26 September 2010

Say "No!" To Commitment!

“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one. -- Matt 5.33-37

I saw this emblazoned on a billboard advertisement today: "Say 'No!' To Commitment!" It was in reference to mobile phone contracts. As soon as I saw it, I laughed and shook my head. I don't really have any strong feelings about mobile phone contracts. I was shaking my head because it seemed to speak to much more.

Politicians, corporations, the media, churches, family members, friends, and me. We all make promises. And we all fall short of them. (Some more often than others.) And it can be really frustrating. It's easy to become bitter and cynical, to not trust anyone or expect anything from them. But I don't want to be that way. Do you? Let's do what we can to instill trust in those we know. Let's be known for honesty and integrity.

I've made more than a few selfish, foolish choices. I've hurt people, both knowingly and through ignorance. And I hate that. It makes me sick to my stomach. I'm sorry.

K, love you, bye.


11 September 2010

Burn Brauts, Not Books

I woke up this morning, made a cup of coffee, and perused the interwebs only to find a disturbing headline which read Amarillo Man Plans To Burn Quran. In the story, the man named a time and a place. Shortly thereafter, a Facebook trend started amongst some friends of mine. The plan was to show up at Sam Houston Park before the folks who were intent on burning books and make sure all of the grills were occupied. No free grills meant no way to burn a book legally at a public park, it was hoped.

Unfortunately, the plan didn't come together quite as hoped. I guess punks, hippies, and liberals, God bless 'em, aren't the most prompt. Fortunately, though, it still ended well. From what I could tell, the book burning proponents numbered three. On the other hand, there were more than two hundred folks in opposition to this foolish act. Law enforcement and media personnel were in place.

A Quran was placed on a grill. Immediately, several people walked up to it and, without a word, placed their hands over the grill and the Quran. The flustered antagonist turned to speak to the media. That's when a kid grabbed the Quran, hopped on his skateboard, and rode away.

I'm not making this up.

The small gang of book burning enthusiasts appeared confused and then annoyed. They looked around at the cheering crowd for a few seconds, got into their vehicles, and drove away. I was mostly just relieved that everything had progressed peacefully. The kid on the skateboard showed back up and gave the Quran to some folks from the Islamic center. It was something to behold.

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

Luke 6.27-36

K, love you, bye.