Friday, March 30, 2012

40/40 day 34 No Ordinary Man

Something was said at church tonight that I have heard before and partially agreed with, but through careful consideration I have changed my opinion about.  The statement was along the lines that the Apostles were ordinary men from ordinary circumstances who did extraordinary.  I agree with this idea in most cases.  Then they added Paul into this mix and called him ordinary.  This is where I have to steer away from the agreement factor.
Paul was no ordinary man.  He was primed and ready to reach multiple people on multiple levels.  He was a person with connection points to all aspects of the world of that time.  He was able to speak Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Aramaic.  He was a Pharisee who was taught by Gamaliel who was one of the most respected people and teachers in the Pharisaic tradition.  He was keenly aware of his surroundings, could use aspects of other cultures, Greek poetry, philosophy, and culture to preach in any situation the Gospel of Christ.  He was allowed in synagogues, he was a practicing Jew who followed Jewish purification rights and rituals, and he was natural born Roman citizen.  He made friends of business people, religious people, and politicians.  He was able to cause a riot with only a few words and calm an angry crowd with a wave of his hand.  He commanded respect by his person, and contempt by the power in his words. He understood the freedom from the law in Christ, and the personal social and cultural restrictions people must place on themselves.  He knew what it was to hate Christians then Love all people.  

Reading through the book of Acts one cannot say that Paul was ordinary.  He was anything but.  He was extraordinary and perfectly designed to reach the people of the world in which he lived.  It is almost like God knew what He was doing when He chose Paul to change the world.  There was no better candidate.

If you don't believe me read the book of Acts.

Hair the Theolobster

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

40/40 Day 33 Early Reflection

okay so it is day 33.  Or this is the 32nd blog in my 40/40 challenge (it all depends on which math you are using and how you count the days of Lent.)  I am not sure about what I am supposed to be learning or what habit I am supposed to be picking up.  The two days I took off, I felt weird that I should be writing something.  Although Sunday was fine and I did rest on that day, Saturday I had some extra time and thought that I should be blogging or something.

This has also stretched me creatively.  The days that I had nothing to say, I had to come up with something.  Sometimes I have hit these things out of the park.  Other times it has flopped majorly.  I also learned that I do have opinions on certain topics and my passions can get stirred (referring to the previous two days' topics.)  I also found out that it is not necessarily a bad thing to share those opinions.  Other people may agree with it and are waiting for someone to say what they wanted to say but didn't.  I know that I have at least 8 more days and this is an odd time to get reflective on you, but this is where my mind is right now.  

I must admit that I have been tracking the views.  I don't know exactly who is reading this, but I know that an average of 15 people have read each one.  most of them come from the US, but some folks in Europe have read and enjoyed.  I haven't gotten many comments so that makes me question, but hey no comment is a good comment, or so they say.

Anyway just thought I'd ramble for a few minutes.  Thank you for letting me ramble.  I hope that you are having a great season and that whatever you have given up or taken on has been a life-changing experience in which God has taught you something.

Hair the Theolobster

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

40/40 day 32 My last word on the subject

After my last blog I am sure that many things have happened.  For those who have left me,  I will miss you, and I say thanks for traveling with me this far.  For those who have just joined me, welcome to this journey of mine.   For those who are still with me, thanks for hanging with me.

I am a firm believer in the love and grace of God. I preach it. I teach it. I rely on it, stand in it, and am consumed by it.  The Love of God is the reason why I am a Christian, it is what saves me, protects me, provides for me and convicts me when I am wrong.  It is my duty and obligation as a child of God to share this love that has changed my life with the world.  In the broader sense and to the individual people of this world.  God has called me to love my neighbor, my family, my God and my enemy.  I cannot choose who to love, I have to love those who hate me, those whom I don't like so much, those who are like me, those who are different, in essence there is no one that is beyond the realm of God's love and no one I should not share that love with.

So in saying that, it bothers me when I see Christians and preachers and pastors specifically spewing hate rhetoric.  It bothers me when preachers take on causes simply to make their name greater than it is.  Sure they cover it up with words like justice and righteousness.  However, under these words and in their eyes they lies the secret words judgement and retribution.  In essence I have seen men of God looking to take the law of God into their own hands.  They are out for blood, or someone is out for blood and they are fueling the fire.  They may speak the love of God, but they live for the wrath of man.  They may embrace and wear the name of God, but wish that their name is great.

Was there an injustice done?  Yes.
Am I sad that someone died?  Yes
Do I think there is a race problem in America?  Yes
Do I think that the guy needs to answer for killing someone?  Yes
Should he do some jail time?  Yes
Should he die?  Maybe maybe not
Should we be the ones to judge?
Should we let this be the case that tears this country apart?  If we are not careful men and women of God, it may be.
Is that an extreme question to ask?  Yes and No,

Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Matt 5:9

We must find ways to preserve peace.  We must find a way to rectify this situation and bring peace to the families involved.  We must find ways to set our pride aside and join this world in solving the problems of race, not with violent sounding speeches that make people angry and full of hate.  Not with rallies that create amped emotions.  Not with a mob mentality or the death of an offender.

Maybe the answer is simple.  Respect for people as individuals regardless of color and creed.  People of all races, social classes, and denominations coming together to  pray and know the Lord our God.  It requires us setting aside ourselves and realizing that we are no better than any one other person, and not seeking glory or our name in lights.  Then maybe we can be peace makers and be called sons and daughters of God.

I'm just one beggar telling another beggar where to find the bread.

The Theolobser

Monday, March 26, 2012


Okay so what I am about to say may not make me popular with the masses out in the world.  It may cause some people to stop reading my blog, or worse, but I am tired of people over-sensationalizing events and making them into more than they should be.

What I am referring to is the recent shooting of Travyon Martin.  This has blown way out of proportion.  People across the country are rallying and protesting because a young black kid was shot by a white man.  Okay so I admit, I hate to hear about a kid getting shot and killed.  It grieves my spirit that a child so young has lost his life in a senseless and violent way, and I wish that it never happened.  However the world (and by world I mean the political activists and media) have jumped to all sorts of conclusions based on emotionalism and personal insult.  It is almost as if they had nothing else to fight against, that they overlook all of the details of the encounter and decide that George Zimmerman, who will never have a normal life anymore,  is a racist who saw a black kid in a hoodie and decided to shoot him.

I just want people to think about this:  George Zimmerman was captain of his neighborhood watch.  The neighborhood watch patrols the neighborhood and looks for anything  that makes the neighborhood unsafe and endangers the people in it. They are keyed into anything that does not belong or has not been there before.  What Zimmerman saw was a kid that was not part of his neighborhood wandering down street acting suspiciously.  Zimmerman called the cops. There was an altercation and Zimmerman got a broken nose and Travyon was shot dead.

Zimmerman was doing his duty as captain of the neighborhood watch.  He was trying to keep his community safe, and report things that were not normal.  Why he had a gun with him I don't know, but he did and was licensed to carry it.

However because Martin was a black kid, Zimmerman is now a racist, and Travyon Martin is being hailed as a hero and symbol of the white man stereotyping a black man. A martyr in a war that should over by now. Although he had some shady instances in his not so distant past.  He was suspended from school and not living with his parents.  Also it is more than likely that he attacked Zimmerman first, but that is pointless according to the media and other activists.

I am sure if Travyon was a white kid, then George would have done the same thing and he may have been hailed as a good citizen that protects his family does his job and maybe he would have gotten a commendation.  Or if Zimmerman was a black man then there would be no comment about it whatsoever, and it would have been swept under the rug.

So I just want to tell everybody out there to CHILL OUT!  Travyon wasn't shot simply because he was a black kid in a hoodie.  He was followed because he was in a place that he did not belong acting like he did not belong there and acting like he was up to something.  Zimmerman was doing his duty by following and reporting.  He was shot because he attacked someone!  Let's also not forget that all of the details of the confrontation have yet to be released.  Until they do I will watch and pray. I ask that you do the same and withhold judgement until all of the facts have been revealed. Pray for Travyon's family, Pray for George Zimmerman, Pray for the idiots who have jumped on the racism bandwagon that they will not go too far.  Pray for our country that this does not turn into a Rodney King riot situation again.  Pray for Florida.  Pray for America.  PRAY PRAY PRAY.  Pray that when the truth comes out that it will be heard and not be ignored due to over-sensationalism and hurt pride.

The Theolobster

PS> This is why I hate blogging.  Now the whole world knows how I feel about this.  Popular or not there it is.

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Friday, March 23, 2012

40/40 supplemental Days OFF

Okay so I am tired.  This week has been hectic tiring, exhausting.  I organized a cookout, did a Bible study and today I took a mission team around Philly.  I learned two things.  One is you can't see all of Philly in one day, and you shouldn't even try.

I also learned something that applies to this blog session.  According to the rules of Lent, Sundays don't count.  I wish I had known that before I started.  If I continue on the path I am on I will finish my 40th blog a week before Lent is over.  So i am taking this weekend off.  No blogs until Monday.  Tomorrow and Sunday will be busy so I am not taking the time to blog.  I owe myself 7 days.  This blog doesn't even count

Hair the Theolobster

Thursday, March 22, 2012

40/40 day 30 Headline: Change in Economy Causes Riots

Anyone who has read through the book of Acts can see that Paul definitely has his ups and downs in ministry. There are times when people accepted him and praised him for the things that he could do.  Sometimes he was even thought to be a god.  Other times there were stonings, beatings, rioting, trials and miscellaneous other problems and persecutions.  It is interesting what the catalysts for these persecution events.  Sometimes it happens to be a group of Jews angry with what Paul was saying, but a couple of events involved Paul's preaching disrupting the financial status of the community and the people.  
person of interest in cause
of riots.
2 examples of this.

Acts 16:16-24  Paul and Silas are wandering around Macedonia preaching and teaching.  They are getting along with people and making nice with several people in the marketplace especially Lydia who sells purple.  Well there was this one young lady who had a spirit of divination and was making money for her masters.  Well she was following Paul and Silas around telling the people that they were messengers of the most high God.  Out of annoyance and being bothered Paul looked at the girl and said to the spirit

 "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" 

Well the evil spirit did come out, and the girl could no longer tell the future.  Her owners "saw that their hope of gain was gone."  They had Paul and Silas arrested, beaten and thrown in jail.

Fast forward to Acts 19:21-49
Demetrius was a silversmith who made idols for the people of Ephesus. Mostly of the goddess Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and the patron deity of Ephesus.  Well he was scared about the teachings of Paul especially the ones surrounding the concept of not worshiping idols and gathered other tradesmen to do something about it.  They were afraid that people would turn to God and stop buying idols and in turn started rumors about Paul saying that he spoke against Artemis.  Well the gathering of angry people commenced and soon the entire city was up in arms for many reasons.  Of course the Bible says "...most of them did not know why they had come together."  (19:32b.)  

There are many reasons that people have problems with the preaching of the Gospel.  However they disguise their true problems with some uberspiritual sounding reason or some theological in-discrepancy. However the root problem is something less spiritual and more personal.  In these cases the reasons were economic and fiscal.  These people were in danger of losing money.  Their pocketbooks and their way of life was being threatened.  We will forget the fact that other people's lives were being improved, the main problem was that money was involved.  (we will not even go into the story of Simon the magician who tried to offer money to Peter and John for the ability to lay hands on people and have them receive the Holy Spirit.)

Money has always been an issue.  It has always been connected to spiritual things, or it has been the underlying issue in spiritual debates, in discussions of tithing, who makes the decisions in a church, which church gets what, and what religion rules a certain area.  The bottom line is when Jesus enters the picture everything changes including and especially the economy.  

Anyway that is just something to get you thinking.  I hope it works

the Theolobster.

40/40 day 29 mission team and coffee

Today was another good day.  This morning the mission team, Chuck and I did a coffee outreach at a train station.  It was wet, nasty and we didn't see a whole lot of people.  We did not have a large group manning the table, but we had a lot of folks who were prayer walking Swarthmore College.

Afterward they returned to the church and dug trenches, shoveled soil, and several other things on the church grounds.  Thanks to this team we have a light in our shed, motion sensor lights outside, soil that was delivered for a garden that hasn't been built yet shoveled, our neighbor's yard was cleaned, we got 1500 Easter Eggs filled for our upcoming Easter Egg Hunt, we made contact with over 20 something students at a cookout, we prayerwalked 2 campuses, passed out hundreds of flyers, and several other things that I don't even know.  Who knows what the impact of this team will be.  We have made many new friends and some lasting partnerships with our fellow Christians in our neighboring state, OHIO.  May God bless them and give them safe passage home.  They have 2 more days.  Please pray that they will have safety and success Thursday and Friday.

Until tomorrow
the Theolobster

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

40/40 Day 28 A long Day of ministry.

Okay so today is day 28.  They say it takes 28 days to form a habit.  Is blogging a habit for me yet.  well, I am tired and I want to go to bed.  I was greasy, had a long day today that started with me leaving the house before 7:30 am and returning home around 10:00 pm.  I have an early morning tomorrow starting at 630am and I almost went to bed without blogging.  I am blogging now at 1123pm.  So maybe it is a habit. (maybe)

soularium cards
Today was an awesome day.  This week a mission team from Wright State University in Ohio has been ministering with us.  Today they came onto the campus of Widener.  This morning we met for our usual 730 prayer time. It was me, two Widener students and 18 Ohioans.   It was amazing.  The team had been prayer walking since 700am.  So they beat me there.  They also came back the campus and helped with a ministry table talking to students and leading them through something called Soularium.  (no time or energy to explain wat that is.  Google it)  They also prayer walked and hung out in various places inviting people to a cookout that we had this evening at 5:30-8pm.  We ministered to I don't know how many students, staff, and neighbors.   It was a most successful event.  When asked about numbers I can not tell you, but I can say that I met Becky, Alex, Chris, Stephanie, Michelle, Martin, Bonny, Bill, Richard, Donald, Samantha, Jim, Russell, Ashley and many other people.  We talked to them, we sat with them, we fed them, we laughed with them, we invited them to join us and we helped them.   It was a successful ministry day.  Maybe some of them will come back an join us at our Bible study.  Maybe not, but we at least have crossed paths once, and will again.  We'll see what happens.  As for now I am tired.  I'm going to bed.

The Theolobster

Thank you Wright State Mission Team.  God bless you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

40/40 Day 27 A movie about suing Satan...Could be interesting.

I have to deviate from my projected course and go on a little bit of a rant.  I am sure that you won't mind.  I just watched the movie "Suing the Devil."  At the Foundry Church we have an independent film night where we show independent films from young film makers. I don't know what happens normally, and I understand that we don't normally show a "Christian" movie, but I think with the hype and the press surrounding this movie, we made an exception. (and by we I mean the people who run this ministry). The Foundry church is an arts oriented congregation and have many filmmakers that cross our paths.

Well anyway Let me discuss the good points.  First of all the premise of the movie is decent.  A young law student is tired of seeing bad things happen in this world and in his life.  He blames Satan for all of the evil in this world and decides he needs to do something about it. So he starts a lawsuit to sue the devil.  (that much you could probably ascertain from the title of the movie).  Well, the unexpected happens (more so to create a plot than to make a statement) a man who claims to be Satan actually shows up to defend himself.  He has with him a team of lawyers to win this case.  Great concept.  Malcolm McDowell plays Satan and does a descent job.  Also Corbin Bernsen and Tom Sizemore also make appearances in this movie, increasing the acting caliber a little (at least in name recognition.)  And Rebecca St James also makes an appearance in the film.

This movie lives up to almost everything I expected from a Christian movie.  It tried hard to be relevant and make a unique point.  However, it also tried to make several other points while it was on its way.  I am not sure what it was saying or to whom it was saying it.  It wandered all around the evangelical Christian doctrines of free will, the nature of evil, the origin of Satan, and the spiritual war between good and evil without landing firmly anywhere.  The acting was bad to say the least with the exception of a decent speech from McDowell, and Bernsen played his small part rather well.  The editing was choppy and the plot did not make sense.  As I said everything i come to expect from a Christian movie.  The only thing it didn't have was a deep Christian gospel/salvation moment, or a rapture event at the end (sorry for that spoiler (not really, but it was nice to feign an apology there)).

I am waiting for Christian movies of quality.  I would love to see a Christian movie that has good actors, a decently written script, impeccable directing, and some killer special effects. I understand that Christian directors and filmmakers need to pander to some religious patrons who are spending money to produce something and they have to add certain elements that are expected to be there.  They probably need a Gospel presentation or a rapture event to make producers happy, and to present a movie that might lead someone to Christ, but what they end up making is low quality uninteresting films that people are disappointed that they spent time and money to watch.  We as Christians claim to serve the creator of the universe.  We claim to want to give God our best, but we end up only giving Him what we think will save people.

The Bible says this:
"Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to the Father through Him."  Colossians 3:17

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

We should be giving God the best.  We should strive for excellence in all that we do including our art and our movies. We must ask ourselves Is God happy with our mediocrity?  Is God glorified with our poorly done movies or is He happy that we made something for him?  Does God expect more from us on this front?  I know I do. 

 I am still seeking a good quality Christian movie, and I hope that one day I will find one.  "Suing the Devil" was not that movie.  The search continues

Hair the Theolobster

Sunday, March 18, 2012

40/40 Day 26 Sunday moment

For those of you wondering, I did preach tonight.  It was decent.  I will talk about it tomorrow.  So for tonight I will post this lovely video of the Maccabeats.  Enjoy.

Hair the Theolobster

Saturday, March 17, 2012

40/40 day 25 What am I going to preach tomorrow?

It is the end of a long week,  we have a mission team from Ohio at our church this week.  I have to preach a sermon tomorrow night to a crowded room, and I have nothing.  We just finished the book of Ruth, so I have no plan for the next two weeks.  Here I am wasting time on the computer playing video games, and blogging and I still got nothing.  I have prayed, looked up lectionaries (which I don't normally preach from) and have scoured the internet for good ideas (or bad ones at this point)  and it comes down to this.  In 19 hours I will be in front of 30 people who are expecting something awesome from the Lord through me and I got nothing.

I must admit I did waste some time on YouTube seeking inspiration and saw some awesome Jewish artists, the Maccabeats, an acapella  group doing some interesting songs about Jewish feasts, Micha'el Ben David who has a unique style and sound and Liel Kolet who just did a beautiful song entitled Elohim Sheli which roughly translated is My God.

I know that these are Jewish artists, but they are singing about my God too.

Anyway I will leave you to enjoy the video from youtube, and I will go and seek the Lord about my sermon topic or scripture for tomorrow night.

Until tomorrow
Hair the Theolobster

40/40 day 24 St Baldrick's Day

Today was the St Baldrick's day celebration at Widener University.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, St Baldrick was not a real person.  It began as a fund raiser for the treatment of childhood cancer in 1999.  To celebrate people shave their heads on St Patrick's day to identify with people, especially children who are fighting and suffering from cancer. The people who were to get their head shaved would have raised funds and donation support from other people.  So Baldrick is a juxtaposition of the word bald in place of  pat in Patrick.

Today had me cringing when I watched young female students get their heads shaved. I had no problems with guys getting their head shaved, but some of the girls had beautiful hair.  However it is important that women realize and identify with this loss, or at least that is what they say.  Watching the emotions and the decisions that were made today was curious.  Girls were asking others for advice, struggling with internal issues from what parents would say to what future employees would say, to how they would feel personally.  A lot of stuff is tied up in a woman's hair.

This decision making comes up in many circumstances.  However it all comes down to asking a question when it comes down to making a decision between doing something or not.  Which will you regret more doing or not doing something?  This question can only be answered by you.  Ultimately you know yourself and you can either not do something and regret things for the rest of your life, or go to the place, do the thing, talk to the person and have an adventure and see what happens. (yeah I said that amazing how that phrase keeps popping up.)

I had one student who was sure she wasn't going to do it, but felt like she should.  She asked me if I was disappointed.  I told her that I supported her in anything that she did. That is the point of St Baldrick's Day.  Support.  She would have regretted not cutting her hair more than she would have cutting her hair.

to quote John Carter "Go. Find a cause, fall in love, write a book..."
See what happens

The Theolobster

Thursday, March 15, 2012

40/40 day 23 To Blog or not to Blog, to Post or not to Post

There are many things that are going through my mind tonight as I sit down to blog.  (the least of which is that blog is a funny word.)  I started this journey with the intention of building the habit of letting the world know what I am doing and what I am thinking.  I acknowledge that there are hundreds and possibly thousands of people out in the world who think that what they have to say must be heard by others.  I have never been one of those people.  I usually reserve my voice and hold my opinions until I deem it necessary to speak. I like to fall back on the proverb that it is better to remain silent and have people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.  Now I am publishing a blog.  I am in essence putting out for the whole world to see my opinions, my theology, my actions, and my ideology.  I am publishing my faults, failures, successes and sentiments for all the world to see.  (someone in Russia is reading this.) Then to top it off I connected a couple of these to my sermons on YOUTUBE.   Now bear in mind I am not seeking self glory or praise for what I am doing.  I would rather let things progress in my ministry and life and tell you about it person to person, or not at all.  I don't want to let the world know what I am doing.  This is what I must overcome.
Also what worries me about teaching and posting opinions is James chapter 3 verse 1:
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly.

This verse scares the bageesus out of me.  God's word said that God will judge me for the things that I teach other people.  The things that I put out there and tell others and treat as what should be known and followed, God will hold me to even more strictly and severely.  (This came up in our weekly Bible study and caused much discussion.)  My life must be free from the blemish of hypocrisy and be covered in the cloth of truth and integrity.  Even more so since I am charged with the teaching and training of many college students, and now the ones who read this.  

I understand that in the past 23 days I have been blogging like a madman.  I have also been posting like a madman.  I believe the purpose of a blog is to be written and read.  So thanks for bearing with me for these 23 days, and I beg you to bear with me for the next 17.  I will be posting less after that. 

So let us all who blog be aware that the things we say will be held against us.  That is not to say that we need not to blog, but let us make sure what we say is backed up with what we do.  
Until next time
Hair the Theolobster

40/40 day 22 LOGOS Student Ministry is born

I suppose I have delayed this long enough.  This week the good news came.  Logos has officially become a student organization.  Last night was our first officially sanctioned club meeting.  I got this news from an officer of the SGA.  I have not received much else in the line of news, but I am waiting.  It took about two years to get to this place.  There are some people who credit me, but I cannot take any of the glory.  It started with Pastor Chuck Kieffer starting as a chaplain at Widener.  Then it turned into a weekly worship service on campus.  Then it morphed into one student wanting more than just a service and desired a student organization and Bible study.  One by one students and other individuals found their way to the group.  Some were invited by myself, others were collected by fellow students.  One by one we got enough people to form a group.  Then we finally found a faculty adviser.  Then we formed a constitution.  We jumped through all the hoops and found a toehold as a student org.

I have to tell the story of our student president.  While Ashley D, the first student previously mentioned, was about to graduate and leave, our current president was starting as a freshman nursing and ROTC student.  She was a large part in inviting people to the Bible study.  One day as I was relaxing in the Interfaith Center, she came in upset that due to a medical issue, she was being kicked out of the ROTC.  Fortunately we had a semester missionary position open and provided her with a stipend and some health insurance.  She has been busy doing the leg work  necessary to help LOGOS become an official Student organization.

I owe the credit for this to Ashley D, Chuck Kieffer, Bettina, Ashley N, Kevin, Elizabeth, Rachel, Andre, Carl, Viraga, Ryan, Michell, Sara, Chris, Maggie, Kayla, Sam, Autumn...  Most of all I give the glory to God Almighty.
It is by the power of God we have a Christian Student Organization known as LOGOS.

the Theolobster

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

day 21 REDEEMED!! Tell someone!

Some times when you preach all of elements are just there.  Not necessarily the structure, but rather the spirit, the text, the audience and the preacher.  This is what happened  Sunday night.  I was preaching on the final Chapter of Ruth and struggling with some of the content.  However once when I got to the point everything clicked.

The book of Ruth we saw that Ruth and Naomi were in need of redemption.  they were two worthless women who valued each other. They were widows with no children and Ruth was a Moabitess.  She had so many strikes against her, but her kindness and her search for redemption for Naomi and herself paid off.

Boaz was introduced as the kinsman redeemer.  However, chapter 3 introduced the fact that there was another redeemer that was closer to them.  This was the cliff hanger.

When I began to look at this allegorically (where one character or item in the story represents something else)  things started to click.  We started with Ruth and Naomi who represented us who are in need of redemption.  We are totally unable to save ourselves just as Ruth and Naomi were unable to redeem themselves.  We have this sin nature that hinders us and causes many negative aspects in our lives.  We are hopeless and unworthy.

Then there is this nearer redeemer who represented the Law.  God set forth this system that we were to follow in order to find redemption.  It showed us how to live and sacrifice the right animals in order to be saved and set right in the eyes of the Lord.  However, this system was incomplete and did not work so well in the long run.  There was little love in the law and the consequences for not following the law were grave. The wages of sin is death and if we are guilty of breaking part of it we are guilty of it all.  It was an incomplete method of redemption.  The other redeemer when offered the the land to redeem was interested, but when offered Ruth was turned off.  There was no love for Naomi or Ruth.

This is where Boaz comes in.  He loved Ruth.  He was out to not only Redeem her, but take her as his Bride.  He was excited about this opportunity and did all that he could to make this possible.  He is an example of Christ. Jesus Loves us and does not want to see us suffer in sin and its negative consequences.  He decided to go beyond the letter of the Law and Redeem all of humankind.  For Good! Completely!  He wants to Completely RESTORE US AND BRING US INTO A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AND GOD!!!!  THAT IS WHAT HE CAME TO DO!! and when you come to Him you can say:

       I AM REDEEMED!!!
            I AM REDEEMED!!!!

It is at this point of the sermon I began to get excited and it translated into the congregation.  I got happy and was overwhelmed by the spirit of God to express it.  At one time I think I "Whoo"ed!  It was awesome.  Later someone said that I looked more holy on stage.  I don't know about that.  They credited it to my hair and my shirt.  I credit it to the work of God.

There are just some topics God get's us happy about.  Redemption is one of them.  We are Redeemed and we should be willing to talk about it, sing about it, shout about it, and ultimately tell every one we meet.  So share it and tell the world that you are Redeemed and show them how they can be too.

Until Tomorrow
Hair the Theolobster

if you want to see the sermon check out these links

Monday, March 12, 2012

40/40 Day 20 Halfway there

This is the halfway mark.  The point in time that we celebrate having come as far as we have, but realize that we have equally as far to go.  It is not as bad as it sounds. We simply must muscle through all of the things that are coming in the future.  They aren't much different than the things that we have overcome to get this far.  I am not saying that it will be easier, nor is it going to be harder.  We simply need to tackle them with the same gusto that  perseverance that we had those last 20 days.  We will want to give up, but we must continue forward.  We will wish we never started this journey, but we did that 10 days ago.  We will want time to speed up and get to the end of this journey so we can see what we will be like when we get there, but we must let time run its course and accept that we have not learned all that we need to learn or become what we wanted to become.  We are only half way there.  The rest is a journey that we need to take.  If we did not need to take it then we would not have started it and would have stayed where we were. So let's keep going and let's keep moving forward.

This message was intended for those who specifically are doing something for Lent.  However I hope that it blesses all who read it.  May this experience be rewarding and draw you closer to the Lord.  Be Blessed.

Hair the Theolobster

The halfway point
PS I know I said I would talk about yesterday, but I still need to process some things.  I will finish my series on the book of Ruth tomorrow.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

40/40 day 19 A Poetry Moment

It is Sunday and I cannot put my thoughts in any resemblance of an order.  I just had an awesome time at the Forge.  The sermon went well, and the movie afterward was pretty cool, but my mind is a little scattered tonight.  So here is a poem for you to enjoy and remember.  I will talk more about tonight tomorrow.

a poem
doesn't have to rhyme
every single time
the word-master said
his face turning red
but ain't it fun
to just read one
that does

It was short but I hope you liked it.

Until tomorrow
Hair the Theolobster

Saturday, March 10, 2012


One of the things I intend to do with my blog in the future is to discuss the movies that I watch for Relevant Flix.

First I must explain what that is.  Relevant Flix began officially 4 years ago, but it has it's roots much further than that. Many years ago I watched the movie The Abyss. It was thriller set on the bottom of the ocean where aliens who manipulated water set to terrorizing the people in some underwater lab.  I thought it was a good movie.  Then I saw the director's cut and realized that it was a great movie.  I also realized that this movie was making a point and that it had a message.  I began to wonder if any other movies had similar motives.

Fast forward to after college. I was attending a Bible Study called Engage.  The speakers were doing a series about finding God in unexpected places.  Somewhere the tagline and concept of seeing the sacred in the secular came up.  Also feeding into this was my drama director's desire to start a movie discussion group at his new church, and the multiple uses of movie segments I have seen in youth meetings, sermons, and other Bible studies.  All used to provoke thought on a topic or to illustrate a point.  I began to think that this would be a great idea for a small group.  We could watch a popular movie and discuss it to see what the filmmaker's purpose was and how we can use this film to provoke discussion and thoughts towards God.  There had to be some guidelines set:

1.  Every form of media has a message.  There is something that someone wanted to say and they chose this form to express it.

2.  We must be aware that there is a message and be able to determine what that message is.

3.  God's voice can be heard and His message can be found in all sorts of places.  The things which are deemed as secular may contain a glimmer of the sacred, a sliver of truth.  It is this on which we must focus and be able to use to tell others about the whole truth.

Thus Relevant Flix was created.  It meets once a month usually the Second Saturday at 7:00pm

Tonight's movie was Hereafter.  It was produced and directed by Clint Eastwood.  It gave us a glimpse of 3 people's lives who had some dealings with death.

First there was Marie, a french woman who was involved in a tsunami while on vacation.  She was swept up in this massive wall of water where she died and was ethereally transported to another place of existence.  In essence for a moment there she was dead.   When she went back to France she was not the same.  She was consumed with wondering what had happened to her and what happens after we die.  She began to question and write a book about it.

Then there is a young boy named Marcus.  His twin brother, who was the stronger and leader of the two, dies in a tragic accident.  He feels his brother is still near him and does whatever he can to contact and connect with his lost brother. It is assumed that he is looking for closure and possibly needing to be complete and whole again.

Finally there is George.  George is a man who can communicate with dead people who are connected to the living. He used to make money doing "readings" for people.  However he began to be overburdened with them and consumed by them.  He left that life and has tried to make interpersonal connections with living people without much success.

This movie is light on plot, and the message is vague. It asks the obvious question of what happens when we die? and offers little in the form of a substantial answer.  According to this movie dead people become weightless and can be almost omnipresent.  It is said they can be everywhere all at once.  It also deals with the phonies and odd beliefs people have about communicating with the dead.  The ones Eastwood deals with are strange, and I know he didn't scratch the surface of what is out there.  It seems that this movie only deals with what the popular culture already knows.

I think that the movie Hereafter can be used to begin discussion about what happens after we die.  It does give a descent overview of the popular notion of near-death experiences and communication with the dead, but it does not go into complete details.  The discussion can be moved towards a Christian perspective of death and eternal life.  We talked about being absent from the body and present with the Lord.  Also the discussion of Heaven and Hell came up, as well as the notions of Paradise and Purgatory, Annihilation, and Sleeping.  It can go as deep as you'd like and touch all the theologies and ideologies that you can.  You will not get them from this movie, but it is a good starter.

There will be more reviews similar to this in the coming months.  I will also work on my presentation of these.  If there is anything you'd like to see me address leave a comment.

Until tomorrow
Hair (the Theolobster)

Friday, March 9, 2012

40/40 day 17 God chases people?

I love watching God chase people.  I must admit that I have not actually seen this happen very often.  I know that it occurs, but I have never seen it in person.  My pastor tells me stories of how he called out God to prove himself, and God took up the challenge.  Every time he turned around there was a tract that spelled out the Gospel.  It would be there until he read it, and when he did, another one would replace it.  To top it off people would have conversations with him about what he read.  Then he would talk to other people who picked up right where they left off.  (he tells the story much better than I do.)  However his is not the story to which I am referring.

I am in contact with a woman who is a self proclaimed pagan.  Her "religion" focuses on the earth and several other things.  She works with the interfaith center and comes in contact with many people from many different religions including our christian Bible study group.  Added to the whole thing is that she recently entered into a homosexual relationship.  She also has many differing views that are counterproductive to the mainline Christian faith.  She is my friend, and she is being pursued by God.  Here some highlights of the pursuit.

1. First she comes in contact with the Bible study group.  She listens to our conversation and connects to many of the students in the group. She and I have had lengthy discussions about the Bible, my faith, and Jesus.

2. One of our discussions centered around her new girlfriend.  She was amazed at how the students had openly accepted her girlfriend with full knowledge of her lifestyle and choices.  We have accepted her as a person and an individual.

3.  When she moved out of her apartment, she claimed to have had 10-15 people promise to help her.  However the only 3 people to show up were myself, a student from our group and another believer whom she knew from school.  She called us her "God squad."

These are just some examples of how God is pursuing her.  God is making it easier and easier for her to know Him.  Even her religious views are bending toward a monotheistic Christianlike image.  She is not there yet, but she is getting close.

Let me dip into some theological lingo for a moment. In college, someone once asked me which came first, REGENERATION or SALVATION?  My answer to this is YES.  Regeneration is making something new. It is a process as I understand it of being changed into the person of Christ.

Both of these concepts are wrapped up in and are necessary parts of Redemption.  It is a change in the status of a person spiritually. It is the release of negative aspects and consequences.   Sometimes salvation comes first and you enter the kingdom then change.  Other times the change occurs slowly then you receive salvation.  God works differently for different people and personalities.

For Ruth, redemption came slowly.  Boaz made it easier and easier for her to come close to him.  She took all the steps in front of her, and came closer to him.  When the time was right and she was in the right place, Ruth finally asked for redemption from Boaz and he promised it to her.  It only took a nudge from Naomi for her to ask.

Our job as believers is to nudge people to ask the question and provide the opportunity for them to ask for redemption.  Sometimes this is harder than it sounds.  Other times it is simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time and having the right answer.  The challenge for us is to be aware of the pursuit and who God is chasing.

Until tomorrow
Hair (the Theolobster)

40/40 day 16 Redemption ain't that hard to find

Day 16 already!  Wow! Time flies!

How hard is it to find Redemption?  I mean really is it that hard?  Some people seem to think that it is a very difficult thing to do, or they don't see the need for it, but it really isn't that hard.  I guess it all depends on your theology and your view of God.  Some people see God  as a ethereal entity that is off in the distance somewhere.  Other people see God as this vengeful angry deity that is waiting for someone to slip up so He (or she in some views of him) can strike them down with bolts of lightning.  Still others see God as disinterested and distant than anything that is relevant to this world and its goings on.  There are a few people who identify God as redeemer.

Since I have been talking about redemption, I figured it is time to define some terms:

1. Compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something).
(for my purposes the word bad can be replaced with negative)
2. Do something that compensates for poor past performance or behavior

The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil

It is hard to discuss these words without having some religious or blatantly spiritual tone.  In Christianity, Christ is the redeemer of humanity by saving us from the effects and the dangers of sin.

In the story of Ruth, Boaz is identified as a kinsman redeemer. He was a relative of Elimilech, Naomi's husband, and Ruth's daddy-in-law.  According to the Law of the people of Israel, when a woman is widowed then a male relative from their husband's family, preferably a brother, should marry her and provide offspring so that the honor of the man who died and his line will be preserved.  Boaz was in that position for Ruth.

Although it should have been difficult to reach him, Boaz continually made it easier and easier for Ruth to approach him.  He demanded that she only glean in his fields,  he gave her the opportunity to eat with him. He continually gave her blessing after blessing, and provision after provision.  In Chapter 3, Ruth with the prodding of Naomi positioned herself in a place where Boaz could be found in the threshing room where the wheat was processed (for lack of a better word, and to avoid detailed explanation.) It is important to note that women were not allowed there, and it was a huge celebration.  Well after Boaz was well fed and well liquidated, he rested and slept on the floor.  Ruth uncovered his feet and lay down beside him.  When Boaz awoke and found Ruth there this happened:

9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.”

She simply reminded him of his task and asked for him to redeem her.  She asked for REDEMPTION!! That was it.  She asked from the person who could provide what he was obligated to provide.  Then this happened:

10 Then he said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. 12 Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning.

He said (and I am paraphrasing for those who did not understand the above):  "Sure why not? Let me talk to a guy, and we'll work things out."

There was no complicated task she had to do, or hoops she had to jump through. All she had to do is realize her need, determine from whom she could receive it, and ask for what she needed.  Boaz made the rest easy.

Redemption is available to us.  It is as near as the request for it.  We simply have to ask God for it. Can it really be as simple as that?  YES!  God doesn't want it to be difficult.  He makes it easy for us to come to Him. He doesn't want us to exist in our state of sin and suffering the bad effects of it.  He wants us to come and know him.

Until tomorrow
the Theolobster.

PS.  I think I fixed that problem with the comments.  Give it a try.
also here is the sermon that goes with this blog. In case you are curious

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

40/40 day 15 Value from Above (sermon 2 recap)

Tonight I am sitting here watching a rerun of  NCIS, eating a bowl of microwave popcorn and drinking a Pepsi.  I am doing all this while I am contemplating the story of Ruth.  Yesterday I wrote about the first Sunday in the series and about Ruth chapter 1.  Originally I was planning on limiting my series on Ruth to two sermons.  You know drop the bomb that the famous marriage covenant was first spoken by one woman to another then jump to the story of Boaz and race to then end of the story.  Well this whole concept of valuing people and giving them worth intrigued me. So i wondered how this thought and if this thought carried through the second chapter.  So I followed this with another sermon chasing the same theme.

Chapter 1 left Ruth and Naomi  as two worthless people (according to society's standards).  Granted Ruth's commitment to her mother-in-law gave Naomi some personal value in the eyes of Ruth and her own eyes, society still reckoned them as less and productive members of society.  Fortunately God does not see people the same way that society views them.  See God has placed in the Law certain guidelines in dealing with the marginalized, and the ones whom society looks down upon.

For example (and the one that is most pertinent to this story) gleaning.
Leviticus 19:
9 ‘Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the LORD your God.

Lev 23:22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.’”

Deuteronomy 24:

19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the [p]orphan, and for the widow.
 21 “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. 22 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.

These are the commands of God, and my reckoning Ruth fit into most of these categories.  She was a widow, stranger, and needy.  So she set about to fulfilling her right to glean the fields and provide for herself and Naomi.  As luck would have it, or as God had ordained it, or as she had manipulated it she landed in the field of Boaz who happens to be a kinsman to Elimilech.  The author calls him a man of substance. (BTW I like to think that it was God ordained) Ruth set quietly to work in Boaz's field.

Well the Bible points out that Boaz noticed Ruth and asks about her.  After hearing her story Boaz, a man of WORTH, begins to give Ruth more than he is required to give her.  He tells his men to leave more behind including whole sheaves.  He also invites Ruth to have dinner with him, and tells her to glean only from his fields.  Boaz acknowledges the value that Ruth had placed on Naomi and begins to place value on her.  This time the value given is more substantial since someone who has value according to society places value on someone lower in class and position than him.

This reminded me of my own story.  I was the geeky unpopular kid in high school when I came to Christ. This did not improve my status in the society of high school.  However this guy named Roy was a baseball player.  He was one of the cool and popular guys on campus.  He came to Christ a year after I did.  He joined our group of rejects and elevated our status slightly.  He was not one of the less popular who leaned on each other.  He took me under his wing and helped me become valuable in someone else's life.  He is the one who gave me the name Hair.

The whole purpose of this statement is that the higher your status is in society then your obligation, according to God and the Bible, is to help the ones lower than you.  We are to help them and lead them to a standing in society that is higher than they are now.  In other words look out for those that are smaller than you.  This is our role in the story of redemption.

Until tomorrow
Hair (the Theolobster)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

40/40 day 14 the value of a widow (sermon recap on Ruth 1)

Since I am not a member of a church that is liturgical in the sense that we do not not follow the traditional church calendar nor do we attend to all of the rights and rituals that relegate and determine the processes of worship services and other special events, and I do not follow a lectionary which dictates which scripture and what passages I am to read from or preach on any given Sunday I have been preaching an independent series on a topic that is mostly unrelated to Lent.  (that was a long sentence someone might have to check my grammar on that one. I'm not sure if I could have purposely written that had I planned it.)

Anyway the series I had started just before Lent was about the story and the Book of Ruth.  The reason was to finish a series that I started last semester about the genealogy of Jesus, where my intent was to show the documented Biblical stories of the individuals found in the listed ancestors of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1.  I specifically waited to speak on Ruth until February 14th ish.  I know I chose the cheesy let's talk about a romance story on Valentine's Day.  Hey it has worked for so many other preachers, on many different occasions, and it will work again.

So Every time I read about Ruth, people (and by people, I mean commentators, theologians and other hoity toity religious type individuals) call it a story of redemption.  I never put a lot of stock in what everyone is saying about it. So I did my own reading and some outside cross-referencing that was unusually difficult.

The story begins, as all good Biblical stories do, with a famine.   Elimilech, his wife Naomi, and his sons move to Moab.  There Elimilech dies (of what I could only guess.  the story doesn't say so I labeled it as Sudden Male Death Syndrome, or SMDS).  His sons then marry Moabitesses (women of Moab), Ruth and Orpah.  Well while in Moab, Naomi's sons die. (more victims of SMDS).  Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to go back to their people.  Orpah leaves without question however Ruth says:

16 ..., “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.

She committed herself to Naomi.

Here are a couple of points that I pulled out.  First of all Deuteronomy 23:3-6
3 No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD, 4 because they did not meet you with [a]food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of [b]Mesopotamia, to curse you. 5 Nevertheless, the LORD your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God loves you. 6 You shall never seek their peace or their prosperity all your days.

This is crucial to understand the complexity of the Book of Ruth and how scandalous the whole situation was.  She was from Moab and the people of Israel should have nothing to do with her. It is a command from God, and one that they must hold to.  

Israel was a male dominated society. Naomi was a woman and a widow and was mostly considered worthless in society.  Women were considered lesser members of society and women without husbands were considered lesser than that.  Ruth was also a widow and in addition to being a Moabitess was worth less than Naomi.  

It is Ruth's commitment to Naomi that gives Naomi value.  Two worthless women return to Bethlehem but they have given each other worth in at least someone's eyes.  The lesson I drew out in the sermon was our job is to give value to people.  Our commitment to people to spend time with them and forge relationships with people is what gives them value.  God does not see worthless people, we do.  However, we must see people as God sees them, as valuable and priceless. This is the beginning of Redemption.  People valuing people and providing them the means to find value for themselves. 

The final thing to consider is the first verse of the book (and this was pointed out to me after I preached the first sermon) : "Now it came about in the days when the judges [a]governed..."

This all happened in the times of the Judges where "Everyone did what was right in their own eyes."  I'm still not sure how that fits into the understanding of the book, but I will have that worked out by the end of the week. (I hope)

Until tomorrow
Hair (the Theolobster)

40/40 day 13 (technically day14) I almost didn't Blog today. A word on encouragement.

So I almost didn't blog today.  Do I feel bad about it? not sure.  Well it is after midnight and  for the past couple of hours I thought about putting this off until tomorrow.  I feel like I have said nothing of value in the past couple of days.  I went from not wanting to blog, to having nothing to say, to creating a poem of sorts just to fill space.  I was all ready to go to bed when I checked Facebook one last time today and saw someone looking for my blog today.  Someone who has encouraged me to continue doing what I had committed myself to do.  These are the type of people we all need.  When we start to run out of steam, and are tired and have nothing left they either kick us in the pants and tell us to keep going, or they remind us of why we started doing this in the first place or they pick us up and carry us to the end.

I think of the stories of olympic athletes (I am not comparing blogging to an Olympic sport, but life in general, and perhaps this is what I am learning through this experience some life lesson)  I think of the story of the guy who fell and hurt himself just before getting to the finish line and his father came and half carried him to complete the race.  I think of the injured gymnast who with the whole world watching ran and performed her last vault jump. I think of the stories of the people who say the roar of the crowd gave them the strength to make it the last few feet.  I am not even in the middle of the race yet and I needed someone to cheer me on.  These are the people we need in our lives.

I don't know where you are in your Lenten Journey, or even if you have embarked on one, but let me encourage you to keep going.  Let me encourage you to make it to the end.  There is hope!  You can do it!  You may be asking what if I have failed already? What if I already did what I said I wasn't going to do?  Or What if I did not do what I had committed myself to do?  Well I know that there is Grace and Forgiveness.  Pick yourself up off the ground, dust yourself off, and keep going.  This is the person we need to be in someone's life.  To encourage them to keep going.

And if you still think you can't go on, then remember Your coach,  Your Daddy, Your Father God will run out to middle of the track, pick you up and allow you to lean on Him until you reach the finish line.

Still Blogging
the Theolobster

PS.  Thanks PC

Sunday, March 4, 2012

40/40 Day 12 A Sunday Blessing

Sundays are tough and I don't usually have anymore time to think original and extensive thoughts.  So I will leave you with this.  I hope it is a blessing for you.

May those you have helped find Redemption
Be Blessed
May those whom you have helped find Redemption
Be Blessed
May you as you seek Redemption
Be Blessed
May you seek Peace
and find Wholeness
May you be valued by others
And give others 
The value you desire
Respect is earned when it is given
Life is lived when you are forgiven
Abundantly overflowing and shared
Live as one who is loved 
Love as one who has lived

We're all in this together
Just one beggar
Telling another Beggar 
Where to find
the Bread.

the Theolobster

Saturday, March 3, 2012

40/40 Day 11 Nothing

Day 11....I got nothing.  I have started this blog today two or three times today.  I did not like any of the directions that they were going.   I got some good ideas for the future from them, but nothing concrete.  So this might be the shortest blog of the series, but I am continuing to persevere.  Next week is Widener's Spring Break.  We are in the process of establishing a Christian Student organization and by the end of Spring Break we ought to know something as to whether we are official. The name of the org will be LOGOS which is the Greek word for word.  Also is the title given to Jesus in the Gospel of John chapter 1.

Please pray that everything was done right in the paperwork aspect.
Please pray for the students as they have a safe spring break and a productive rest of the semester.
Pray for me that I may find new ways to reach students and fresh words from God.

Pray for Widener University and the Foundry Church.

Hair the Theolobster

Friday, March 2, 2012

40/40 Day 10 A special day.

okay so today is a special day for many reasons.
1.  it is day 10.  IT's Day 10!!!! I have reached Double digits!  I have been blogging for 10 days straight. At some times I said some profound and interesting things.  other times I have said little or nothing important at all.  but now I can generate a top ten list of blogs, but I won't.  I will wait for day 41 for that one.  As it stands now, I will continue to move forward.  Although I do not always feel like it.

2. Today is also Theodore Geisel's birthday.  For those who don't recognize that name, it is DR SEUSS.  Yes the man who introduced us to Green Eggs and Ham which taught us to try new things...we might like them. He also introduced us to such wonderful characters as the Grinch, the Lorax, a Gato in a Sombrero and Horton, an elephant who heard a Who and hatched an Egg. (not necessarily in that order)

Out of all those characters Horton resonates with me this Lenten season.  Here is an elephant who took on a task of taking care of an egg.  When everything was coming against him, when he was ridiculed for being a large animal tending to such a fragile thing, and was encouraged many times to give up and let it go, he responded by saying my favorite literary phrase:

"I meant what I said and I said what I meant.  An elephant is faithful one hundred percent."

This phrase should permeate our thoughts and our actions as believers and as human beings.  In other words this statement holds within it our commitment and our integrity.  I am fond of saying that the only one that can destroy or maintain your integrity is you.   How do we do this and what does this statement have to do with anything?  Well 2 things:

1.  Only make the commitments you intend to make, and do so fully and completely.  James 5:12 says "..let your yes be yes and your no be no."  When you give someone your word and promise to do something then you have committed yourself to accomplishing that task.  Whatever you decide to do for Lent do not enter it lightly.
2.  When you say you will do something then stick with it.  It may be hard sometimes, but in the end the hard times are worth it.  Once we have come to the end then we will have gained a new habit or have lost a bad one.

Horton was faithful.  He completed his mission and fulfilled his obligations. This Lent let us do the same.

the Theolobster

James 5
10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation

Thursday, March 1, 2012

40/40 day 9: I don't want to blog today

I don't feel like blogging today.  I'm tired and I don't want to.  It has been 9 days since I started this journey and I thought I would last a little longer than 9 days before I got tired of blogging, but it happens.  I got to wondering about other people and their Lentin decisions.  Do we all get to the same place at the same time? Are people who gave up meat "jonesing" for a cheeseburger right about now?  Do people who have taken up exercising  want to sleep in and not run a mile?  If not then when will this moment happen for them? And who do they turn to for help and accountability?  Maybe that is what I am thinking about today: Accountability.

We cannot go through this alone.  Whether it is something we have given up or something we have taken on, it is necessary for us to have someone or multiple someones keeping us on track with what we are or are not doing.   Someone to ask us how it is going. to encourage us to keep going when we feel like stopping.  We need someone to support us when we fail and not judge us but put us back on track when we venture off.  My Lenten decision just happens to be a public one.  My accountability are the ones who read the blog.  I check to see if anyone does, and they do.  I do not know who they are and when they read or if they are the same people everyday, but they do.  That makes a blog worth writing if no one reads it then a blog is like a sermon to an empty church: Just a man talking to himself.  Or just a waste of time and another site on the interweb.

So hey, if you are out there and are reading this, then thanks.  Thanks for taking the time to read it.  Thanks for keeping me accountable.  Thanks for being there when I feel like quitting.  Thanks for listening to the ramblings of this poor campus minister.  Leave a comment and let me know you're out there.

Until tomorrow.
Hair the Theolobster