August 24, 2005

Ready for Germany 2006?

If you have no idea about that which I'm writing, you probably should still read on. Maybe you'll learn a bit. The U.S. Men's National Team (Soccer) played Trinidad and Tobago last night in the Second Qualifying Phase of the CONCACAF Region. We(the U.S. team) still trail Mexico by one point in the standings. That however is a bit trivial, since the top three teams advance to the World Cup. Here's a peek at the current standings: http://www.ussoccer.com/home/teamhomepage.sps?iType=8215 . With only 4 games remaining, the U.S. is almost assured of a World Cup birth in Germany next year. Next up is arch-rival Mexico, a team of unrivaled passion and extraordinary skill. Thankfully, this game is on home soil, lest we allow our record to plummet to even greater depths in the loss column. (We have never won in Mexico City.)

There is much promise for this group of players. There is much talent for Bruce Arena (coach) to choose from. Only time will tell if this will be another great World Cup for the U.S. of A.
Tune in to Telemundo at 8 ET on September 3rd to catch the game. Go USA!!!

Desiring 'Stuff:' Idols of the Heart

I have been slowly plodding my way through Piper's When I Don't Desire God, which was recommended by a friend. I will extend that invitation to any Christian desiring to grow. The theme of the book is: How to win the battle of 'desiring God' in the flesh that naturally does not. Instead of detailing how to desire God (as he does in Desiring God) (amazing, i know), he deals with why we don't desire Him and how to desire Him as we ought.

In chapter 5, he discusses the vision it takes to see Christ in order to treasure Him as is our immense task. One section caught my attention specifically. It was entitled: "Blind By The Things We Make and Trust." A portion of this section to illustrate:
  • Those who make them [idols] become like them, so do all those who trust in them!' (Psalm 135:15-18) Make and trust a blind idol, and you become blind. Apply that principle to the modern world, and think of the idols of our own day. What do we make and what do we trust? Things. Toys. Technology. And so our hearts are affected and formed by these things. They compress the void in our heart into shapes like toys. The result is that we are easily moved and excited by things... But in this readiness to receive pleasure from things, we are ill-shaped for Christ. He seems unreal, unattractive. The eyes of our hearts grow dull. (p. 58)

This point may have hit home (pardon the cliche`) more so than all the others combined so far. If we are to desire God above all else, how is that accomplished in our life when there are other idols successfully competing with Him? It is not that He could not overthrow those idols, but rather He chooses not to. Let us not be a people who bow down to idols in our heart that crowd out our desire for Christ. We must desire God above all else!

August 18, 2005

Displaying Faith or Fad?

The idea for this post was spawned by a link posted on a friend's blog referencing a current TV show episode that made Christianity the "thing to do." From t-shirts to "Be strong" bracelets, there is nothing that the culture produces that Christians, for the most part, (lest I stereotype!) don't embrace. As I have worked at a Christian camp this summer, I have seen every t-shirt known to man, it seems. I am pretty sure I never want to own a Napoloeon Dynamite or Nintendo shirt as a result of seeing kids wear them as if they are going out of style(which they will--thankfully). As I mentioned above, this t-shirt-crazed culture has been thoroughly embraced by the Christian movement of today. I have seen "Christian" t-shirts with designs from Austin Powers to Budweiser to Mountain Dew.
While I'm all for standing for Christ and sharing our faith, I'm not sure if we've hit the desired mark. Is it o.k. to communicate truth through the mode of worldly slogans and logos? I have actually seen a design with a Budweiser logo that said, "For all you do, His blood's for you." I am just not sure I can rally around that and support it. I've also seen an Austin Powers t-shirt with the words "Awesome Jesus" instead of Austin Powers. Is it ok to use worldly and wicked logos and ideas if we attatch the cross or a "Christian counter-idea" to them? I know what I think. I would push for Biblically evaluating the way we "wear" our faith. (even if we should 'wear' it at all)