Saturday, February 27, 2021


I'm sitting here in a quaint little French Restaurant finishing my sermon. I'm currently expositing my way through the Gospel according to Luke. This coming Sunday (tomorrow) we will be discussing Luke 3:15-18, which is right in the middle of Luke's coverage of John the Baptist's ministry. I mention these two details in the same paragraph, because I am feeling a sharp contrast between the clientele of this little restaurant versus the John the Baptist persona.

My reason for being in this quaint little restaurant is the occasion of my wife's birthday. One of her absolute favorite things to do is to get away. She loves a little bed and breakfast or a tiny inn. The particular inn, in which we are staying, has a French restaurant on the main floor... with a legit French chef at the helm of its kitchen. I haven't eaten here in the evening, but because the breakfast is included, I've had it a couple of times now. And I have to say, the biscuits and gravy is the best biscuits and gravy that I've ever had. 

I came down early, while my wife was finishing getting ready, in order to continue my sermon prep. While sitting here, the conversations from the other tables, drifted my way. I've heard about $25,000 entertainment systems, upcoming vacations in Europe, complete with stays at a hostel, discussions on how often they come to this particular restaurant on a Saturday morning, and I'm fairly certain that I heard someone refer to their wife as "Lovey"... But with all of the grandeur of the conversations, they were coming up short, to the man who ate locusts and wild honey... who Jesus himself said, "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist." (Matthew 11:11a - ESV)

And yet ... (mind you) ... and yet, that verse continues with this statement: "Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11:11b - ESV)

The question I have for you, is this... What defines greatness in your economy?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Stir the Pot - Poke the Beast

Skin on the Pudding

When I was a child, my mother used to make homemade pudding. It wasn't a pudding that came from a package, it was a legitimate homemade pudding. I've tried to do this a few times myself, but it is more work than the Cook and Serve pudding mix and it is a whole lot more work than pudding cups. Plus, when I've tried doing this myself, I usually ended up with lumpy pudding... and it wasn't the tapioca sort of lumps. 

One aspect of the childhood pudding making that I remember the most is being drafted by my mother to stir the pudding. I learned that this was an absolute necessity during the cooking process. Because of the ingredients in the pudding recipe, allowing it to simmer would inevitably lead to a burnt layer sticking to the bottom of the pan. A good homemade pudding can be ruined by a few seconds of unattended simmering. I also remember that stirring that same pot of pudding after it was cooked, would still be necessary to keep the skin from developing on the top of the pudding. 

Now, it is possible that you may like a nice pudding skin. If that is the case, then I can't be your friend because you probably also like the little hard piece of mustard that forms on the mustard squeeze bottle or the sludge in the bottom of an old jug of tea. Pudding just shouldn't have skin. It's wrong. For those of us that know that, we solve this problem by stirring the pot. 

From this pudding-centric introduction, you probably already know that I am going to argue on the side of being a pot-stirrer, at least to some degree, but I feel that I will need to do a little more clarifying before I get into the basic tenets of that argument lest you misunderstand the debate points and read them as hate-speech. I also wouldn't want you to think that I am naturally a pot-stirrer or that I always argue on behalf of the pot-stirring crowd. If I need to, I can give a few examples of the times where someone can over-stir or over-mix... that can be equally detrimental. This all leads me directly into my main point. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Remote Church isn't Church


A couple of qualifiers, before I begin this post: 

First: This is not a post about the Corona Virus. I am not going to debate the virus. I am not saying that it isn't a real virus and I am not saying that it isn't deadly. What I am saying is that this virus isn't as deadly (to certain strands of the population) as they told us it was going to be. We are not at Threat Level Midnight here... I have yet to drive past the hospital and see body bags lined up outside because the coroner can't keep up. There haven't been, at least in my area, bulldozers piling disease ridden corpses into mass graves. I am not aware of any CDC workers or military personnel showing up in large yellow hazmat suits, looking like giant thumbs, setting up tents and sorting the sick and the healthy into camps for the purpose of transporting them in those large, tarp-covered military trucks to unknown locations, never to be seen again. 

But, like I said, this isn't really a post about the virus. Can we, for the sake of this conversation, put that topic in a sterile container and place it on the shelf?  We'll label it "exhibit A". It will only be there for just a few minutes. We can reference it, but let's leave it on the shelf. It isn't the focus of this post.