Saturday, September 18, 2010

Instead of the website I expected ...

... after clicking an online link, a white screen appeared with these words:

Server is too busy.

For a moment I considered what that phrase meant just a few years ago. It could have been the comment of a dinner partner explaining why the waiter hadn’t brought me another iced tea.

The phrase could also have referred to my tennis opponent preoccupied with tying her shoe, or the man delivering legal process notices who was distracted by a call on his cell phone.

But those weren’t the problem of the moment. My Internet server – the unseen something somewhere that brings me what I order from the information highway corner cafĂ© – was busy.

Doing what?

Was it disoriented by the workings of my squirrel-in-a-wheel computer? Had I asked for too many things at once and its wires crossed? Were there too many customers on the list ahead of me?

Whatever the case, I had to wait to be served. I couldn’t even get up and get it myself.

The word “server” comes from an old Anglo-French word that defined a person who brought food to the master of the house.

When I Googled “server” the first 100 listings had nothing to say about food and drink, but I did see quite a bit about being dedicated.

That seemed to fit; a dedicated server would be a good thing.

And now I wonder: to what or whom am I dedicated to serve?

Am I ever too busy?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Would Jesus have a Facebook page?

I believe he did.

In first-century Palestine, Jesus participated in the social medium of the day: itinerant teaching. From hillsides, roadsides, tables and wells. He met the people where they were, where they were looking, and where they needed him. Face to face.

Were there other traveling teachers doing the same thing, from perhaps less than the purest of motives? Of course. There have always been counterfeits, knock-offs and wannabes, but they have never kept the Real Deal from being the Real Deal.

From the Road to Emmaus to the Information Highway, Jesus is there. He still has truth to give to those who are hungry, thirsty and looking. He is that truth.

Log on. He’d love to meet you.

For more information on Jesus, who he is and who he could be to you, see a little book in the New Testament called John, chapter 7, verses 37 and 38.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Burning the Quran

Burning the Quran? Now there’s a way to win converts. Let’s show Muslims the love of Christ by burning their holy book. Won’t that make everyone of Islamic faith want to turn immediately to the God of the Christian Bible? Won’t that just warm their hearts with the love and compassion Jesus told His followers to exemplify?

Florida minister Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center certainly has the world’s attention with his planned Quran-burning set for Sept. 11. And that may be all he’s after: attention. It says “World Outreach” on the front of Jones’ center, but World Outrage is what he will reap if he goes through with the barbecue.

Government and military officials warn that if carried out, Jones’ pyromaniacal act could incite violence against Americans around the world. It’s the hit-back mentality we see among small children, and Jones is ramping up the fervor. In Afghanistan, a parliamentary candidate for their Sept. 18 election has been quoted as saying, “wherever Americans are seen, they will be killed” if the Qurans are burned.

Wow. Many dying for the sins of one. And that’s part of the tragedy. I’m an American, and I’m a Christian, but I don’t agree at all with what Jones is doing. Yet I – and countless American soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan and other Islamic countries – could taste retribution for his act.

There’s not much I can do about Jones’ misguided rampage – one that could happen only in a country as free as America – but, thanks to that same freedom, I can at least voice my opinion. And I can pray.

I can pray that God’s people will step back from such acts and turn instead to the teachings of the Jesus they profess who said to love our enemies and pray for those who curse us.

Does that mean that there is never a time to stand up and fight for what we believe? Not at all. But Jones’ threat is not a fight; it’s a childish insult.

Yes, the tragedy of 9-11 should be remembered. Yes, it was a despicable, murderous, terroristic act perpetrated by Islamic extremists. But does torching a stack of Qurans really show national or religious pride?

No. It simply shows one more example of unclear thinking, and in-your-face radicalism.

Maybe Jones should remove “Dove” from his center’s name and replace it not with "hawk," but "vulture." Better yet, in my disgust of his proposed actions, and as a statement of how much I despise what he intends to do, I think I’ll collect all the doves I can find, and burn them on a symbolic pyre. That’ll show him I mean business.

Take that, Jones, and that!