What have you learned this year?

The Sunday after Christmas my message will be on what I've learned this year, but it won't be about just me. I need to hear what you've learned this year (it doesn't matter if you attend Horizons or not).

Of course, that will mean pausing for reflection, which few of us take time to do. But I'm guessing that once you start writing, something will come to you. It may be something new you learned, or it may be a deeper awareness and appreciation of something you already knew. So hit the comment button and let us know what you've learned and how it came to you. Plus I think it will be fun to read them all.

I write a debrief every month for our church's Steering Team, and one of the categories is "Lessons Learned." There's something about writing it down that makes it stick. For example, after completing my four-week sabbatical for study and planning last summer, my lesson learned was "You can't do visioning at 90 miles an hour." The point was that by taking time to slow down, I began to experience God guiding me in a fresh way about the church's future.

My mistakes are often my biggest teachers. What have you learned this year? What has God been teaching you?


Free clinic has heart

Another great mission in Lincoln is Clinic with a Heart , which is free for all on certain Tuesday nights. It’s especially for the 25,000 people in Lincoln who don’t have insurance and others who can’t afford rising co-pays or large deductibles. You get to see a health professional and sometimes receive free medicine.

In May of 2003 members of St. Mark’s United Methodist opened the doors of the Clinic with a Heart on the first Tuesday of every month for primary care. Since then it’s been expanded to chiropractic and physical therapy on the second Tuesday of the month. Southwood Lutheran got involved and now they’re sponsoring primary care on the third Tuesday of the month. Dental screenings are also available on first and third Tuesdays.

On their web site is a long list of the kinds of volunteers they need, even some you wouldn’t expect, everything from dieticians to MDs, from marriage counselors to interpreters for 14 different languages, from clerical help to administration.

If you're a volunteer at Clinic with a Heart, please comment and let us know more about it.


Foodnet: tummy fill not landfill

I'm a big fan of a local, non-profit, volunteer-run effort called Footnet, Inc. They've been around Lincoln for over 20 years saving good food from being taken to the landfill that's still edible and delicious but can no longer be sold in the grocery store, restaurant, bakery or deli.

They have 26 locations in or near Lincoln where anyone can pick up stuff; most sites are churches. And when you get there, you never know what they'll have, because it all depends on what the stores give them.

If you've ever gotten food from Foodnet or ever volunteered at Foodnet, I'd love to get your comment. Tell us more. Or maybe you work at a business that donates food to Foodnet. We'd like to hear about it from your point of view, as well.


Senator Chambers sues God for violent weather

Senator Ernie Chambers filed a suit against God in Douglas County District Court last week for rhetorical reasons—to make a point about another lawsuit he considers inappropriate.

According to the article in the Lincoln Journal Star, Chambers says that “God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents, inspired fear and caused ‘widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.’” He charges that God is guilty of “fearsome floods ... horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes.”

The Bible certainly makes claims of God’s management of the weather. The Psalmist sings of God’s weather-controlling power. “He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down hail like crumbs—who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow” (Psalm 147:16-18, NRSV).

But I’m not sure what to make of this passage. Does it mean that God directs every drop and degree, or is it a poetic description of a God who normally allows His design to take its natural course? I’m guessing the latter.

Of course, God certainly can dictate the weather any time he chooses. Examples can be found in scripture of God appointing events such as hailstorms and droughts.

As I type this Tuesday afternoon, I can hear the rain hit the roof above me, creating a roar that builds and subsides. Sun and rain are blessings, usually. Jesus talked about how God blesses both evil and good people. “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45, NRSV).

So, today I will thank God for the rain, but I won’t blame Him if there’s a flood.

I will pray for rain during a drought, but not blame God when it hasn’t rained in months (though I might complain that he hasn’t yet answered my prayer for rain!).

That’s the paradox of faith. We believe that God is good, even when the weather is violent. Even when our circumstances turn disastrous, we trust that God is trustworthy.

Some want to know if the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia was a judgment from God. Was Katrina a divine punishment for the Big Easy’s immorality? I doubt it, and here’s why.

If it had been punishment from God, He would have raised up a prophet to warn the people to repent, so they could avoid the disaster. “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7, NRSV).

But there was no prophet. So I’m left to assume that these natural disasters just happened. They’re part of life in this beautiful but imperfect planet.

Senator Chambers seeks a permanent injunction against God. As for me, I’m going to follow the example of the prophet Habakkuk.

“Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines, though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will exult in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18, NRSV).


Keillor on canoeing, Karl Rove and saying howdy in church

I read a column in Sunday’s paper by Garrison Keillor mostly about canoeing and Karl Rove. If you decide to dig it out of your recycling, you’ll find it in the Opinion section.

Anyway, in the middle of his column, he touches on the topic of my May 25 posting. So, I’m using Keillor as ammunition for my opinion that churches will be more hospitable to their guests if the guests are not told to stand up and greet strangers around them. Here’s Keillor’s observation.

“There are basically two types of Americans and the first is the type most of the world considers typical: the Americans who when the big smiley preacher stands in the pulpit and says, “How about everybody turn around and shake hands with the person behind you and give them a big howdy!” they all turn around and shake and say howdy and feel uplifted by this. And then there are the Americans who would do anything to avoid this, including staying away from church entirely.” “There are more of the second type than the first.”

I agree. But most of the second types, when they do show up at a church, still appreciate being genuinely welcomed by a few individuals who take time to visit with them. That’s the job of the first types, before and after worship.


Local Justice

This week I got to meet Larry Williams, executive director of the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights. Check out the link and some of the items listed, especially their 2006 annual report. Every month the commission produces a new TV program that you will see occasionally on cable channel 5, so if you're flipping through and see it, take a few minutes. I promise you'll learn something.

Did you know that 112 cases were filed last year by the commission? That 72 dealt with employment discrimination, that 32 dealt with housing discrimination, and that eight dealt with public accommodation? Neither did I. And every one of them has an intensely personal (but confidential) story to it. I was impressed with the work they do.

While last Sunday we looked at justice from a global point of view, tomorrow (August 19) our focus will be intensely local. And we'll keep listening to "A Voice That Cannot Be Silenced," and the word that God gave an ancient prophet named Amos.


Just one thing

Sunday, August 12, as part of our series based on the prophet Amos, “A Voice That Cannot Be Silenced,” I will challenge the people at Horizons to begin by doing just one thing to become a more globally aware person.

Here are ten possibilities, so you can find one that stirs your passion. Don't try to do everything--that's not sustainable. Just start with one. And then see where that one thing leads you. You’ll be on your way to becoming more a globally aware person.

Watch the 55-minute film “China Blue” on Google video. There’s a study guide available.

Shop at Ten Thousand Villages. You can even volunteer there.
Haymarket 140 N. 8th Street, Suite 125
Lincoln, NE 68508
email: villageslincoln@alltel.net
phone: (402) 475-4122

Learn about the Clean Clothes Campaign and read their current newsletter, which includes an interview with “China Blue” producer/director Micha Peled.

The stated mission for Sweatshop Watch is “Empowering Workers. Informing Consumers.” What I found particularly helpful was a shopping guide of goods made under fair labor conditions.

You may not agree with everything Coop America does, but I appreciated their list of companies and the information provided.

Sponsor a child at the Pratheeksha Orphanage in India by participating in Project Hope at Horizons. Right now, we have four children waiting to be sponsored, at a cost of $35 per month. Sister Jessy, the founder and director of the orphanage, plans to visit us again at Horizons on October 28, and you'll get to meet her. Once you sponsor a child, you may correspond with her or him to learn more about life in India. To sponsor a child, contact Kay Holt.

Look into the hunger-relief advocacy organization Bread for the World.

United Methodists have enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Heifer Project International. The Living Gifts program provides livestock for people in the U.S. and around the world who agree to pass on the firstborn female offspring to another neighbor in need.

The United Methodists have recently produced an adult study guide (which I haven’t seen yet) called Globalization and Its Impact on People’s Lives. The youth version is called The Big G.

I’m becoming a fan of alleviating poverty and increasing dignity through micro-credit loan programs. This is a link to one United Methodists provide for women in the African country of Senegal.


A child will lead them

God knows that one of the entrances he has into a parent’s heart is through their love for their kids.

A few centuries before Jesus was born, God told the prophet Malachi, “See I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction” (Malachi 4:5-6).

And that’s how the Old Testament ends, words of hope and warning. That’s it. And this Elijah figure, when he comes, will either turn and hearts of parents to their kids and the hearts of kids to their parents, or else the whole nation implodes. If hearts are not turned, society falls apart.

And so the New Testament records that before Jesus came John, “in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).

So often I see parents who haven’t been part of a church in a long time or never have been, and they come with their kids. They bring their infants for baptism or blessing. They bring their four-year-old to experience Sunday school. They want to provide their pre-teen with good set of peers. They hope their middle and high school kids will gain a strong moral compass.

Over and over I’ve heard the story. “We came here for our kids, but then we began to experience God for ourselves. We were drawn to Jesus. We found faith blossoming inside us, and now we are growing in that walk with Christ and living in fellowship with others on the journey.”

It reminds me of a line from another prophet, “…and a little child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).


Initiating a difficult conversation

Lately I've been thinking about confrontation. Obviously to confront someone is different from just having a talk. It's when someone says to you, "We need to talk."

It's about initiating a difficult conversation. It's about bringing up a topic that you worry may be received with resistance--maybe even anger. Or the one confronted may feel hurt or rejected. (Count this blog as an exploration into my upcoming July 22 Sunday message.)

It seems there are two unhealthy approaches to confrontation that most of us seem to fall into: attack or avoid. One is motivated more by hostility, the other more by fear.

When it comes to confrontation, I look back and know that I've done both some attacking and some avoiding, but I'm guessing that most of us do more avoiding. I know I've created a lot of problems for myself and others by avoiding needed but difficult communication. I pray for courage.

Recently I was planning to initiate a confrontation in a situation where the safety of many people was at stake. However, circumstances changed enough that this difficult conversation became unnecessary. I confess I was relieved.

Healthy confrontation is not easy. I'm still learning. But it seems that it goes back to the instruction in scripture to "speak the truth in love." It's a balance that requires wisdom. "Lord, help me."


Is “Evan Almighty” worth my $8 and 2 hours?

No, I haven’t seen the movie, which was released last Friday. Lincoln Journal Star reviewer Kent Wolgamott panned it with a one-star rating. For him the humor just didn’t work. Only one out of four reviewers at http://www.rottentomatoes.com/ could recommend it, with the consensus that it’s “big on special effects but short on laughs.”

In this film God tells Evan to build an ark like Noah did, and Evan’s hair and beard start growing rapidly, ala Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause.” Apparently “Evan” lifts up an environment-friendly theme and promotes Acts of Random Kindness, or ARK.

Most Christian reviewers I checked tended to review “Evan Almighty” a little more kindly, because of its spiritual elements and because it’s not as offensive as most Hollywood movies. It has some value for “family” entertainment. However, a few theological objections were raised.

Though I sometimes enjoy Steve Carell as a comedic actor, this movie sounds like the kind of cheap-gag comedy I wouldn’t find that appealing, so I’m probably going to wait until it comes out on DVD, if I see it at all. But, hey, if you like it, make your case. You might talk me into it. Either way, if you see the movie, hit the comment button and let us know your take on it.

P.S. Go to ChristianityTodayMovies.com for a review with links to other Christian reviews. My favorite Christian reviewer, Jeffrey Overstreet, so far hasn’t posted anything for “Evan Almighty.”


what I look forward to and dread about this week

It's required. Every year I have to go, even though I'm not a big fan. From 10:30 this morning (Wednesday) until 1 p.m. Saturday, I'll be spending most of my waking hours at the Cornhusker Hotel and St. Paul United Methodist attending Annual Conference--or more specifically the session of the Nebraska Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Actually, I don't dread it as much as I used to, because I get to hang out with some of my colleage-buddies I don't get to see all year. I also like some of the changes being introduced the last couple of years, which raises my toleration level. Still, much of the proceedings are intensely mundane--but that's good for me; it builds character.

Over the last few conferences, more educational sessions have been added. Hopefully, I'll come away with a few more ideas and a little more inspiration. And over the years, some of the worship times have become dear to my heart, such as tonight's memorial service and Friday evening's ordination service.

Every four years we elect delegates to General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference, and this is one of those years. Nothing exposes our theological differences like these elections, and the dividing issue is the question of homosexuality.

Currently General Conference affirms that those with homosexual orientation, like everyone else, are of sacred worth. But it also has maintained an official UM policy that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, forbidding the ordination and appointment of self-avowed, practicing homosexual pastors, and forbidding homosexual union services be held on United Methodist premises or conducted by United Methodist clergy.

Some would like to be elected to General Conference in order to vote to change one or more of those policies. Obviously, others would vote to retain them.

In 1995 I was elected first alternate to the 1996 General Conference and delegate to Jurisdictional Conference (where the main business is electing bishops). Four years later I was elected an alternate to Jurisdictional Conference but ended up not going because I broke my leg the week before.

This year I'm not seeking election.

Some of you probably know where I come from on the question of homosexuality, but I'm not going to talk about it in this blog. Expect a sermon from me about it as part of a series on controversial issues, maybe in January.

However, if you would like to express your viewpoint, please hit the comment button. Thanks.


Less is sometimes more when it comes to hospitality

The other day a young couple talked to me about their experience as newcomers to Horizons. One of the things they loved was that we did not ask everyone to stand up and greet those around them. When that moment comes in churches they've been to, they cringe. It seems so artificial. They hate having that expectation put on them to exchange meaningless pleasantries with people who may or may not talk to them later.

It's been a few years since we stopped doing the "stand up and greet those around you" gig. There was a great deal of complaining from the Horizons' regulars, because we really enjoy this time. We like having the excuse to give a warm welcome to people we don't know, especially to newcomers. But we stuck to our guns and let it drop, because our guests dreaded it.

The only benefit to stand-and-greet time was that it made us feel more welcoming.

We've even dialed down the enthusiasm of our greeters at the door. We used to have too many hand-shakers lined up. It got so bad that even some of our regular worshipers at Horizons began looking for alternate entrances into the building so they could avoid the phalanx of smiling greeters.

People seem to appreciate it a lot more now when a member of our Host Team simply opens the door for them into the building, when a lanyard-wearing person asks if they can guide them to the children's classes or nursery, when a sincere individual sees them in the worship center before the service and sits down to meet them and get to know them for a few minutes.

What's better than just being genuine?


Back on the saddle again

I saw in the paper today that tomorrow is National Bike to Work Day, and this is National Bike to Work Week, and May is National Bike to Work Month. Okay, okay, I get the hint. (Here's a link to the article.)

It was a bit chilly when I started out this morning, but with the jacket I was fine. The only thing that was cold when I arrived at the office was my ears.

I biked to the gym Monday--beautiful day but a little breezy.

I'm not much of a recreational cyclist. For me it's more about having a healthy alternative to driving my car, especially with gas prices over $3.


What to say about Virginia Tech

The shooting on the Virginia Tech campus has been filling the news media all week. I've been wanting to write something, but didn't know what to say except that I'm so sad. I'm also angry that someone can so maliciously (and apparently insanely) take away so many other lives.

Sometimes we get angry at God because of the evil and suffering He allows to go on in the world. I won't try to talk you out of that anger, but I hope in time you come to experience God's comfort and reassurance--many have found just that in their worst moments of grief.

I believe that Jesus came to inaugurate God's kingdom, a vision of life the way God wants it, where adults prevent middle school kids from bullying their peers, where no one is laughed at because of their accent, where affluence is not flaunted in the faces of others, where people suffering from mental illness are not shuffled off and forgotten. God's kingdom doesn't produce mass murderers.

I've also thought about how life in Baghdad is like Blacksburg nearly everyday, and what this must be like for the people who live there and want to raise their families and go to school and work. People are terrorized by roadside bombs and suicide bombers, all for the cause of gaining control. May God's kingdom come quickly.

If you have thoughts or questions, please comment.


Thinking about an apparent contradiction in the Bible

I want to retract something I said in my sermon Sunday, March 25. When does a preacher ever do that? Maybe we should do it more often. I suggested an approximate time of 11 a.m. when the crowd first gathered before Governor Pilate. I based this on John’s gospel which says that around the sixth hour of the day, which we understand to be noon, they were calling for Jesus to be crucified. But there’s a problem with that chronology. I wasn’t paying attention to Mark’s gospel which says that on the third hour of the day, or 9 a.m., Jesus was already on the cross.

As scholars like to say, this is a problematic passage, and it’s hard to harmonize the two gospels on this point. So what do we do? Here are four possibilities.

First, some suggest that John was using Roman time instead of Jewish time, and the Romans (at least in legal matters) began counting the hours at midnight like we do, so that would put the sixth hour at 6 a.m. when the crowd called for Jesus to be crucified. If that’s the case, there’s no difficulty in the timeline that he was crucified by 9 o’clock. It’s a plausible theory, but the problem is that John seems to follow a Jewish clock during the rest of his gospel. Why would he switch to Roman time now?

Second, I’ve heard it suggested that perhaps John is using the number, the “sixth” hour, symbolically rather than chronologically. For example, we describe something as an “eleventh hour” event, not because it happened at an hour before midnight, but because it came in just before a deadline. We cannot know with certainty what the sixth hour would symbolize, but it could represent humanity, created on the sixth day in Genesis 1. In that case, it could mean that calling for Jesus to be crucified is evil humanity’s hour (remember 666 in Revelation?). However interesting this theory might be, it is based on a great deal of speculation.

Third, it has been noted that the terms “third hour” or “sixth hour” were used without the exactness today’s western clock-watchers assume. Jesus could have been crucified between 9 a.m. and noon, but the time is described differently by the two writers. It would be a mistake to force our understanding of time on to the biblical text.

Finally, others say that the discrepancy of whether Jesus was crucified around 9 a.m. or a little after 12 noon is a small detail that plays no bearing on the fact that Jesus was crucified that day, so we shouldn’t worry about it.

Personally, I’m not sure what to think, and the only thing I can definitively say is that I don’t know. Someday in heaven, maybe God will explain it to me. But for now I’m not sure how to harmonize the two timelines or if I should even try.

But I don’t want you to think that this means the four gospels are constantly contradicting each other. Are there other problematic passages? Sure. But while the four gospels tell the same passion story with minor differences, they agree on the basics of what happened. For example, in each of the four gospels you will find the following events.

Jesus is taken by the Jewish leaders to Governor Pilate. The crowd demands Jesus’ death, which Pilate concedes to. Soldiers gamble for his clothes. He’s crucified between two others. The charge listed at the top of his cross is “King of the Jews.” He’s insulted while he suffers on the cross. Dark clouds hang over the land from noon to three. Some women among his followers are watching. After he dies, Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross, wrapped and buried before sundown by Joseph of Arimathea.

May you be blessed as you ponder our Lord's passion this weekend. I hope you will find a place to worship on Resurrection Morning.


"I love you so much, I'm sending someone else" ??

Maybe you've been puzzled by questions like, "If God loved the world so much, why didn't God go to the cross? Why was God's Son drafted to endure all the pain and humiliation?"

One of my favorite theologians, N.T. Wright, expresses the answer so clearly. "The death of God's son can only reveal God's love if the son is the personal expression of God himself. It will hardly do to say, 'I love you so much that I'm going to send someone else.' " (Check out Romans 5:6-10.)

God did not send someone else. Jesus is the embodiment of the Father's love. Jesus' death is God's self-sacrifice.

If I offer my son or daughter to die in order to save your life, you would have reason to think me a coward for not offering my own life instead. But Jesus was not that kind of son. Jesus was the appearance of Israel's God Yahweh in person to save us when we could not save ourselves.

When you think of it like that, "For God so loved the world..." makes a lot more sense.


My most difficult prayer

I came across an article recently in which readers shared the most difficult prayer they've ever prayed. One wife wrote and said that though she's been able to forgive her husband, her most difficult prayer is asking God for the grace to forgive the "other woman," someone who had pretended to be her friend. She hasn't found the grace yet, but she's asking for it.

Others wrote of praying for God's will instead of clinging to their own dreams, praying to be content as a single person, praying that God will use a child's health issue for good, asking God to allow difficult times to draw a rebellious teenager back to faith.

I'm considering sharing a couple of these stories in Sunday's sermon, but I also want to toss it out to you. What has been your most difficult prayer to pray?

This Sunday we'll be listening to Jesus' most difficult prayer, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup [of suffering] be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:39).

If you comment and share with us, your most difficult prayer, I will assume permission to share it in Sunday's sermon, though without your name. I may not get any takers on this one; that's okay. But if you have one to share, please accept my sincere appreciation.


Watching "Idol"

Before this season I've never done more than casually watch a few episodes of America's top TV show. But this season, Tricia and I watched it a little more often--though I had to miss it both times this week.

I'm going to talk about "American Idol" more in future posts, but for now I want you to think of some of your favorite artists who would've never made it on "Idol." For example, Bob Dylan wouldn't have made the first cut. He would've been "terrible." Simon would have have rolled his eyes and made a snide comment. Paula would have tried to nicely tell him to find some other dream besides music. Randy would have said, "I'm sorry, man."

So, hit the comment button and let me know one of your favorite singers who would have never made it on "Idol."


The score is 52 - 6

Looks like it could be the score of a lopsided football game, but it's not.

Over the weekend Tricia and I purchased for the first time a package of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They're supposed to last five years and use a fraction of the electricity, thereby saving the environment from the ill effects of creating energy, while saving us money.

We were surpised that the light they emit is not stark white. I guess they've improved them in the last few years.

It seemed that the cheapest way to buy them was in a package of six for less than ten bucks. We put three in ceiling light in the kitchen, one in the hood above our stove, and one in each of two lamps in our family room.

According to an article in the paper a few weeks ago, for a light that you use a lot, switching to a CFL could save you $60 a year. In Australia they're considering phasing out the incandesent for environmental reasons.

Back to the score. Fifty-two is the number of incandescent bulbs we still have in the house. Six is the number of CFLs. My wife loves lamps. But I can see that score start to even out and lean toward the CFLs in the coming months.

Now if they'd only come out with a 3-way CFL, they'd make a killing on us. I'm sure somebody's working on it.


I don't listen to Christian radio

That's right, I admit it. I don't listen to Christian radio. It's not that I've never listened to it, but I do so very rarely. I like some of the songs on K-love, but mostly I can't handle the DJs. For those of you who worship at Horizons, if I ever sound like that when I'm making announcements, please stop me. To me, the announcers make Jesus sound like a slick new product, and after hearing them talk, even the songs sound like they were made for a commercial.

And there's something about being "positive and encouraging" that doesn't ring true for a Christian station. Is truth always positive and encouraging? Not when I read the Bible. And it's not that I want them to focus on being negative or discouraging either, but it's like their number one goal is to make me feel good on my commute.

Yesterday, when I was thinking about this blog, I forced myself to listen to K-love whenever I got in the car. I recognized some of the songs as ones we've sung or heard at Horizons. But the "Mercy Me at Waikiki" contest they're doing now just rubbed me the wrong way. Should we be buying into this whole celebrity culture that the rest of the world chases after and just substitute Christian celebrities?

However, I might enjoy a Mercy Me concert very much; I don't know, I've never been to one.

I don't listen much to Bible teachers on the radio either, although a few of them I like. I usually like Woodrow Kroll (from Lincoln) if I'm in my car between 6:30 and 7 p.m., because he tends to focus on the big picture and doesn't get bogged down into exegetical gymnastics.

I'm trying not to be a snoot about this. If you're into K-love and radio Bible teachers, go for it. Most of Horizons probably listens to K-love, at least. I'm just starting a discussion. Please reply.


Who wants to be rich?

I thought it was just the Baby Boomers who wanted to be rich. In today's Lincoln Journal Star p. 6A, I read an article, "Survey shocker: Me Generation wants to be rich" by AP's Martha Irvine. It says that teenagers and early twenty-somethings have put a very high priority on having a very high income.

It surprised me, because I thought that's part of what they were rejecting about the Boomer lifestyle. But according to the article, they've been sucked into it by their Boomer parents. Everybody wants an Abercrombie and Fitch life.

Unless you follow Jesus.

When Jesus was being tempted by Satan, he had the chance to go for "all the kingdoms of the world." Heady stuff. But he walked away from it for a grander vision, something called the Kingdom of God. It was Life--with God at the center.

It's the alternative to the American obsession.