Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

The Kidnapping of Jesus

March 6, 2008 2 comments

This is pretty funny. Listen to the demands of the ransom note….

(HT: Steve McCoy)

Categories: Fun, Jesus

Oprah’s New Religion

February 27, 2008 3 comments

Saw this on Ben Arment’s blog. The influence of Oprah in this country shouldn’t be underestimated. I hope this makes Christian women (and I guess some men) think twice before giving her too much say into their lives.

Oprah has skyrocketed the career of another author on her book club. But this endorsement is a bit heart-wrenching. She’s taking her fans through a year-long “Course in Miracles” by Marianne Williamson. Each day, her book club site features a different lesson on this essentially new religion. Here are some quotes from this book:

  • “There is no sin.”
  • “A slain Christ has no meaning.”
  • “The journey to the cross should be the last ‘ useless journey.”
  • “Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.”
  • “The name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol… It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.”
  • “The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”
  • “The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”
Categories: Jesus

The Great Invisible Jesus

January 12, 2008 Leave a comment

Each time I read these verses I am amazed trying to imagine what it would have looked like when this happened that day:

28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.

How does an angry mob simply lose a person and allow them to “pass through their midst?” Did Jesus go stealth and invisible just slip away? Or, maybe the people were acting so wildly that they didn’t even notice what was going on and who was moving past them?

I don’t know, but I would love to review the video in heaven some day and see the look on people’s faces when they were all standing at the edge of the cliff and they realized, like idiots, that they lost Jesus!

Categories: Jesus, Thoughts

Everyone Will Let You Down Sometime

August 13, 2007 Leave a comment

If management has taught me anything it has taught me that people will let you down sometimes – no matter how well you treat them. (I recently had an employee quit on me and it bums me out because I worked hard for that kid and gave him many opportunities to grow).

I was thinking tonight about how sad the story is about the Michael Vick (the football player accused of organizing a dog-fighting ring). Michael Vick had everything going for him. He was a star in the NFL, the face of entire team, the hero of a city, and the future hope of an organization. Then, one morning, everything falls. And Michael Vick lets everyone down.

The sad truth is that at some point we are all vulnerable to letting others down. None of us is immune. Our broken and depraved nature virtually ensures that at some point we will fall short of being the person others want/ need/ perceive us to be.

This should drive us to Jesus as the only person in whom we can place all our trust. God is always faithful, always trustworthy, always good, always loving, and always there. No person in this world can be who God is. No husband, no wife, no friend, no teammate, no co-worker, no pastor – NO ONE. Only God.

Categories: A/W, Jesus, Thoughts

The Laws of Scarcity and Abundance

March 26, 2007 2 comments

Heard a guy preach yesterday on the difference between the ‘law of scarcity‘ and the ‘law of abundance.’ He contrasted the world’s approach to resources (get as much as I can, horde as much as I can) to what Jesus taught and did.

A couple key takeaways:
“One loaf of bread in the hands of Jesus can feed the whole world.”
“We become the body of Christ when we allow our bodies to be broken and our blood to be poured out for others.” (both physical and metaphorical)

It would be easy for Stephanie and I to be motivated right now by the fear of scarcity. Thankfully we have a mighty God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can dream or ask.

Categories: Jesus, Life, money

Becoming Clean Inside and Out

Casey Ross recently posted an observation on something he noticed happen in one of the Sunday School classrooms at his church. You’ll have to read his post to get the complete story, but Casey ends with this…

Once again, I’m confused. The unchurched kids are engaged and having meaningful experiences. The churched kids act as if they don’t need it. Somewhere along the way, these churched kids have been programmed to not care or to care about the wrong things. Where and when does this happen?

It seems to me that this same behavior happens with adult Christians. To be honest, I find it happening in myself sometimes as well. My guess is that as time goes by and our relationship with Christ continues, our external behavioral sins decrease. Hence, we feel there is less to confess. And this is good. As Christians we should lie less, drink less, speak unkindly less, etc.

But the hard reality is many times Christians are guilty of trading external sins for internal ones. We get really good at managing our visible behavior, but we struggle to recognize and confess our internal sins. Adding to the difficulty of being honest with ourselves, we are afraid of what other ‘Christians’ will think of us. To borrow a concept from Jesus, since the ‘outside of the cup is relatively clean’ we fear the rejection of others at the ‘dirtiness of the inside of the cup.’

I have been in too many small groups where peoples’ only prayer requests are about their decision to buy a new vehicle or the hope of their kids doing better in school. Ultimately it comes back to a need for people to have a visceral view of the cross and the grace of God. I believe our enemy delights in Christians who think they are basically OK after they come to faith. It is in recognizing, owning, and living in our depravity that we come to know the love and grace of a God who sacrifices his Son for our sins, both pre- and post-conversion.

Categories: Jesus, sin

Barnes and Noble Response

January 12, 2007 Leave a comment

Barnes and Noble is just passing me off to the next person….

Dear Mr. Balvin,

We do appreciate your email. We are very sorry for any inconvenience
you have experienced in our stores. However, any store complaints must
be directed to: 800-422-7717.

We hope this information will be helpful to you.


Customer Service Representative

Makes me stop and think about how I am guilty of doing this in some personal relationships. There have been people that have come into my life with issues, and rather than walking through it and really helping them I have put on a friendly face and passed them off to someone else. Not because I was unable to help them, but mostly because I am selfish and unloving.

I don’t think Jesus would have done that.

Categories: Jesus, Life, Ministry