Thursday, October 28, 2010

If Not For Love

This song by Wayne Watson just came up on ipod shuffle yesterday. *Incredible* to ponder: What if God were NOT loving? Sobering to think about, to be sure.

Good lyrics, and the music is fantastic. Slow & moving...

With that said, freshen up your coffee & read this slowly. Especially the 2nd & 3rd verses.

You're welcome.

In time, they say, all wounds will heal
But time alone would just reveal
The measure of my best intent,
How vainly it would all be spent;
Empty boxes, if not for love.

My prayer never would be heard
Appeal denied without a word
The throne room of my father's house
Closed fast, just to keep me out,
"No admission", if not for love

If not for love the godless would reign
If not for love any light would be shadow
But love was strong, revealed the plan
Man's perfect God, God's perfect man

The cross would stand alone, refused.
The Son blessed...and not accused.
The Savior never sent, blind to the world's lament
No forgiveness, if not for love.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Every school's fanbase

Every school's fanbase thinks they are the morally pure & superior ones on the college football landscape.

Every school's fanbase thinks their home gameday experience is the best and that all rational, objective people agree with them.

Every school's fanbase thinks they are gracious toward visiting fans, unlike the other teams' fans.

Every school's fanbase thinks they are classy, unlike those other teams' fans.

Every school's fanbase thinks the refs are out to deny them their rightful victory, and that the refs are clearly longtime supporters of the other team.

Every school's fanbase thinks that it's only the other teams' fanbases that are obnoxious drunks at games.

Every school's fanbase thinks their fight song & alma mater evoke tearful reverence, whereas every other team's fight song & alma mater sounds like music that clowns juggle to. (Full disclosure: this particular one is flagrantly stolen & paraphrased from Chad Gibbs' book, God & Football)

Every school's fanbase marvels that any good high school player would even consider going anywhere else.

Every school's fanbase is amazed that (a) they're not ranked in the top 10...#1 (b) if they are ranked in the top 10...#1, they're amazed that anyone would question what is clearly the correct ranking.

Every school's fanbase knows that their school colors are just beautiful, whereas the other teams' colors look like a 2-year-old got hold of the crayon box again.

Every school's fanbase thinks their tailgating experience is the best.

Every school's fanbase would read this saying "Yep, that's how those other fans are."

Every school's fanbase has great folks who are rational & reasonable about their team & about sports in general.

And every school's fanbase has other folks who are so very often like the north end of a south-bound horse.

The former group of folks admits they have the latter; the latter deny that they themselves exist.

bb - Romans 12:18

Saturday, October 02, 2010

A Faithful Man (2 Timothy 2:2)

I really love college students. Being around them every day is one of the best parts of the professor gig. It makes me feel young(er) gives me hope for the future...and they're just plain fun!

However, I am also burdened for college students. Have been for some years now.

We parents really like to think that our children have all of their spiritual convictions & their lifestyle & their behaviors nailed down before they graduate from high school. We like to think that 18 years of living under our roof has landed all of that.

According to statistics, we are wrong.

To be sure, our impact as parents is HUGELY important. CRITICAL to shaping our children's worldview & lifestyle. We have the great responsibility and great joy and great challenge of trying to guide our children's views on life & faith & behavior.

But stastically, it is between age 18 & 24 that the vast majority of people make three VITAL decisions that shape the rest of their life:

Once again...hear this, parents!...between the ages of 18 and 24.

This reality has haunted me, cost me sleep, and driven me to prayer many times since I first ran across it some years back.

That is why I am so very thankful for those who do the incredibly difficult, messy, time-consuming job of connecting with and ministering on college campuses. Who love on young men & women in the midst of them working through those gigantic life-shaping decisions. That's a slice of the ministry harvest field that wears out & runs off many a gifted minister.

Which is why I am SO VERY GRATEFUL for the life & ministry of my buddy Lloyd Lunceford.

Lloyd is the director of the Baptist Student Union at the University of Southern Mississippi. Over the past 20 years, Lloyd has connected with, encouraged, challenged, equipped, loved on, cried with, prayed for & with, welcomed, and sent out countless students all over the world. (Literally all over the world!)

This afternoon, a number of folks will come back to USM for a football game against Marshall. But a bunch of them will gather at the BSU to honor 20 years of faithful, God-honoring ministry that is impacting the campus and world for Christ. I'll be there too.

Lloyd is one of my best friends on the planet. You know those very few friends you have to with whom you can share the depths of your heart & soul? Who know things about you that would raise eyebrows if they were broadcast, but you have no fear of them being broadcast? Around whom you can be completely yourself without having to be nervous? Lloyd's one of those guys in my life.

I'm so very grateful that Lloyd's ministry journey which previously had him living in East Asia for several years brought him to USM no long after I took a professor job on campus. (He still speaks the language he learned there fluently...I'll come back to that).

Much of what I know about ministering to/with college students, I learned from Lloyd. Much of my own passion for world missions, I learned from Lloyd. Grace toward those who hold to a different worldview, while still holding firmly to my own? Yep. Passion for students of all stripes? Yep. Priorities ordered by faith and by the Gospel? Learned that from Lloyd too. Integrity? Being "missional"? Check. Much of that learned from Lloyd.

For some years now, I've had the *great* privilege of being a small part of Lloyd's ministry as treasurer of the BSU advisory committee.

You know what Lloyd wants people to do to honor him? It's not writing blog entries like this one...and it's not vacation time...and it's not financial bonuses. He is ALL about helping students be financially able to go overseas on mission trips.

I personally know of a BUNCH of students & USM alums whose first taste of missions was as part of the USM BSU. Where will you spend this Christmas? I know where Lloyd will be; he'll be in China with a group of students, where he's been for the last several Christmases.

Lloyd is passionate about several things, but mostly about equipping men & women for world missions. And there are people living now or who have lived all over the world whose life path was set by God when they passed through the orbit of Lloyd Lunceford.

Congrats, Lloyd, on 20 years of amazing, fruitful, high-impact ministry. Thanks for letting me be part of it! Thanks also for all the cups of coffee, meals, prayers, chats, challenges, words of wise counsel, and encouragement. Thanks for letting our Lord use you so mightily in the lives of so many in so many parts of the world. Only eternity will show the full impact of what our Lord has done through you and your time at USM.

I love you, Bro!
2 Timothy 2:2

p.s. - Want to be part of something HUGE? Make your check out to: Mississippi Baptist Foundation. In the memo line write: Lloyd Lunceford student missions fund. Mail your check to Mississippi Baptist Foundation; P.O. Box 530; Jackson, MS 39205.