Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Through the years there has been a lot of debate about exactly what obscene really is. The definition boiled down to “you’ll know it when you see it”.
The truth is, obscenity is all around us and we don’t see it because we have become so used to it that we just dismiss it as the world around us. Our senses don’t work as well as they should because we have abused them for so long that we aren’t able to see what is right in front of our eyes.
Last night I saw and participated in an obscenity and don’t even know whether to feel privileged, disgusted, lucky, or what. Please don’t think that I’ve gone crazy – I just went to a basketball game. The Memphis Grizzly’s are the local pro team and I’ve been to several games but last night was a little different because I was invited to go with some friends and sit in the sideline seats. It was pretty cool – we were almost right on the court and had an unbelievable view of the game. The thing that got me thinking about the obscenity of it was when I looked at the ticket and saw that it was a $150! I was with a group of 4 so that meant that we’d just sat in seats that cost $600 – for one game that was about 2 hours long. A season in the NBA has 40 home games plus about 5 pre-season and an average of 6 post season games making these seats cost over $30,000 in a year. Add in food and extras and you notch it up to close to $40,000 for 4 seats for basketball.
On my drive home from the arena, I decided that I’d participated in something obscene.
How could anyone ever justify that sort of expense when there are so very many hungry people in the world around us? Then I thought about how we justify a lot of other obscenities in our lives – the ones that we’ve become accustomed to like; most movies, many television shows, the language we “tolerate”, etc. Once we develop calluses, once we develop blind spots, we can ignore the obscenities and even act like they are just normal life.
I’m guessing that the folks that spend $40,000 on basketball tickets can easily justify the expense because it is really such a small percentage of their income that it doesn’t interfere at all with the good things that they do. I am not even intentionally trying to throw stones at people that buy these seats, I’m just looking at the $40 grand as the equivalent of 40 houses, or ½ of a new children’s home, tons of food, and lots of lost opportunities. I wonder if it was God’s plan for the money to be spent that way when he put his master plan in place? I wonder how often I’ve been obscene in the way I’ve spent money that God planned for something else?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Feed My Sheep

Reading the words that Jesus said to Peter in John 21 has always made me thing that Jesus was telling us that we needed to feed each other with his words. I guess that I have always thought this because - it is what I was taught. I don't ever remember hearing a lesson about acutally feeding people - food, you know the stuff that helps us stay alive. I don't know why it had never occured to me that Jesus may have actually meant what he said - "Peter, feed my lambs", "Peter, take care of my sheep", "Peter, feed my sheep!". I mean- we like to take the words that Jesus spoke as what he meant so why not the words that he spoke to Peter?
I think that I've never thought about these words as a charge to go out and feed people is that I am surrounded by people that are never really hungry. Working in Central America has really opened my eyes to the fact that there really aren't any truly hungry people in the USA. We don't have a population of people that go to bed hungry and wake up the same way. People that spend their lives looking for something to eat. We don't have mothers that are desperate to find food for their baby. We don't have families that decide that they will stop feeding the younger two or three kids so that the rest of the family can have a little more. We aren't in a country that has a generation of malnourished kids that are stunted in their growth and their mental devolepment.
I started thinking about this last week on an airplane while reading the USA Today. I was reading an article where the author said "I've never gone to bed hungry". That statement made me stop reading and start thinking about the power of the words. I HAVE NEVER GONE TO BED HUNGRY... Added to that, until my work in Honduras, I had never personally known anyone that had ever truly gone to bed hungry. Someone that had nothing in the house to eat and not much of any chance that there would be anything there the next day. True hunger is something that I have never known. Yes, I can take you to it, show it to you and introduce you to people that are living right smack in the middle of it - but, I've never "been there, done that".
Yes, these words that Jesus spoke to Peter - and to me are easily read more than one way. One day I will be able to ask Jesus how he meant them. In the mean time, I am reading them both ways and believe that helping to take care of the physical feeding will open the door to spiritual feeding.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I just had lunch with some friends - friends that we've been talking with for the past few weeks about going.
My friends told me that they are at a time in their lives that they could keep on working for the next 15 years so they could have a bigger nest egg at their retirement or - they could follow the pull that is in their heart to GO! They have chosen to GO and I am awed that they have asked me to help them and that I get to be a part of this plan.
My friends told me that they are tired of playing games, working to support their stuff, tired of making excuses for not following the great comission, tires of playing church. They said that they just want to be servants, that they want to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I made a promise that I will help and will be there for them.
They are hoping to sell the house, cars, and other belongings so that they can move to a third world nation and work daily - taking the gospel to people that really need and want to hear it.
Pray for my friends.