Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why Jesus came...

"Jesus came to raise the dead. He did not come to teach the teachable; He did not come to improve the improvable; He did not come to reform the reformable. None of those things works."

--Robert Farrar Capon

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The girls' dance recital...

Last Tuesday. our girls had their first dance recital. They have been taking dance classes at the YMCA for a few months, and this was their chance to show the world what they have learned. Apparently, the YMCA uses this recital every year as a fundraiser, because parents like me will pay whatever it takes to see their little girls onstage.

They were beautiful and wonderful, as you might have guessed. I have video of the event, but I don't know where the video camera is right now, so you will have to be satisfied for now with pics from before the show.

Here are the girls, waiting (somewhat) patiently to head out for the show.

Now, they are waiting for us to take pictures, before they get in the car.

This isn't from the recital, I just think it's cute. The Preschooler Formerly Known as Toddler Houdini really adores her big brother.

Anyway, the girls were great, DisneyGirl got a little stage fright, but she overcame it, and delivered a rousing version of the hamster dance, along with her sister and the other members of her class.

Is there a point to this post? Is there an uplifting spiritual lesson to be learned from this? Yes, there is. The point is, and don't forget this: my kids are really cute. Thank you. You may return to your previously scheduled blog reading...

Monday, March 9, 2009

The end of evangelicalism?

Michael Spencer has a terrific blog ( that I read regularly.  He wrote a great, if sobering, piece for Tuesday's Christian Science Monitor called, "The Coming Evangelical Collapse." 

It's not a happy piece, but I think he's dead-on with his predictions.  I'll have some thoughts on it in the next few days, but I wanted you, my faithful readers, to wallow in the end of Christianity as we know it for a few days.

I think he's right, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing...

Friday, March 6, 2009

The people I hang out with...

I don't know who your close, personal friends are. But for me, living in the hotbed of celebrity that is southern California, famous people are just part of my life. I can't tell you how often movie stars and famous musicians stop by the house to enjoy grape soda and ping pong. Well, a few days ago, it was Duff McKagan, former bass guitar player for Guns N Roses. Here we are together:

OK. Duff wasn't actually at my house. He was at a seminar I went to, presented by a client of mine. Has some amazing stories to tell from being on the road with GNR, as you might have guessed. Now, in addition to playing in the band Velvet Revolver, he's a family man. Plus he writes a syndicated column on finance.

Now, I'll let you go back to your hum-drum lives. I think I just heard Brad and Angelina at the door, they're bringing their kids over for a playdate...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How did this happen?

Through what can only be described as some horrible mistake, a local church has asked me to preach for them this Sunday. It will be the first time I've preached from a pulpit in a few years. Even when I was pastoring, I mostly sat with everyone else, and combined teaching and discussion.

Am I nervous? Not really. For one thing, I haven't had time to be nervous because my work schedule has been so packed that I haven't had time to think about it. But more importantly, my whole attitude on giving talks, or sermons, or whatever, has really changed since I've been out of "full-time Christian ministry."

When I was pastoring, I really felt a burden to make sure that I had a carefully-crafted sermon prepared, and that I delivered it as well as I could (insert your own joke here). I see things a bit differently now.

Not that I don't have a responsibility to put together a good sermon. It's just that I realize that very few people are changed by a once-weekly dose of "3 points and a poem." They certainly aren't changed by "7 steps to a happy marriage" or 4 biblical keys to financial security."

People are changed by one thing: the overwhelming love and grace of God. I think I read somewhere that it is God's kindness that leads us to repentance. If that's true, then the more we talk about and live out the kindness of God, the more repentance, the more godliness, we will see.

I guess what I'm saying is that I see my job when I teach or preach is to show how God's grace and love shines through on every page of Scripture. If the folks at that church leave the service on Sunday a little more in love with Jesus, I've done my job. Even if they don't get "5 biblical essentials for perfect, evangelical hair."

For those of you that read to the end, here is your treat. Keep hitting "Refresh" to get the full effect...

Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm glad we are all tightening our belts...

I caught this in the headlines today.  I thought we were all supposed to be sharing the economic pain! 

At least we the taxpayers aren't picking up the tab for this.  Oh, wait...