Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why My Mom Was on The News

Mom called me yesterday. With excitement in her voice, she unfolded a real-life drama of a story that happened on her block, just 2 doors down from her house - this actually made national news. She was interviewed by a reporter on the Spanish-language channel.

50 Found in Texas Home... (From Drudge Report)

Mom came home from her shopping and found the block cordoned off, police cars, Border Patrol, and a Homeland Security bus there. It's a fun story to tell, but in her neighborhood - with homes that are in the Monticello Park Historic District of San Antonio - something of this magnitude was happening. And no one suspected anything.

I was writing a friend of mine who grew up with me about it. He remember my house - just 2 blocks from our high school - as a fun place to go after school. Back then all our neighbors knew each other. I remember Tim Skinner lived next door. "The Old Crow," as my Dad used to refer to her, lived on the other side of us. Dr. Richmond, his wife, and his kids, Cliff, Linda, and Louisa lived across the alley behind us. We all knew each other, talked with each other, and played with each other. Today, that's totally different.

The sad part is, it's pretty reflective of the degeneration of our society - neighborhoods are no longer places where neighbors socialize and know each other. They are merely areas of town, where busy people have a place to sleep, watch TV and eat. People are too busy or afraid to get involved - or just don't care enough to get to know their neighbors.

I've made it a point in my neighborhood to know everyone on my block. There are 15 houses on this block, and I went house to house to meet every household. No one has ever knocked on my door just to come meet us or be social - except the Jehovah's Witnesses next door. We get polite waves as people drive by, but for all they know, we could be nice people, terrorists, or manufacturing drugs.

Too bad we've "evolved" to that. How I wish I could just sit and have a beer on my porch with a neighbor once in a while...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Who do you say that I am?

Jesus wept. John 11:35.

I wish there was a scripture in the New Testament that said, "Jesus laughed until his sides hurt." Surely, hanging around 12 goofy men, at least 6 of whom were sailors, He had occasion to laugh. It may not be recorded in writing, but I can't imagine a man, who was familiar with every emotion we have, that didn't spend a great deal laughing. My image of Jesus is not a stoic, bearded, long-haired man in a white robe who walked around holding His fingers in a peace sign. It's of a man who had compassion, passion, and a heart to know and feel what we feel. Surely, the 12 men He hung around did some pretty crazy crap.

Get 12 or 13 guys around a campfire on a beach, or on the side of a hill, in the woods, or in a house, and I promise, there's going to be some cutting up - even with the Son of God present. Thinking about this begs the questions found in Matthew 19:16:13-15: "“Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."” He said to them, "“But who do you say that I am?"

Who is Jesus to you? Peter answered, saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." That image of Jesus was not what was visible to Peter's natural eye. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus told him. What the Spirit reveals to us, He reveals to our heart, not our flesh. The image we need to have of Jesus must be an image seen with our heart.

God created us to laugh, to cry, to be angry, to be glad, to be sad, and to have exhuberant emotions. He is familiar with every facet of our person, even our fun side. Being a Christian doesn't mean we have to take ourselves so seriously all the time. Life can be quite fun, and I think God wants us to enjoy being alive, and living in His fellowship.

The Old Testament talks about God having fun:
"The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

He will quiet
you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."

Does that sound like a stuffy, stoic, sad-faced guy moving slowly flashing a peace sign?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Who do I look like?

Melissa, over at A Variety of Fine Pickles, had this on her blog. So, for grins, I wanted to see who might be a lucky "look-alike" for my mug. My favorite is Bob Marley - too bad I cut my dreads, maybe I could fool some people. These guys are my look alikes... And they left out Sal Mineo, Sadaam Hussein, and Paul Rodriguez. I'm offended.