Showing posts from September, 2010

Enough is Enough

Every time I comment on political stuff someone gets mad at me, so I made a decision not too long ago to try to stay out of politics on my blog, facebook, etc..  I have a church full of members who are all over the political and social spectrum, and I have to be a pastor to all of them.   But enough is enough.   I recently had the misfortune of watching U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson 's  newest attack ads on his Republican opponent, Daniel Webster.  In one, Grayson compared Daniel Webster with the Taliban , taking a short snippet from a Webster speech where he quoted the Apostle Paul from his letter to the Ephesians.  All the ad displays is Webster saying, "Wives submit to your husbands."  Here is the vile ad in it's entirety.   This is a sickening ad.  I happen to know Daniel Webster personally, and even if I don't agree with him on every single issue, I know him to be a man of integrity and great character.  I also know where Grayson got his one snippet of a

Faith & Doubt Week Three: The Absence of God

Sometimes I get into conversations with people about God when I am not "on duty" as a pastor. It happens mostly at parties or fund raisers.  As soon as people find themselves in my presence and they either are informed or already know that I am a minister, they invariably move our conversation in the direction of God, Church, Faith, etc. I think it's because they think I won't have anything else in common with them.  I mean how could a pastor possibly care about sports, politics, art, music, movies...?  So, I'll hear things like, "So, you're a pastor?  Wow, I used to live near a church..." Most of the time people will share their experiences in church or they'll give me their opinions about the state of Christianity (usually bad).  But from time to time I will run into someone who has been so incredibly wounded by Christianity that they can't believe that God exists--or if God exists, that God is good. I have to admit...  The Absence o

Manly Advice

A Guy's Guide Life: How To Become a Man in 224 Pages or Less by Jason Boyett (Thomas Nelson, 2010) A Guy's Life is a reissue of a book by the same name that blogger/author Boyett released in 2004. A Guy's Life is pretty much what it's advertised to be:  A guide to all things manly--at least from a Christian perspective.  It's the kind of book that I am planning on leaving on my teenage son's bedside table in hopes that he will actually read it.   Boyett, the author of O Me of Little Faith and one of the most widely read Christian-y bloggers in the blogosphere, mixes humor, sarcasm and plain old-fashioned, God-fearing advice into this latest book, which is unashamedly geared toward guys in their tweens and teens.  Boyett covers some fairly pedestrian topics like cleanliness, gentlemanly behavior and acne with tips on how good Christian fellows deal with those kinds of thing.  He also takes on some difficult topics like masturbation, premarital sex and por

The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking

Image by arbyreed via Flickr I just read an article in my recent copy of The Christian Century about the changing of the guard (once again) at the Crystal Cathedral ---the Southern California megachurch that Rev. Robert Schuller (now 83 years old) has spent the better part of his life building.  In 2006, Schuller's son Robert took over as the senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral.  The younger Schuller was a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary , and seemed to be on course to filling his father's shoes for many years to come.  The Hour of Power broadcast of the Crystal Cathedral's worship services was viewed by millions of viewers. Schuller the younger even had his father's looks, preaching cadence and mannerisms. But then a year ago, everything fell apart, and the elder Schuller replaced his son with his daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, who was installed as interim pastor.  Coleman has little or no theological training but has worked in education and adm

Faith & Doubt Week One: "You Can't Have One Without The Other"

One week and one day ago today my wife and I welcomed our newest little guy into the world: Jacob Andrew Michael Bloder.  At almost 42 years of age, I have thought more than once that we were both insane to even attempt to have another child.  I am fairly certain I am going to be that guy who shows up with his son on his first day of kindergarten and the teacher will say, "Oh, Jacob... how sweet that you brought your grandfather with you!" The moment that Jacob was born, I was reminded once again of the unbelievable grace and love of God.  It was a miracle to watch, and an even greater miracle to hold him.  Even now as I watch him sleep in his little bouncer just inches from my computer I am blown away by him.  In his nursery we put the following quote from the Psalms on the wall right above his dresser, "I am wonderfully made."  I learned some things through my son's birth--things that I thought I knew, but that I needed to be reminded of.  First, you sh