Pregnant women and pickles

Pregnant women apparently like pickles

You know how pop culture has this idea that pregnant women have these really strong, random cravings? When Steph first got pregnant, everyone teased me that I would be making late-night runs to the grocery store to watermelon, ice cream, and pickles.

Well, two weeks ago, this jar had about 20 pounds worth of pickles in it, and I had like two of them…

I better stock up on watermelon and ice cream…

“Jesus Made Me Puke”

I came across an article by this title this week (I found it here). If the title doesn’t get you, it will once you learn that the article is in Rolling Stone magazine.

When I first clicked the link, I realized that the article is 8 pages long, so I’ve been waiting for a chance to read the whole thing at once, which I did this morning.

The story in a nutshell is that the reporter went ‘undercover’ as a member of a neo-fundamentalist mega-church in Texas. He attended services for several months, and then went on a weekend retreat, which is meat of most of the article.

As you might expect, he completely rips what he believes to be modern christianity to pieces, and his criticism is just. I don’t really disagree with anything he says in the article. The major catch is that the church he chose to scope out is WAY out in left field. He gives a play-by-play of the whole retreat and “Jesus” only comes up one time, when someone is casting the ‘demon of homosexuality’ out of someone. The Gospel doesn’t appear anywhere in the article, and neither does the heart of God. And unfortunately, I think that’s a reflection of the church body that the reporter became a part of.

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Come on people…

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This the main toilet for the guys here at my office.

And this is the condition I usually find it in…

Work with me people.

What’s your office pet peeve?

Why Jesus is good for culture

Here’s an interesting question:

What is the proper response, in a muslim culture, to a woman who is raped?

The answer, apparently, is to punish her for allowing it to happen. And if she complains about that, then increase the punishment functionally to death.

Have you seen this story?

Here’s the headline:

A 19-year-old female victim of gang rape who initially was ordered to undergo 90 lashes for “being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape,” has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail for telling her story to the news media.

In the past few days, the king finally stepped in and pardoned the girl because of all the negative publicity this was generating.

But good grief! Not only does it freak me out that such crazy laws exist anywhere, but that a judge more than doubled the sentence on this girl just because she fought it….

I am so thankful that my God is a God who judges justly, gives power to the powerless, freedom to the slave, and liberty to the oppressed!

The eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the earth, seeking someone on who’s behalf to show Himself strong!

Mark Driscoll on Joel Osteen: humble but firm

This video really speaks for itself. It’s 10 minutes long, but worth the time, especially if you’ve been thinking about buying Joel’s new book, “Becoming a better you”:

Expectations…

When I heard that Caedmon’s Call would be releasing a new album with Derek Webb back in the saddle, I was very excited. I’ve been a huge fan of Caedmon’s for a long time now, and when DW went off to do his own thing, I think most people would agree that the whole dynamic of the band changed quite a bit.

I remember going to a ‘commissioning’ service for the Webb-less band several years ago at Providence Baptist Church. They were heading overseas for several weeks to dive into culture and make music with people of many other nationalities. The idea of the project would be an album that would inspire young 20-somethings and college students to go overseas and get involved in the world.

When “Share the Well” finally hit the stores about a year later, I couldn’t afford to go get it, but I was anxious to hear it. Within a couple of months, I had two different friends just give me their copy. I don’t remember the details, but the conversation was something like,

me: Oh really, you don’t like it?

them (akward look on the face): It’s just… not what I was expecting.

To this day, I’m not sure whether I ever listened to the album all the way through.

So here it is, 2007, and a new project with my favorite song writer in the world is back at it, and let me tell you, this album more than exceeds my expectations.

Musically, it’s great, which is to be expected. I appreciate that it’s a little bit raw and leans towards the acoustic end of the spectrum.

But lyrically, there are a couple of real gems, which gets me to the title of this post: expectations.

When I sat down to write this post, I was planning to pick appart the language of the song and make some observations about where I think it comes from. I think it launches a really worthwhile discussion about the Church. But while googling for the lyrics, I found an interview where the band beat me to the punch. I’ll copy some of it here, but the whole interview with Trevin Wax at trevinwax.wordpress.com is good stuff….

‘Expectations’ really threw me for a loop when I first heard it. I’m sitting there in my car, listening through the album for the first time, and this really folksy kind of rhythm comes on, and then I hear Derek’s voice (always a good thing):

That boy had the highest of expectations
And he heard that Jesus would fill him up

And I’m thinking, “Interesting… another song left over from Share The Well… must be talking about some kid in Africa hearing the Gospel.”

I was wrong.

Song continues:

But maybe something was lost in the language
If this was full, then why bother?

This was not the way it looked on the billboard
Smiling family beaming down on the interstate

So at this point, I’m pretty struck, and wondering where they’re going with this song. It continues:

You know that we all try to blame someone
But our dreams won’t rise up from their sleep
And the reaching of the steeple felt like one more
Expensive ad for something cheap

To be honest, sitting there after a first listen, I was pretty bummed. I was thinking, “What the heck? Are they saying the Gospel is cheap?”

But then I started really thinking about it…

They could be writing about my Dad. They could be writing about guys I shared the Gospel with overseas. They could be writing about 85% of the homeless people I’ve spent time talking to. Maybe they’re on to something after all…

Which brings me back to the interview. Here’s what Guarett Buell of the band has to say about it, and I think I agree (emphasis mine):

This is to me the main observation on modern Christianity. It, to me, really sums up in words how that observation looks through the microscope. Failed expectations of a Savior in the light of “Christ gone corporate” modern church. It seems as if the aim of our church in this day is to be better than Six Flags with a bigger IMax screen. With salvation quotas and razzle dazzle services and the well seen perfect poise of a smiling family in a perfect world of a photography studio with no problems in life at all.

The focus is off of the real Jesus and how He works in our hearts, knowing full well what lies beneath the “show” of our finest threads. Christianity has got to become more about loving the unlovable and feeding the hungry than entertaining the kids with video games and multi million dollar gyms.

Churches need to let their members live amongst the real world, be involved in society but not sheltered from it. How else are we to be salt and light if we don’t ever wander into it and don’t know anyone there if we did? Churches should support their members not limit them, realizing we are all fallen and will fall again. But when times are tough the church should hold their members when they are down, truly listen to their cries and above all, have empathy because chances are, they are just like you.

What do you think?