Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pushed to the Limit

Humanity looks like a giant experiment.

History reveals a pattern of pushing the limits.  Humanity pushes the limits, and eventually we see the results. 

We push the limits of production and we get the industrial revolution.  We get less expensive, uniformly produced items of all varieties.

In sports, we move from friendly competition to professional athletes whose job it is to perfect bodily movements with greater strength, endurance, speed and agility.  Then we get stress fractures, steroid abuse, and millions of onlookers who spend billions of dollars.

In exploration, we have found virtually all there is to find on the globe, and we can see high resolution images of virtually every spot on the planet.

We push time to the limit.  We think that we can live with little sleep.  Always busy, always on, always accessible.

We experiment with technology now.  What is it like to be constantly connected to potential interruptions?  What does that do to our minds?  To our souls?

What would happen if we pushed faith to the limit?

Thursday, May 16, 2013


There are some questions I get more than others.  Here are some of the questions I am frequently asked.

Where’s Momma?
I thought she was with you…

Why is the internet not working?
Our router sucks.

Will you kill this bug?

Have you heard this preacher?
No.  For some reason I don’t watch TV preachers.  I’m sure that some are very good.

Do you know the commercial about                        ?
No.  I don’t watch enough TV. 

Did you run the Olympic triathlon?
No.  I only run the “sprint” version of the triathlon.  But I think it’s cool that you think I could do that.

How old is your dog?
Licorice, our black lab, is almost 12.

What are you doing?
It’s a long story.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dividing Time

The concept of time has always fascinated me.  We all know what time is, but it defies definition.  Early in civilization, people began to mark time by breaking it into chunks.  We have millennia, centuries, decades, years, seasons, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds.

Only three of those units of time are directly embedded in nature:  the year, the season and the day.  All other units of time are arbitrarily created by man.  OK, the seven day-week was God’s idea.  But I suppose God could have set up a five- or eight-day week, if he had desired. 

For us, time is marked by regular, observable recurrences in nature.  All of these marks center around the sun, quite literally.  We evaluate and mark life on the basis of light.

I wonder how much simpler life would be if we measured only the natural units of time.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Can after Can't

At the Orange Conference in April, speaker Bob Goff said that his least favorite word is "can't."  (His favorite word is "whimsy," by the way.)

Oddly, I have been liberated by the word "can't."  It has taken me a long time to realize what I can't do.  I can't make people make the right decisions.  I can't make people show up at church.  I can't produce spiritual work.  I can't manufacture anything of spiritual value.  I can't know everything.  I can't make people like me.

I have tried for decades to do all of those things.  Only God can do spiritual work of eternal value.  I can cooperate with him while he does it, but I cannot make it happen myself.

Once I work through the can't, I get to the can.  I can be free.  I can stop beating myself up for failing to produce what only God can do.  I can cooperate with him.  I can be obedient, and watch God work.  I can find real joy.  I can let go.  I can stop bearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I can be bold.  I can take risks.  I can fail.  I can have fun.  I can succeed.  I can take the next step in my journey with Jesus.  I really can, when I stop trying to do what I can't. 

Deep breaths.  Deep breaths.  Feels good!