've missed experiencing something really amazing. After some of those occasions, I sensed what I will describe as a cosmic sigh.

In spite of what some people will tell you, and in spite of God's being (if I may be allowed) deadly serious about the mess humankind has made of things (botching our relationships with God, with others, with creation, and even with ourselves), God is not eagerly waiting for us to screw up so he can go Medieval on us. The hymn "Amazing Grace" says, "the Lord has promised good to me," and that's what God desires: good. Recall, if you will, Genesis 1: "it was good . . . good . . . good . . . good . . . good . . . good . . . very good." But also recall Genesis 3: It was humankind's "yes" in the face of God's "no" that twisted "very good" into very bad.

Perhaps I've rambled a bit. I can do that -- this is my blog. But my rambling brings me back to the beginning. Though I'm a big fan of the Beatles, the longer I'm a follower of Jesus, the more I want to tweak "Hello, Good-bye" for myself:

You say "yes," I say "yes."
You say "go," and I say "go, go, go."

It doesn't make for much of a song. But it makes for a wonderful life.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


As I was checking my email, I saw the following headline for a story posted yesterday on Yahoo Sports: "Integrity Costs Golfer Dearly." Whenever I read about those who comport themselves as J.P. Hayes did, they go on my 'People I Want to Meet' list. If you have a moment, read the story. You might put Hayes on your list, too.

Taking Out the Trash

Over the past few months I have been flooded with email messages, from friends and acquaintances, stating how they feel about presidential candidate, and now President-Elect, Barak Obama. Actually, in some cases that's phrasing it mildly and kindly. Some messages were possibly libelous, but certainly mean-spirited . . . and, as I see it, un-Christian. I'm referring to such messages as the one with a watermelon under a box, which was propped up on one end with a stick with a string attached to it, captioned "Plot to Trap Obama." And the one featuring a man riding a motorcycle, wearing a tee shirt with "Nigger, please . . . It’s a White House" on the back. And the one I received this morning with the subject line "The Black Widow," referring to Michelle Obama. I have no problem with people expressing their opposition to a political candidate or public official; I have no problem with Christians engaging in such expression. In fact, I believe that Christians, in the prophetic tradition, can contribute to holding such people accountable. [Perhaps that's part of what we're to be about in the world as "salt" and "light."] However, when Christians do speak out, we should do so with integrity, not with what appears to be a the-end-justifies-the-means attitude. Brothers and sisters, let's speak the truth in love, and take out the trash.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And So It Begins

Just what I need: a blog -- one more thing to keep up with. But hey, why not give it a try? I might enjoy it. [Are ya happy now, Lisa? :-) ]