Monthly Archives: June 2011

Contentment

Don’t watch this video first.

So after last week’s post about David and Bathsheba, I couldn’t help but keep rolling that genius little parable over and over again in my mind. That’s the thing about Scripture, there are so many layers and levels to it, that each AHA moment is really only scratching the surface of what is there. For example…

After last week’s post, I was reading in 1st Samuel, there David is still a soldier. He’s not quite the King of Israel yet, but it’s just around the corner. King Saul’s dynasty is unraveling fast, and David has spent the last couple of years trying to hide out and wait for Saul to get all the crazy out of his system. But now David’s supplies are starting to run down, and he’s trying to make a living for he and the soldiers under him off the land.

Here’s how that worked back then. David would protect the flocks and harvest of the citizens who lived around there, he’d keep bandits and wild animals away from their herds and then he would hope for other people to be generous in return for his services. It’s kind of like a smaller version of when someone washes your windshield at a stoplight and then asks you for a dollar.

One of these people David helped was a wealthy man named Nabal. He owns a thousand goats (which is always a good way to measure wealth) and 3000 sheep, and when David asks for some payment for helping to keep his large flocks alive…Nabal (whose name means fool) gets really, really angry. He tells these soldiers that they will go no such help from him, and that his stuff is going to remain his stuff.  Continue reading Contentment

The Sexuality of Power

Ask any Jewish person about their day in the sun, and they might mention Abraham, they’d give Moses some respect, but I would bet almost everyone would eventually land on King David. He was, after all, a man after God’s own heart. Not to mention that he helped usher Israel into their most prosperous time in history. They lived in the promised land and everything was right with the world.

One of the things that is interesting to me about the way we talk about David is how easily we parse his life. We either talk about his giant killing days or his wise rule as King…Or we talk about his dark side. The Scandal of Bathshebagate.  I can understand why we tell that story, as far as bible stories go, it’s got it all. Murder, adultery, betrayal, and lust. It’s like a late night movie channel special.

Or it’s like any political leader today.

I’ve spent the better part of last week trying to avoid any comment on Congressman Weiners’ recent “exposure” in the media. It was difficult, (sidenote: this exercise helped me to realize just how low my maturity level was). The sad part for me was that I like Congressman Weiner, I had seen him on several interviews and he seemed personal, compassionate and intelligent. But after the sad turn of events of the past few weeks have taken it’s toll, it’s easy to start demonizing him, but…. Continue reading The Sexuality of Power

(Script)ure.

The Whole Sweep Of Scripture from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

If you were to read just the first few chapters of Genesis and then the last few chapters of Revelation, there’s a chance you would recognize that these two authors, separated by thousands of years, and a million cultural differences, were writing in a conversation with one another. Revelation was a distinct, separate book at the time. It wasn’t bound by leather into a collection with 65 other books. It stood on it’s own.

But that’s what makes the whole Scripture so interesting. Because these books were written indepedently, but they are not independent. They depend on each other, they are interwoven, sharing themes and language….and most importantly, a story.

I love N.T. Wright’s point here. “We must learn to read the parts in light of the whole.” Continue reading (Script)ure.

Trophies

“Back in my day, kids actually had to win something to get trophies.” -Craig Groeschel

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”-St. Paul

So it’s been 17 years since a team I’ve rooted for has won a championship in anything. For those of you keeping score, that means I was barely a teenager the last time I’ve felt like I do this morning. There is something pretty remarkable about watching a team you care about reach what they had been chasing for so long.

I’ve said a lot over the past couple of weeks, that this series is the most captivating basketball I’ve seen since the days of the Bulls/Jazz. Maybe it’s because of Dirk’s playing sick, or the fourth quarter comebacks, maybe it’s because of the closeness of the games or because both teams had so much on the line.

But there is something deeper here too.

The author Donald Miller points out that the book Friday Night Lights was actually written about a season that the Permian Panthers lost the championship in. The book could have ended differently, the Panthers won the Texas State Championship the very next year, but the author chose not to tell that story. And what is interesting is why.

He chose to tell the story about the previous year, the one they lost, because that year they tried harder. Even though they lost, they played with more passion and sacrificed more to get there. And that, according to Donald Miller, is what matters.

It’s also what makes the Mavericks season so great. Continue reading Trophies

Don’t Call it a Comeback

Like most people in the area of the world I live in, last Thursday night, I went from depression to exhilaration within a few minutes, 7 minutes and 15 seconds to be exact. The Mavericks were down 15 points to a Superstar team composed of people who really, really want to win a championship, and who are also really, really good. To say that the Mavericks playing the Heat are like David taking on Goliath is appropriate on so many levels. And the fact that they won the 2nd game away in such dramatic fashion is inspiring to say the least.

Now I know the way professional sports works. I’m writing this post a few hours before game 3 of the NBA finals tip off. There is a chance that the momentum we had from game 2 won’t carry over to game 3. There is a chance that Goliath beats David, that is after all, what Goliath’s tend to do. But as long as I live I’ll never forget one thing about game 2.

Toward the end of the fourth quarter, the ABC commentators started showing video feed of the American Airlines center, but not the one in Miami (where the game was actually being played) but the one in Dallas. It was filled with thousands of people who were watching the game on a big screen. Think about that for a second, thousands of people came to a stadium to watch a TV screen that they could probably have had a better experience watching from home. But they came to a stadium to cheer on a team that wasn’t even there, and couldn’t even here them.

In Genesis 12, God calls a guy named Abraham to leave the town he grew up in for a completely unknown experience, and to trust in a completely unknown God. This was in a day and age where the average person didn’t travel over 30 miles from where they grew up…in their entire lifetime. But Abraham breaks that mold and travels off into the great unknown. If you are a believer in Jesus today, it’s because Abraham did that. But when he did it he didn’t know about you. He just had to trust, which he did, and it paid off. Continue reading Don’t Call it a Comeback