October 27, 2005

An Empty House

Last night I was home alone. Steph and Hannah went off to spend a couple of days with our friend Sandi. So, I found myself at work late--unfortunately. Then, when I came home, I continued the laundry I had started earlier that day, did the dishes for my wife, and a host of other things.

It is a bittersweet thing when my girls are not in the house. It is nice to have the peace and quiet to crank out work. It is nice to be able to crank up the stereo really loud and listen to the likes of Steve Taylor's Squint and Billy Joel's Greatest Hits.

It is bad when they are not there because I normally stay up way to late. Because I was doing laundry, I was up until 3 or so. I ended up laying on the living room floor between the speakers on the stereo falling asleep to Kenny Loggins' Leap of Faith (one of my favorite cds). I really enjoy falling asleep to music even though I don't do it that often. I really only do it when I'm away from home or when my wife is gone. I don't know why, that's just the way it happens.

The other bad thing about them being gone is that I miss them. There is nothing better than coming home after a day of work and spending the evening on the floor with my daughter playing, singing, and giggling. The house is so empty when they are gone. It is peaceful, but missing some of the life that is necessary to survive.

There is something about being alone that I really enjoy. But, at the same time, I realize that I am alone and away from everything. When I am alone, my mind is freed more than normal to wander to the dark corners of my brain. I become more aware of the inner battle that I am continually fighting to keep my mind in the light. I notice this when I'm at home alone or even away on the other side of town. It makes me long to never be alone.

Needless to say, I glad my girls are coming home today.

October 14, 2005

The Kingdom and the "Good News"

One of my friends wrote a great article on a better understanding of the Kingdom of God and the "good news". Check it out here.

October 11, 2005

Embarrassed By the Church

Some day I'm going to write a book about all the embarrassing things that, in my opinion, the church does. One easy example would be people protesting at alternative lifestyle rallies and holding "Turn or Burn" signs. Many other things could also be added to the list. Things like the youth group/mime troupe that we saw performing on the boardwalk this summer at Virginia Beach. Who is going to stop and watch them mime God's love? What about the church in Florida recently where the choir continued to sing when the minister got up to preach. He ended up calling the police to have them removed for trespassing because they wouldn't stop singing. It seems that he wants to give $100,000 of their $360,000 insurance settlement to another church that was also damaged by one of the recent hurricanes. The people in the choir want all the money for their church, so they sang so the minister couldn't speak. When he was interviewed, the minister said, "we are still preaching God's word." Really? Are there not more effective ways of being and sharing God's Kingdom? Or, the newest thing I've seen is Jesus Poker Chips. Maybe we should use them when we get play poker with our friends. Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking--like the guy I saw a couple of months ago pulling out of a church parking lot after service in a Dodge Viper. Would Jesus drive/own a Dodge Viper?

I really think we as the church all to often miss the point. I think there are better things we can be doing with our time, money, and energy. What if we were to go to the Pride rallies and hand out cold drinks or provide snacks because of God's love? What if we as the church could quit fighting amongst ourselves and focus on loving the communities around us regardless of how pagan they are? What if we were to actually think theologically about our actions and possessions? Would our living change? Would our perception of the outside world change?

Probably a better question that we need to start with is who does God want us to be? How does he want us to act? How are we shaping our lives to die to ourselves and put on Christ? Then we should look at the "good news"? What is it that God actually wants us to share? Yes, these are hard questions to ask and we'll have to look for answers and do much reflection. But, if we are going to be God's people, we need to BE God's people in everything and share the "good news" that Jesus had for the world he came to. In doing so, we will probably not miss the point as much as we do now. . . nor be as embarrassing.