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Showing posts from September, 2010

Greed is Good?

When I was sixteen I saw a movie that had a profound impact on my life: Oliver Stone's Wall Street.  Michael Douglas plays Gordon Gecko, a billionaire Wall Street tycoon whose life had everything.  When I left the cinema, I wanted to be Gordon Gecko.  It was only later, after watching the film again from a more worldly perspective did I understand the movie's point.  Despite what Gordon Gecko famously said, greed is not good.  Greed makes people into small, shallow individuals who do not understand how money can be used to bless others.  Tomorrow night I'll see the Wall Street sequel, again starring Michael Douglas as Gecko.  I wonder how it will impact me at age 39?

My life turned out to be so radically different that I imagined it would be after seeing Wall Street.  I did not earn an MBA, did not become a millionaire by age 22.  I became a youth director, a teacher, and a pastor-- not exactly careers with huge earning potential!  Yet my life has more depth and meaning th…

Obey Your Thirst!

It is a well-known fact that I do not care for the month of August-- too hot.  But at least we expect that.  My least favorite month of the year is September, even though it marks the beginning of football season and the opening of the State Fair of Texas.  Every day in September, and sometimes several times each day, I look up the 10-day forecast, expecting to see that first cold front on the horizon.  And every day I am disappointed.  I am in need of refreshment from hot weather!

You know what it feels like to need refreshment-- that cold drink after yard work; that well-deserved vacation; the laughter of children after a stressful day.  We have that sense of being parched-- needing something that is not quite there-- and when the need is fulfilled all we can express is, "Aaaaaagh!"  Do you remember the old iced tea commercials of people falling backward into a pool?  That's what I mean.  Refreshment.

Thirst comes in physical, spiritual, and emotional forms.  The physi…

Remembering September 11

Tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Most of us will never forget where we were at the moment we learned our nation was under attack. Like many of you, I was watching the Today Show with Christy in our apartment in Dallas when the second plane hit World Trade Center. As I drove to the church where I served as Associate Pastor, Oak Lawn UMC, I listened on the radio intently for more news. The shock and horror of that day was compounded for me especially. We had just discovered the day before, September 10, 2001, that Christy was pregnant with James. In the midst of such fear and suffering, I felt more than a little guilty that our family was celebrating. It didn't seem fair.

At the church a TV was on in Wyndal's office, our Business Manager. We searched the internet for faster news. We sent emails out to the congregation, urging them wherever they were to pray for victims, their families, and for the nation. We organized a …