How could it possibly be a “Good” Friday?

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Good Friday. Huh?

Why is it “good?”  How could it possibly be good?

  • In a culture that is ever so quick to get to the product
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to avoid suffering and pain and seek ways to medicate ourselves to avoid pain
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to jump to the bunnies and eggs
  • In a culture that is ever so quick to commercialize, capitalize, and consumerize Continue reading “How could it possibly be a “Good” Friday?”

Thank God that I am a man and not a woman.

It’s likely that some of you will take offense at the title of this post. But if you read through the post, it’ll certainly make more sense in the larger context. But for what it’s worth, I was intending to entitle this post, “Fortunate to Have a P*nis” and maybe I should have but ultimately, I just didn’t want to receive too many rebukes and tense emails. Seriously, who wants emails about genitals?

Seriously, it’s not my intent to be sensational or even controversial but simply to make an important point.

So, what is my point?

I am fortunate to be a man.

Or to put it in other words, I’m fortunate to have a p*nis.

As I recently preached at my church or in another blogpost about the silence of women in the Church, there’s great privilege and power in simply being a man. This is why I contend that the treatment of women is the oldest injustice in human history. We can talk equality and equity all day long and while we can acknowledge how far we’ve come, we still clearly live – even in 2011 – where there’s great advantage in simply being a man.

How fortunate?

Consider this statistic from UNICEF and UN:

Women give birth to 100% of the human population. In addition, women do about 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the world’s food, but earn 10% of the world’s income & only own less than 1% of the world’s property. [You can also read more about these statistics from The Global Poverty Project.] Continue reading “Thank God that I am a man and not a woman.”

“Umm, I didn’t ask you to give up coffee or chocolate. I asked you to surrender your life.” – God

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We are now in the Lenten season and let me begin by first sharing the conclusion of my post in case you have an attention span of a 2-year-old:

Lent isn’t about you
or about what you’re giving up.

But we’ll get to that soon.

For those that might not be familiar with Lent, it is the 40 day period (not including Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday that has traditionally been a time of preparation for those who were preparing for baptism and later expanded to include the larger Christian community.  It marks a time of prayer, penance, repentance,  humility, self-denial, and soul-searching as one draws closer to the Passion of Christ and ultimately, culminating in the celebration of the Resurrection. You can check out my sermon to get a crash course on the history of Lent – and how it started (likely) as a 2-3 day event and eventually became a 40-day rhythm by 325 AD at the Council of Nicaea.

I appreciate the Lenten season for many and various reasons. In fact, the Lenten season is important to me because it helps me create rhythm in my life – something especially helpful when busyness, chaos, randomness, clutter, and lots of noise inundate my life. I deeply appreciate Lent because it helps me prepare for Passion Week  – the final week of Christ. And while we know Easter brings upon us the celebration of the resurrection, I am grateful that the Lenten season more thoughtfully and deeply prepares me for Crucifixion Friday or known by most as Good Friday.

This year, I’m choosing – along with some other things – to give up “coffee” during the Lent season. Trust me, for someone that runs a cafe, has his offices in a cafe, and has access to Stumptown Coffee, this will certainly be a “test” of self-denial.

But even after acknowledging that I myself am “giving up” coffee during Lent, I’m ambivalent and reticent about how vogue or easy Continue reading ““Umm, I didn’t ask you to give up coffee or chocolate. I asked you to surrender your life.” – God”

the testimony of one north korean girl

You need to watch this. In fact, you must watch this. Please watch this.

While I wasn’t personally able to attend the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Capetown, South Africa (Nov. 11-18), I tried to catch some of the events via the web. While there were numerous webcasts, the one that caught my attention was the testimony of a young 18-year-old Korean girl. I believe, with intention, her name wasn’t released but she was born in North Korea, lived in China, and now resides in South Korea.

I want you…in fact, I urge you…to take about 10 minutes: 8.41 minutes to watch the video and the remainder, 1.19 minutes, to lift a prayer for the people of North Korea. Here’s the video. It wasn’t available on YouTube so I uploaded it here:
Continue reading “the testimony of one north korean girl”

is he a christian, a muslim, or a cactus? why can’t we just believe president obama?

I received a letter this week from the White House. A big fat packet. Ain’t I special?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t an invitation to a special Gala or for me to sing at an event. It wasn’t about a partnership with One Day’s Wages. Or to join his circle of sagacious advisors. Or to ask me to join Warren Buffet in helping turn around the U.S. economy. Or to inform me that he’d be visiting my church. And no, it wasn’t a direct letter from President Obama himself. But it was a letter from one of his staff sharing some stuff about President Obama, some initiatives, and what I perceived to be clarity about his faith. Huh?

It puzzled me initially but after some thought, I think I know why I received the letter as I’m sure several other “pastors” may have received it as well.

Why? Continue reading “is he a christian, a muslim, or a cactus? why can’t we just believe president obama?”

why i am not quitting christianity

Unless you are the Geico Caveman, you have probably heard of the dramatic news of Anne Rice’s simple statement of “quitting Christianity.” But just in case you haven’t or are in need of your daily dose of Anne Rice, I thought I’d chime in and share some thoughts. And if some of you are wondering, “Can’t we focus on some more important things like fighting global poverty?” I agree: visit here.

First of all, I am a fan of Anne Rice. In fact, I don’t know of many people that dislike her. She’s a phenomenal writer and additionally, she’s gotta have some Asian genes in her. She’s 68 and ages like no other. But in case you don’t know much about her:

Anne Rice (born Howard Allen O’Brien on October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of gothic, erotic, and religious-themed books from New Orleans, Louisiana. She was married to poet and painter Stan Rice for 41 years until his death from cancer in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history. [via wikipedia]

She is also known as a Christian for some time but last week, she wrote & shared the following via her Facebook page:

“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

“In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control.

“In the name of… Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

Here are some of my vomitaceous thoughts: Continue reading “why i am not quitting christianity”