Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Few Thoughts On a Few Things Lately…

1. A vote in Maine, as reported by MSNBC.com (click here to view the article), where voters repealed a state law Tuesday that would have legalized same-sex marriage. What’s surprising to me is that this is in New England, the northeastern corner of the country most supportive of gay marriage. And voters in the "left-coast" state of California did the same thing last November.

The MSNBC article states it this way—

“Gay marriage has now lost in every single state — 31 in all — in which it has been put to a popular vote. …At issue was a law passed by the Maine Legislature last spring that would have legalized same-sex marriage. The law was put on hold after conservatives launched a petition drive to repeal it in a referendum. The outcome Tuesday marked the first time voters had rejected a gay-marriage law enacted by a legislature. When Californians put a stop to same-sex marriage a year ago, it was in response to a court ruling, not legislation. Five other states have legalized gay marriage — starting with Massachusetts in 2004, and followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Iowa — but all did so through legislation or court rulings, not by popular vote. In contrast, constitutional amendments banning gay marriage have been approved in all 30 states where they have been on the ballot.”

2. Jeannette and I went to see “This Is It” last night with some friends. It’s a film put together from 50 hours or so of footage taken from the rehearsals for Michael Jackson’s concert tour he would have performed had he not died suddenly last summer. I have never been a Michael Jackson fan. In fact, there is not one song I have ever liked of his, except “I’ll Be There” from the Jackson Five of course. But I enjoyed watching “This Is It.”

I was impressed by several things:
  • How very perfectionistic MJ was toward how his songs were played by his band.
  • How very kind he seemed to be toward people he worked with (even while correcting them, which he did quite often). Even when correcting his band and dancers and technicians, he’d go out of his way to say it “in love.” At the same time, he didn’t back down on what needed to be said and what needed to be corrected. It was interesting to watch.
  • How much he seemed to have a kind of God-awareness spirituality (his most common phrase in the film is “God bless you”), while at the same time occasionally dancing in such sexually degrading ways (i.e., boldly performing his infamous hand-grabbing-crotch moves).
  • How much he seemed so relationally isolated from everyone else (it definitely seemed that everyone tried so hard to please him as if he were the emperor or something, but nobody could relate to him or he to them—he seemed very alone).
  • How much it was clear that there is both a glory and a wretchedness to Michael, just like in everyone else. But it seems more obvious in him. He was so talented and, well, so obviously gloriously made in the image of God. And he was also so deformed and decrepitated by his own idolatries of fame and money. You could actually see the very physical toll his idolatry took on his appearance. I felt so sorry for him. Yet I’m sure God sees me the same way. My heart’s idols ruin me in so many ways that are clearly visible in my relationships, my emotions and attitudes, and yes, my own appearance.
  • How much that man can dance! I saw his talents in a fresh way I’d never appreciated before seeing this film.

3. I just finished Tim Keller’s newest book entitled, Counterfeit Gods. Although being very familiar with his teachings on this concept (in fact, members of The Crossing know I’ve preached on this many times), I found this book to be a thought-provoking challenge to me—I am so easily inclined to this destructive tendency. It gave me some fresh insights and helped me see some ways that my own idols in my heart keep hijacking my life.

Here is a pretty good little video you can watch where Tim Keller gives a brief explanation of this book. We have several copies available right now at our bookstore at The Crossing. I highly encourage you to pick one up. It’s also available on Kindle here.

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