Mondays w/ Mitch

I had a bag of Fritos, but these were Texas Grilled Fritos; they had grillmarks on them. Reminds me of summer, when we used to fire up the barbecue, and lay down some Fritos. I could still see my dad with an apron on. “Better flip that one, dad. You know how I like it.

-M. Hedberg

Le Tour is over — The sadness begins

So Le Tour De France is over.  Arguably one of the greatest sporting events of the year has wrapped up and a rookie Alberto Contador has won.  What an incredible tour, filled with drama, scandal, crashes, heartbreak, and inspiration.

I was talking with Lydia about the tour and she says she doesn’t watch it because Lance isn’t in it anymore.  And to me that’s all the more reason to watch.  Because you always knew lance was going to win.  But this year I really had no idea, it could have gone any which way, none of the favorites could do it.  It came down to a dude who a few years ago was in a coma and had brain surgery, who came out of that and raced hard and fast.  That’s the fun of it.

But now I am filled with great sorrow as I wait for football season to start so that this sports void can be once again filled in my life.  I used to love baseball and basketball and now I never would have guessed that I would love football and one bike race more than any other sport.  Crazy.  Oh well Happy Monday!

The Gospel is for Right Now

Jesus died for more than just to get us into heaven.  He died so that we could live for him entirely.  I’ve been reading Dallas Willard’s, the Divine Conspiracy.  I’ve been taking my time because it’s really, really deep and challenging.  But I read a section today that I just had to share.  Willard is writing that the gospel has to be lived out now.  He is looking at the number of professing Christians and how jacked up our world still is and he says this:

    The sensed irrelevance of what God is doing to what makes up our lives it the foundational flaw in the existence of multitudes of professing Christians today.  They have been led to believe that God, for some unfathomable reason, just things it appropriate to transfer credit from Christ’s merit account to ours, and to wipe our our sin debt, upon inspecting our mind and finding that we believe a particular theory of atonement to be true — even if we trust everything but God in all other matters that concern us.

It is left unexplained how it is possible that one can rely on Christ for the next life without doing so for this one, trust him one’s eternal destiny without trusting him for “the things that relate to Christian life.”  Is this really possible?  Surely it is not! Not within one life.

. . .

In the Gospels, by contrast “the gospel” is the good news of the presence and availability of life in the kingdom, now and forever, through reliance on Jesus, the Anointed.

Dallas Willard “The Divine Conspiracy.” pg 49


There is a lot in that chunk of text.  I think the biggest challenge for the Churc is to break free of the simplification of the Gospel to tracts and bumper stickers, and to bring it back to a holistic way of life.  That Jesus really does want us to trust him with our attitudes, marriage, addictions, money, future, present, sin, everything.

Christians need to live in the resurrection.  We need to live in the Power of the Gospel.  We can’t be content to just say a prayer and be done.  We can’t be satisfied with how many people show up to our gatherings.  We have to see transformation in the lives that make our church.

If You’re going to be great be great in everything

So I’m a huge fan of the Tour de France. Kathy and I have both been fans for the past few years. We have seen some incredible racing and sadly we have seen quite a bit of disgrace in this incredibly competitive sport.Here’s a list of some of the disgrace:

Floyd Landis — Charged with doping and suspeneded after coming back from the dumper and destroying the field.

Jan Ulrich — Lance Armstrong’s rival wanted to win so badly and ultimately charged with doping and embarassed. he is no longer racing.

And this announced today: Alexander Vinokourov tested positive for blood transfusions. What cost was he willing to pay to win? Because clearly he has thrown away all those wins. He has ruined not just his own image but the image of his team. This is a horrible, horrible thing. And it breaks my heart because I wanted to believe in him. I was amazed by the comeback that he experienced. It was amazing. I was rooting for him, and then this news.

Update 7-25-07: Michael Rassmussen fired by Rabbobank for missing drug tests.

What price is success worth? It should never be worth your integrity. I’ve had too many heroes fall. This past year I experience my first ministry friend falling out of ministry because of an affair. I’m sick of it. Integrity is everything whether it’s sports or ministry. We’ve got to watch our lives. We have to guard our integrity.

Teenagers Changing but not totally different

Here is a great post from Ypulse about marketing to teenagers.  A lot of trends in youth culture are different than when I was growing up but teens are still very much teens.

Read the Article.

Something that I thought was interesting was the draw to the internet because it’s an interactive media instead of television where they can really only watch what’s on.  Students want to interact and create.  Some students will spend hours online because they can shape that world.

Here’s the question that will probably keep me up for a while:

How can we allow students to participate, shape, create in church?  How do we make church a more active and interactive gathering instead of just a band and a sermon-ar?