Sunday, April 25, 2010


First of all, I have way too many "hobbies". I like to golf. I adore biking. I wish I were better at it, but I do dabble in photography. Backpacking is something I look forward to when I get the opportunities.

The problem with my hobbies is that they are all expensive. Golf can add up: the new wedges I covet are about $120.00 retail and an afternoon on the links averages about @40.00 a round. I have a great camera body (Canon 40D), but I wish I had that fisheye lens, 100mm macro or sexy "L" lens ($200-1200). Backpacking equipment can add up. I've acquired mine over years, but it scares me to think about how much I've spent on tents, stoves, bags and such over the years.

Which brings me to biking. I had a choice this year: a new bike or redo the bathroom. Bath could sure use an update. However, I want to do a long distance ride and the tour last summer on my road bike was doable, but a little harsh. A sensible person would have done the responsible thing and invested in upgrading their home. Especially a person who already owns two bicycles. Unfortunately, I'm not sensible.

Here's my new Surly Long Haul Trucker. It arrived last week. It's going to take my bum from Oregon to North Carolina (and become my in town commuter). It's a gorgeous bike, with touring geometry (longer chainstays, more comfortable position), bar end shifters, replacement spokes and great reviews. I added the rear rack, fenders and a new Crank Brothers Candy pedals are on the way. It doesn't add to the resale value of my home, but hopefully it will add some zen to my life (and adventure to my summer).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Reflections on Easter

Tomorrow is Easter. Bunnies, Peeps, caramel eggs. Oh yeah, Jesus rose from the dead.

I have been thinking: What if Jesus were alive today? I've come to the conclusion that if Jesus were among us, we (the Church) would probably hate him. Perhaps we would crucify him. I mean, how could we follow someone who loves people who are so messed up?

Insert your sin here in the blank: Why would Jesus love a __________________.

Did you insert Atheist? Gay? Muslim? Murderer? Adulterer? Drunk, fornicator, swearer?

One of the many reasons people cannot relate with the church is that church presents itself (and it's followers) as somehow better, more righteous and deserving. People in the church don't drink, smoke, swear or think bad thoughts. That's why they are saved. And that's why the rest of you are going to Hell.

Watch this video with Jars of Clay lead singer Dan Haseltine. He makes a great point. A lot of people cannot relate to the church. The church isn't real. In turn the church doesn't relate to a lot of people.

Luke 7:41-42 says: Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denari, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back,
so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?

Simon Peter answers the one who had the bigger debt forgiven. He was right.

Christ has canceled the debt of all of us. Only when we realize how great the our own debts were can we recognize the Grace that was given to us. My friend Brian says to this effect: if you believe you are 90 percent good, you only need a 10 percent Jesus.
I believe that more people would follow Jesus if we would sell them a 100 percent Jesus. Instead, the church sells a 10 percent Savior-- with the other 90 percent taken care of by our good works, righteousness, steadfast prayer and all those other wonderful holy things we do. If you would stop being you and start being us, then you could get this deal too.

In college, I attended a David Wilcox concert. I love the guy, he plays great melodies, writes amazing lyrics and ends up with relevant music. Many of his songs are spiritual with heavy Christian undertones (see Fearless Love, Hold it up to the Light). After the show, my friend asked him if he was a Christian. He responded that he does not like to answer that question. The reason was because the question too often was less about whether he loves the same Savior as they do and more about whether he hates the same people they hate.

Happy Easter. I guess my prayer is that we don't allow religion to crucify Christ. It's already happened before.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
-- Roman 5:8