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Engaging Culture

I love the idea of the Christians engaging culture. Without this engagement, the church starts to look like M. Night Shyamalan’s Village, an awkward commune whose leaders spend their days warning the people of the monsters that lurk just beyond the forest.

This is hardly the light of the world picture that Jesus referred to. You can’t light a city from a hole in the ground.

I realize the push back from fellow believers. “Brother, we are not of this world.” Agreed. However, we are still in this world. Jesus didn’t stand on a rock, just before ascension, and say, “Go into all the world and start communes, hiding yourselves from all those scary sinners.”

In fact, in his last recorded prayer, Jesus requested this for Christians:

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
(John 17:15 ESV)

It is my belief that Christians are called to be cultural missionaries in their respective contexts. When the Apostle Paul addressed the people of Athens, he used Greek poetry—written by pagans, mind you—to frame his statements about God.

Many churches take a similar approach to this, using the hot-button topics of culture to communicate the timeless truths of scripture. I love it. Unfortunately, I think many churches are going about it the wrong way. Read More…

Modern Prayers

We live in a time of unprecedented connectivity. This is at once beneficial and problematic, as we are presented with new distractions and temptations. I have compiled a list of modern prayers to assist us in our social media endeavors.

Lord, help me be more like the person I am on Twitter.

This is one I have actually prayed. The person I am on Twitter, at least in my perception, is sarcastic, yes, but also encouraging, God-honoring and genuine. But is it really me? I have distilled my best thoughts into 140-character bursts with the luxury of a delete button. Sections of my life lay on the cutting room floor. I encourage people to #initiatelove, but how am I doing with that?

Help me to seek the approval of God and not the “Likes” of men.

So, you publish a post on Facebook. How often do you check back to see who liked it?

  • No likes = Should I not have said that? Was it not funny enough? I can do better. I swear I can!
  • 1 or 2 likes = Modest, but at least someone knows what I’m talking about. Thanks, Mom!
  • 5 to 10 likes = Sweet validation. You’re welcome, Facebook.
  • 15+ likes = This is the danger zone. You would have been better off staying at 5-10. At this range you become a greedy auctioneer. “Do I hear 20 likes? Who’ll give me 30?”

Behold the power of the little white thumb. Living for the approval of other people is an exercise in chasing the wind. God help us.

Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from those provocative links on Facebook.

Have you seen this? “Friends, I have been hacked.” Read More…

My So Called Life

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re at a restaurant with several friends, enjoying a night out together, and within minutes every person at the table whips out a phone.

So the scene looks like this: Eight people within an arm’s reach of one another sit in a dimly lit space, faces illuminated by the glow of smart phone screens, together yet somewhere else entirely.

 Is this your Friday night, or am I the only one?

Instead of actually enjoying the company of “our favorites,” we spend the night snapping pics of dessert and posting funny quotes we were too busy typing to actually laugh at.

We live online. We spend hours scrolling through the experiences of others. It’s addictive. My phone pinches my leg if I ignore it for too long. Read More…

My TV Life

Have you ever thought about this:

If your life were a television show, what would be the genre?

  • A sitcom
  • Drama—I see you, ladies… I kid.
  • Mystery
  • Fantasy
  • You get the idea.

Mine would lean more towards Sitcom, mostly because I try not to take things too seriously, and I can find the humor in most situations, to a fault admittedly.

Most of us like TV for the escape it provides. We like to spend an hour or so in a world that doesn’t exist, because a fictional land, no matter how terrifying, is safer than reality.

Read More…

Eat. Pray. Gossip.

I am not a fan of radio. I’m very hipster in that way.

I can’t prove this, but I’m fairly certain every station has made an unspoken agreement to shuffle through the same five song playlist. Every day.

How many times in one day can Adele set fire to the rain? She must be stopped. Someone has to tell Flo Rida that, much like the club, I can’t even handle him right now. We live in a world where the number one song on the Billboard charts is about a female stalker that thinks, just maybe a guy should call her.

Am I the only one who is concerned about this? I digress.

Cheesy pop music aside, my biggest issue with radio is what airs between One Direction songs and commercial breaks. Almost every station I have listened to has an hourly segment dedicated to the latest celebrity gossip. Read More…

Bon Jovi: Rocker. Stud. Apostle?

I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I would say that Jon Bon Jovi is the new Apostle Paul. A stretch? You tell me. Paul rode a horse (see Road To Damascus). Jon Bon rides a steel horse. People wanted Paul dead. They want Jovi “Dead or Alive.” The Apostle Paul once wrote, “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”(1 Corinthians 13:3 ESV) And Bon Jovi wrote “What do you got if you ain’t got love? Whatever you got, it just ain’t enough,” which is what Paul would have written if he had access to an acoustic guitar. I mean, come on. They’re the same dude, right?

Read More…

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