Love Notes

This landed on my computer a few minutes ago.

It says, “Note: Dear Mom, I hope you feel better and get well soon. From, Ben.”

It’s a love note from Ben. Actually, it’s a Love Note from God, through Ben!

Love Notes can come through a friend, a stranger, through words or pictures or sounds…

Has God sent you a Love Note today?

Did you recognize it?

Feeling Poor? The Deficit

Ben (10 yrs. old) watching the news with us tonight:
“Ah, these people are making me feel so poor! They are talking about 800 billion dollars, then hoping to only spend 400 billion next year, then the lady taking 15 million out of the company [Madoff’s wife] and then the guy [Arizona rancher] is getting sued for 32 million!!”

Us (with some laughter): “Why, how much money do you have?”

Ben (laughing slightly confused): “Six dollars!”

Dad: “But you are doing better than the United States government! The government has a two trillion dollar deficit, and you have a six dollar surplus!”

A (Bridged) Chasm – guest author

This post is for leaders! Our guest author is a young leader, a grad student near to my heart, who likes to wrestle with issues.

Turns out my brain was not quiet enough to let me sleep. In fact, what must amount to a discordant symphony of thoughts have been rolling around in my head for the past three hours. And so, in the interest of sanity, I am attempting to drown out the noise through the quiet clatter of my keyboard.

I have been thinking about my faith and my religion, and the enormous chasm that sometimes seems to separate the two. I think it has become a bit of a theme in these “notes” of mine, but I haven’t written about it in awhile, so why not at 4 am on a Tuesday? As good a time as any…

Not quite sure what has triggered this round; perhaps it is the fact that Ted Haggard is surfacing in the news again, amid new allegations and an HBO special. All other issues notwithstanding, an HBO special? Did he honestly think HBO would paint him in a positive light? The stupidity astounds me.

I’ve tried to figure out what kind of Christian I am, which denomination I fit into. The first part of that question is easy for me: Protestant or Catholic? Protestant. And then it gets complicated. I don’t understand theology much; I have spent many mornings with my parents at the breakfast table discussing how things came to be and which groups believe what. The truth is, after awhile, theology confounds me. While I know it’s important, I reach a point of sheer frustration, because, in the end, WHO CARES? In a world where millions of children are dying (more from relatively easy-to-fix, lackluster issues like diarrheal diseases than from the sexier issues like HIV/AIDS), who cares about the difference between a Methodist and a Lutheran? Jesus basically said, “Get off your lazy tush and DO SOMETHING!!!” So, in my view, if you claim to be a Christian and are doing nothing, I really don’t want to waste my time with you, regardless of the technicalities of your beliefs. (Is there a such thing as the DO SOMETHING!!! denomination? If there’s not, there should be…)

Which brings me to the chasm. How dare you seek respect and legitimacy for your cause, to claim to fight for the purification of an institution, when you were the one that initiated the deterioration? How dare you seek forgiveness, and then seek profit? How dare you allow petty disagreements to cloud your vision, flaring tempers to disable you from fulfilling your destiny? It is not that you have shaken the foundations of my faith and broken my heart, along with the ones I care most deeply about. It is that you have lost sight of the purpose. Where is the fruit? Do you not realize that every second you waste, someone suffers; every minute you let escape, another person dies. Not because of an incurable disease; BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE CLEAN WATER TO DRINK!

Which brings me to the bridge. Leaders with vision! Individuals living their lives with purpose, determined to make a difference. DO SOMETHING!!! Christians. I appreciate you more than I can express. And here’s the most important part: the world will feel your impact.