Showing posts from November, 2012

The Cross & The Coliseum

Last month I had the opportunity to stand in the Coliseum in Rome for the second time in my life.  It's an impressive structure, and in many ways still stands as one of the iconic symbols of what has been known for centuries as "The Eternal City ." As my wife and I walked around the Coliseum I discovered a cross that had been erected and dedicated during the tenure of Pope John Paul II .  I snapped the photo that you see to your left.  It sort of spoke to me. Let me explain why by way of sharing a brief history of the Coliseum itself. The Coliseum was completed in 80 A.D. begun by the emperor Vespasian in 72 A.D. and finished by the emperor Titus .  The original name was the Flavian Ampitheater , a name derived from the family name of it's builders--Flavius.  Most historians believe that the name "Coliseum" came from the giant statue of Nero that stood outside of it, a statue modeled after the Colossus of Rhodes .  Nero's successors refashioned

When You Know You Show: Carrying The Vision--Higher

This week is Vision Sunday at my church, and I am going to be preaching on our church's vision. Hence the monicker: "Vision Sunday." The vision of our church is to "Reflect and Reveal The Unselfish Love of Christ To the World."  We broke it down even further for our members and friends last year when we said: "When You Know Jesus , You Show Jesus." This vision has driven us to accomplish some incredible things over the past couple of years---ever mindful that whatever we do is by the grace of God and in the name of Jesus. The thing about vision is that if you don't revisit it over and over again---it leaks like a tired old balloon and the next thing you know it's barely hovering over the ground all deflated and sad. My kid just had a birthday party, so that image is fresh in my mind. So, this week we'll be revisiting our vision and providing our members and friends an opportunity to either commit to embracing and furthering i

A Message To The President (And The Rest of Us)

It's over... The Election. Is. Over. [Now breathe deeply] I've issued a personal moratorium on news, news-related media and news items.  I have no desire to hear how or why President Obama won re-election. I have no desire to hear how or why Mitt Romney failed to get elected. I am done.  I've reached my information quota, and I'm sick to death of listening to politicians posture, grandstand, evoke the most incredible hyperbole when saying virtually nothing and promising to singlehandedly save America. Before the election I gave up monitoring and posting on Twitter because I grew weary of the negativity from both liberals and conservatives and the way it made me want to fight, argue and act out of meanness. Now, I fear that I am going to have to give up monitoring and posting on Facebook for the same reason. I seriously don't need the negativity.  And I don't need any more reminders that our nation is divided---some might say hopelessly so. I

God's Politics - Week One

This week I am preaching the first of a two part sermon series entitled “God's Politics: Red, Blue or Christian?” When I first planned this series, the national election was over a year away, and the reality of actually preaching on politics the Sundays before and after the election had not really landed upon me. It has now, to be sure. I have spent the last two weeks on vacation and out of the US, which has been a mercy in that I haven't had to endure the constant barrage of political ads these last days before November 6th. But I wasn't entirely shielded from it all. It seems that all around the world people have an opinion about what's happening in the US, and for the next few days everyone seems to be watching. I have been struck by just how much seems to be riding on this election for so many people. I have also been struck by how sharply divided Americans are over the election's outcome. And the fascinating thing is, there are well-meaning and faith