Showing posts from May, 2010

A New Declaration

Memorial Day weekend causes most of us to pause for at least a few moments to remember and honor those who fought to provide us our freedom, and indeed those who continue to stand vigil for that freedom to endure. But what exactly is it those who fought and died actually secured for us? And how have we preserved what they provided us? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – those familiar words from that awesome and precious document sum up the American experience. And yet, that document, and indeed the seemingly enduring truths spoken therein; that manuscript for which so many gave their lives… has been rewritten! Rewritten? Yes it has - at least in the hearts and minds of many. ...where along the way did the “right to pursue happiness” become the “right to happiness”? Do you remember Don Corleone, the Godfather? He summed up the spirit of America in one short statement. The scene was a meeting with a man who wanted to corner the cocaine market. The Godfather refused

Relative Prosperity

You may be familiar with a teaching prevalent in charismatic churches known as the “prosperity message”. I have referred to it in previous writings as the Name it and Claim It , the Blab It and Grab It , and my all time favorite, the Call It and Haul It message. The prosperity message basically teaches that God’s will is for you to be prosperous and not poverty stricken. Purveyors of this doctrine find ample scriptural basis to support their contention that we have been redeemed from the “curse” of poverty, and God wants the best for his children. The image of “prosperity” looks vastly different from one continent to another… sometimes even from one part of town to another... Sounds cool, huh! And yet this casts an awkward shadow for those who serve God by a vow of poverty. Far be it from me to even speculate, much less opinionate on the discrepancies of these two mindsets. And yet, even a smidgen of pondering brings the realization that the image of “prosperity” looks vastly

Fear and Atmosphere

My brother used to have a funny illustration he offered when somebody jokingly threatened him with bodily harm, as guys often do. He would boldly declare, “There’s nothing between us but fear and atmosphere!” Then he would make a grand and animated sucking gesture, as if to draw in all the air between him and his antagonist. What followed next was the joke’s grand finale’ - “Now there’s just fear!” Sometimes I will double up my fist and threaten him with a big ole' pop-knot just to see him do his grand sucking gesture. When you visit a far away state and people hear you are from Oklahoma, they always say the same thing, “How can you live there with all those tornadoes?” But as spring approaches, the phrase “Fear and Atmosphere” is something with which Oklahomans are all too familiar. Right down the middle of America is a pathway known as Tornado Alley. It starts in Texas and runs up though the entire Midwest, spreading wider as it goes. And with Oklahoma at ground zero,