My perspective.

I have not ever been a law enforcement officer, and cannot begin to imagine the stress and the effects the career has on the men and women who serve. I also am not a minority, and cannot perceive of the years of thoughts and feelings that go along with the troubling history in our nation for many who are not Caucasian.

I am a 45 year old, middle class, anglo, christian man. I have not endured any overtly great struggle in my life that was caused by another. I am sheltered, somewhat naive, privileged in ways I do not even realize, and secure.

I do know men and women though whose families endured slavery, persecution, hatred, and disgrace because of the color of his or her skin. I have sat with them and listened to their stories of heartbreak and suffering and the residual affects that have followed. I have witnessed persecution and racism in my life, and have at times participated.

I also know men and women who serve the public as police men and women. I know them to be good and godly …

Good Night O Captain: Thoughts on Robin Williams

Farewell My Captain

The above link shows a clip from Dead Poets Society, one of many films made by Robin Williams.
I came home today to be surprised by the news of his death, what a weird range of emotions this news has sparked.

I remember in 7th grade Texas History class, mimicking Robin and some of his comedy when the teacher would leave the room. One of my favorites was his portrayal of Mr Rogers.

I remember hanging with my cousins Martha and Raymond every visit watching Robin's comedy on VHS.

I remember seeing Good Morning Vietnam in Lubbock while at Tech and walking away amazed at the talent on such vivid display.

Seeing Robin Williams act wether serious roles, or comedic, performing standup, or reruns of Mork and Mindy, staying up late to watch him crack up Johnny Carson, or hoping to meet him the year I toured with A Tuna Christmas. I was inspired.

I carried a list of questions to ask Mr. Williams in case our paths crossed. It was following Mrs. Doubtfire, a movie that I re…

The Tower of Label

Society today seems to be fractured and polarizing. The culture that we live in, the television and movies we watch, politics, sports, all boil down to categories into which we place others. Even in church this is difficult to escape, progressive vs conservative, traditional vs liberal, young vs old...the damage we do to others in this labeling and sectioning has been discussed some this week, so what bout the damage to ourselves when we label others?

To decide to place others in a category, or to apply a label to someone may very well be the actual application of the old children's argument "I'm rubber and you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you." Each time I label others, I am placing a label on myself.

One of the things that is frustrating about today's social climate is the lack of true debate. To simply place a label on another person, and therefore assume that I know their argument blocks any chance of honest give and take discus…

There but for the grace of God...

There is an old saying that we utter at times when we see folks struggling.

"There but for the grace of God, go I"
This phrase is credited to John Bradford, a preacher and martyr who lived 1510-1555. The story is that Bradford would see someone being led to the scaffold for hanging and say, "There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford." In 1555, John Bradford was burned at the stake and spoke to a fellow victim "we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night." 
This is all legend, and the earliest the saying appears in print is 1822, found in A Treatise on Prayer, by Edward Bickersteth as a telling of the Bradford story. 
I have thought of this phrase and spoken it a few hundred times in my life. My worry is that I use the phrase much like we in the southern US say, "bless their heart." The phrase sounds nice and kind, but really carries the subtext of "they are just not intelligent enough to pour water out a bucket, with the …

The guy on the fence.

If you have ever been to a High School football game, then you have seen them. The guys who are in their late 20's to 40's standing by the fence near one end zone or another. These guys gather around and gauge how this years team stacks up to the year that they played. This video I think describes what it is that these men are seeking.

Tim Tebow, the bandwagon, and 3:16

Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards this past Sunday in a football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also averaged 31.6 yards per completed pass (an NFL record). 
The stats coupled with Mr Tebow's open profession of faith in Jesus Christ has prompted many different writers to make the connection to John 3:16. I can understand the allure of such a connection. 
John 3:16 is one of the most well known verses of the Bible in America. It is probably quoted as often as "judge not lest ye be judged."  However, I would like to point out that the majority of the books in the Bible have chapter and verse 3:16. 
Start with Genesis, the first book in the Bible:  To the woman he said, "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16 NIV)
Maybe that is the message God would want us to take away from the alignment of stat to scripture connection? 
Or i…

Not a thumping gizzard.

First I would like for you to go and read this post by a woman I know as Jamie the Very Worst Missionary.

Now then. Here is my response to her post.

Distant. Angry. Frustrated. Driven. Workaholic. Crude. Bastard. Jerk. Jock. Checked out. 
Layers upon layers of names have been given to men over the course of their lives. Crybaby. Queer. Punk. Sissy. Useless. Quitter. Failure. 

Over and over again, the lies wash over our identity hammering at who we really are. Denying what is the truest about us. That we were created to bear an image, to reign over all created things, to stand up to the adversary that seeks to ensnare and destroy the truth about you and me. 

And it has damn near worked. 

There is a voice that speaks other words, gives other descriptions...

Son. Warrior. Lover. King. Mighty one. Kinsman, Redeemer. Brother. Husband. Father. Friend. 

A voice that cries out from the dirt and the rocks. A voice that whispers th…