I'M TRAVELING TODAY -- off to Indianapolis for a meeting with the Lilly Endowment. They gave us (the Covenant Ministerium) $1.67 million as a part of their Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program to help keep our ministers renewed in the areas of preaching, leading, caring, and teaching. This short meeting (I'm back to Turlock on Wednesday night) is a mid program evaluation. Here is a bit of info on how we're using the money.
WOW -- PETER JENNINGS is gone -- lung cancer. I grew up watching him on the news each evening, enjoying his manner, and the fact that he liked to take the show on the road. Plus, I had fun trying to count the Canadianisms he would occasionally let slip into his delivery (The middle American broadcast dialect can be so bland otherwise). Link
FLORIDA CITRUS GROWERS are still reeling from last year's hurricane season. Distressed orchards are now having more trouble with canker.
It is a paradox of life that something so basic as farming should be so high risk. I'm sure that Jesus had farmers in mind when he taught his first followers how he wanted them to pray. "Grant us our daily bread... Sustain us through the time of trial..." (Luke 10:1-4)
OH, BROTHER -- From an Arizona Republic article, "That Nazareth fellow would be a Dem today": Retired Lutheran minister Daniel Bruch of Live Liberal gets right to the point: "I don't know if Jesus was the first liberal, but he was an important one."
I really can't imagine that Jesus would have been a Democrat. And he certainly wouldn't have been a Republican or a Libertarian or a... Jesus' message was politically loaded -- but it was so radical that he managed to upset the politicos of all flavors.
I really don't think there is much chance that anyone is going to jump parties because they think Jesus has joined the opposition. There will be plenty of whining about the issue, though. Democrats are going to whine because they think the Republicans are playing the God card too often. And the Republicans are going to whine because some of the Democrats are coming up with God cards of their own. Everyone is missing the point.
I'm not saying that it is a sin to be a part of a political party or to have a political persuasion. The problem is when we are smug enough to think that we've got Jesus on OUR side.
THE NHL IS ON A ROLL -- "Wayne Gretzky, the NHL's all-time greatest player, has decided to become head coach of the Coyotes." Link