Friday, January 12, 2018

Shalom and Racial Reconciliation

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission published an article—the first of a two-part series—I wrote on racial reconciliation. You can access it by clicking the link below.

https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/what-shalom-has-to-do-with-racial-reconciliation-an-address-at-obu

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Remembering Lottie

Following is my annual reminder of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for missions:

Each December, Southern Baptist churches collect offerings for missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. Here are some facts about Lottie Moon summarized from an ERLC newsletter, “The Weekly” published December 11, 2015:

Charlotte "Lottie" Moon, born in 1840, earned a Master of Arts and on July 7, 1873 was appointed as a missionary to China by the Foreign Mission Board. In 1885 she became the first American woman to adopt Chinese dress and language. Moon reported, “We need to make friends before we can make converts.”

In 1888 the Woman’s Missionary Union was founded and Moon suggested collecting a Christmas offering for mission work in China.  Named for Lottie Moon in 1918, the offerings have collected almost $4 billion since it began.  

During famine, Moon shared her meager food and finances adversely affecting her health. By 1912 she weighed only 50 pounds. Friends sent her to the U.S. but she died en route at the age of 72.  Her life is told in the movie, “The Lottie Moon Story,” and she is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church. In China, a monument to her at Dengzhou Baptist Church has a brief description with the words, “How she loved us.”

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Baseball, Trump & Understanding the Rules

Last night I dreamed I was part of a special team assigned to teach President Trump how to play baseball, specifically first base. Three things made the task so frustratingly daunting. First, he seemed completely uninterested in the game of baseball. Second, he appeared to be absolutely enjoying the experience but totally unconcerned with learning anything we offered to teach him about the game or about the position. When we tried to show him something, he would just laugh, ham it up for the camera, and then toss the football to the cheering crowd or toss the football to me. 

Yes, the football. 

That was the most confusing, and the third and far and away the most frustrating aspect of the whole affair. We were trying to teach him all about baseball and how to play first base, but the only ball we had was a football. I was so glad to wake up.

All day I’ve thought about that crazy dream. I thought about writing an essay on the current state of politics in D. C. and the need for all sides to decide the game so they can use the same rulebook, or perhaps to write on the fact that the inside-the-beltway crowd hasn’t yet figured out that the current White House occupant isn’t playing by the same set of rules the rest of them have been using during their collective tenure. And I thought of writing an essay about our need to focus on what unites us but how we keep getting thrown off topic and how we keep talking past each other, as if we are having two different conversations, holding two different sets of standards for each other, using two different sets of rules—as if we are in the same game, but some us are playing baseball and some of us are playing football. 

But aside from prophetic and visionary dreams, most just reveal more about the dreamer, and so it’s probably a mistake to have shared this one...