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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Looking Ahead

Not having anything urgent to write about, I've been a little slow in updating this blog of late.  Suffice it to say that autumn is the time to make plans for the following summer.  I can report that we've make some progress on our Unreached People Group search, but I can't say much here due to the nature of what we are doing.  I also am putting the finishing touches on next year's missions camp.  I hope to have final details very soon.

Last week our staff was away (from the office, at least) for our annual retreat.  I work with a great group of guys.  The chemistry is good, and we enjoy chewing the fat and generally being obnoxious to each other.  Occasionally we talk about church business.  (OK, I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea).  Unfortunately we also played golf.  I'm terrible at it, but it does wonders for my humility.  

On another note, I was asked to write the narration for this year's Christmas musical. Our worship pastor is cobbling together his own musical from various sources, so he asked me to fill in the blanks.  I tell you, it's harder than it looks.  What do you say that hasn't been said a million times before?  Or should we try?  Anyway, I'd appreciate your prayers.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thank Goodness

Thank goodness for this bit of news from across the pond.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

But Then We Already Knew This

Some interesting, if not surprising, results from a recent survey about poverty in America.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Facing Off

As I've noted more than once, I started this blog so that my friends and family could stay informed about my mission work through FBC Brownsville.  But occasionally I feel the need to hold forth on some other matter or another and, well, now is one of those times.

On September 26, 1960 the first of 4 debates was held between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy.  It was the first time a presidential debate was shown on television.  Kennedy, according to reports at the time, was tanned, rested, and fit.  Nixon, on the other hand, had recently been released from the hospital, and looked unwell.  He also refused to wear makeup, his beard stubble showing prominently.  You can probably guess the rest. Nixon was easily "out-glamoured" by the charismatic Kennedy.  And though there would be 3 more debates to follow (in which Nixon performed well), there was no undoing the impression made that night.

It's probably a stretch to say that Richard Nixon lost the election because of that one debate, but it certainly changed forever the way presidential campaigns would be run. With new technologies came new ways to influence behavior, and successful politicians would have to learn to craft their messages (and images) accordingly.

Think of it this way: can you imagine the solid but colorless Calvin Coolidge as President today?  How about a portly John Adams?  Or even the homely Abraham Lincoln?  No, modern-day campaigns are witnessed, not just written about, and this way of doing things comes with a cost.  Consciously or not, voters are constantly awarding "style points" to candidates, and the slightest of perceived errors on the campaign trail can be fatal.

There are many more things that could be said (and have been said) about this.  But let me leave it at this: when I read about this debate anniversary, I found myself thinking of the American church.  We are shameless imitators of our culture, and this triumph of style over substance has most certainly afflicted us.  But there remains a remnant that wants to go deeper with God.  So to those I say press on, stay in the Word, live faithfully, serve as Jesus would, thus honoring Him who infuses all our moments with eternity.

(many have addressed the phenomenon that I have written about here.  A good place to start is Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves To Death".)  


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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Trends

Here is an interesting article about Hispanics in the US and their religious preferences.