Greetings, sports fans. Welcome to the in-mourning edition of Saturday Ramblings. Why are we in mourning? The Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the godless Miami Heat Thursday in the NBA Finals. It was hard for the Thunder to handle Miami’s “Big Three:” LeBron James, Duane Wade, and the refs. Well, there is one consolation. Soon, in some faraway, impoverished, third-world country, children will be happily clothed in “OKC Thunder—NBA Champions” t-shirts. Sigh. Shall we?
History was made this week at the Southern Baptist Convention as the denomination elected their very first African American president. Fred Luter is a former street preacher who leads a church in New Orleans. Well done, SBC.
Meanwhile, a document trying to clarify what Baptists mean by “salvation” is bringing out the “h” word among those who are debating the wording of the document. Even the—gasp!—“sinner’s prayer” is being looked at closely. This is going to take some sorting out, but again I applaud the SBC for even being willing to bring these things to the table for examination.
Have you been to a good Hutterite service lately? What? You don’t know who the Hutterites are? Well, your ignorance can now be laid to rest, thanks to the National Geographic Channel’s “American Colony: Meet the Hutterites.” You’d think this group of 59 people, clinging to their traditions, would be glad for a little face-time on the tube. But no. The higher-ups in the Hutterite sects engaged Larry Ross Communications to express their displeasure. Yep. A group you’ve never heard of is featured on a TV channel no one watches and is now complaining with a press release no one will read. Ain’t this great Saturday Ramblings fodder?
Never been to Cornerstone, the Christian heavy-metal fest just outside of Chicago? Better get going. This is the last year for the nation’s longest-running Christian music fest. Meanwhile, the second annual WildGoose Fest is going on this weekend in North Carolina. Over the Rhine will be at the WildGoose Festival. Guess which one I would go to?
Eagle-eyed iMonk Daisey found this story about the ordination of a minister in Maryland. So what?, you ask. So this. The minister is 11 years old. He preaches in church on Sundays, and tears it up in fifth grade the rest of the week. Don’t you feel like a slacker now?
We often like to end this portion of the Ramblings with an outlandish story that I defend by promising you I did not make up. Today, though, I have not one of these stories, not two, but four. Four. And I did not make up a single one of these. Really.
For instance, an Islamic group in Egypt says that Muslims are not to eat tomatoes because they are … Christian. Ok, if you cut a tomato in half, I suppose you can see something of a cross on the inside. But I don’t like tomatoes and have always considered them of the devil. So, am I now committed to eating these disgusting pieces of fruit?
Don’t like tomatoes any more than I? How about toast? Could I interest you in a piece of toast with the image of Tim Tebow praying? Just such an item recently sold on eBay for $85.00. The top half of a grilled cheese sandwich came out of the grill with the likeness of Tebow tebowing on it. I wonder if any cheese was stuck to the underside…
With toast goes butter, right? And what better to go with Tim Tebow toast than … Big Butter Jesus. The pale yellow statue outside of Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio (home of the Cincinnati Premium Outlet Mall!) that was struck by lightning and burned down in 2010 is being rebuilt. Now, will Heywood Banks come up with a song to go with the new, er, artwork? Of course he will! (If you haven’t heard this song, do yourself and give it a listen. But don’t have any coffee in your mouth. We are not responsible for damaged keyboards or computer screens …)
And finally, one of our favorites here at the Ramblings factory, Ed Young Jr., concluded a sermon series about engaging in our culture by sharing about … bullies. The fashion preacher said the Bible doesn’t teach us to be passive in the face of bullies. Hmmm…I do recall something somewhere about turning the other cheek. Never mind. Young’s message “was focused heavily on the different types of bullying people endure and how the Bible helps in responding to such situations.” Well, I suppose if you have a hardcover Bible it could be of some use in responding to such situations, if you get what I mean.
Hippy dippy birthdays this past week were celebrated by our very own Synonymous Rambler, who took the week off from finding rambling fodder to blow out birthday candles; Stan Laurel; Joyce Carol Oates; Roberto “no mas” Duran; Igor Stravinsky; Clyde “Red” Foley; Dan Jansen; Venus Williams; George Mikan; Sir Paul McCartney; Roger Ebert; Oz Fox; Moe Howard; Lou Gehrig; Ann Wilson; the Tazmanian Devil; Garfield; Chet Atkins; Brian Wilson; Lionel Richie; Butch Patrick; Ray Davies; Kris Kristofferson; and Carson Daly.
Wow. Who to choose? It would have been easy if I hadn’t already shared a Brian Wilson video with you on Thursday. You did watch that, didn’t you? Well, didn’t you? Sir Paul could be a good choice. Moe in a Three Stooges clip would help you laugh on a Saturday morning, as would the Tazmanian Devil—or Laurel and Hardy, for that matter. No, Oz Fox and Stryper were not given a moment’s consideration. Really, there is only one choice today. Have you spotted it yet? (Of course you have. His name is in boldface.) Enjoy.