Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Happens in Vegas...

You know the rest of the line. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. And being the uncreative copycats that most people are you have probably seen this misguided advertisement ripped off and used on t-shirts all over the country. I have seen shirts for Sullivan, Illinois which read what happens in the corn field stays in the corn field (I don't even want to consider the possible meanings that could have). I have seen Cubs t-shirts what happens in Wrigley... And Cardinals what happens at Busch... All of which are lies, especially the last two examples since the ball games are on television for the world to see.

I do think that it would be an accurate advertising slogan for many of our churches. "What happens at Second Assembly of God stays at Second Assembly," because so much of what happens during our services is not reflected in our lives on a daily basis. And that is just as pathetic and even more inexcusable than someone believing the lie about Las Vegas.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wild Goose Chase

I just finished reading Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson's newest book. It launches tomorrow. Mark is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. I haven't read his first book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, but I have been a reader of his blog for more than two years. I have listened to many of his podcasts, received his evotional e-mails. The book is very much an extension of Mark's communication style from oral teaching and blogging to a full length book. If you had never heard him speak, and only read this book and then you heard him speak, he would sound just like you imagined he would sound while reading the book.

The book encourages us to allow the Holy Spirit to be active in our lives. His contention is that we tend to try and tame God bringing him down to our level. When our expectations are too small we can limit God by our lack of faith. The book is filled with Mark's trademark illustrations. He is one of the best I know at illustrating his points with stories, scientific theories and off the wall anecdotes. He has a unique voice and I think it is in full effect here.

You can feel the influence of Erwin McManus and others who talk about living life to the fullest and not allowing religion to inhibit our pursuit of God. Batterson fully acknowledges this in the book. It isn't the subject matter that is unique it is his voice. And truthfully as preachers and teachers of the Bible none of us has completely unique subject matter (if someone has a take on the Bible that no one else ever has it is usually called heresy) it is, to borrow a Batterson phrase, our job to present old truths in new ways. So the book is definitely worth your time. I definitely recommend it!

The book is availible on Amazon and through other outlets. Thanks to the publisher for my free copy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Skip Carey

During the 1980's I fell in love with baseball. I am a fan of the Atlanta Braves. During most of the '80s I lived in North and South Dakota. The options for baseball on television were the Twins and the Braves. My best friend and I loved the Braves. Both teams were mostly awful, but the Braves were on almost every day on WTBS. And the Braves had Dale Murphy my all time favorite player.

It was Skip's voice, along with Ernie Johnson and Pete VanWieren that told me play by play how awful the Braves were, and then how great they were becoming. His voice is the sound track to a lot of great memories of baseball for a young boy growing up. I haven't followed baseball quite as closely since TBS reduced its Braves telecasts. Now that they aren't exclusively covering the Braves I don't get to see many games. I like Skip's son Chip an awful lot and not just because we share a name, but it won't be the same without Skip.