Comment

Nerds Are My Heroes

Years ago, while we were visiting our extended family in Tampa, we were all gathered in my mom’s family room when an advertisement for some historical documentary popped up on the TV in the background.  When I expressed excited interest in the program, one of my younger relations looked at me and said, “you’re a nerd!”  For the first few moments, that comment stung a little bit, but then,…I began to more deeply consider the implications vs. the reality of being a nerd.

The world sees nerds as socially inept people.  They’re criticized for not being hip (or whatever the current term is).  They don’t dress “on fleek” (I had to look this up), they’re awkward, and they’re not up on the latest and greatest trends.  They seem to focus on things that the majority is not interested in, therefore, they are ridiculed and often shunned by the “cool” people.  Which raises a few questions like; who are the cool people, who made them cool, and why do we (or should we) care what they think? 

Basically, to be “cool” means that one must follow in the same direction as the majority.  Sociologists and investment advisors call this the “herd instinct”.  Financial commentator, James Chen defines the herd instinct as “a mentality that is distinguished by a lack of individual decision-making or introspection, causing people to think and behave in similar fashion to those around them.”[1]  In other words, wherever the herd goes, you go, whatever the herd does, you do, and sadly, whatever the herd believes,…you believe. 

After much consideration, I’ve decided that nerds are my heroes, and I’m happy to be numbered among them.  Why would I feel this way?  Well, nerds don’t mindlessly and sycophantically follow the herd (Ask a cow following a herd being led to the slaughterhouse how the herd instinct works for them).  Nerds don’t do what’s popular simply because it’s popular, rather, they do what they like and enjoy it whether it’s “cool” or not.  Others may think they’re “weird”, but who cares?  They are comfortable in the skin they’re in and, generally seem to be at peace with who they are even though the majority has rejected them.

About that majority, Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  As the above-mentioned cow knows all too well, following the herd generally doesn’t end well.  The Apostle Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 15: 10 when stated, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” when he confessed not to be among the upper echelon of contemporary Christian leadership.  Paul knew that the only person he had to impress and emulate was the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. 

So, I’m okay with wearing the “nerd” label.  I enjoy history documentaries, the occasional Star Trek episode (the Original Series), the 60’s Batman series (shout out to my bat-buddy, Alex Zsolt), and old comics.  If that makes me a nerd, well then buy me the t-shirt.  And, as a Christian, I know that the only crowd I need to follow is the one running to Jesus Christ!

 

 

 


[1] Chen, James, Director of Trading & Investing Content at Investopedia, investopia.com.

Comment

Comment

Dear Church

We live in a day and age where through email, texting, and Skype, communication is instantaneous with just about anyone, anywhere in the world.  Literally within seconds after posting this blog, millions can immediately read my mental meandering (oh my!).  Personally, I like all the technological efficiency. 

However, there’s still something quite special and personal in a hand written letter.  For millennia humanity communicated this way, and yes, while it was quite slow, it was also quite personal.  Letter writing was an art.  Our personality came through in our choices of inks, papers, and writing style.  The actual inked words could communicate a plethora of emotions from anger to joy just in the way they were scribbled, and what soldier didn’t enjoy receiving a perfume infused note from his sweetheart back home (try spritzing your next text with Chanel #5!). 

All that being said, it is quite interesting to me that God chose letters to communicate His doctrine and desire for the Church.  22 out of 27 books of the New Testament are or contain letters to various churches and Christians of the day.  These letters not only contain God breathed messages to the 1st century church, but their timeless messages are meant for the 21st century church as well, and their main focus was and continues to be Jesus Christ.  John says as much when he writes, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life  and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13 NKJV).  

Now, if God were to write a letter to you, what would that letter say?  Well, you and I are the church, so He has written letters to us.  The bulk of the New Testament are those letters.  In them, God communicated His love for us and His hope for our lives as we struggle to survive in this difficult world.  In these letters, as in the entire Bible, God pours out His heart to us in loving encouragement and instruction.  Even the passages on judgment reveal the heart of a concerned Father warning us to avoid such discipline. 

We ignore these letters and the rest of Scripture to our own peril (James 1:21-25).

Comment

Comment

Sermon Side Dish

Welcome to my new weekly blog!  Through this effort, I hope to bring a deeper dimension to the things we cover in the Sunday morning sermons and to prayerfully provide refreshment and encouragement as we all try to make our way through this corn maze we call life.  Hopefully, it will round out the spiritual meal we enjoyed during worship like a good side dish rounds out a good meal at the table.  Sort of like the green beans alongside the sermonic steak (apologies to vegans. You’re welcome to insert your own food analogy).  So, that being said, let’s dig in.

Our current sermon series called, “Make Your Life Count!”, focuses on living life with eternity in mind.  But, you may ask, what does living life with eternity in mind actually mean?  Well, in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, we have a passage in the first part of the chapter expounding on a proper understanding of time and its implication in earthly-life events.  Life is, after all, a linear series of events marked and managed by our choices, which ultimately shape the lives we live under the sun.  We have the life we now live in because of the choices that we have made and continue to make.  Sometimes we make good choices, and sometimes bad ones.  We are also inadvertently impacted by the good or bad choices of the people around us (family, friends, even strangers).  According to this passage, there is a right time for every choice that we face as we live.  We often struggle in life because of bad choices in good times, or good choices at bad times.

That’s where living life with eternity in mind comes in.  Continuing in Eccles. 3:11, we are told that God has balanced out time with eternity.  In this verse, it says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”  God doesn’t want us to blindly bounce back and forth between life’s moments like a pinball, rather He has programmed us with a sense of the eternal so that we would trust in and be guided by Him in our choosing process.  This eternal focus is again encouraged in Proverbs 3:5-6 where it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  In other words, God will smooth out the rough stuff and lead you into better choices.  That’s what it means to live with eternity in mind.

Hope this little side dish has made you hungry for more of God’s Word.  Bon appetit!

Comment