Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

20 04 2008

“Hi, I’m Stewart, I’m an Ivy League Scholar and a Nobel prize winner, but I’m not smarter than a fifth grader.”

“Hi, I’m Brenda, I discovered the cure to cancer, but I’m not smarter than a fifth grader.”

are you smarter than a fifth grader jeff foxworthy“Hi, I’m the apostle Paul, I survived shipwreck, near-death beatings, I out witted politicians and explained the real meaning of mysterious philosophies, I once killed Christians but then met Christ and changed, but I’m not smarter than a fifth grader.”

It’s one of our favorite programs these days.  Barbara and I howl and laugh and yell at the TV and adore the kids and muse about the questions on “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?”  We both agree that…

click here to read this article at my blog on


Everyone Is Religious

26 09 2007

No one lives without faith.  No one is without religion.

This week I find myself once again contemplating the various issues related to faith for purposes of sermon preparation.  A recent comment to one of my entries generated further thoughts on the matter. 

As I find myself to be the chief care-taker of a wife who is mostly confined to a wheel chair but trying diligently to learn to walk again, I am also the, uh, doggy daddy of a black lab mix that is crippled and needs a lot of my assistance.  I have to carry all 75 pounds of him to the yard to do what he does when he goes to the yard.  A few have suggested that we should “put him down”.  How do we do that to a sweet, gentle animal that is still so full of life, and seems to enjoy every day as if nothing were wrong?  In fact, to him, nothing is wrong I suspect.  Max (short for Maximus Decimus Meridius – get the pop culture reference?) has more life in him than many healthy humans I know.  So we take care of him, and he obliges by loving us, playing with us, and teaching us lessons that have made us better people and better Christ followers.  Max is a picture of faith – he trusts me without hesitation to carry him, help him, and meet his needs.  Oh, but that’s just a dog, right?

We banty about terms like “person of faith” and “faith in God” so much that we have come to believe the concept of faith belongs only in the area of God stuff.  Further, we have bought into the idea that “religion” belongs only to those freaks who follow some form of a god thereby cheapening their very existence.  Yet every day, we all practice  some degree of faith in our relationships and in our activity.  We all practice religious pursuits – none are free from religion if you accept the basic definition of the concept (see here, or here).  It is impossible for anyone to “get religion”.  We’ve all already got it.  It is possible for someone to altar or change their religion.  We all pursue something in life with zeal and ardor.  For some, a daily addiction to video games fits the bill.  To others it could be work.  It could be television.  It could be family.  It could be something innocent or wonderful, it could be something vile or destructive.  Whatever defines us, whatever we point our lives towards, we do so religiously. 

To have faith in God and to follow after Christ religiously isn’t some dull-minded or ill conceived thing to do.  It’s transforming our already present faith and religious inclinations to grow the seed planted in each of us from the dawn of time. 

So I pray that every day I will find a better way to apply my faith and my religious inclinations.  If I am being faithful to what I believe, I will seek justice for all, living a loving life towards all, embrace the down-hearted, care for the needy, and tend to the sick.  That’s a pretty big bill to fill so I’d better be careful about blogging my life away.