for your viewing pleasure

With the explosive popularity of Youtube, we can watch things that would have been far outside our reach twenty years ago. The technology even in the past ten years is unbelievable – it puts in front of our eyes what we would never dream of seeing and conversations we would never dream of hearing. I’d like to just give you a sampling of some of the wonderful things I’ve stumbled upon.

I hope, in watching these, you taste and see that the Lord is good.

I hope you can marvel at Creation the way we were made to marvel. And I hope that marveling draws you closer to the throne of grace where we are invited to commune with the Creator.

doing what we ought = freedom

More than a little ink spilled recently in Iowa over an administrator’s questionable email etiquette. That’s a nice way of saying she used her work email to do some pretty dirty things. In fact, her behavior motivated the powers that be in Des Moines public schools to implement a morality clause.

Morality clause? Aren’t we living in a relativistic culture? Who has the right to implement a moral standard?

Seems like our culture’s digging her own grave, though we hate to admit it. If we all make our own moral standard, how can we say someone else’s is inferior?

C.S. Lewis differentiates moral law from the law of nature in that it is what we “ought” to do, not what we simply do. Trees fall when cut and grass grows in response to rain and sunshine. Nature does those things, but there is not another layer of “ought.” Trees aren’t looked down on if they don’t fall at the feller’s ax. Grass isn’t more supremely regarded if it grows than if it wilts. Nature simply does things and we observe these characteristics.

People, on the other hand, get angry when someone steps in front of the shopping line or if someone steals the family car. We get angry because they “ought” not do such a thing. It’s wrong.

Everyone has their own version of “ought” – the place they draw the line in the sand where relativity fades and objectivity says, “you can’t do that to me.”

I struggle with the controversy in Des Moines because we are clamoring to say this woman “ought not” do what she did, yet we told her all along (as she gained experience and degrees in our system) that she needn’t bother with someone else’s morality. We told her that hers would do just fine.

How many people implementing the city’s new ‘morality clause’ could stand under its inspection? Are some positions more ‘moral’ than others because they are more public?

I race around these questions in my head and wish that C.S. Lewis was giving a lecture next week on a public campus. Jesus would obviously be the first choice, but C.S. Lewis seems more within reach (is that bad?). Honestly, I imagine the same response following a lecture by Lewis and a sermon by Jesus – a bunch of people filing out of a sterile auditorium mumbling their disagreement or support as they walk to their next engagement.

It hurts to hear the high-browed arguments about what should or shouldn’t be done in the public eye. Moral rules outside of divine wisdom are like walking on railroad tracks to an unknown destination.

The excitement and joy of doing what we “ought” is in knowing that in doing so we are free. It is not a morality clause that keeps us behaving as we ought, but a love that can’t imagine behaving any other way.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

“please stop doing anything that you like”

We were playing calmly (mostly listening to him list off all the things he would build when he gets older – houses, chairs, boats, picture frames, paper, castles, birthdays) when all of a sudden his little four-year-old hands came up like T-rex and he said, “Know what kinda monster I am?”

“” I couldn’t come up with something witty fast enough.

“The TICKLE MONSTER!” He just stood there with the gleamiest gleam in his eyes, both daring me to flee and daring me to stay for the attack (he was prepared either way).

So, I lept up from the ground and encouraged the chase. Over the toys, around the table, circling the stairway, through the front room and looping around the kitchen with a speedy, gleeful tail following me all the way. When I slowed ever-so-slightly he moved in for the attack, but not for long. He backed off quick and asked again, “Know what kinda monster I am?”

“Hm.. banana?”

“No, silly! I’m the TICKLE MONSTER!” The same gleamiest gleam filled his sweet blues and I got full of giggles, because this time I had my T-rex hands ready, too.

He chased and then I chased and he said, “No, IIIIIII’m the Tickle Monster.”

“Oh, but I like to be the Tickle Monster, too,” and I could see the wheels turning – this wasn’t the way the game played out in his head but he couldn’t figure out how to make me realize I was breaking his rules.

We played on – he chased and then I chased and then his little socked feet got slippery and he took a tumble on the wood floor.

That’s when he looked up with solemn, instructive eyes to say,

“Please stop doing anything that you like.”

Little Zachary was making the rules based 100% on what he wanted to do. The only way he could figure out how to respond to my rules (based on what I wanted to do) was to ask nicely for me to not follow my rules.


I’m not sure we ever grow up. We just find a bigger vocabulary and adopt a new conversational dance. The bottom line is nearly always the bottom line: I’d like you to stop doing what you like and do what I like instead. At least children still have the innocence and decency to ask nicely.

Oh, the lessons we can learn from little ones.

Maybe a better question is, instead, “what is it that you would like to do?”