Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Now that football's poster boy of double-mindedness has signed and assured the Vikings of a pass to the playoffs through the weakest division in the NFL, it's almost time for KD's pre-season power ratings.

Here's a hint.

The only three teams with a chance to sneak past the team owned by the USA's ambassador to Ireland and slip on some Super Bowl rings are in the American Conference East (1) and National Conference East (2).

What do you think?



Providence has plopped really important ministerial matters into my lap.

That means I don't have a lot of time left over for ecclesiastical babysitting.

In other words, I spend so much time with folks with real problems that I don't have much time left over for folks who make up problems for themselves that usually plague others like worrying about their deodorant keeping 'em dry all day long or if I noticed that they're mad about something and scapegoating me or another staff member because it's too hard to acknowledge their mirror's reflection.


I do a lot of crisis counseling for folks in our community who aren't members of our church but are related to members of our church or know someone in our church or, uh, well, uh, me!

Maybe it's just because I'm free.

Think about that.


That song in the second section of this KD reminds me of the PK who's suicidal.

I've been meeting with him for quite a while.

He was swept away by a fine lookin' babe who he assumed was "the one" and you know what I mean.

She dumped him like Ruthie dumped me for Joe back in 11th grade; though it's understandable that I was dumped because Joe ended up as quarterback for the New York Giants and I ended up babysitting for grown-up pewsitters who can act even worse than fans in the Meadowlands during a game against the Patriots.

Being a PK, he's got some real hostilities toward the church that he's transferred to Jesus; though I keep tellin' him, "Don't blame Jesus for Christians!"

Parenthetically, if you're not a PK or drowning in the ecclesiastical fishbowl in some fashion, I won't even bother trying to explain that last sentence to you.

It's like PBHO likes to say, in essence, "You can't empathize if you ain't been there and done that."

Be that as it is and will always be because the minority who get it will never be the majority, I finally leveled with - uh, unloaded on - him.

I said, "We've been meeting for months and you're still thinking about killing yourself; and, today, you've told me that you've decided how you're going to do it. Well, aside from the selfishness of it all, it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem; but, of course, you don't get that because she was the one and there will never be another like her. Well, I've got some good news for you that may sound like bad news. She wasn't the one! If she were the one, she wouldn't be bonin' that other guy right now! If she were the one, she'd feel about you like you feel about her! So if you check out because of someone who isn't really the one, you won't be around when He has the real one cross your path."

Then I talked about Ruthie.


Finally, I said, "As far as I can see, you've got three options if you're still feelin' like endin' it all. First, you can kill yourself. Two, you can go downtown to the 4th floor of the hospital and get some happy pills. Or three, you can invite Jesus into your life and stop whining about how awful the church has been treating your dad and realize that Jesus is great and loves you and will deliver you from this depression and open a life to you beyond your imagination and expectations and..."

After he rolled his eyes, I ended, "If you kill yourself, people will be sad, at first, and then consider you to be a total chicken___. Getting some happy pills is O.K. as a bandaid; but you need some radical heart surgery for the long haul. So the only real way to get out this hole is to take Jesus' hand and let Him pull you out of this pit that you keep diggin' deeper."

Jesus is the only real "one" in the end; and He's the only "one" who can really deliver in the meantime.

Trusting anyone or anything else is kinda, uh, suicidal.



Some comments from a pastor in Pennsylvania on PBHO's health deform plans: "The more I hear about death panels, the more I like the idea. Let's save a few bucks...At the same time, let's add a few more issues that are being neglected in our national yelling match...The fact is that we already have nationalized health care. It's just that the hospitals cover the losses out of their profits..."

He goes on, "Another point absent from today's debate is any talk about what you are going to do to stay healthy. Please note how I am talking about you, not me...Given the clips I've seen of some Town Hall meetings, I understand why some of those noisy folks wag their fingers against any meddling with their health care. Many sure look like they're really going to need a doctor soon..."

"Can we address," he asks with tongue in cheek, "how we suffer from a vending-machine mentality? I sticks my money in...I want my candy bar. I want to get what I want to get and I want it now, whether from God or government...I expect my government to solve my problems. Why should I break a sweat solving them? That's your job. Excuse back hurts. Where's my disability check?"

Getting personal in a vocational kinda way, he notes, "We clergy types see this attitude in how we've sold the public on the screwy and inverted notion that God is some 'domestic butler or cosmic therapist,' a god who will soothe, fix, approve them. Little wonder many find religion ultimately disappointing: they don't find for what they are searching or get what they demand. 'God cheated me,' they say."

Really meddling, he bellows, "Teachers suffer from our vending-machine mentality too. When did students start thinking that teacher works for them?...A doctor I know feels this pressure everyday. What are you going to do when your patient is 500 pounds, refuses to stop eating Twinkies, sits around watching The People's Court, won't exercise, is diabetic, enjoys his handicap sticker and SSI, then blames Doc when his heart rebels? A death panel might be a good idea...This guy's a bum investment. Why bother? Yet he arrives at the ER demanding Cadillac care. Save me or I'll sue you! Why bother reviving him if he isn't going to save himself?"

He concludes, "The final missing aspect in our health care feeding frenzy is a frank and faithful talk about death. For it's O.K. to die. People do it all the time. I help them die. Those who have lived well tend to die well, even with pain. There comes a time when enough is enough, when fear of death becomes abusive. It's not about making a decision to cause someone you love to die, it is about recognizing the kinder decision that nature already has made. We can intrude with our tubes, drugs, machines. The death panel verdict already is in: there is no health care package good enough to prevent your death."

Not bad for somebody from Princeton.


Again, my dad said, "If the shot calls for a five iron but you can't hit a five iron, don't hit a five iron."

That's why I've dropped all of the long irons from my bag.

There's a parallel in there somewhere for the Vikings, PK, and maybe even PBHO.


Speaking of dropping long irons, a pastor in Maryland sent the next clip which is a reality check akin to the bytes from his peer in Pennsylvania.



Blessings and Love!

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