News: Students Support Michael Sam in Rally Against Westboro Baptist Protest

Mizzou SealSaid it before and I’ll say it again … The Heartland has the BEST college students in the country …

Yesterday I shared a post from an old and respected friend Down Mizzou way, which included this statement:  

My suspicion: Their stream of hate speech will not find an audience. Students will steer a wide circle around them. It will all die for lack of a second.

Ignore them. Respond with no response at all. Focus on something that matters.

Tim has the right idea.  Do not stoop to the level of hate, but spend your energy and your passion in something which matters … which is exactly what Mizzou students did:

Students Support Michael Sam in Rally Against Westboro Baptist Protest.

… to which I can only add this:

Go, Tigers, Go!

Feeling rather proud of the young folks in the Heartland ….


Religious Thoughts …


Cross and Sky 2“When Religious Beliefs Becomes Evil:  4 Signs”

This recent post by John Blake on caught my eye.   It identifies four elements that, especially when combined, should provide a warning to anyone who thinks about their religious experience.  I have listed the four elements below, along with a few comments of my own.  To read the complete article,which is quite good, click the link above.

1.  I know the truth, and you don’t …

We all want to be in possession of the truth of a thing.   This is a very human desire and forms the basis of the learning function.  Human beings will always seek knowledge and many devote their lives to discerning the truth of a thing, especially in the area of religion.

It’s that phrase at the end that causes the problem …

Most people I know are knowledge-seekers, but are also willing to admit that they do not have the complete truth of a thing.   Being open to and accepting of other interpretations is a mark of mature thinking.

Needing the certainty of absolute truth is folly.   Any leader, religious, political, or social, who claims to have the only truth is lying to you, and probably to himself.


David Koresh.jpg2.  Beware the charismatic leader …

The picture accompanying this post is of David Koresh, who led a small sect of religious folks to a fiery end in a standoff with state and federal authorities in Waco, Texas in 1993.

Charisma is usually thought of a good thing, because we tend to assume that we find someone charismatic because they engage in good or positive behavior … and this is often the case.

However, charisma can exist for other reasons, not always positive ones.

We sometimes find those charismatic who:

1) Are so downright approachable that we do not always hear what they are saying.

2) Have such strong beliefs about a thing that we are attracted to that strength, rather than the substance.

3) Are master manipulators of human emotion and behavior.

A good way to determine the quality of a leader is to observe who follows him or her. 


3.  The end is near …

Well, the end is always near … for someone.  Life is finite for each of us on a personal level.

People die every day.  Disasters of epic proportions occur with regularity.   Things change from what they were to something that may not be recognizable to us.

Does this mean that the end is near … maybe.   The point can be made that our spiritual lives might better be focused on the here and now, than the possible sometime else.

It’s easy to think that the end of things might be nearing when so much change is happening, especially when much of it is not positive change or even when we just do not know how “things will work out”.

The proliferation of zombie, vampire, and other biological apocalypses merchandising is not helping here … 


4.  The end justifies the means.

More evil has been done in the name of this position than can be recounted …

Do we have to sometimes do things which are difficult or hurtful … yes.  

Should we build a lifestyle around the idea that whatever gets us what we think we want is okay, simply by virtual of doing so?   I think not …

The strongest and most enduring religious beliefs are based on not doing this, but on doing things that benefit others, sometimes at your own expense.

The twisted leader will take what I just said and turn it into a plea for me to turn over my life savings.


Read the entire post for a thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion of what to look for in your religious leaders.  Add to the discussion with your own thoughts on how we should judge religion so it is a positive force in our lives.  Our leaders should lead, but as followers, we are responsible for doing so intelligently.


Getting ready for church in the Heartland ….


Happy, Happy Holi …:)


Holi is a Hindu festival, better known as the Festival of Colors, which marks the start of spring and the celebration of love.  It has quite a backstory about conflict between gods and demons, kings, ending in repeated murder attempts.  The good guy wins, the father and his sister perish, and all ends well, which you can read all about in detail here.

Yes, I’m going to go a tad overboard today with font colors. 

You have been warned.

Holi - Festival of Colors - PD

Click CNN SLIDE SHOW to see images from this year’s Holi  celebrations.

Holi Festival - photo by Nicholas Becker

Colours for the Holi festival at a market in Mysore, India” (Image by Nicholas Becker on March 18, 2011)

A little cultural blending:

From Wikipedia:  “On May 31, 2007, the independent film Outsourced premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival.

The plot of the film details the story of Todd Anderson, an American call center novelty products salesman (Josh Hamilton) as he heads to India to train his replacement after his entire department is outsourced

to a new, much cheaper call center in Gharapuri, India.

Todd soon discovers that in order to successfully train his new charges, he must first learn about the culture of the workers. A Holi celebration is the catalyst for this change in his attitude.”

Me:  This is a very funny, thought-provoking, and engaging film … well worth a few hours viewing time.

Trailer for “Outsourced” from YouTube

Feeling quite colorful in the Heartland ….


It’s The End of the World As We Know It ….

October 21, 2011

An open message to Rev. Harold Camping:

1)  If you and I are both still here , sorry about that ~ better luck next time.

2)  If you are not here and I am, hmmm … guess I lost.

3)  If you are here and I am not … Nyah, nyah, nyah.

4)  If you are not here and neither am I, who cares?

One last question: Continue reading

A Little About Being a Disciple . . .

Disciples of Christ Statement Of Identity

We are Disciples of Christ,
a movement for wholeness
in a fragmented world.
As part of the one body of Christ,
we welcome all to the Lord’s Table
as God has welcomed us.

One Person’s Perspective:

I am not a “Church Camp” Christian nor am I particularly evangelical, pentecostal, and definitely not fundamental.

I do not sway with The Spirit while singing or praying, although my leg does tend to move to the beat when certain high-energy contemporary Christian music plays.

To be honest, I can’t even clap in time with the music most of the time. Continue reading