Wednesday, April 23, 2003


Oddly Enough - Reuters
It's a Dog's Life -- Amazing Story of Survival
Wed Apr 23,10:13 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In an amazing story of canine survival California-style, a dog named Dosha has shown she has nearly as many lives as the average cat.

Dosha was hit by a car near her owner's Clearwater, California, home on April 15. Next, a police officer shot her in the head to put her out of her misery. Then, presumed dead, she was put in a freezer at an animal control center.

You have got to read the rest! Too funny…

[Thanks to Mark Morris for the link to the story.]

Tuesday, April 22, 2003


Phrases like “authentically spiritual” are bandied about with great abandon these days. In fact, “authentic” is a key word for the whole postmodern thing. I don’t know what others mean by it, but, believe it or not, The American Heritage Dictionary gives great insight here. Here’s the def:

1. Conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance, or belief: an authentic account by an eyewitness. 2. Having a claimed and verifiable origin or authorship; not counterfeit or copied: an authentic medieval sword. 3. Law Executed with due process: an authentic deed. 4. Music a. Of, relating to, or being a medieval mode having a range from its final tone to the octave above it. b. Of, relating to, or being a cadence with the dominant chord immediately preceding the tonic chord. 5. Obsolete Authoritative.

Some key ideas are: conforming to fact; a claimed and verifiable origin or authorship; and not a counterfeit. First is “conforming to fact.” Authentic spirituality is living a life that conforms to the fact that I am God’s child—he has purchased me with the blood of his Son and he has predestined me to be like his Son. Conforming to fact also means that I do not hide my struggles. I may not spread the details out on the lawn—or the blog—but I don’t live a life that gives others the impression that I’ve got it all together.

Second is “a claimed and verifiable origin or authorship.” Despite my struggles and my brokenness, when people look at me do they know whose I am? Is it obvious that I am God’s? Now, I don’t mean just in words—like those wacky Christians who say, “God bless” or “Praise God” as punctuation for their speech. I mean people who may never hear me speak—when they see how I treat the waitress or the bus driver or the person who shoved past me to get on the train—when they see that, do they see the fingerprints of God?

Third is “not a counterfeit.” This goes back to being real. Do I hide my struggles? Do I swallow my concerns about ministry direction because I don’t want to rock the boat? Do I treat a person with respect when I am with them, but slander them behind their back?

The truth is that humans are necessarily spiritual. Being spiritual is what we do. On the other hand, being authentic flies in the face of our sin-stained, prideful, self-seeking soul. As believers, the stain of sin has been removed. We have humbly fallen at the feet of God and poured out our pride, admitting that we are unable to save ourselves. Why is it then that we continue to live as if we were dead in our sins? Authentic spirituality is being who we really are—the children of God, bought with the precious blood of Jesus, filled with God the Holy Spirit. We are the people of God—this is who we are!

I think the first step for me is to de-mask—to quit pretending I’m either more holy or less holy than I am (and yeah, it’s both). God is doing stuff—great stuff—but the tendency to sin is strong (amazing how much strength a dead thing can have, eh?). Frankly, I enjoy being right. I like winning—and I hate losing. I like meeting my own needs first. But then, I also feel the “ouch” of the Holy Spirit a lot more than I used to. I’m learning to let the Word percolate in my soul. I put my speech through the filter of wisdom more often. I pray more often. I listen more often. So, you see, it’s both. I am both less holy and more holy than I often pretend to be. Why hide? Fear. Habit. Self-protection. Who knows? I do know this: it’s time we all got real--especially inside our faith communities, where the iron sharpening iron thing is supposed to happen.

'Nuff for now...

Monday, April 21, 2003

Nine Questions that Lead to Answers
From Judson Poling [see the article at Christianity Today]

1. That's an interesting question. What do you think?
2. What situation in your life makes you wonder about that?"
3. Even though you don't know, if you had to guess, how would you answer?
4. Is there any answer to that you won't accept? Why?
5. What has led you to conclude that?
6. What information do you think would cause you to change your mind?
7. What's the strongest argument for those who disagree with you?
8. If everyone held that view, what would society look like?
9. If you found out you were wrong, what would be at risk? How would your life change?

These are great questions to use in discussion. They're way openers rather than way closers. Thanks to Wade Hodges for the list of questions.

By the way, I’m officially a Wiggly Worm in the The TTLB Blogosphere Ecosystem (I’m way down at number 1,644, but hey)