hot topic: civil disobedience

I read this morning about some high school seniors pranks in NJ who have been arrested for pranking their high school last night.  Now I can’t really say that their behavior would fall into the “civil disobedience” category because it’s May, they’re seniors & might have possibly watched “Ferris Bueller”.  With that being said, I also read this morning in Acts 5 about how Peter & some of his friends disobeyed the direct commands of the Jewish leaders by preaching about Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem, shortly after Pentecost & Jesus’ resurrection.  In verse 29, Peter told these Jewish leaders they he had to obey God rather than man.

There’s a place & time for civil disobedience & some expressions of rebellion are even condoned by the Bible:

  • It’s not ok to passively watch someone get hurt or bullied.
  • It’s not ok to follow popular culture when it conflicts with loving God & loving people.
  • It’s not ok to blindly do what’s popular, trendy or hip.
  • It’s not ok to compromise your God-given identity to blend in for social acceptance.

Particularly when we are confronted with compromise, social acceptance and even being politically correct, let’s make it our fundamental priority to please God, end of story, full stop.

hot topic: racism & Donald Sterling

In the last several days, there’s been a massive uproar about the recent racial slurs from the owner of the NBA Clippers,  Donald Sterling .  There is national outrage at Mr Sterling’s comments & he has been banned for life from the NBA.  What Mr Sterling said was totally unacceptable, despite his comments being made in a private setting.

The idea of a private setting is very relevant for those of us who follow Jesus, based on what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.  Our external actions and words reflect what’s happening in our thoughts & heart.  What we allow our mind to think about & our emotions to dwell on is very important – these are the parts that Jesus totally attacked the religious leaders of His day.  What Mr Sterling said was totally wrong, but let’s be careful about the thoughts & emotions that we allow in our daily living.  Let’s keep our hearts full of Jesus’ love so there’s no place for unforgiveness, bigotry, apathy nor passive hatred.  As a follower of Jesus, our defining characteristic from John 13:35  is our love for one another, so please don’t forget to pray for Mr Sterling   🙂

hot topic: sherpa people

sherpa-everest-trek-nepal

Sherpas are an ethnic people group in Nepal who are often hired by mountaineers to help with the ascent of various mountains including Mount Everest.  At the end of last week, there was a terrible avalanche in Nepal at the base of Mt Everest & 16 sherpas were killed.  Sherpas are amazing people & are often the unsung heroes of the Himalays (to quote a famous sherpa).  Sherpas do lots of work & help people achieve really amazing & super-human feats.  They’ve been doing this for many decades but are often overlooked or even unheard of.

In some ways, the sherpas kind of remind me of the Holy Spirit, our Helper Whom Jesus said would never leave us & Who helps us, even when we don’t know it.  Perhaps it might be a good idea to take a minute now to thank the Helper for being our constant guide & help in the journey of our life.  Maybe the Holy Spirit is kind of like our supernatural sherpa  ,)

hot topic: cross fit

“You can do it!!!!”  I like working out & stretching for new challenges.  As I’ve looked at some of the latest workout trend stuff, crossfit, it looks really cool!!  They say that the crossfit is about high intensity, constantly varied & functional movements.

To my way of thinking, these 3 ideas for crossfit coincide with what Paul said in Gal 2:20 about being crucified with Christ – crossfit:

  • high intensity:  Jesus’ crucifixion was possibly the most high intensity experience any human could endure & He invites us to live a crucified life with Him, surrendered to His leadership
  • constantly varied:  I find that following Jesus has lots of variety – serving, listening, relationships, forgiveness, faith, trust, doing dishes, loving, cooking and LOTS more!!!
  • functional movements:  in crossfit, they want to emphasize movements that we could possibly do everyday and the same is true with being crucified with Jesus, crossfit.  As we lived crucified with Christ, His life affects our daily priorities and how we engage to include His resurrection power through us.

To celebrate this Good Friday, let’s be truly “crossfit” 🙂

Hot Topic: blood moon

Last night the moon was eclipsed & had some red overtones to it, hence the term “blood moon.” I woke up at 1a to see what it was like & it was pretty impressive! As I was watching the moon, I was reminded of how Jesus talked about there being signs in the heavens in the end times. There have been lots of thoughts & speculations about there being 4 blood moons this year & what that could possibly mean.
While I think that we are definitely living in an interesting time, I’m reminded that fundamentally God requires 3 things from us, based on Micah 6:8
*act justly
*love mercy
*walk humbly with God

hot topic: cannibals & carnivores

“Eat My flesh and drink My blood.”  As we come into the Easter season (a little early for my Orthodox friends), we are often reminded of these words of Jesus at the Last Supper.

This statement about eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood has raised many questions over the centuries:

  • Was Jesus anti-vegan or opposed to a vegetarian lifestyle?
  • Was this Jesus’ way of promoting a gluten-free lifestyle, emphasizing the consumption of meat & blood?
  • Was Jesus advocating a type of divine cannibalism?

As you read these questions & probably think of a few more, please don’t think that I’ve suddenly lost the plot & become obsessed with some new type of eating lifestyle.  My goal with this post is to raise your awareness that we are coming into Holy Week, when we celebrate Jesus’ death & resurrection, around Jesus’ central words at the Last Supper, with His closest followers.

From my point of veiw, Jesus’ words about eating His flesh & drinking His blood show us in a really powerful way that Jesus love for us runs so deep that He invites us to not only revel in His strength & resurrection, but also to fellowship with Him in His suffering, pain & death – Phil 3:10.  Let’s fully enjoy all of Who Jesus is during this Easter season!

Hot Topic: parking tickets

The bad news: I’ve had a problem with parking tickets, in the past
The good news: I figured out a solution to prevent the parking ticket “challenge”
The quick story: I never have change for parking tickets & I’ve struggled to figure out how much time to put on the meter when it can accept a credit card. Most of the time when I earned a parking ticket it was because I didn’t have enough money on the meter.
Solution: fill up the meter to its maximum regardless of how long I plan to stay. This fixes 2 things at the same time – no parking ticket & blessing someone after me with some free parking.
Moral of the story: being stingy is expensive ,)

Hot Topic: March Madness

You may not be a college basketball fan, so just in case you wondered, today is not only the 1st day of Spring, but it’s also the launch of a 64 team tournie of the “best” college basketball teams, with some outrageous skill & heart. Personally, this is my absolute favorite sports season of the whole year & yes, I’ve filled out my tournament bracket.
For those of you interested in knowing what kind of spiritual correlation connects with March Madness, I’m still trying to figure that out – maybe something about idolatry, endurance, confidence, dedication, teamwork, commitment, . . . . . 🙂
Happy March Madness!! Let the games begin – YAHOOO!!!

hot topic: laughter

Life can be very serious & ever so often, we all need a good laugh.  So today’s hot topic is an attempt to provide some comic relief.  Here are just a few brief & funny traveling stories:

  • wrong week:  last year, I was scheduled to go to Dallas & had a 7am flight (which means that I leave my house no later than 5am).  When I got to the airport, I was having trouble getting the kiosk to print my boarding pass.  When I went to the airline person to help me, she ran my confirmation number through the computer & helped me to see that I was a week early – my flight was booked for the following week;  I chalked it up in the “practice” column.  Consider my husband’s surprise when I walked in the house less than an hour after I left, ready to take the kids to school that morning ,)
  • buddhist monks:  one time I was in the waiting lounge in the Calcutta airport & there were around 6-12 monks who were all seated together.  My friend dared me to jump in the middle of them so he could take a picture of me with them.  I took the dare & the monks scattered faster than cockroaches running away from light.  I learned that they had all taken a vow not to touch a woman & I almost caused them to break this vow with my silliness
  • chief safety officer:  I flew on a commercial plane once (oversees) when the pilot came out of the cockpit on an active runway to close the front door of our airplane – he seemed pretty casual about the whole thing

hot topic: sex

Tonight at our church, my husband & I are talking about sex.  We’re splitting the audience so he’ll take the guys & I’ll take the chicks.  For some quick insight, I HATE talking about this subject.  In high school, I scheduled all of my orthodontist appointments to happen during the human sexuality class.  Nevertheless, it’s a really important topic and the society in which I live seems to be more & more hyper-sexual.

As I’ve been thinking about what to say, I’ve found it really encouraging that the Bible is not mute on this topic.  In fact, it has lots to say about it & you might consider looking into a few of the following references for some reflection:  Leviticus 18, Matt 5:27-29, Rom 1:21-32, 1 Cor  6:12-20 & 1 Cor 7:1-5

Of course I could turn this particular post into something steamy & controversial, but I’d prefer to let the Bible do the talking for me on this topic.  Of course you are very free & entirely accurate to call me chicken 🙂

Or you can come tonight & get more details ,)