Archive for August, 2009

Link Magnets?

Friday, August 14th, 2009

google_hanschristianorstedHundreds of millions of people now know that today (August 14) is Hans Christian Ørsted’s birthday. Today many of them even know, that without his 1820 discovery that electric currents induce magnetism, long-distance communication in 2009 might be conducted via megaphone and carrier pigeon.

Yesterday, most of those hundreds of millions had never heard of Hans Christian Ørsted. So what happened? Google Doodle.

Google Doodle is a date-, season-, or event-specific variation of the logo on the Google home page. Doodles are original, interesting, attractive, irresistible link-magnets. No Flash, no blinking animations, no scrolling banner ads, no annoying sound effects, but compelling. You gotta click, or at least mouseover, the Doodle to see what it’s all about.

OK. Crazy statement alert. If we believe in and follow Jesus, we are called to be living Google Doodles:  irresistible magnets that by nature and demeanor (not annoying sound effects) attract and connect people to Him.

Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it. (I Cor 3:3, The Message)

Google Doodles for Jesus? OMG. Still…think about it.

Minding Your Ps and Rs

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

iStock_000004276777abcsWhen did you learn your ABCs? Easy,  right? Just like love…  Michael Jackson thought he knew that at 12. Had he forgotten by the time he turned 50?

The thing about love is, it’s tricky. Most of us, when we talk about love, have no idea what we mean, or even what we want to mean. Just last Sunday, our five-year-old granddaughter threw herself onto a pink and white and multi-pastel pile of new school clothes, wrapped her arms around the whole lot, and screamed, “I love all these!”  Easy as ABC.

But grown-ups have to go a little deeper into the alphabet. This year, I”ve learned that, for me, getting to real love–love as a way of life–means a backwards trip through my Ps and Rs. It’s been an interesting education.

The Three Rs

I’ve lived a lot of my life by following rules. Or, sometimes –disastrously–by breaking them. Rules. Regulations. Religion. Add recrimination. remorse. And retribution. These rolling Rs are good for managing behavior, for maintaining civil society. But not so good at tending to wounds or managing pain. And absolutely useless for restoring wholeness and learning to love.

Then why bother with  the Rs? Because God did. See, there’s this progression. The Rs  are not the point; they’re just the pointers. That whole bundle of Rs–called “the Law” in the Bible–was “our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Gal 3:24), The Rs bring us face-to-face with the Ps and the love of God.

A Whole Pod of Ps

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I heard Pastor Fred Luter (of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans) wrap words from God around the lessons God has been teaching me in the laboratory of my life. The words and the lessons–the Ps in my backwards trek through the alphabet–center around Jesus. (Who else?)

  • His promise.
    I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (Jer31:3)
    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28)
  • His presence.
    I am with you always (Matt 28:20)
    Abide in Me, and I in you (John 15:4)
  • His power.
    [Jesus] said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.(Mark 4:39)

The promises, presence, and power of Jesus: more than a clever use of alliteration to punch up a sermon, these Ps are central to life. Here’s the process:

  1. Take in His promises (they’re in the Bible).
  2. Spend time in His presence (that’s what prayer is about; asking for stuff , again, not the point.)
  3. His power builds bone, muscle, and capability in you to live a life of love that blesses you and everyone around you.

That’s how easy love can be.