Thursday’s Random Thoughts

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I confess I’m a little unnerved by how many Protestants observe Lent. I can’t even get a hold of the laws in the Scriptures much less the ones we add on. This is not to demean those whose traditions call for it. But ours doesn’t. (My unnerved-ness comes from so many not really understanding what they are doing and also being very…how shall I say it?…public about it all.)

Tony Gwynn averaged 209 hits for a 162 game average. That’s averaging more than one hit per game over his career. That makes sense because he had 10,232 plate appearances and had 3141 hits. He most likely always had 4 at bats a game. He averaged only 29 strikeouts over a 162 game average. That’s one strikeout every 5.6 games. And that’s just otherworldly. Those numbers are better than Joe D’s. DiMaggio did have far more homers, RBIs and runs. But remember he played on 10 pennant winning teams, nine of them winning the World Series. Gwynn played for the Padres. They both averaged 36 doubles over a 162 game average. But Gwynn had 3x as many stolen bases. Joltin’ Joe got more than 200 hits twice in his career. Gwynn did it seven different seasons. Seven. And Gwynn’s highest batting average is higher than Joe’s. His lowest is also higher than Joe’s lowest. But he played for the Padres. So, yeah.

I miss being a pastor.

I’d rather eat fried pork skins and wear crocs than wear skinny jeans and eat kale wrapped in marketed fear.

If theology does lead to love for others then we are doing it wrong. And my guess is we are doing theology more to be right than loving. For the cross is the centerpiece of all theology and the cross is where we get the power and example of love for others.

The older I get the more I believe it is not the strong with the answers who we should be listening to. But the weak who’ve had to ask all the hard questions in search of strength beyond themselves.

Power feeds on fear.

One of the more interesting story lines of the coming baseball year is Ryan Braun. He lied about using steroids, got caught and is now back. And he’s hitting .875 in Spring Training. And getting booed a lot. The thing is, he probably didn’t need them. The guy can hit. And if he can hit after all this, well, that will be very interesting.

If as Christians we wanna be holy and set apart from the world around us, we must not be motivated by money. Our sexual morality will impress no one. But men and women uninterested in wealth are a force to be reckoned with.

Fifteen years ago today, Bethany and I were married. How happy are we in marriage? We would not trade our modest celebration this year for anything, really. Our lack has shown us what we have in each other. It’s a relationship of grace upon grace.

11 thoughts on “Thursday’s Random Thoughts

  1. Pam Burns March 6, 2014 / 8:31 am

    Happy anniversary! Cherish every one

  2. Mark Vruggink March 6, 2014 / 8:53 am

    Happy Anniversary Matt! I just want to tell you how refreshing it is to read your blog. It keeps me from going insane and I appreciate you very much. I have passed “God of the Mundane” on to various people and they also have been liberated. Enjoy your anniversary celebration and many blessings to you and your wife. Grace & peace.

  3. Coco March 6, 2014 / 10:29 am

    Happy Anniversary! May God bless the next 15 years and many more beyond that! Love the thought about money. That is the biggest problem I see in our American churches today. The love of money. The root of all evil.

  4. Andrew March 6, 2014 / 11:13 am

    Enjoyed the read, as usual, but I’m thinking you left “not” out of your theology paragraph….unless I’ve been completely misunderstanding your posts all this time.

  5. sanderjm March 6, 2014 / 5:15 pm

    Your comment on theology hit home. I wish they would give this as a reminder the first year of seminary.

  6. sanderjm March 6, 2014 / 5:16 pm

    Your comment about theology hit home. They should use it as a reminder the first year of seminary.

  7. Katie March 13, 2014 / 3:28 pm

    “The older I get the more I believe it is not the strong with the answers who we should be listening to. But the weak who’ve had to ask all the hard questions in search of strength beyond themselves.”–Matt Redmond

    I read this and cried. I’ve been wondering for years why people don’t recognize this. I’m hoping that the truth is lots of people actually do know this, but just aren’t the ones with the platform.

    After a theology degree and some experience, I expected to waltz into ministry, only to find myself mostly sidelined for decades to follow. I watched my friends gain lots of experience in ministry, while I wondered what God was doing with me?

    Little by little I began to see the value of seeing life from the other side of an organized ministry. I was shocked at the eye opener it is. It has a way of purifying one’s motives, because no one sees you. To act like a Christian is expected, not rewarded; and sometimes to be like Jesus is actually discouraged by a church who has conflicting priorities.

    In regards to today’s post, I can’t think of a situation in churches, schools and in the workplace, where listening to the “little people” wouldn’t have helped tremendously in understanding the many facets involved in understanding issues and solutions much better. As a matter-of-fact, I can’t think of one where the people without titles didn’t have a better understanding of what needed to be done than the leaders, who thought they were better qualified and more knowledgeable.

    I’m grateful God has allowed you to go through your journey and given you a platform to speak about it, as it is such an encouragement to those of us who have felt alone in the journey.

  8. Abby April 2, 2014 / 3:13 pm

    Lots of Protestants have been observing lent for a really long time. Just ask a Lutheran. 🙂 But I totally agree that “observing” lent has become really trendy in the kind of non liturgical, non church calendar observing style Protestants… It kind of unsettles me- feels very Prayer of Jabezy or True Love Waitsish. I’m thrilled that a lot of churches are finding their way back to more frequent communion and in some cases, a liturgy… And I certainly don’t think that people shouldn’t observe lent. But lent is a season to really chew on things. You don’t give up something because you need to eat less carbs. You give up something in the hope to gain more time to meditate on the gospel… I worry that it is getting made into a “work” by becoming the flavor of the week in Christian behavior… And naturally, we Lutherans are very anti works doctrine. I guess I’m rambling on to try to say that folks took a bit more time to learn about the Lenten season than just jumping on the bandwagon.

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