Tag Archives: forgiveness

Barbershop Theology – a lesson from a hot check

Barbershop Theology

I have attended college. I have attended four of them. I learned a lot at college. I have degrees that suggest, “Hey, this guy learned.” But I can never replace the lessons I learned as the shoe-shine boy in my dad’s barbershop.

Hundreds of people came through Caldwell’s Barber Shop over the years.  Between public school and the barber shop I received an education in Apache, Oklahoma. Here’s another story that has helped me understand a little more about the world, myself, and the truth to live by.

Salesmen and “Simpletons”

A unique sub-set of folks that came through Apache viewed us locals as rubes or hayseeds. I was always entertained when some of the locals would oblige the stereotype. They did it purposefully. Most of the people that visited our fair small town were gracious, winsome, and very kind. A few of them were condescending (a few salesmen) they “shore was high themselves.”

As a boy, I was maybe ten or eleven years old, I could be easily impressed by a smooth presentation and a new gizmo with an interesting name. The old timers who loitered in Dad’s barbershop weren’t so easily moved. My job was to observe from the sideline as the pitchman worked the crowd and then watch as one of the locals morphed into Gomer Pyle. Continue reading Barbershop Theology – a lesson from a hot check

Simple Sabbath — Because We Fail

I fail. I have failed. I will fail.

 As people we fail; as friends we fail; as a spouse we fail. Failure is in us and all around us.

Phil Mickelson, golf

Misery loves company – – – Or so I’ve heard. I do know that I feel better about my shortcomings when I see others who struggle.  Just the other day I watched my favorite professional golfer, Phil Mickelson, miss a two-footer. TWO FEET!!!  Come on, man!!! Oh well, I understand. I miss plenty of the same kinds of putts.

I’m re-reading one of my favorite books, The Killer Angels, a Pultizer Prize winning historical novel by Michael Shaara. The book tells the story of four days of the Battle of Gettysburg. The first time I read the book it made me cry. I was sad for all parties involved.

I’m a huge fan of General R.E. Lee. Huge! (Lincoln too)

General Robert E. Lee

But as I read the story yet again, I find myself saying, “Please listen to Longstreet, and please don’t march those young men into the Union center.” But Mr. Lee is very stubborn and the carnage is nauseating. Following the frontal assault on the third day of Gettysburg Lee surveys his beaten army and say, “All this has been my fault.” The venerable Lee had failed*.

Do we know anyone else who has failed? How did Jesus’ students do at test time?  In Matthew 26:2 Jesus said, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming and the Son of Man is to be delivered up for crucifixion.”

He went on teaching them of things to come and we pick up this familiar story in the Garden.

Judas' symbol of failure

1. First we recount Judas’ betrayal. He rats Jesus out. We see this picture of a Benedict Arnold; he double-crosses Jesus; he is a snitch, a squealer, a two-faced friend. The term Judas’ Kiss is forever a despicable image.

  Consider all the ways we are unfaithful to Jesus in the same manner. When we allow our plan to supplant the purpose of Jesus Christ, we betray the Lord.

2. Jesus asks his disciples “keep watch” with Him in the Garden. They fall asleep. We see this picture of sloth, laziness and/or indifference. They must have really been tired, huh? Continue reading Simple Sabbath — Because We Fail