I love to fish. I have been fishing since I was twelve years old. My uncle took my brother and me one evening and let's just say that I was hooked. Of course, it doesn't take long for a novice fisherman to learn that fish can only be caught when the fish take the bait. And sometimes they are taking one kind of bait, and at other seasons, they are nibbling at another. One can fish all day with the kind of bait the fisherman thinks will work, but in the end, the fish will take what it's hungry for. I think there is some wisdom for churches and their ministries in there somewhere.
Joyce Meyer has written an interesting article for The Christian Post on materialism. While I am not quite in agreement with everything she writes, some of her words stand out simply because they are true.
Too many of us are addicted to "stuff." How many people don't have time for God because they have to work two jobs to keep up the payments on their boats, cars and flat screen TVs? How many of us have purchased things we didn't need and couldn't afford just because everyone else was doing the same thing?
We must remind ourselves that we are stewards, not owners. Everything we "own" should be available to God to bless and minister to other people.
Indeed... As I wrote in my book The Politics of Witness, materialism is the number one problem that is killing the ministry of the church in the world:
I propose that the politics of witness will only work if the church at large and Christians as individuals live a simpler lifestyle. Materialism has all but destroyed the church's ability to witness politically in this world. It is not so much that the church lacks resources to fulfill its mission in this world, as it has too much of its resources tied up in things that, as Jesus himself said, "rot away" (Matthew 6:19). Churches are dumping resources into old run-down buildings, and individual Christians are in just as much debt as the average American. The problem is not that we lack financial resources; it’s rather that they are tied up as a result of greed and an indistinguishable way of life.
And we must be clear-- the problem of having lost perspective on our "stuff" is not just a problem for those persons we consider wealthy. It is a problem for ALL of us.
One of the best definitions of sin I have ever heard is that sin is the misuse of the good gifts of God. It wouldn't take long to make a list of all the good gifts God has given to us that we human beings have misused for our own selfish ends.
Tomorrow is Father's Day. I am blessed to be a dad to four wonderful children, and now a son-in-law and a soon-to-be son-in-law. Over the years as I have visited aging parents whose children are grown, at times they have said to me that they wish they would have had more children. No one has ever said they had too many. Young parents take heed of this wisdom.
A new study suggests that smarter people are more susceptible to thinking errors:
Perhaps our most dangerous bias is that we naturally assume that everyone else is more susceptible to thinking errors, a tendency known as the "bias blind spot." This 'meta-bias" is rooted in our ability to spot systematic mistakes in the decisions of others—we excel at noticing the flaws of friends—and inability to spot those same mistakes in ourselves.
There's nothing like a little information to reinforce the importance of humility.
This Week in History: On June 10, 1692, Bridget Bishop became the first person in Salem, Massachusetts to be executed for being a witch. Religious idiocy combined with the allies of the justice system and hysteria created the context for what became a deeply tragic outcome.
The Silly Season in Politics: I haven't posted anything of late on the silly season in politics, because it has all been so silly lately, I simply don't know where to begin.
And finally, Mickey Mouse has left his mark on the planet Mercury. Like Walmart, Disney seems to be everywhere.