Horrific kidnappings in Cleveland. Arguing over the body of a bomber. A teen who hits and kills a soccer ref for giving the teen a yellow card. Someone named Jodi Arias being found guilty of killing her boyfriend in a horrendous manner. [Loud sigh … ] Does anyone else feel the need for some good news right about now? If not exactly good news, perhaps at least something that doesn’t include death and dismemberment. Something to make us grimace a little less. Maybe even a fun tune to get us humming. If that is you, you’ve come to the wrong place. I have stories about the Boston Marathon bombs, about the death of a great man, Christians doing and saying stupid things, Pope Francis tellings nuns to become mothers, and … well, you’ll just have to read for yourself, iMonks. (I will try to find a fun tune to hum … ) It’s time to ramble.
Evangelical Christians feel they (we?) are becoming a “hated minority” because of their stance on homosexuality. Let me ask this: Could it be that evangelicals are correct in what they are saying, but are very wrong in how they are saying it? Discuss.
Meanwhile, we continue to hear of bias against Christians in the military. Here is a case where Christians protesting against a wrong that doesn’t exist could cause harm. Would it be asking too much for those who are protesting to, perhaps in their spare time, bone up on the facts? Or did I miss something in the Great Commission? “Go and make disciples of all soldiers, whether they want to become disciples of Mine or not … ”
There are things you can and cannot do in Texas. You can come up with blueprints for a print-it-yourself gun that fires very real and very deadly bullets, post these blueprints on line, and see them downloaded more than 100,000 times before you are told you are most likely in violation of federal laws and are advised to remove the blueprints. What you cannot do is lift one finger into the air as a way of celebrating your victory in a relay race at a high school track meet. Someone has some ‘splainin’ to do …
Pope Francis apparently is serious about those who have official functions within the Catholic Church focusing on that business and nothing else. And his definition of “business” is “creating disciples of Jesus.” He says nuns are to become spiritual mothers and not spinsters. Have I mentioned how much I love this pope? Martha, what would it take for you, Chaplain Mike and me to get an audience with Pope Francis? Do you think he might become one of our writers?
We saw the passing this week of Dallas Willard, another man who took seriously Jesus’ call to make disciples. Richard Foster talks of Willard’s influence on his life as a pastor and teacher.
Rick Joyner, self-styled prophet and friend of the Punching Preacher, Todd Bentley, weighs in on the Boston Marathon bombers and who really is to blame. Perhaps we’ve made a mistake in taking Joyner for a preacher. Obviously he should be head of the CIA. (The Good Lord invented duct tape for situations like these … )
The daughter of the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke openly of her struggle with depression and the church’s lack of help to those who struggle with this disease. Oh how right she is. The good news (See? I did manage to work in some good news …) is that, because of two Baptist pastors’ tragedies, there is now movement to begin ministering to those who struggle with mental illness. Please, encourage those in need of help to get help now. And let that help begin with you.
Someone complained there might be some mention of religion at an Arkansas elementary school’s sixth grade graduation ceremony. Dust arose. The ceremony was unceremoniously cancelled. Why, you ask, do they have ceremonies for wee lads and lassies graduating from sixth grade in Arkansas? Well, in most all other states, schooling doesn’t end with sixth grade …
Happy birthday candles were blown out this last week by Audrey Hepburn; Dick Dale; Erin Andrews; Tammy Wynette; John Rhys-Davies; Orson Welles; Bob Seger; Tony Blair; Gary Cooper; Johnny Unitas; Harry S. Truman; Don Rickles; Peter Benchley; Hank Snow; Mike Wallace; Richie Furay; Billy Joel; Philip Bailey; Fred Astaire; and Donovan.
Dick Dale’s Miserlou is certainly worthy of being our bonus video today. It is, after all, the greatest rock and roll instrumental of all time. But there is one Billy Joel tune that ranks in my top-20 songs of all time. A brilliant composition that is performed here in with breathtaking energy and force. Enjoy.