10 Things You Should Do This Summer

Summer break is always an exciting time of year. For me it is a chance to slow down a little bit and enjoy life at a different speed. It’s also a chance to recharge my batteries and prepare for the next leg of campus ministry.

1. Read a good fiction book.

2. Volunteer to serve someone or somewhere.

3. Play in the water.

4. Go on an adventure.

5. Grow a vegetable.

6. Reevaluate your New Year’s Resolution.

7. Watch a sunset (and possibly a sunrise) from a beautiful place.

8. Cook meat on an open fire.

9. Invest extra time in your relationships, especially your family.

10. Go see Man of Steel! (Premieres June 14)

11 Lessons College Teaches Beyond the Classroom

20130416-225858.jpg

I have worked in college ministry for a decade. My wife teaches at the local university. We were talking about things we see people learn in college outside the classroom. There are many many more things that could have made the list, but here are 11 that came to us pretty quickly.

1. No one but you is going to wake your lazy butt up every day.

2. Time is valuable. You can spend it well or waste it worthlessly.

3. Laundry doesn’t do itself.

4. You’re responsible for your own actions.

5. Some people like you. Some people don’t. Sometimes you’ll change that. Sometimes you won’t.

6. Math is important. Intro to Film is not.

7. Money doesn’t grow on trees, puppies, or hubcaps.

8. The Internet lies, especially Social Media.

9. Choices have consequences and the future is real.

10. Friends that tell the truth, even hard truth, are better than friends that don’t.

11. There are more important things than homework, but not very many.

11 Reasons Why Christians Are Wasting Their Time With Culture War

20130326-233920.jpg

This topic has been on mind for a while now. You can read my previous thoughts on it here. I’ve been preparing this entry for a few days now, but with today’s events and the explosion of vitriol accompanying them I felt like it was a timely reminder.

1. We were told to love people. Even when we are technically right we can sin in the way that we deliver that truth.

2. War breeds enemies, not neighbors. We’re supposed to love our neighbors. In fact, we’re supposed to love our neighbors as much we love ourselves.

3. We are disciples, not lobbyists.

4. We were told to make disciples, not legislation.

5. It doesn’t address the problem of sin. Sin is the universal injustice.

6. It is waged from a position of insecurity. It is fought with the language of arrogance. It is fueled by prideful posturing.

7. It is an IDOL.

8. It is based on the false assumption that all people have to follow our beliefs. Again, we may be technically right in our beliefs, but being right doesn’t give us the freedom to be belligerent about it.

9. It is a convenient distraction produced by the enemy of our soul. It makes it easy for us to ignore things like investing in real relationships and actually serving people.

10. It is not our purpose. It takes time away from people hearing and seeing the authentic Gospel at work.

11. In culture war there are no winners, only losers.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 ESV)

———-
–EDIT–
———-

This little blog has seen way more traffic than we ever thought it would when we were discussing these ideas a few nights ago. We’ve since tried to articulate a more robust explanation of why we believe this way about this issue. You can find that response here.

Search Engine Queries

Search engines are great. You can type pretty much anything you can think of into one and it will probably connect you with something that lines up pretty well with your query. My blog host allows me to track all of the web searches that result in a hit on the site. This is a list of some of the humorous 2012 web searches that lead to nathanology. They are only funny because they are completely removed from the context of the article they arrived at. I hope you enjoy. These are completely unedited.

1. the face book post about hanging jesus for being a hippie liberal

2. slacktivism christianity

3. God hiking

4. where do liberals hang out on facebook

5. oh you have swag i bet that looks great on a resume

6. merica

7. what does “situation number 2” mean in storytelling?

8. huckleberry finn moral maturity

9. things that can be learned from spiderman

10. exploded brain

11. what in the heck is a doily

12. blistering sword

13. windows8 eats your soul

14. comic character in speedo

15. know me for my idiosyncrasies

16. football is idolatry

17. picture of the people walking with problems

18. who is francis chan going to vote for

19. they are just humanity’s way of trying to rationalize our own selfishness

20. people who pick up trash

10 Things We Say & What We Really Mean

Life usually doesn’t fit into nice neat little lists, but that doesn’t keep me from trying. Welcome to my Tuesday 10, where I try to fit the messiness of life into a list of ten.

We have a lot of little things we say that don’t really mean what a careful interpretation of the words would lead someone to believe. Whether they are catch phrases, idioms, web/text speak, shorthand, or whatever. Here are ten things we say and what they actually mean.

1. “Maybe.” — “I don’t really want to commit myself to anything.”

2. “This goes without saying, but…” — “I really think this is important enough that you should know what I’m about to say before I even say it, but I am going to say it anyways. Probably because I like the sound of my own voice.”

3. “Lol” — “I have nothing else to say, but I want the conversation to continue.”

4. “Yeah … yes …. uh-huh” — “I’m not paying attention to you.”

5. “I just want to be me.” — “I just want to be who I think everyone wants me to be.” or “I want to be as strange as humanly possible and get a lot of attention.”

6. “I’m starving.” — “It’s been at least an hour since I ate an extra large double cheeseburger.”

7. “I love (nonhuman variable)!” — “I have an unhealthy affinity for (nonhuman variable)!”

8. “It’s good to see you this morning.” — “Oh, hey we are passing each other in the hall at church again this week.”

9. “That is so EPIC!” — “I don’t know what an epic is!”

10. “Outreach” — “We want people to come to an event at our church on a night not typically associated with going to church.”

10 Soap Box Thoughts

Some of these thoughts I gleaned from other places. Some are original. All are important ideas to me, which is really the only commonality that they share.

1. If we give our favorite political ideologues more time than we give Jesus, we are following the wrong master.

2. The Youth Pastor isn’t called to disciple your kids. You are.

3. The American Church desperately needs to redeem the concept of religion and religious activity within the context of Christianity.

4. You don’t have to be right. You don’t have to prove your point. You don’t have to win the argument.

5. A political change can not fix a moral dilemma.

6. I am called and commanded to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), but that starts at home. Church leaders who can’t lead their own family have no business trying to lead God’s people.

7. Humility, Humility, Humility. You’re not nearly as smart as you like to think you are, and by you I mean me.

8. Political correctness is stupid.

9. Everyone with a valid high school diploma or recognized equivalent should be able to attend any public university full time for one free semester at the beginning of their college career.

10. Your present is God’s gift of now. Use it well.

If I Were the New Grand Poobah

Life usually doesn’t fit into nice neat little lists, but that doesn’t keep me from trying.

20121111-202711.jpg

Like you I am sick of politics. So, I promise that this is my absolute last blog about politics for a long time. At least until my next one. This is a list of ten policies I would implement if I were the Grand Poobah.

1. Pedantry and Reality TV would be crimes punishable by death.

2. All professional sports would be permabanned, with a one time concession that NASCAR, golf, and bowling are actually sports.

3. FedEx, UPS, and other similar shipping companies would be forced to hire drivers from the pool of suddenly unemployed NASCAR drivers, who would only be allowed to make right turns.

4. I would reestablish space exploration by sealing Lady Gaga in a time capsule and launching her into space, towards the Sun.

5. My national bird would be Woodstock from the Peanuts.

6. Chemical warfare would mean dropping dirty diapers via drone.

7. Tony Stark, I mean Robert Downey Jr., would be Secretary of Defense…and Chris Evans would have to legally change his name to Steve Rogers.

8. George Lucas must go door-to-door to every American home apologizing for Jar Jar Binks.

9. There would be no such thing as money, or dubstep.

10. I would start this thing called The Hunger Games, where once a year 24 political commentators fought to the death with whiffle bats and sock puppets.

11. No Christmas music before Thanksgiving, no exceptions.