Satur-deja Vu

There’s something you don’t see everyday. These hamburger buns missed being bagged but still got a date stamp. If this arrived at a grocery store in this condition they would be thrown away and no customer would ever see them. I volunteer at a food bank and there again, no clients picking up food saw this either. I snapped as a pic as this rack full of bread products was unloaded from the truck. The flats were stacked 10 or 12 high and if this hadn’t been on top I still would not have seen it. I’m impressed by how clearly letters and numbers can be printed onto soft bread. Regardless of the date, since these buns were not bagged at all they were already rock hard.

I don’t read that fast but it gives you a relative idea. The vast majority of the Bible by volume is Old Testament. Some folks try to regularly read through it each year. I discovered a long time ago that if you just read the text, without stopping to do anything else, you can easily get through the New Testament in about two weeks. That’s nights and weekends, working around other responsibilities.

Truist Park in Atlanta is one of the newer MLB parks in use. The design attempts to recreate the feel of the classic ballparks from a hundred years ago but in a modern way that doesn’t have any seats obscured behind wooden posts. There was a time that every baseball park was unique. Then with the multi-use facilities – the Houston Oilers and Astros shared the first one, Fulton County Stadium was home to the Braves for about 30 years – there was a trend to make all of them look sort of the same. Referred to by many as the “concrete donut” there’s only so many ways you can make a football field and baseball diamond fit in the same space. In an attempt to serve both purposes they ended up serving neither very well. And then something almost magic happened. In the modern era of building stadiums, the trend changed toward making each park unique in some way.

A few years ago one of our church ladies show me this picture. It depicts the groundbreaking ceremony back in 1949 for a new Sunday School wing that would include a basement fellowship hall. As you can tell there is not much of the image left. I asked if I could borrow it and see about bringing it back. I didn’t make any promises but especially with black and white images it usually doesn’t take much to make a big difference. I scanned the image, tweaked the contrast and saturation, and was pleased to offer her the image below as the final product.

Every man is wearing a suit, every woman is wearing a dress. I was born in the wrong time.

Maybe. They could just as easily have seen the Michelin Man:

Or Stay Puft:

What will they do when they run out of paper? In the 1950’s, a survey of high school teachers revealed the number 1 issue in the classroom was chewing gum. Fifty years later, giving teachers the same survey, chewing gum didn’t even make the list. When I was in elementary school, in the early 1980’s, our school had a computer lab of sorts. There were probably 20 computers in the whole school and I remember going once or twice and playing some sort of arithmetic game. By the time I got to high school, each classroom had five IMB clones and there was one reserved for the teacher’s own use. The new high school that opened just a few years ago has a library perhaps because they feel duty-bound to tradition to include one. There are very few books but lots of places to sit down with a laptop; very few bookshelves but plenty of wifi.

I thought I had mentioned the He-man reboot coming to netflix in July. Must have been in a couple of Facebook groups and never on the Deja-Vu. I was going to update that story and share that I just learned Mark Hamill is the voice of Skeletor. Here’s the teaser trailer. The animation looks infinitely better than anything Filmation produced back in the day.

I did mention going to Nashville for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Politics is ugly business and you probably know by now that when involved in any sort of political process church people can get pretty ugly too. I think it’s important we keep some perspective. For the vast majority of SBC church members, their interaction with the SBC begins and ends at the local church. Millions of “good church people” attend faithfully, volunteer to teach VBS or cook breakfast for the Brotherhood that couldn’t tell you the SBC president’s name if you asked them. Many SBC pastors go their entire career and never attend an annual meeting. If you are in the know about Russell Moore’s leaked letter, and the people and entities involved, then you probably heading to Nashville as a messenger next week. Most Southern Baptists are not. The average church-goer doesn’t know the intricate details of the ERLC, the Executive Committee, Resolution 9 and so forth; and that’s perfectly fine. Millions of Americans couldn’t tell you the governor’s name of the state they live in. There are a few senator and representatives on the news regularly but most people don’t know the senators and representatives from their own state. And that’s okay. Most people don’t need to know. Walk into your neighborhood Walmart and ask the cashier who the CEO of the corporation is. Leadership needs to be well-informed in order to lead well. The grocery stockers at Walmart and the ushers in your church parking cars and handing out bulletins can better serve at the local level by putting their attention where it needs to be: on the visitors and guests right in front of them. What happens in boardrooms of major corporations wouldn’t matter if there were not thousands of stockers, cashiers, customer service reps etc. interacting with millions of customers doing one transaction at a time. The Gospel is shared, and the Kingdom is built, not in closed door executive session meetings but by Sunday school teachers, children and youth ministers, VBS volunteers and local church pastors. Just like the Walmart shareholders meeting, if the work of the church isn’t done personally in the community, one small act at a time, there is no need for a boardroom meeting in a big office building somewhere far away.

Peter, James and John were with Jesus at the transfiguration. They saw him talking with Moses and Elijah. Jesus didn’t instruct them to go tell everybody about the big important meeting he had; he told for the time being not to discuss it with anyone. The last thing he said to Peter was “Feed my sheep.” Jesus spent the years of his earthly ministry healing the sick, feeding the hungry, preaching and teaching about the Kingdom of God. He spent some of his time training ministry leaders and on at least one occasion went to a big important meeting. The disciples tried to turn away mothers with small children but he put a stop to that. Sitting a child on his knee he declared “this is what the Kingdom of God is like.” Be like Jesus.

iMonk Radio Podcast #138

Sometimes we need a little theological house cleaning. We don’t have to hold onto everything.

Tall Skinny Kiwi talks about swine flu; leads into a discussion of the church as a voice of reason and rationality. “People think the church is anti-science.” He actually says this.

Long discussion of going with Clay Spencer to Aunt Betty’s funeral, one of Michael’s most influential mentors.

Satur-deja Vu

That is not the same picture I shared last week. The picture you saw last Saturday (link) was taken May 22nd, the day Johannah and I hiked to the Johns Mountain overlook. It was a very bright and sunny day which made it difficult to take a good picture with proper contrast. I had invited my friend Dudley to go with us but he had other plans. A few days later he told me that if I wanted to go back he would join me. What, hike up Keown Falls Trail and all the way to the top of the John’s Mountain Loop two Saturdays in row? That would be crazy! But I did it anyway. This picture was taken on May 29th, a day that was cooler and only partly sunny. It rained the night before and the temperature was 15 degrees or so cooler. Dudley and I actually made a longer hike but I hardly broke a sweat and never felt like I was going to die.

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Satur-deja Vu

This is the view from the Johns Mountain Trail overlook platform high atop Johns Mountain. While it is possible to drive to this location, let the record show that Johannah and I, along with her puppy Luna, hiked up from the bottom. While the entire round trip is only about 5 miles, it’s the elevation gain of 1,130 ft. that gets you. Click here for more pics and stats.

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Satur-deja Vu

I will be at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville next month. I have been an SBC pastor for 6 1/2 years and attending SBC churches since 2001. I have been to our state convention in Georgia about every other year since 2014. I was at that state meeting in 2017 when Pastor Mike Stone was elected president of the GBC and I will be voting for him in June to serve as president of the SBC. I rarely go to any conference, convention or retreat and I probably should do so more often. Perhaps only another pastor could understand the pleasure of getting to sit down and listen to someone else. There is a lot of business conducted but also multiple worship opportunities that I am not responsible for in any way whatsoever.

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iMonk Radio Podcast #135

Pirate Christian Radio may have played out just recently. I couldn’t find any content on their site newer than February 2021. Lutheran Pastor Chris Rosenbrough was the man behind PCR and he is still very active on Facebook.

Martin Luther quotes: applying the Gospel to fit the situation.