The Gospel of Luke

I’ve been reading through the Gospels again and Luke has stood out to me more than it has before. I feel more connected to the Lucan Jesus as He is portrayed in His interactions with people. Obviously, I already love Jesus prior to reading this again but I’m impressed with how attractive of a person He sounds. Here are some things that have stood out to me so far:

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” (4:1)

“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.” (4:14)

“and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.” (6:19)

In addition, Luke records Jesus’ beattitudes in a way that is much more tuned to the poor and needy people. It is great to have a reminder of this when it is so tempting to get lost in theological musings. The fact is, Jesus was a person that many people wanted to be around. We need to do a better job at showing Him this way today.

Busy Times

So my wife and I have been in the processing of moving out of our apartment and into a house. Needless to say it’s been a bit chaotic. I’ve still been reading some great books and I’m about to start another interesting one. I’ve been tempted to blog on what I’m reading right now but the parts that interest me are too edgy or controversial to start an online conversation. If you’re interested in some new theological ideas then I would encourage you to read it too. The book is called The Theology of the Dark Side by Nigel Goring Wright.

I just bought a new book that should make for some intriguing conversations. I didn’t buy it new though for as my friend told me, “you never pay full price for heresy.” It should be interesting, stay tuned…

The Boston Massacre Returns…

Since I recently posted frustration with the Yankees, I thought it only appropriate that I balance the scales and brag about them as they are currently destroying Boston in what is looking like the Boston Massacre of 1978.

Most people have turned to make Boston the beloved team and the Yankees the team to hate after the unfortunate events of 2004. However, it appears that the Yankees are showing the legend again and have pulled ahead into more than a six game lead over the BoSox. Today the Yankees finished the sweep of Boston in a five game series for the fifth time in history. History has once again been rewritten since it last happened in 1943.

Goodbye Dear Friend

So I need to publicly state some turmoil that I am feeling over my favorite baseball team. As those close to me know I am a huge Yankee fan (and have been since I was a kid–so back off). However, the recent events with the organization have left me feeling kind of sad.

If you haven’t heard, the Yanks are building a new stadium just north of the current stadium for 1.2 billion dollars. I should be very happy about this since it will probably be one of the most amazing, state-of-the-art stadiums that has ever been built. Unfortunately, I feel like it is yet another example of Steinbrenner thinking of money over the actual sport itself and the lore of the franchise.

I have three years to enjoy the current stadium before history will be re-made and Babe Ruth will be one step closer to being forgotten. I wonder if the new stadium will be able to keep up with the legend of the Yankees or if it will feel like any other current day money ploy. I guess I’ll just have to deal with it like everyone else. So for now I say goodbye old friend.

Finding the Blessed

I attended the leadership concept from Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago this last week as our church hosted a satellite conference. One of the sessions was an interview with Bono from U2 and his thoughts on Aids and Africa. He said something that I thought was very insightful.

“Stop asking for God to bless what you are doing. Be a part of what He is doing because it is already blessed.”

This got me thinking about how many things we get caught up with doing, even if it is in the name of God, and we wonder why we sometimes don’t feel His Presence in what we’re doing. I’ll be honest, part of me is tempted to not get involved with the Aids epidemic in Africa just because Bono was the one who challenged me and it now feels like the popular thing to do. But this quote has been ringing in my ears since I heard it. Our prayers should change from: “God bless what I’m doing” to “God, what are You doing and how should I get involved?” I’m not even a fan of U2’s music but I give Bono props for seeing what most of us have missed. Check out his website to see how you can get involved with how he is leading the charge to save Africa.

Cloudy Discernment

After taking the time recently to analyze my top three spiritual gifts I determined that discernment was number three. That’s why I was pretty rattled when I read this quote from Donald Miller,

“In my own life, I notice I validate people who like or validate me. When I say so-and-so is a nice person, what I really mean is so-and-so thinks I am a nice person. And if I sense a person doesn’t like me, or thinks he is better than me, my mind will find all sorts of criticism” (pg. 117).

The quote comes from the book Searching for God Knows What and is among scores of other ideas about how we think of other people. I would love to say that the quote isn’t a good representation of how I am but I find myself understanding exactly what he is saying. If we are ever going to love others like God intends us to then we have to realize that our worth comes from Christ and not from what they think of us. Can we truly love those who do not love us? I see what Matthew 5:43-47 is talking about and why it is so hard to do.