If John Piper Were a Sports Writer

John Piper is a well-known preacher, writer, and theologian. He speaks and writes with a passionate zeal even many of his critics appreciate. But what if he wasn’t a preacher, writer, and theologian?

What if he were a sports writer instead?

He might write books like…

1. Don’t Waste Your Booyahs! Co-written with Stuart Scott.

2. Let Bama Nation Be Glad! The Supremacy of Nick Saban in College Football.

3. Bloodlines: Peyton, Eli, and Archie.

4. College Athletes, You are Not Professionals.

5. Desiring Golf: Meditations of a Fairway Hedonist. Golf is most glorified in us when we are satisfied in it.

Thankfully, he isn’t a sports writer. He is seeking to be what God created him to be.

I hope you are doing the same.

What are some other books John Piper the sports writer might write? What has God created you to be?

 

 

 

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A Little Ditty About John Piper

So…I love Jesus. And I’m also a fan of “Weird” Al Yankovic. Which means sometimes I make up songs.

Like this one about John Piper to the tune of John Mellencamp’s song “Jack and Diane.”

I’m not a very good singer (or videographer) and it doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you know a little bit about Dr. Piper. But I enjoyed doing it and maybe you will enjoy it, too. Or maybe not. Whichever.

Anyway…Piper implores people in his writings and sermons to not waste their lives on temporary things. That is really what this song is about, even though it is quite silly.

And Dr. Piper, if you see this, thanks for all you have done and are doing for the glory of God. And since you are living in the Knoxville, TN area for a while and since the church I pastor is just a few miles away in Harriman–consider coming down and preaching for us one Sunday. You know, if you aren’t too busy writing about a thousand books.

Little Ditty about a guy named John
An American Man who pastored in the heartland
Piper is known as a preaching star
The theology of Jonathan Edwards has taken him far

He’s retired now, but he’s still writing books,
He also spends time giving idolaters funny looks
John say “Hey, everybody lets not waste our lives
Doing things that don’t honor Christ.”

Johnny say-
Oh yeah-what you do for Christ goes on
Long after all the sea shells on the beach are gone.
Oh yeah-what you do for Christ goes on
Long after all the sea shells on the beach are gone.

Piper sits and reflects his thoughts for a moment
Scratches his head and does his best gesturing
Well you know being retired is kind of boring
Unless you’re a Christian Hedonist like me.

Jesus is my rock
My name’s on the roll
Christ came down
And saved my soul
Gonna glorify Him as long as I can
He is most glorified in us
When we’re satisfied in Him.

Johnny say-
Oh yeah-what you do for Christ goes on
Long after all the sea shells on the beach are gone.
Oh yeah-what you do for Christ goes on
Long after all the sea shells on the beach are gone.

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being terrible and 10 being unbearable–what do you give my little ditty?
Also, how are you seeking to not waste your life?

Bedtime Stories for John Piper

I saw this tweet from Ed Stetzer (President of Lifeway Research, writer, missiologist, etc) yesterday that made me chuckle:

“Glad to be home w/ Donna & girls. I love @johnpiper, but he doesn’t need me to tell him bedtime stories like my 7yr old!”
 
Why did it make me chuckle? Because I immediately began thinking about what bedtime stories John Piper might like.
 
Hmmmm….
 
1. The Christian Hedonist in the Hat. “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day. We read sermons by Jonathan Edwards. We read them each one. We pondered the chief end of man. Desiring God is such fun.”
 
2. Goodnight Moon (Made by God for His Glory). Because without the parenthetical statement, it’s lunar idolatry.
 

3. Goldilocks and the 3 Arminians. Goldilocks goes into a house occupied by 3 Arminians, but none of their theologies fits “just right.”
 
4. The Very Hungry for the Word Caterpillar. Caterpillars do not live by bread alone.
 
5. Where the Mild Things Are. Max asks to get sent to bed without supper so he can conjugate verbs in Hebrew and arc the New Testament.
 
6. The Boy Who Cried “Don’t Waste Your Life.” A cautionary tale about a guy who uses this phrase so often on Facebook and Twitter that people quit listening to him.
 
7. Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the TULIP. Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown goes from a quasi-Calvinist to a hard-core 5-pointer in this story that was predestined to be written.
 
While all these would probably appeal to Piper, I imagine that he would prefer the Bible to all of these.
 
I hope the same is true for you.
 
What other bedtime stories would John Piper enjoy?
What is your favorite bedtime story?
 
***Please note that I do not mean any disrespect to John Piper or his ministry in this post. Piper’s books (especially Desiring God and Don’t Waste Your Life) and sermons have blessed me and many others throughout the years and I am sure that many more will be touched by his work well into the future. And if you are John Piper and you are reading this–thank you. Now get back to writing books and being awesome!***
 

Prophetic Thursday: Mega-Church Pastor Draft

Welcome to Prophetic Thursday here at the blog.  Every Thursday I will peer down the pike and try to give you a heads up on what to expect within Christianity in the near and not so near future. To see the last 2 posts in this series click Here and Here.

Mega-Church Pastor Draft

What if several of the mega-churches in America became stagnant?  What if they thought it was because their pastors had grown too comfortable in their churches?  What if they decided to shake things up by holding a mega-church pastor draft?

Hmmmmm.  What if……?

Steve:  “Hello everybody!  This is Steve Pewsitter along with my co-host for the evening, Dan Doorgreeter!  Welcome to the first ever Mega-Church Pastor Draft!”

Dan:  “Steve, the energy here is palpable.  I don’t recall ever seeing a group of old white men in suits so excited!”

Steve:  “Not even at the Republican National Convention?”

Dan:  “Ha–Good one Steve!  Before we go any further, I just have to ask–what exactly is different about you tonight?

Steve:  “I was wondering if you would notice.  In honor of TBN covering this live event, I asked the make-up artists to fluff my hair up a little and….I’m wearing fake eyelashes!”

Dan:  “Outstanding!”

Steve:  “Now to the business at hand.  What we will witness tonight is unprecedented–10 churches deciding to swap pastors via a draft.  The order of the draft was predetermined by a blind draw and once the draft starts each church will have 60 seconds to make their selections.  To keep the identities of the churches secret until after the draft, representatives of the churches will be in secluded rooms and will hand their selections to runners who will then bring the selections to our emcee for the evening….Charlie Sheen.”

Dan:  “What’s amazing is that we were able to acquire Sheen’s services by promising that afterward we would listen to one of his rants !”

Steve:  “It looks like the first selection is making its way to the podium now!  Sheen is opening the envelope–“

Charlie Sheen:  “With the first selection of the draft, mega-church #1 selects…John Piper!  Winning!”

Steve:  “Wow–that’s a surprise!”

Dan:  “That’s right, Steve.  But even though his church isn’t as large as some of the others, he does have a gigantic following on Twitter.  He once tweeted his grocery list and within seconds #pipergrub was a worldwide trending topic.”

Steve:  “Now that we have started, the selections will be really start pouring in.  Here’s the next one now.”

Charlie Sheen:  “The next selection in the draft is…..a man with Adonis DNA–Mark Driscoll!”

Steve:  “Wooo!  That must be a congregation full of testosterone!”

Dan:  “I’m sure they’ll be handing out bumper stickers at the next church service that say, “My pastor can beat up your pastor.””

Steve:  “I hope no one at his new church likes Twilight!”

Charlie Sheen:  “The next selection is….Mark Batterson.  Wow!  That’s even a surprise to me!”

Steve:  “I figured that you would like him, Charlie.  Anybody who writes a book titled “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” has to have Tiger Blood in his veins.”

Charlie Sheen:  “You better watch your mouth, troll!”

Steve:  “Um…sorry Mr. Sheen.  Please don’t hurt me.”

Charlie Sheen:  “Trolls deserve no mercy!”

Mark Driscoll:  “Hey–Wild Thing!  You wanna rumble?  LET’S RUMBLE!”

Charlie Sheen:  “Bring it, Preacher-Boy!”

Dan:  “Oh no–Driscoll has Sheen in a headlock.  This will not end well.”

Steve:  “Go to commercial!  Go to commer……”

I don’t think that anything like this will ever happen; at least I hope it never does.  Churches should choose their pastors after much prayer and consideration, not like they are players in the NFL.

But if anything remotely similar to this ever does happen, remember that you heard it here first.

***Disclaimer: This is meant as satire and should not be viewed in any way as an assault on the character and ministry of those mentioned.****

(If there really was a draft, who do you think would be the first pick?  Give me one reason why your pastor should be taken in a draft? Do you think Driscoll could take Sheen in a fight?  Share away!)

Prophetic Thursday: In-Sermon Commercials

Welcome to Prophetic Thursday here at the blog.  Every Thursday I will peer down the pike and try to give you a heads up on what to expect within Christianity in the near and not so near future. To see the previous posts in this series, click HERE and HERE

In-Sermon Commercials

The economy is bad and huge numbers of people remain unemployed along with many others who are considered under-employed; including members of churches.  This is impacting the offerings of churches everywhere.  Many churches have made the decisions to cut staff, lower giving to missions, and drop programs that once touched countless numbers of lives.  These decisions are difficult and are hopefully made only after a great deal of prayer. 

Pastors and church leaders don’t want to make these types of cuts, but they are often left with no choice.  If only they had others sources of income other than ever-shrinking offerings.  Surely some of the mega-church leaders are thinking about this.  Surely some of them are eventually going to come up with a creative solution to this problem. 

Something like: in-sermon commercials.

The sermons of some pastors are streamed live onto computers the world over.  Others are shown live on television or videotaped and shown later.  Some churches have congregations larger than the populations of small towns.  Everyone listening is a consumer of goods and services.  It is only a matter a time before mega-church pastors start getting sponsored by various companies to promote products that match their personality or the personalities of their congregations.

Will this really happen?  Maybe.  And if it does here are a few possiblities:

1.  Mark Driscoll for MMA pay-per-view events.  Mark says that men are made to fight and there is nothing more masculine than putting two dudes together in a cage to see who is better.  “Jesus says to turn the other cheek…but if you want to see cheeks being pulverized next weekend call your local cable company.  Tell them that Mark “Dream Crusher” Driscoll sent ya.”

2.  Steven Furtick for Red Bull.  If Furtick wasn’t a pastor, he would probably be the most annoying personal trainer ever. “HOWWASIABLETOPREACHFOR24HOURSSTRAIGHT?REDBULLGAVEMEWINGS,BABY!WOOOOOO!”

3.  Charles Stanley for Miracle Ear.  I’m not sure how old Rev. Stanley is, but it looks like the members of his congregation are even older. “Listen…now listen…seriously, listen….and if you’re having trouble listening try Miracle Ear.”

4.  T.D. Jakes for Speed Stick.  Jakes sweats more during one sermon than I have in my entire life. “Well, Praise God. I may be sweatin’ worse than Richard Simmons, but my armpits are nice and dry…thanks to Speed Stick antiperspirant!”

5.  John Piper for American Speed Reading Corporation.  “Hi, I’m John Piper and I write a book every 45 minutes.  If you’re one of my many fans, you may be wondering how will you ever be able to keep up.  Let me suggest getting help from the American Speed Reading Corporation.  My writing is most glorified in you when you are most engorged with it.  Don’t waste your life….read faster.”

6.  Joel Osteen for Reader’s Digest.  I’ve heard Osteen called a skyscraper preacher because of the way he stacks one story on top of another. “…and if you liked that story, may I suggest getting a subscription to Reader’s Digest. My Daddy loved it.”

7.  Rick Warren for Remington Beard and Mustache Trimmers.  It has been reported that Warren came out of the womb with a mustache and goatee.  That’s not true, but I’ve never seen a picture of him clean shaven. “There may not be a real purpose for my facial hair, but I like it anyway.  And Remington is the trimmer brand that I trust most.”

I hope that this never happens.  I hope that those who are charged with proclaiming the Gospel never stoop to using their platform in this manner.  But if/when it does, remember that you heard it here first.

(Are there other possibilities that I didn’t include in this list?  Help me out and share them!)

***Disclaimer: This is meant as satire and should not be viewed in any way as an assault on the character and ministry of those mentioned.  Also, I wish my hair was as cool as at least half of these men****

Grown-up Band-aids

Dora the Explorer seems like a nice young lady; she is respectful of her elders and cares deeply about her friends.  There have even been a few times that she has shown kindness to her arch nemesis, Swiper, even though that little punk continues to try to steal from her every chance he gets. 

You think that I shouldn’t talk about Swiper that way?  He uses a mask and a pseudonym to strike fear in the hearts of Dora, Boots, and the children who follow their every move because he doesn’t have any friends and still lives with his parents.  His real name is Clarence Higginbotham III, he’s 37 years old, is a charter member of the Fur Club for Foxes, and he gets his kicks try to steal stuff from little girls and monkeys.  He really is a punk.

But Dora seems to handle Swiper’s antics (and everything else that comes her way) with a type of grace that belies her tender age.  She is an amazing, bilingual dynamo with a diverse group of friends and talents.  Which is great and all, but I still don’t want to use a band-aid with her picture on it.

This has happened to you before, right?  You give yourself a nasty little cut, go to the medicine cabinet (or underwear drawer, or underneath your mattress, or wherever else you keep your important items), grab the box of Band-aids, and then realize that the only ones you have feature a cartoon character with big eyes and a bright smile.  And you also realize that you are going to have to meet a new client, or go to a funeral, or possibly get abducted by aliens while wearing a band-aid featuring either Ballerina Barbie or Thomas the  Train or the kingpin of Sesame Street–Elmo.

This just doesn’t seem fair or right to me.  Why should kids get to have all of the fun?  Why aren’t there adult character Band-aids?  There definitely should be.  Who would some of the Band-aids feature?  Here are a few of my suggestions: 

1.  John Piper band-aids for cuts that you knew were going to happen.  Your wound is more glorified in you when it is most covered by him.  Or something like that. 

2.  Glenn Beck band-aids for cuts that make you cry for no real reason.  It doesn’t really hurt *sniffle sniffle*, but I love America.

3.  Joan Rivers band-aids for aggravating wounds that have been around for a looooong time. 

4.  Zach Galifianakis band-aids for oddly funny cuts beneath a thick, infrequently groomed beard. 

5.  Matthew McConaughey band-aids for cuts featured on shirtless torsos.  Alright, alright, alriiiiiight.

I have to admit that these probably won’t catch on.  First, they’re just not that good.  Second, the types of wounds that we should really be focusing on are of the type that are impossible to heal by using mere band-aids.

Broken hearts aren’t healed by band-aids.  The wounds of divorce require  more than something that can be bought at a store.  Deep cuts to the soul caused by hurtful words and hateful actions won’t heal themselves just by being covered up.

These issues do not require something more.

They require someone more.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Jesus is the one who can take our brokenness and heal us completely.  He is the one who can bind up our wounds with his love and make something beautiful out of our mess.  With his arms open wide, he beckons us to come and find rest for our souls.

There are some things that band-aids can’t do, no matter whose picture is on them.  The things that are impossible with adhesives bandages are possible with God.

If your broken heart needs mending, go to Jesus.  He is waiting.

(What other adult character bandages would be awesome to have?  What needs to be healed in your life in or the life of someone  you love?  Share away!)