Archive for February, 2008

Google Is God

Posted in Blogs, Christianity, Church, Culture on February 28, 2008 by Scott

I saw this morning at Fast Company and it made me think this is the way people see church, and they’re always just a block away from another one because they’ve never been a part of it. And they have the impression that church is where they’ll find God.

“Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan. But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine. ” – Sergey Brin

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Blue Like Jazz

Posted in Books, Christianity, God, Jesus, Relationships, Religion on February 27, 2008 by Scott

book_bluelikejazz.jpgI’m almost finished with Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and it may be the best book I’ve ever read in terms of personal impact. The part with the confessional was unbelievable. It’s interesting when an author seems like me but is infinitely more versed in expressing it.

I have had habits of my own, but no drug is so powerful as the drug of self. No rut in the mind is so deep as the one that says I am the world, the world belongs to me, all people are characters in my play. There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction.

…the power of unlove to deteriorate a person’s heart and spirit.

It’s not the way I’ve treated people, it’s the way I haven’t treated them.

What are some thoughts on this book or what is the most meaningful book you’ve read this year or ever?

Kickin’ It Old School

Posted in Christian Music, Christianity, Culture, Music, Religion on February 26, 2008 by Scott

A little history…

He’s My Brother

Posted in Family, Relationships, Religion on February 24, 2008 by Scott

So, David finally called and it was all over. Right? Wrong.

Instead of heading home where his family was waiting to support him by any means possible, he was on the road back to his current live-in girlfriend, to a house he couldn’t afford – and to compound the issue, he now had no job (you don’t disappear for a week and expect to keep your job).

David was heading right back into the same lonely, depressed lifestyle he had been running from a week earlier.

He received plenty of advice and multiple offers of help – a lot of people care about this guy. Get counseling and maybe medication, get out of that relationship, and find God, find a church family. It was all taken with, “yeah, I know, I’ll get help. I’ll see a doctor. I’ll end this relationship. There’s a church just down the street.”

He went to counseling for awhile. Even went to church a couple of times. But when they didn’t fix years of depression and guilt immediately, he quit. David is looking for the quick fix – the ultimate pill to undo 53 years of bad choices.

We talk frequently. I think David senses the disappointment in my voice. How could he continue along the same destructive path that led him to take bottles of pills three nights in a row?

Last week David called again. The first words out of his mouth were, “I am right back where I started.”

After all this, David was broke, searching for love in the all wrong places, and guilt-ridden. He won’t seek forgiveness and he can’t forgive himself.

So, I continue to pray that maybe one day David will seek and ask for the forgiveness that he needs. It’s already been paid for by the one who knows his heart better than any of us. If only he would ask.

He Ain’t Heavy…Part Three

Posted in Family, Prayer, Religion on February 21, 2008 by Scott

Over the next three days, David attempted to take his life by taking sleeping pills. But it didn’t work. Each morning he woke up.

We spoke every day and he would again say his goodbyes. How do you sleep knowing that your brother is planning on committing suicide? You don’t. So I did the only thing I could think of – I prayed.

After the third night I started to get angry. I picked up the phone and called David and left this voice mail….

“David, I just want to say that I love you…but enough is enough. It’s time to end this. You keeping talking about mistakes, but you’re about to compound those mistakes by making the biggest mistake of your life. Get in your car, drive home and let your family help you. God placed us all in this position for a reason and its time to find out what that reason is.”

I was pretty proud of myself, until I realized that I may just have pushed him over the edge. What if my voice mail was the impetus for him taking this to the next level? Now I was worried.

The next day I waited and waited. The hours went by and I heard nothing. I was scared. Who would be calling? David or whoever found his body?

Finally, late that night, my phone rang again. It was David.

Depravity

Posted in Culture, Discipleship on February 21, 2008 by Scott

As I head out to KMI 2008, I’ve been asking God to show me something over the next 3 1/2 days. I read the following this morning…it is something to think about as I shake my head at this world…I AM THE PROBLEM.

If the devil can sink a man’s mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God. It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in this system of checks and balances. If we get caught, we will be punished. But that doesn’t make us good people; it only makes us subdued. The genius of the American system is not freedom; the genius of the American system is checks and balances. It is as if the founding fathers knew, intrinsically, that the soul of man, unwatched, is perverse.

Six billion people live in this world, and I can only muster thoughts for one. Me. Nothing is going to change in this world until you and I figure out what is wrong with the person in the mirror.

As Scott continues the journey of his brother, I ask myself, “am I different than that guy?” Well, no…the lines of depravity are so thin.

He Ain’t Heavy…Part Two

Posted in Family, Prayer, Relationships on February 20, 2008 by Scott

I had barely said hello when David said, “I just wanted to let you know that I love you and that you were always my favorite…”

How do you respond to that? The first thing I could think of was “What the h$ll are you talking about?

I had always worried about David. In his fifty+ years he had made a lifetime of bad decisions. Truth is that this was the call I had known was coming for years.

Several months before this call, just after David’s third divorce, he was again making progress. This time he got professional help and it didn’t take long to diagnose the problems.

We grew up with the church lady. You might laugh thinking of the church lady from Saturday Night Live, but for us it is very real. Dancing, wearing shorts, rock music…. you guessed it – Satan. On the outside our household was the perfect conservative (okay, extremely conservative) church family. But on the inside guilt was our religion.

It was that guilt that controlled David’s life. Not only could he never measure up, but no one could ever forgive him for his mistakes – nor could he forgive himself. His guilt ruined three marriages, numerous friendships and relationships (including many family members), several good jobs, and left him devoid of any relationship with God.

Back to the call.

David explained that at the age of 53 his entire life had been a failure and he was tired. He used the word “tired” over-and-over during our conversation. He reasoned that at his age it was too late to turn things around – too many mistakes.

And now he was about to make the biggest mistake of his life.

More on that tomorrow.