Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Which of these things is not like the other?

I was reading an article today about the Air Force Academy's football coach, and some racial remarks he made this weekend. As I have listened to some news it is clear people considered these racially insensitive remarks evil and the coach was forced to apologize today. Toward the end of an article on ESPN I read another controversy involving the coach is brought up. Last year he got in trouble for his team led prayers, and a poster he hung up in the locker room saying, among other things, "I am a member of team Jesus Christ." He ended up taking down the poster and ceasing his prayers.

The article's author then went on to make a disturbing connection. He wrote, "Claims that chaplains and some academy leaders impose their conservative Christian beliefs on others prompted an investigation by the Air Force, which concluded there was no overt religious discrimination at the school near Colorado Springs but found some cases of insenstivity."

Fair enough. The coach was a part of a controversy last year involving some complaints about Christianity. He's involved in controversy this week about race. Last year he was involved in controversy about religion. I can see the relationship. Both involve the coach. But the article doesn't stop there.

The author then goes on to make an odd connection, "The complaints that some cadets and faculty are evangelizing others follow a sexual assault scandal that shook the academy two years ago when female cadets said commanders punished them when they report assaults. The Air Force replaced the academy's top commanders and put new policies in place." (End of Article)

Hmmmm....... Am I the only one that thinks this is an odd parallel to make? Evangelism and sexual assault? The fact that those two controversies are even mentioned in the same sentence is disturbing. Racism, sexual assault, and Christian evangelism are seen as what's wrong with the Air Force Academy. What a strange world.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

When cell phones take over prayer rooms....

During a prayer request time in the beginning of a class this morning two requests were given for parents dealing with difficult pregnancies. Please pray them. One family in California just had a baby who had a rough delivery, and ended up going brain dead. They are mourning in a hospital somewhere where another baby is in need of a heart. They are trying to make the difficult decision to give their precious child's heart to another. Here in Louisville a pregnant mother at 36 weeks is having complications and will receive an emergency c-section today. Please pray for both of these families and babies.

As I heard these requests I was overwhelmed with emotion and a need to pray. Since a seminary classroom is not always the best place to give vent to emotion (tears, etc), or prolonged and focused prayer, I left. I headed for the prayer room around the corner. As I neared it, I saw a girl in front of me talking on her cell phone. As I was about to reach my safe haven of prayer she felt compelled to continue her conversation in the prayer room. She entered, shut the door, and I heard it lock. After another 3 minutes of wandering I found a quiet place and after getting over my frustration I prayed.

I wonder, how often does technology interrupt our prayer? What if my computer wasn't constantly hooked up to the entire world? What if I couldn't call someone every time I felt lonely? What if my car stereo didn't work, and I was forced to make long (or short) drives in silence? What if tv didn't exist? Would I listen more? Would I think about God more? Would I notice beauty more?

Would there be more place to express our heart to God? Would the silence help? Would I pray more?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Am I Focused?

A quote from Floyd McClung, former director of Youth With a Mission, "If you live without a vision of the glory of God filling the whole earth, you are in danger of serving your own dreams of greatness, as you wait to do 'the next thing' God tells you. There are too many over-fed, under-motivated Christians hiding behind the excuse that God has not spoken to them. They are waiting to hear voices or see dreams - all the while living to make money, to provide for their future, to dress well and have fun."

I found this paragraph to be convicting. It is so easy for me to lose perspective of what is ultimately important and enjoyable. Pray I will not be "under-motivated."