Showing posts from March, 2009

Presbyterians: The Lame Campus Choice?

I graduated from Florida State University in 2000. It was a momentous year. First, the world didn't come to an end despite the predictions of countless doomsdayers including Pat Robertson and his ilk on the Christian Broadcasting Network. Y2K ended up being nothing but a few t-shirts and a lot of wasted news time. Second, after my 14-year college plan, I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature and History. Yes, I was a double major. That's how I roll. Because it took me 14 years to graduate from college I was rather old by the time I did it. I was also married with a kid when I hit the college campus at FSU, which limited my ability to rush a fraternity and stay out all night raiding panties, or whatever it is those kids today do with their free time. I did get to spend a lot of time with students, however. And, since I was the student pastor at one of the local Presby churches in Tallahassee, and a field representative for a para-church college minis

Wal-Mart Churches: A Rant

I was driving down Hwy 441 the other day. Hwy 441 is the main drag that connects Eustis, Florida--where yours truly lives--with Mt. Dora, Tavares, Leesburg and a dozen or so other little towns in between. All of these sleepy little burgs are about 40 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Orlando. So, I am driving down the road and I look over and see a sign that reads thusly: "Northland: A Church Distributed Meets Here on Sundays" There was more, but I was going 50 mph (the speed limit on Hwy 441 in that particular spot) and couldn't catch the whole thing. But what I caught was enough. Northland Church is a multi-site mega-church that has its home base in Longwood, Florida a much closer suburb of Orlando than Eustis--again, where I happen to be. It webstreams its worship services to some 1,200 sites all over the country and all over the world. They also have three other church sites in the greater Orlando area. Apparently, the nebulous areas that exists between Mt

Seeing is Believing or "Drawing with The Right Side of the Brain"

When I was a freshmen in high school my mother and father signed me up to take art lessons from Mr. Bohannon. He was a wizened old man, who walked with a cane. The year before I arrived at my school, he retired as the art teacher, a position he had held for some years. My mom thought it would be a good idea to cultivate what she believed to be my artistic abilities. At our very first session, Mr. Bohannon set a cup in front of me and had me take out my sketch pad and a pencil. "Draw the cup," he told me, "but don't look at your paper." I hesitated, but he nodded that I should continue. So I drew the cup without looking at my paper. The result was an abomination. Then he had me hold my left hand out in front of me, and do the same thing...draw it without looking at my paper. If I tried to peek at what I was drawing, Mr. Bohannon would reprimand me. I tried to follow the intricate lines on my hand, fingernails, knuckles, what have you. Again, the result

The Wrong Sign

You've seen them. I know that you have. The signs---they're everywhere. Signs telling you to "Repent!" I wonder how many people have actually read one of those and hit the ground out of conviction, and just straight up repented. Signs proclaiming that "Jesus Lives, Jesus Saves, Jesus Is Coming..." I have to admit that these are kind of cool. I like riding around and seeing Jesus signs in random places, as long as they're not hateful, that is. I especially like the hand-drawn ones--they have a certain panache. I especially like the ones that say, "Jesus is Coming. Look Busy!" Signs that command God to bless America (like God hasn't). Wouldn't it be awesome if someone went around to all of the "God Bless America" signs and bumper stickers and scribbled them up so they read, "God Has Bless ed America?" Signs commanding America to bless God (not a bad idea). I

The Cleansing: A Lenten Reflection

I took a stand once. It was a boycott of Burger King. I know what you're thinking... You're thinking "Man, that's pretty admirable of you to boycott Burger King, considering the way that their parent corporation treats migrant workers who pick the tomatoes that grace the Whopper." Yeah, that would be admirable of me. But the stand I took was not because Burger King oppresses people. I took a stand against Burger King because one of their restaurants in West Palm Beach didn't live up to the price of their Big Kids meal that was posted on the drive thru marquee. On the marquee it distinctly read, "Big Kids Meal, $1.99." I had four dollars on me, and wanted a $1 Whopper, Jr and a Big Kids Meal for my three year old kid. I ordered precisely that, and when I got to the window they wanted to charge me nearly five bucks. I inquired as to why. The young girl at the drive thru responded that the price for the Big Kids Meal was $2.99. I responded bac

The Wrong Jesus: Why Christian Discipleship Sucks in Our Culture

I just got my "Jesus Was Homless" shirt from the Simple Way online store. I ordered it along with two DVD's (only one arrived, but I might let it go), some "Another World Is Possible" stickers (one currently presides on the front of my Mac) and some buttons for my back pack that have witty peace sayings on them. I will probably feel a bit like a poseur when I tote all these things around, but I am doing my best to make a shift. I may not be able to give up everything and go live among the poor, but I can support and admire those who are called to do just that. For now I am called to be a pastor of an historic Protestant congregation in a small town not too far from Disney World. And I've been called to continue stumbling after Jesus as best I can. The Jesus I knew as a youngster was a lot like the one in the image I posted above. He was fairly white, almost assuredly Republican and supported the marginalization of the poor, didn't really care for