The other day I was in a conversation with a friend about changes. We talked about change and he said, “It’s not just one thing. It seems to be everything! And not one of the changes is one that I would choose. —It’s not just one piece of cheese, but all of them that have moved.” He was referring to a motivational book that appeared in 1998 by Spencer Johnson titled, Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson points out in this wonderful little book that often we can see change coming, we really ought to expect it, but when it comes we are too often unprepared and change can cause us to be afraid. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: February 2012
Trying to live Upside Down
More and more I find myself aware of how different my world-view and values system are from the world around me. At the same time, there are a number of places where I find that I have absorbed from the world around me that are not only indifferent to God’s word, but in some cases contrary to it. Yet we are surrounded daily by a culture that tells us the ‘truth’ comes from somewhere other than God’s Word. The smartest and best in our culture are employed to convince us that we need certain things to be complete or happy. We are told we need to smell a certain way, use a particular brand of toothpaste, get more gusto from life by drinking a given brand of beer, etc. Those things are easier to identify. Subtle cultural messages about values in life can lurk under the surface without our seeing them for what they are: lies.
Yesterday we received in the mail an advertisement for yet another flavor of toothpaste being marketed by one of the major manufacturers. There was a day in the not-too-distant past when there were just three or four choices of toothpaste. Today the toothpaste section of your local retailer is filled with a plethora of choices. Some offer stripes with mouthwash. Others have different flavors. Some promote whiter teeth. Others fight breath odor. A single manufacturer may offer all these options. The same thing is true for potato chips. There are multiple choices: smooth, ridged, thick, thin, fried, baked, flavored or unsalted. We have become a people of many choices. This is true in many areas of our lives. To quote an old marketing slogan, “Have it your way!” We like it that way and we expect that kind of option throughout our lives. Continue reading
The Ten Cow Wife
What do you think of yourself? Who and whose are you? It has been said that we think of ourselves as we think others see us. That is, our self-image has a lot to do with the value we believe other place on us. This past week as I prepared for the sermon I was preaching I delved into Jewish betrothal and marriage customs at the time of Jesus. One of the aspects for that process was for the prospective groom to negotiate an appropriate price to be paid to the girl’s family to marry her—the dowry. It reminded me of a story I heard several years ago about a ‘ten-cow wife.’ Continue reading
Our Money and Its Connection to Our Souls
Last week on January 26, a quote by Richard Foster appeared in an email from Emergent Village called minEmergent. Foster has written many books. Two that I have personally appreciated, Celebration of Discipline and The Freedom of Simplicity. His writings, especially Celebration of Discipline have focused on the classic spiritual disciplines that help us grow spiritually. This particular quote had to do with stewardship.