Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh, Cleveland...

Should I care this much about the Cavs? Probably not. Why am I so emotionally involved in a situation that I have absolutely zero control over? Some SERIOUS emotional boundaries have been crossed in my relationship with the Cleveland Cavaliers. And for what? I had some serious dreams for our future! I was ready to commit to a long-lasting post-season relationship with some rings awaiting us and now I feel those dreams have been whimsically handed off to this Orlando.

I was talking with a friend from Cincinnati tonight who said that he kind of hopes the Cavs lose because Cleveland fans are so obnoxious. I think we are the way we are because we have come SO CLOSE over the past 15 years and each time seen our dreams shattered. He argued that even that is better than not having any hope for a championship in years, but I disagree. I will count this as the fourth time since the Indians were in the World Series in '95 that I have believed I had a perfect match- one that would last, only to be left at the altar (metaphorically speaking).

Right now it feels like someone dipped my heart in a vat of boiling tears, while someone else was hitting me in the grief bone with a frozen sledgehammer. Never has a team to which I have pledged my allegiance gone all the way and it's starting to hurt. It's getting a little unbearable. For some reason, Cleveland is seemingly incapable of winning a championship. I am calling the Cavs goners. I hope they prove me wrong, really, I do- but I'm not counting on it. Instead, I will resign to worrisome thoughts of next year and dismay that Lebron may well leave Cleveland as a free agent having never delivered a championship to a city that groans with each passing season.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

If nothing else, love Jesus.

"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all."
[Colossians 3:9-11]

This should have tremendous implications on how we relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are new creations in Christ, we are made in the image of God, Christ is all and Christ is in all. If Christ is in all who call on His name, how can we not love our brothers and sisters in Him? And yet sometimes we struggle with that. I know I do.

Paul is writing this letter to Christians and is telling them how they should relate to each other. We who have Christ in us are of one body. Since Christ is in all of us, even if we are having a hard time loving each other, we should still be able to love them for the fact that Christ is in them. Our love for Christ should manifest itself in love for others.

I don't know about you, but I need to pray for some help with this.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dean of Students addresses Palmerfest

This is from an e-mail sent out by OU Dean of Students, Ryan Lombardi. Lombardi was present at an information meeting held a couple weeks ago about Palmerfest where student residents of Palmer Street heard from Athens and OU officials about what would and would not be tolerated at Palmerfest. Apparently the meeting did not have the desired effect.

Dear Ohio University Students,

I write today to address the issues that led to the deterioration of Palmerfest this past weekend. I was disappointed to hear about some of the behavior that occurred. Setting fires in the street, throwing projectiles at other attendees and law enforcement, and overturning a vehicle are unacceptable, no matter the circumstance. I realize that it was not all OU students who did this, and that not all OU students who were at Palmerfest were participating in the negative behavior that I've mentioned. Nonetheless, as a member of our community, it is not okay to stand by and let this type of destruction occur. It is all of our responsibility to respect the community in which we live and honor the integrity of our institution.

The university and local community have accepted responsible and appropriate behavior during the spring fests for many years. The behavior that occurred this weekend does not fall into that category. Whether you are a current student, the friend of one, or just an out-of-town visitor, Ohio University does not condone this type of behavior and you will be held accountable for your actions.

I am most bothered to have to write this note to you today because I know that for every one student who engaged in destructive behavior this weekend there are hundreds doing great things at our university. For those of you who share my concern, I challenge you to not accept such actions again. Let's get back on track and finish this year on a positive note.

Ryan Lombardi
Dean of Students

Sunday, May 10, 2009

You acted like jerks. Thanks for proving them right.

I was less than surprised to hear about the happenings of Palmerfest '09 here in Athens, Ohio. What is yearly a day for mass alcohol consumption got way out of hand as thousands of OU students lived up to our less than stellar reputation.

Color me old fashioned, but I'm disgusted by what went on. Setting fires like a bunch of mindless slugs… Assaulting police officers and horses with beer bottles and cans…

Some people will complain about the use of force by Athens and OU Police; I think they would have been justified to use a whole lot more. This was not a case of civil disobedience, or even protest. It was a case of irresponsible, reckless consumption of alcohol gone terribly wrong. There’s a pretty awesome video on YouTube of a mounted officer plowing into a drunken antagonizer.

My heart hurts for how lost so many on this campus clearly are. As deplorable as the events of Palmerfest ’09 were, sin is sin and it shows just how much we all need God’s grace.

The Post's coverage of Palmerfest.

Friday, May 8, 2009

He is praying for me

“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.” —Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Hebrews 7:25: Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Be encouraged, Jesus Christ- GOD HIMSELF is praying for you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Until we don't want to work it out do we part.

Marriage in the United States is in bad shape, according to recent reports by Focus on the Family.

The information, which was released in September 2008, stated that while divorce rates have leveled off and even slightly decreased over the last few years, statistics still show that between 40 and 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. A similar report, released by the US Census bureau, showed that one in two marriages will fail and that the United States has among the highest divorce rates globally.

The median age for men to get married is 27.4 years of age, with women marrying slightly younger on average at 25.6 years of age. Typically, divorce happens within the first 8 years of marriage. There is also a trend in the United States for people to get married later in life. While 33.8 percent of the population is married between the age of 20 and 34, the married population balloons to 63.7 percent in the 35 to 44 year age range. This means that couples who marry younger and divorce around the eight-year average will likely end their marriage before the 35 to 44 year olds even get married.

Ron Edmondson, a pastor at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tenn. says one reason the divorce rate is so high is a general lack of knowledge about marriage, a problem that has always been there. “I share this story all the time, but both my boys have more training to drive than is usual for somebody to be trained to enter into marriage,” he said.

Edmondson said that there are very few solid marriages for couples to learn from any more. This is partly because we have become more mobile and therefore geographically scattered. As people move further away from family, they need to have people with strong marriages to walk along with younger couples, especially in the early, often difficult years, Edmondson said.

He also said that the general cultural acceptance and increasing ease of divorce from a legal standpoint combined with a decreasingly loyal population are contributing factors to such high divorce rates.

Edmondson believes churches should shoulder the responsibility of reducing cases of divorce, and said this needs to begin with good pre-marital counseling. “Churches rarely have anything available. You’re doing good if you get an hour or two of your pastor’s time,” he said. Churches also have to start teaching about healthy marriages, he said. “I don’t think we need to sugar-coat the issues. We need to deal with real problems. Marriage is tough…so we need to address the reality of what’s going on in our society."

Finally, Edmondson said problems in marriage need to be de-stigmatized, encouraging people to work things out. “It’s easier to walk away than to get help,” he said.

Idolatry is stupid.

Psalm 135:15-18 says:

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes but they cannot see; they have ears but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.

We become like what we worship. The people described here create these idols to worship, but idols are worthless. They hold no power other than what we give them. The idols are ineffective and the Psalm states that by worshiping idols, we too will become ineffective. Idols are not beings. We cannot have relationship with an idol. Not only is idol worship against the second commandment, it's just plain ridiculous! Aside from the fact that there is one true God whom we should worship, there is absolutely no point in worshiping a stupid, little, powerless, impersonal idol.

And yet we do.

We have all, at some point, elevated "things" higher than the God of the universe. Of course, they are only higher than God according to us, because He is in fact above and before all things.

See, though, the thing about God is that he won't compete with whatever trivialities we idolize.

Twice in Isaiah 2 (vv. 11, 17), it is prophesied that the arrogance and pride of man will be brought low and humbled. Each time this statement is followed with this:

...the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

Isaiah 2:18 goes on to say:

...the idols will totally disappear.

Idols are stupid, worthless things that will disappear. There is one true and everlasting God. Who is really worthy of our lives?