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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Monday, February 27, 2006

Are we known for the wrong things?

I am increasingly bothered by the fact, maybe even disturbed by it, that we as Southern Baptists specifically, and Christians in general seem to really be good at expressing what we are against. We are known for what we are NOT about. We are AGAINST abortion, homosexuality, gambling, speaking in tongues, alcohol. What message are we sending? Is it the message Christ gave us or our own?

We have the single most powerful, life-changing, life-giving, life-affirming message in the world and most people out there can not articulate it. Even if they are not Christians it seems like we have the power to get our message out to people. They know all these things we are against yet we can't get out the message of what we are for. One simple, solitary, singular message of salvation, hope, forgiveness, mercy, love, and grace and we can't share that.

It's the media's fault. They report what they want, right? Not if we don't spew all over the place about the wrong things. If I was a gay gambler with a drinking problem seeking to have an abortion I would never ever think to turn to the church. I would think hey those people are the ones that hate me and don't want me there. They are against me.

Why don't we get it? We play right into the enemies hands. And if when I said enemy, you thought of people or 'the media' then ask God's forgiveness. Our enemy is Satan and he has deceived us into thinking that moralistic rules and telling people what not to do is the answer. Many in our ranks even believe political influence and power is what we need. Have we not learned from history. Everytime we attempt to couple the Kingdom of God with a political party of anykind we 'screw the pooch.' Remember Constantine, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and on and on?

Yes, the full gospel includes mans sin and need for repentence, forgiveness, and a savior. That is the offense of the gospel. Let us, His people, present the message and let it be the offense, and let us stop making up new ways to offend, let us stop creating stumbling blocks. We most often present ourselves as standing with arms folded, or fingers wagging, or hands raised grasping a picket sign. How about for once we stand with our arms wide open lovingly embracing those God has sent us to? I never read the part where Jesus said "Go into the world and stand across the street from them with megaphones and t-shirts and placards"

I am not soft on sin, especially the sins of the religious. And I count myself as among those I am talking too. I am often blinded by self-righteousness, I am all too often caught up in the rants of the 'chosen,' and more times than I want to admit I find myself at the place where I have to turn to Jesus and ask Him to forgive me for my pride and my jugdmental attitude. I just hope that today I can live out love to those that need it rather than listing off the kinds of people I won't accept. I believe there are countless things I could concern myself with, a few things to even worry about, but only one thing that matters enough to share with the world. And when we share that one thing with the world, that can not be taken away.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play


I would like to blog some thoughts tonight. This has been bothering me for a few days to weeks now. Who cares? I do and I don't. I was going to say something but now I wont, maybe.

I do not want to jepordize my life long dream of becoming a trusted Trustee of the SBC. I must not speak out against them or attempt to engage in frivolous dialogue. Don't bring Scripture into it. Build a hedge around the law with new laws just to be safe. Jesus never opposed anyone for doing that. I want to be a trustee so I agree with everything wholeheartedly and never have a different opinion in my brain. Sick.

I hope I didn't make any mistakes, errors, typo's, or misspellings in this blog. That could be construed as speaking in tongues somewhere in my past. Did I mention I am so glad that I already KNEW EVERYTHING AND AGREED WITH EVERYTHING they taught me at seminary? Otherwise I might have had to have been rebaptized.

Isn't that exactly what Jesus commanded? "Go into the world and make disciples baptizing them in the three-fold name: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Teaching them all I have commanded. And as you teach them, everytime they come to a new realization about me; everytime their theology is transformed by a new insight into scripture; everytime they learn something new; everytime they are convinced of something they formerly doubted; everytime; everytime; everytime, REbaptize them!"

Jesus just threw up a little in his mouth!

I wonder how He would feel when they rejected Him as a suitable candidate for Trustee? Or how shocking it would be to realize that the IMB sets extra-biblical standards that would even disallow Jesus to be sent as an international missionary. After all Jesus intercedes on our behalf with groans and utterings beyond what we ourselves can communicate. None of the Apostles present at Pentecost would be allowed to go as IMB missionaries either. The IMB has succesfully come up with a hedge of protection are the Law that works so well Jesus and the best missionaries and church planters He personally mentored would not have qualified to be sent. I am so proud. This is such a great moment in history. I am thinking Jesus didn't need them then maybe they are pointing out they are obsolete now too.

Monday, February 13, 2006

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Never scratch a tiger with a short stick!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Call Karma, Call Karma Earl. Maybe Karma will Save Us!

Randy: I’m sorry Earl. It’s my fault. I was bad and so something bad happened to me. Karma, it’s like you’re always telling me.

Earl: it just doesn’t make sense though. Why is karma punishing me. You were the one doing bad things with Ralph. I’ve been good.

Randy: yeah you have been good. Hey, maybe if you call karma it might come and save us. Call it.

Earl: Randy. It doesn’t work like that. It’s Karma, not Lassie.

Randy: come on, you just try it.

Earl: Randy I’m not gonna call...

Randy: come on Earl. We’re about to lose everything and its all my fault, can’t you just try it.

Earl: fine. Kar-ma. (listens for a reply) see it doesn’t work.

Randy: (whispers) try it louder

Earl: Karma!

This is a tad bit of the dialogue for the NBC sitcom My Name is Earl (Episode #5: Teacher Earl) and when I watched it for the first time it struck me as hilarious. I was eventually crying I was laughing so hard. And thanks to our DVR (Digital Video Recorder) on our Dish I watched it repeatedly that first night.

At the same time that it struck me as so funny it also just struck me but the humor was so great at the time I just tucked the other thought away in my head for later. Well now is later. The thought of someone calling karma to come to the rescue much like Lassie did in her prime is hysterical. We can all see the humor in this right?

Yet in a very real sense this speaks to a much deeper, and probably less humorous issue. Think about a couple of things. Millions of people, more likely billions, of people expect karma or something like it to get them through life. If you do more good than bad you are gonna be ok. If you try to do good things then good things will come to you. Sounds good right. We see people that are generally 'good' poeple and their lives seem decent. And we see people on the news everynight that commit crimes and yet there they are on the news getting what they deserve. So this idea must be valid in some form right?

Well wait a minute. What about all the 'good' people that aren't getting good in return? What about the people on the other end of those 6 o'clock news stories, the victims? Are not many of them 'good, decent' people on the tragic side of the story? And when we look at them and hear there stories don't we want justice? Doesn't something inside of us cry out for justice?

It is so laughable to think of someone standing in a room calling for Karma to come and save them. Karma, Earl points out to Randy (bless his heart) that Karma isn't like Lassie. And how right he is. Karma is an inanimate object, an impersonal force. Lassie is more alive and real than Karma. Yet people really believe in Karma and similar philosophical and religious ideas.

Yet there is only one belief system that answers this cry in our heart for someone to come and save us. The same person that comes to answer the cry of our hearts that longs for justice in this world, the cry to see wrongs righted, injustices corrected. There is only one personal savior that meets these demands of our heart. Jesus, there I said it. Only Jesus is personal. Only Jesus is real and came in flesh and blood and walked into the room and cut off the ductape that bound us (sin and death). Jesus entered into the room to right the wrongs in our heart. He came to be our personal saviour and answer the call. Christ came and he elevated the poor and weary, and marginalized among us to a place of honor. He lowered the self-righteous off their pedestals and stood against injustice. He spoke for the poor, the mistreated, the neglected and rejected.

The problem we have with that though is that it didn't end up the way we wanted. We would have no problem in this world embracing Jesus if the story stopped there. But, indeed, it did not. Come and save us (and make it easy too why dontcha), Karma, Jesus, Buddha, Lassie.
Unfortunately, it was costly to Him and it will be for us too. Jesus did immeasurably more good than anyone in human history and His reward: false accusations, false imprisonment, mock trials and mockery, beatings, beatings, and turture, and then Crucifixion, excruciating humilation and agonizing pain leading to death.

Salvation for us, but with a price. The price was His life for our life. His will for our will. His righteousness for our unrighteousness. He suffered so we must experience His suffering too if we want to be indentified with Him. Jesus did come into the room to save us and we rejected Him because we still think we can do it on our own strength. We still believe we can be good enough and good things will happen.

But this way never works and it never satisfies those deeper questions of why 'good, decent' people on the news are the victims of the 'bad' and why in the end we still cry out for justice, and not Karma. We still cry out for a savior, wondering how bad can happen even when we have been so good.

ultimately we can never outweigh the bad with the good and yet we don't have to. in grace we have been given the opportunity to call out for someone to save us and He will. Not after we have done more good than bad either. Simply call out and salvation is free. It is not cheap nor is it easy but it is there.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Grammatically Correct, Still Politically Incorrect

My wife is a darn fine English teacher and has a beautiful singing voice. Since you can not hear her on this blog the later gift will have to wait for a later date to be showcased. Maybe once I take the time to set up an audioblog account we will remedy that situation as well. Which leads me to ask the question, "Has anyone ever been signed to a record deal after being heard on a blog?"

Instead I put her highly underrated grammatical skills to the test. I had her proofread all my earlier posts (as I should have done long ago) and touch up my grammer mistakes and too-late-at-night-to-be-up typos. So if there are any previous posts that you were unable to get through because of your disgust with my erreverance for the English language now you can go back in time to finish a good read now made better (i.e. flawless) Which leads me to the question, "Has anyone ever been hired as an editor because of their work as a blog editor?"

Barbara Walters, "So would you like to tell us for the record how you came to be the editor-in-chief of the U.S. News and World Report from such humble beginnings?"

"Well, I had been editing my husbands blog over the course of a couple of monthes, and we got a call from...."

And the interview goes from there until Barbara gets to the point in every interview special where she breaks the person down, seeking her end result which is to always reduce the interviewee to a whimpering, shivering, sniffling, moist cheeked mess.

Way to go Mrs. Walters, bravo, you have done it yet again.

(Publishers note: This particular post has not been edited at time of said posting. The publisher hopes he is not sleeping on the couch later because of said publishers haste in posting. Would that be what is known as "post haste"?)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Matirx is Real: Baby McMinn Enters the Matrix

Oh yeah, here is a pic that I said looked like the baby was entering the Matrix. Really it is when the doc set the lazers to stun, er I mean, she said "Beam me up Scotty?" Uh, hold on.

"Bec, What is this one pic again?" I yell into the house.

Oh yeah, sorry about that, this is when she was checking the heart rate. If you look over to the right you will see the heart beat was at 158. Good and strong.

I still like to pretend its the Matrix though. I doubt Bec will go for names like Neo or Morpheus, maybe she will go for Tank or Dozer though!

On Being a Dad: 02.07.06

This is Baby McMinn's first picture. First seeing is believing evidence that Baby Mc has arrived in this world. Becky would say throwing up was proof, and getting bigger, and being sleepy all the time, and 3 pregnancy tests were all proof. And they were. But what a relief to see that first picture of baby moving around in there, stretching, turning, twisting. It is so beautiful. We cried. We can't wait to see this little person and hold 'em in our arms. Wow. I want to cry and high five everyone all that same time. WooHoo!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

On Being a Dad: 02.02.06

Okay, I am not patting myself on the back here. I genuinely mean what I say here. I really do feel it is an honor and a blessing to get to take care of my wife while she is pregnant. I am so happy that we are having a baby and I know it is only going to lead to more and more sleepless nights and lack of rest. I have been doing more of the cooking and cleaning already. And she is barely into the 2nd trimester.

I put her to bed, kiss her goodnight, pray with her, and then go to get some work done at the kitchen table. I have to lead some youth worker training sessions in Tyler and El Paso at the end of the month. (Any suggestions you can add to my topics would be nice, just post your comments here on: Effective Small Group Strategies and/or Leading Students to Make an On-Campus Impact.) It's now 11:15, I tucked her in around 9:55. I finally realized I wasn't gonna get much done before I myself was too tired to work on my outlines. So I am writing this instead. Mostly because I find it amusing and also even though it is a hassle I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I am no saint, mind you. I still sigh occassionaly when she calls me 10 times in 10 minutes. She calls me in from the garage where I am helping out by doing some late night laundry to email a friend about inviting someone to the upcoming Superbowl Party. So as I am finishing up the email she calls me to ask if we have stamps. She is in bed, what does she need with stamps?

"Have you fed the dogs?"

"No, I thought you did when you got home. I will do it now."

Then she calls for "Gatorade, only about this much (indicating about 2 inches with her thumb and index finger) in a glass-glass, not a plastic-glass," she says. When I return with the glass-glass of Strawberry Gatorade, she asks "and did i see some rice cakes on the kitchen table?"

When I return with the rice cakes (yeacth!) I wait for her to finish and wash them down with the gatorade. I ask if there is anything else. "No" she replys. And I head for the door. I hear her mumble and turn to see what she wants. "Turn off the hall light." Which is what I had planned to do, once I was actually in the hall.

Sometimes I think she is milking the pregnancy thing and I am just a sucker. But whatever, I am happy. I would not trade this for the world it is such an honor and a priviledge to wait on and serve the woman of my dreams, the one who is carrying our child. I am tired and going to bed. Why don't you send me those ideas and help me catch up on some rest?