This evening, at approximately 0830 hours, a special task force comprised of four fingers and one thumb, under the command of my Left Hand, conducted a surprise attack on a mosquito terrorist in the Right Bicep province.
This "sting" operation was a counter-attack in response to one of the terrorist's signature bloodsucking attacks. I am pleased to report that this covert operation has resulted in the death of the terrorist. The body was positively identified as a member of Al Qaeda, and the body was buried "at sea".
I think you'll agree this represents a significant step in our global fight against terrorism. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
You said to love
All I see is hate
Emotions swirling ‘round
On this sacred date
What must You think
When I choose to hate
When I turn from You
To pursue my fate
When I choose to hurt
Instead of heal
When I choose the fake
Instead of the real
When I choose to look
At myself instead
When I starve my Lord
To make sure I’m fed
I look beyond
To the crimson cross
And Your eyes still shine
With love spread across
On that cross so hard
In Your eyes the love
Yet I prefer the eagle
And pervert the dove
You said to love
All I see is hate
Lord give me your heart
On this sacred date
Copyright 2010 by Boyd Allen
Forty-seven years ago yesterday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most famous speeches in American history. I am ashamed to admit that--until tonight--I had never watched the speech in its entirety.
If you're like me and you've never seen it, or if you've watched it many times...take a few minutes and allow the words of an American prophet to move you.
Word, Dr. King. Word.
A great quote that I read this week...
"I know passions get enflamed and sometimes should around political issues. Let us remember that Jesus brought a zealot and a tax collector together and said, "Follow me." In our churches, He brings together democrats, republicans, green party members, libertarians, and independents and says the same thing, "Follow me."
Christ followers will always be politically diverse. Following Him alongside people who talk, think, and act differently than you is not optional. If you refuse to do so, then you refuse to pursue Christ. The moment at which you wish to see someone crash and burn because they think differently than you—you have stopped following Jesus. The moment at which hate begins to burn in your heart towards another person, for whom Jesus died, because they disagree with you on policy—you have stopped following Jesus. The moment you stop seeking justice, love, kindness, and a humble walk with God—you have stopped following Jesus. So, we repent when necessary and remember that policy and governance never change the human heart—the Gospel does. The breadth of Christʼs good news must fuel our passion and guide our actions in every sphere of life."
Now, if only I would let God help me LIVE this way. Then I'll be set.
For those of you that are entertaining thoughts of running for any sort of political office this year, I've put together this helpful fill-in-the-blank template.
[Cue slideshow of ominous black and white pictures of well-known politicians who are part of the "Washington Elite"]
"Are you tired of the same old thing in Washington? Are you ready for new blood? It's time for a changing of the guard! Let's vote out the liberal socialists who are ruining our country and mortgaging our children's future!
[Cut to softly filtered video of well-groomed families sitting on front porches, freshly mown grass and well groomed farmlands]
I am a Washington outsider. I have never taken money from those evil lobbyists who have infilterated the ranks of our nation's capital. I spent my formative years working in my [fill in the blank] family business. I have [X] number of years of Real World Experience running [insert name of privately owned] business.
[Cut to a headshot of yourself, looking earnestly into the camera. Try to wear a sternly passionate, outraged-about-what's-happening-in-Washington sort of look on your face.]
I will bring Real Change to Washington! My name is [X] and I would sincerely appreciate your vote on [fill in the election date]."
You're welcome. You can thank me by sending massive amounts of pork to my congressional district after you're elected.
So...since no one else will be blogging about this subject, I thought I'd step up and fill the gap.*
As I reflect on the passage of the historic healthcare reform bill, I wonder how America's Christians are reacting. Some thoughts...
To my brothers and sisters on the Left who are rejoicing at the passage of the healthcare reform bill, a gentle reminder: This bill does nothing to eliminate Christ's mandate for us to personally care for the poor. If history is any judge, the government will struggle to oversee the massive task they've just voted to put on their own plate. Bureaucracy, inefficiency, and corruption may well swallow up their good intentions. We Christians must stand in the gap that's left.
To my brothers and sisters on the Right who are lamenting the passage of this bill, may I gently suggest the possibility that we (I) have failed to live out Christ's directive to care for those less fortunate than us? Perhaps if we as the Church cared for the poor, marginalized, needy folks in the world as our founder did...then maybe, just maybe...Congress wouldn't have had to step up and do what we were capable of, but refused to do.
I recently read Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution (which I highly recommend) and I thought this excerpt was striking (and applicable to those on both ends of the political spectrum).
It is much more comfortable to depersonalize the poor so we don't feel responsible for the catastrophic human failure that results in someone sleeping on the street while people have spare bedrooms in their homes. We can volunteer in a social program or distribute excess food and clothing through organizations and never have to open up our homes, our beds, our dinner tables. When we get to heaven, we will be separated into those sheep and goats Jesus talks about in Matthew 25 based on how we cared for the least among us. I'm just not convinced that Jesus is going to say, "When I was hungry, you gave a check to the United Way and they fed me," or, "When I was naked, you donated clothes to the Salvation Army and they clothed me." Jesus is not seeking distant acts of charity. He seeks concrete acts of love: "you fed me...you visited me in prison...you welcomed me into your home...you clothed me."
My life has seldom lived up to Christ's words. May God have mercy on me and grant me strength to do better.
*That was sarcasm, just in case you didn't catch it.
Arby's, marketing the healthy food angle...looks like it says:
"Never fried. Never greasy."
I'm not sure though; it's kinda hard to read...through the grease stain.
Someone asked me the other day what my opinion is about Tim Tebow's upcoming Super Bowl ad. Here's my two cents worth:
1. I whole-heartedly support Tebow's right to say whatever he wants on national television. It's a free country last time I checked; live and let live. However, lest I be misunderstood on this issue, I should note that the necessary corollary to this position is that Mancrunch.com (the gay dating site that also applied) should've been allowed to purchase TV time as well. Fair is fair. Be careful what you ask for my conservative friends; you just might get it.
2. My personal preference is that "positions-based" advertising (from either side) not be aired during the Super Bowl. It's an American past-time for crying out loud. Must we use it as an opportunity to inflame those who disagree with us?
3. While I appreciate (and agree with) some Christians' desire to eliminate/minimize abortion, I'm not sure that this is/was the best way to accomplish that. I could be wrong, but I have a hard time believing that a highly controversial 30-second spot is going to suddenly cause 100's of women across America to call and cancel their appointments at their local abortion clinics. Why not take the obscenely large amount of money that's being spent on this, and put it towards something that we know reduces the chances of an abortion happening? May I suggest Option Ultrasound or your local crisis pregnancy care center instead?
4. Christians standing up for their "rights" in the public arena seems, to me, to be counter-intuitive to the message of Christ. Isn't that the whole point of Christianity, that we give up our rights? Why can't we Christians work on "changing America" one person and one heart at a time? It might just work better than the top-down approach that seems to be turning people away.
Barrack Obama, talking about Scott Brown's election to the late Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat:
"Here's my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country.
The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office.
People are angry, and they're frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."
I disagree vehemently with the President on some things, not the least of which is universal healthcare. However, this is one thing that I agree with him on.
I have many friends on the Right who would like to hail Scott Brown's election as historic moment that signals a seismic shift away from Obama's vision of America. I think it's more a statement about America's anger. We're mad and looking for something to take out our anger on. Whichever side (Right or Left) that is better able to stir up the anger in its base leading up to election time...is the side that wins.
November could be interesting.
P.S. For my friends on the Left, you should know that I passed up some pretty good Ted Kennedy jokes/jabs with you guys in mind. I just wanted you to appreciate that fact. :)
The following is from a blog that I read written by a Navy Chaplain who has served for 28 years; this is a small excerpt from his Veterans Day post. To read the entire post (which I highlyrecommend), or if you're interested in following his blog, visit his website at http://padresteve.wordpress.com.
We serve because we believe in the ideals of this nation and unlike wars past, the “Good Wars” where there were homecoming parades after surrender ceremonies we come home to a nation which mostly has not been at war, a nation that we have protected and served in harm’s way when most Americans were told to be patriotic after 9-11 by President Bush by “going shopping.” In the midst of all we serve, many of us volunteering for more, not because we like war, but because we believe in our country and in helping others come to know freedom. I know that amid the political cynicism that is so rampant that such idealism is derided by those who only see America as a force for evil, but such is not the case. By and large our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coastguardsmen serve not for college money or to simply have a job, but because we care about the country and know that by serving now that we will likely end up in a combat zone.
We serve in unpopular wars and our sacrifice is to many people just a news bite in between economic, entertainment and sports stories. There are those on the left who despise us as much as they did those who served in Vietnam. Likewise there are those on the right who have no compunction about using us in the military until we are spent without sharing a whit in our sacrifice, without ever having put on a uniform much less seeing combat.
This Veterans Day, my way of honoring those who are serving (or have served) is to be neither on the left nor the right.
The random thoughts of a passionate moderate who is incurably addicted to music, practical philosophy, and learning new things.