March 28, 2007

Time for a Baptism

A church outside of Pittsburgh, Pa owes the city $2,532,533 for a water bill. Apparently, a water pipe burst in one of the building owned by the church. The building is unused so no one noticed that 1.4 million gallons of water was leaking into the building and out from under the door. (Check out the full story here.) Even though the city recognizes that it over billed the church, the church still owes close to $10,000 in charges.

Speaking of baptisms...my church baptized almost 100 people. This was the most rockin' baptism service I have ever been to in my life! The band rocked, the people were baptized, and when they came up out of the water almost 800 people (at each service) cheered them for their decision. It was awesome.

March 27, 2007

My Little Feminist

The other day my 7 year-old daughter was asking me questions about the White house.

"So does the president live in the White House?" she asked.

"Yes."

"Is that the only house the president has?"

"No," I said, "the President has enough money by that time to have a couple houses."

She was very impressed with someone having that much money. "So can anyone move into the White House?" she asked.

"Well, only the President lives in the White House," I said. "When the president is elected as president HE then moves into the White House."

"Or SHE!" she said.

"What?"

"It could be a girl," she said.

"You are right," I said, "the President could be a girl. There just has never been a girl President before."

"Then I can be the first!" she stated with great confidence.

"That is right," I said, "you certainly could."

(This post is dedicated to my friend Shawna! I knew you would love this story.)

March 26, 2007

Killing Your Vision: Pitfalls for the Pastor

At the end of last week I made some observations about Israel's first King, Saul. (Read them here and here.) Saul's lack of confidence caused him to listen and heed to the opinions of his men and his followers more than to God. As a result, God reject Saul as King.

One of the dangers is to read that God rejected Saul as king and turn it into an eternal destiny issue. This is not about heaven and hell; this is about the position of leadership in which God placed Saul. Saul was rejected as king. His authority and God's blessing on his leadership of Israel were removed.

The answer, as I see it, is for the pastor to focus on the vision God has called him to, and seek after that with his/her whole heart. Critics will flock to nitpick the vision. Others will attempt to steer the vision in their direction. But unlike Saul the pastor must maintain the course.

But there are some pitfalls for the pastor:

1. Arrogance and Pride. With the vision comes great responsibility. There also can come great success for the Kingdom of God. The danger happens when the Pastor forgets that it is God who brought him/her to this point and not their own genius. The begin to think about what they have done, and believe they have created the growth and "success" of the ministry.

2. Dictatorship. Just because the person is the visionary leader doesn't mean that he or she has all the answers. They may have some of them. They may even have most of them. But they don't have all of them. In leadership one person has to take the lead on vision-casting and leading, but he certainly needs a team around him to make it work. The best leaders choose the best leaders and then create an environment where they trust each other to do their jobs.

3. Stop Listening. The primary responsibility of the pastor/leader is to listen for the voice of God and then obey. But there is a lot of stuff that goes along with leading a church. There are sermons to write and meetings to be had. There are programs to create and ministries to lead. There are a lot of other things that can distract the pastor from listening to the voice of God. If the pastor stops listening to the voice of God he might as well find a new line of work. The pastor must make the time to listen.

4. Discouragement. Pastor, in general, hate to offend people. They love people and want to see them grow in their relationship with God. It is hard to see someone reject God. It is hard to have a great Sunday and then hear that numbers were down. It is hard to worship because you are concerned with how others are moving toward God. It is hard to be having a great, restful day and then receive a phone call from one of the critics. This is where the pastoral team comes into play. This is also where taking your days off and learning to listen to the voice of God rather than the few critics.

5. Not Listening to Counselors. Every pastor/leader should have a good counselors around him/her. What this does is help the pastor evaluate the truthfulness of criticism and suggestions. We can become blind to our faults, and miss the opportunities for personal growth. We need people in our lives that are willing to tell us the hard truth about how our interactions and actions are affecting the people around us. Our counselors should be older, wiser, but also recognize the different style of ministry to which we are called.

6. Forgetting People. The pastor/leader has to listen to and obey the voice of God at almost any cost. But this is not a Get Out Of Jail Free! card that allows the leader to leave bodies in their wake as they pursue God's vision. While we need to have a confidence in God and the vision he has given us, we certainly cannot take a "go to hell" attitude toward everyone around us. The Great Commandment tells us to love God and our neighbor. I don't think we are to succumb to their wishes, but neither are we to charge ahead with no concern for them whatsoever. Sometimes the leader believes people are defiantly refusing to follow when actually he or she has not given them time to process and come along.

There is a tension the pastor/leader must maintain and fight for. This tension is found in holding on to the vision God has given and not walking over people to get to that vision.

7. Sin. Learn to fight temptation. Confide in friends and your spouse. Remove yourself from tempting situations and people. Do whatever it takes to finish strong. Nothing destroys the power of someone's ministry more than their fall.

What do you think? Are there more pitfalls? Little has been said or responded to concerning God's rejection of a pastor's leadership in a church. Do you think this is a possibility or am I reading too much into the life of Saul?

March 23, 2007

Great Quote

Steve Furtick is the pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. His blog and manner is a bit in your face and raw. That seems to be his style. But it is definitely working. A little over a year ago, Steve and 8 families sold their homes, quite their jobs, and move to NC to start the church because they believed that is what God wanted them to do. Now, a little over a year later, they are reaching about 1,600 people each weekend. Check out his blog here.

Steve had a great quote on one of his posts: "We don’t feed turkey to the homeless on Thanksgiving and then flip them the bird the rest of the year."

What do you think?

2%

Have you ever been part of a team, church, whatever, and one person is a problem person? What do most people do? They avoid the situation. They talk about the person behind his/her back. They complain. But do these methods really improve anything?

The answer is having open, honest communication in the first place. The secondary answer is that someone needs to say something.

I found this article at Fast Company. It is a good read for pastors and leaders who are setting policy and working with staff members.

It is a challenge to be open and honest. It is also a challenge to receive open and honest. Part of the challenge is determining if it is REALLY honest and true.

Killing Your Vision: Dangers of Perception

Yesterday I wrote about my observations of King Saul's leadership. While the Bible focuses on his disobedience and God's rejection of his kingship, I tried to look at the clues as to why Saul disobeyed. He is an example of what we should not do and how leadership should not be carried out.

Saul's calling and commission by God was to lead the people of Israel and to obey God's commands. God chose him to lead Israel, called him from humble beginnings, and told him to lead the people of Israel. Rather than obey God, Saul listened to those around him. I think he did this because he was self-conscious and lacked self-esteem. I think he wanted people to like him and he thought it was easier to just do what they said.

I believe that when God gives someone a vision or a command He expects it to be carried out. As a pastor/church-planter that means I will be responsible to accomplish what God has given me to do through the local church I am leading. I am responsible to obey God. I am responsible for my actions in leading that church and for my part in being and doing what God asks in order to accomplish that vision.

But if you are going to be that kind of leader there are dangers in how people will receive your leadership:

1. Competing Visions. People in the church come with all kinds of baggage and ideas about how church should look and be done. Often their ideas conflict with where the pastor/leadership feel the church should be going. Rather than find a community where God tells them to be part, they stay and fight the pastor/leadership with their competing vision.

In the face of opposition, the pastor/leadership must evaluate what is being said, but cannot and should not turn from the vision God has given them. This does not mean they are above question. But, the pastor/leadership cannot be distracted by every stray comment, critic, or pressure (sorry, couldn't think of another "c" word). They have to maintain their course and pursue the vision God has given them.

I hate the idea of church-shopping. It usually has a consumeristic mindset behind it that is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the purpose of the Church. But, I do believe that God calls us to be part of a particular community of faith, and sometimes it takes a little time to find that community. Our search should not be based on a "what do I like?" or "what's in it for me?" mentality, but with a humble "God, where do you want me?" This includes being able to get behind the pastoral vision for that church.

This leads to my second point...

2. People hate submission. In our culture the word "submission" is a bad thing. But in the Bible it is demanded by God of all those who follow the leaders he puts in place. Submission is no excuse for abusive leaders, but it is a reminder that we are to evaluate our attitudes and actions toward those God has placed in leadership.

If someone feels they are in conflict with the pastor/leadership vision for the church I would recommend a few things.

First and foremost, evaluate your attitude. Is the "problem" a result of your lack of submission to the leadership God has placed over the church? Is this simply you seeking to have your own way? Sometimes we allow our ego to demand a change simply because we want our own way and don't want to follow the person God has placed over the church. This is a problem with you and me and not with the pastor.

Second, ask yourself, Is this an issue worth dying over? Is this issue so important to me that I have to do something about it? There may be an issue that you feel needs to be addressed with your pastor/leader. You may feel it is important enough to state your side of things. Assume the right attitude and then go talk with your pastor. Say, "I want to understand your side of why we do such-and-such. Can we have coffee?" Then actually listen to your pastor's side. Assume he/she has the best intentions and is trying to follow the voice of God. Be willing to state your side, but also be willing to live in submission or to take an active role in helping your pastor make the changes should you agree to go that way.

Third, if you feel this is an important issue; you have spoken with the pastor in a respectful, Christlike way; and you still feel you haven't come to a resolution it is time to respectfully consider a change. I am a firm believer in making no noise as you leave and maintaining the best of relationships in the process. When I left my former denomination, I realized we were just headed in different directions. I didn't think they were sinning or leading people astray; I felt that as I followed God He was leading me elsewhere. So I left with little fanfare and no noise. When there is a difference of vision, I am a firm believer in not making waves and in respecting the leadership that God has placed over that organization.

David serves as our example here. He continued to follow Saul even though God had rejected Saul as king over Israel. David fought hard for Saul because he was the leader God had placed over Israel, and David did nothing to undermine Saul. In fact, David stayed on and supported and bolstered Saul's leadership. Without David, Saul's kingdom would have crumbled much earlier.

3. People love criticism. A few months ago our church received an out-of-state email from an anonymous person that wanted to criticize our church. I deleted the e-mail. People are great at being Criticism Snipers. They hit you and run. This is easy and cowardly for those who have no right to say anything because they are not invested in that church.

But sometimes the people are inside the church. If you are being critical of your pastor/leadership YOU are in the wrong. "I have legitimate concerns," you say. Maybe so, but criticism is the wrong way to handle it. Criticism undermines the leadership God has placed over the church and it harms you. When you and I criticize we damage our hearts. We create a negativity that is not what God desires.

Either be Christlike and talk to your pastor or find a place where you know God has placed you to serve. If God wants you to stay and the pastor doesn't agree with you position, then see the word "submission." We are called to live in submission to God and the leaders HE puts in charge. If you are not actively involved in serving in the church or you do not attend a particular church then stop criticizing. Criticism should have no place in the Church.

4. Prideful Arrogance. When a leader is confidently pursuing obedience to God and rejecting all distractions from that vision they are in danger of being labeled arrogant and prideful. "They only want it their way!" That may be true, but there is a big difference between prideful arrogance and confidence in the direction and vision God has given.

Again, this goes back to where the calling and anointing to leadership comes from. If the leader is passionately pursuing obedience to God...it is not arrogance to reject all competing visions. God has called them, and they MUST follow or forfeit their legacy before God.

Next, I will look at the pitfalls for the pastor who takes confidence obedience to God too far. What do you think some additional dangers are for the pastor who is seeking to obey God? How do you think those who disagree should respond?

(Check out part 1 and part 3.)

March 22, 2007

Killing Your Vision: A Lesson from King Saul

The last couple of weeks several things have converged to open up the story of King Saul for me. I have been reading through the Bible and am currently working through 1 Samuel. During this same time, I have been doing some freelance writing, and the assignment dealt with the same passages of Scripture. So, over the past few weeks, I have been reading and re-reading the story of Saul's coronation and disobedience (1 Samuel 9-16).

The prophet Samuel is growing older and he appoints his sons as judges to help with the leadership of Israel. The problem is that Samuel's sons are dishonest and pervert justice by taking bribes. The people of Israel, in an attempt to be like neighboring kingdoms, ask for a king.
As Saul enters the story, he is a walking contradiction. He stands head and shoulders above everyone else, but he lack self-esteem and confidence in God. Despite standing out among all the other people, Saul is more concerned about what they think than about what God thinks. Despite being called and chosen by God to lead, Saul still considers himself inadequate.

There are several things that reveal Saul's character.

First, during the coronation of the new king, Saul could not be found. Why? Because he was hiding among the baggage! This man who stood head and shoulders above everyone else was hiding among the baggage. Rather than accept the God-given authority he hid. I believe because he felt inadequate and insecure. He was looking at the enormity of the task rather than the enormity of God.

Second, as the large Philistine army gathered against Saul and his army, Saul's men became fearful and fled. As Saul watched his men leaving he became concerned. He didn't trust God to give him the battle, and there seems to be a desperate sense of insecurity on his part. He disobeys Samuel's orders and offers the sacrifice.

Third, When attacking the Amalekites, Saul was ordered to completely destroy them. But rather than destroy them, Saul spared the king and saved the best of the animals to "offer as a sacrifice." When Samuel questioned why he disobeyed, Saul said the army wanted to keep the animals to offer as a sacrifice. So rather than obey the words of God, Saul submitted to the influence of his soldiers. He was so concerned with how they viewed him that was willing to disobey God.

You can see his insecurity in the fact that he gave an arbitrary command to not eat, despite the need of his army to regain their strength. The command seems to be simply to exert his own authority and bolster his power. Also, following the Amalekite battle, built a monument to himself rather than to God.

In thinking about our vision and leadership, I realized that many pastors have lost their authority because they are acting like Saul. I have been like Saul. Rather than listen for the voice of God and obey Him, we have lived out of fear of alienating someone or loosing someone from the church or losing that tither that keeps us afloat. Many people lack the confidence of God's authority and rest on their own ability. They lack self-confidence in who God has called them to be, and they are insecure about the authority God has given them.

When pastors fail to listen to God, seek after him, and live obediently, we risk being rejected. God rejected Saul as King, but Saul remained king for many more years. God had already chosen his successor. I don't think Saul was excluded from God in an eternal sense, but his authority and leadership were now rejected. I wonder how many pastors have been rejected by God, but are allowed to remain in the pulpit. I wonder how many, because they listen to their church board or the "squeaky wheels" more than God, have been rejected.

I know that I have given in just to "keep the peace." And there is a fine line between being confident in God's leading and who God called us and authorized us to be AND being a dictator. I think there is a fine line between being driven by a vision God has given us and leaving broken people in our wake as we step on them to get to that vision. We are called to lead which means we have to bring people along with us, but neither can we allow others to dictate the vision.

Saul gave in. He was insecure and failed to rely on God. He was more concerned with what his men thought of him than what God thought of him. David sought after God. The power of his character and confidence led Israel to some of its greatest days as a people.

What do you think? What about your confidence? How do you gain accountability to keep you confident without being arrogant?

(Check out part 2 and part 3.)

March 19, 2007

When the Popular Pastor Resigns...and Stays!

DallasNews Religion page announced that Max Lucado was stepping down as senior pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. (hattip: MondayMorningInsights). The article says that he is stepping down from his leadership role because of some heart trouble (not the spiritual kind), but is staying at the church. He wants to focus on writing and preaching.

For me this begs the questions, "What happens when the popular pastor resigns and then stays?" Has the pastor really left? Has he/she allowed the pastor who follows to truly assume the leadership of the church? What if someone disagrees with a decision made by the "new" pastor and the old pastor doesn't like the decision either?

I may be wrong, but this seems to set the new pastor up for some difficult hurdles in a profession that has enough difficulties to begin with!

Imagine being the "new guy" that follows Max Lucado, and Max is sitting there in the pews/chairs/stadium surround seating every Sunday morning. No pressure! Even if the pastor has some great self-esteem, this doesn't remove the pressure of having a much-loved previous pastor as part of the church.

I know it must be hard to leave a church family you love. If, like I believe it should be, the pastor stays for a long time then deep relationships are built and friendships are made that are not easy to step away from. The senior pastorate is lonely enough as it is, but then to resign and move away to a new area and a new church...that is hard too.

So what do you think? What would suggest to a church that is loosing a much loved pastor, that is planning to stick around, and getting a new pastor?

March 16, 2007

Hectic

Things have been VERY hectic lately. I have taken on new responsibilities at work, we are beginning to look for a house, I have several freelance deadlines looming, and we still need to do our taxes. When things get hectic and pressured, I have the tendency to take things on my own shoulders and neglect Matthew 6:24-34.

When I am I am stress or feel pressured, I get the job done, but I complain. I am a complainer and a critic. I think this is more noticeable because I am a verbal processor (I process things as I say them...not usually the best for those around me). Eventually things settle down, and I gain better perspective.

I think this worry reveals a deeper problem...I don't trust God to handle things. That is the problem with worry; we take the pressure on ourselves as though the results depend solely on us. We worry, and never realize that our worry accomplishes NOTHING!

If we could learn to trust God more and depend on Him for the outcome, worry becomes something of the past. We have to do our part, but the results are really not up to us. We have to trust that He will provide the outcome. We have to trust that our best efforts will be enough, and that God will do the rest.

Worry means that I am taking responsibility that is not mine. We cannot use this as an excuse to give anything less than our best, but neither can we take credit or pressure for something that is not ours.

On a side note: Our church just released a live CD from our WOW! Service. Check out a few of the songs here.

March 12, 2007

The Writing-English Geek in Me

I am a writing/English geek. I like words. I like grammar. I am not perfect in my performance, but I love this stuff!

I especially notice the lack of good writing on blogs. (I am not going to point the finger at anyone because I know I am often guilty.) Bloggers are notorious for bad grammar, choosing the wrong words, and misspelling words.

Anyway...

Here is my writing/English geek link of the week: Word Wise

Enjoy my fellow geeks!

What Would You Say?

Over at Bob.blog, there is an interesting discussion. He opened up the comments section for Pastors and church attenders to anonymously air their "complaints" or "observations" about each other. He challenged them to be open, honest, frank, but not brutal.

I thought it was a good idea, so I am going to steal it!

If you are a pastor, what would you like to say to your attenders that you have not been able to tell them or haven't had the courage to tell them?

If you are a church attender, what would you like your pastor to know that you haven't told him/her?

Play nicely, but feel free to be anonymous. Also, feel free to play along on Bob's site as well. The comments are worth reading.

March 9, 2007

Will Work For Food

We have all seen them. They stand on the side of the road holding a sign that asks for money. If you are like me, you have the standard excuses:

1. I don't know how they are going to use the money (ie alcohol or drugs).
2. They make more money standing there than if they actually worked.
3. Why don't they just go get a job.

Today, I pulled over and gave a guy some money. I don't and can't do that all the time, but today I felt like i should. Bob is homeless, has a Pepsi addiction, and lives on the streets. After talking for a few moments at the side of the road, I pulled into a parking lot next to the corner and prayed with him.

The last few years have been a journey in generosity for me.

I grew up very poor. My mother was on welfare because there was no other way to support herself and raise two children. Many (and I do mean MANY) people looked down on us because they thought we were mooching off the system or whatever. What they didn't understand is that my mother tried many times to get a job, but faced loosing medical insurance as soon as she earned $1 from her employment. No place was willing to give medical insurance for at least 90 days. With small children that was impossible.

I remember the humility of having to purchase food with food stamps. The bright orange and green fake dollars were obvious to everyone. They screamed, "Here is a poor person!" I know this may be hard to understand for some, but it is humiliating.

Ironically, I had this tension of being generous and being stingy. Don't ask me to explain that. All I know is that at times I could be very generous and at times very stingy.

What I have come to realize is that God is all about generosity. He is generous in his forgiveness and He is generous with His resources. Often, though, He has placed His resources into our bank account. (since we are really just stewards...)

Here is what I have come to believe:
1. We can't give to everyone, but we can give to more people than we are currently. We use that excuse to let ourselves off the hook, when we should really be looking for every opportunity to serve others.

2. Generosity is never wrong. I know that using a word like "never" could cause someone to look for the one time that generosity is wrong. God is generous with forgiveness and love and resources and He asks us to be His stewards and give His stuff away.

3. Generosity is expected of the Church. Now here is where we have to take a both/and approach. Yes, the organization we call the church needs to be generous. But the biblical understanding of "church" is not an organization is the community, the people, who follow Christ. We are to be generous. Think of the excuses we use not to tip our wait staff, not to help our neighbor in need, not to give the person on the side of the road some money. I am not saying to give to everyone, but, again, we could be more generous.

4. Give them back their humanity. Except for a few who are milking the system, begging and being poor is a dehumanizing experience. It strips a person of their basic human pride. We need to speak to people of all stations in life as though they are our equal. We need to give without stripping a person of their pride. I remember one church who "adopted" our family. They marched the youth group into our ramshackle house as though we were they were on a Poor People Safari! I would NEVER visit their church because I didn't want them to recognize me.

There are people who are taking advantage, but they don't have to be the focus. Consider how many people you can help.

Do you think a person can be too generous?

What do you use to guide your generosity?

Would you add anything?

March 8, 2007

Celebrate Procrastination Week

I just learned that March 5-11 is Procrastination Week. I was going to do something to celebrate it, but figured I would just wait until next week.

March 5, 2007

Not Sure What to Do With This

I found this article, and thought it interesting. Check it out here.

It seems a local strip club did a concert-fundraiser to help a local church move its music venue to another location. The club hoped to raise $20,000 to give to the church. The church is being evicted because of complaints about loud music.

I wonder...would a church do a fundraiser to help a strip club move to a new location because it was being evicted?

Probably not.

The Problem with Faith

Do you know what the problem with faith is?

You can't prove it.

No matter how much evidence is acquired, you cannot possible provide enough of it to push belief beyond a shadow of a doubt; especially in spiritual things.

Last night, James Cameron's The Tomb of Jesus aired on the Discovery Channel. For those of you who have not heard (and are living under a rock!) a tomb was discovered several years ago with several mini-coffins that contain the bones of the deceased. Carved on them are the names of the person in the box. One says, "Jesus son of Joseph." Other names seem to indicate a "Mary" is also present. For some, this indicates that Jesus was not resurrected. For others, it proves that more than one person names Jesus lived in Jerusalem.

To be honest, I did not watch the show. I only saw a few minutes before deciding to watch something else. (I did see one expert say something like, "Either you believe that Jesus somehow magically ascended into heaven, or you are historical and realistic." No one said the documentary was unbiased.) Because of this, I will not make any comment on how well James Cameron did or did not prove his point. For more see Ben Witherington's post here.

What I want to point out is that people from all points of view will watch that documentary and look at the same evidence and it will prove their point. Each of us starts with an assumption. We either believe that Jesus is the Son of God come in human flesh and we see all that evidence in support of it. Or, we don't believe Jesus is the Son of God or that he resurrected, and we see all the evidence for that too. No amount of evidence seems to persuade either side to change their viewpoint.

The assumption that we start with is our point of Faith.

I think we all have faith. Even when we are trying to be objective, there are certain presuppositions that color the way we interpret the data from the evidence. If we believe there is no God or that Jesus was not resurrected, the evidence confirms that the bones are Jesus'. If we believe that Jesus was resurrected, then we do not even entertain the thought that the bones belong to Jesus. Even when trying to be objective...we are not.

If we believe the Bible is God's Word, then we believe that the words we have were inspired by and the message guarded by God through the Church. If we do not believe the Bible is God's Word, then we see all the possibilities for exploitation and addition or subtraction from the text.

The same thing happens with modern-day miracles. Either we believe prayer works and we see that someone's miraculous healing is a direct result of God's influence. Or, we don't believe prayer works, and there must be some explanation: the ability of the body to overcome and heal itself, some medicine, whatever.

I admit that I am a "prove it" kind of person. I want to see evidence, but I also have to realize that at some point, I have to put my faith in something. I have to believe in something. I also have to realize that my faith determines how I will view evidence.

I also think that we do a disservice to the faith if we constantly take it into the "Prove It" realm. If I try to weigh my faith propositions in an arena that does not allow for faith, I am already set up for failure.

We do this with science. We try to prove the Bible through the scientific method, but many scientists are able to dispute our evidence because they start with an assumption that EVERYTHING that is real is reproducible. Many start with an assumption that excludes the possibility of the divine. It is also hard to note when God uses a natural occurrence to accomplish His task when it is God and when it is a natural occurrence.

What changes a person's mind? I believe (here is one of my assumptions that God is working in our world through the Holy Spirit) that the Holy Spirit is the only one who can change a person's assumptions about the world. We can't CONVINCE a person of anything, but we can be the voice and take part in what God is doing.

What do you think? What role does faith play in how you evaluate the "evidence" of something?

March 1, 2007

Don't Kick Them While They Are Down!

A few years ago I was watching a stand up comic on television. It dawned on me how of American humor is based on cutting someone down. Someone's failure or trouble becomes fodder for every comic in America.

Over the past few weeks we have seen the death of Anna Nicole Smith and the apparent melt-down of Britney Spears. Instead of compassion we make comedy. Instead of caring for those who are hurting, we somehow make ourselves feel better because, "I am not that bad!"

Craig Ferguson has video on Youtube that everyone should watch. I know this is a bit long (12 minutes), but it is worth it. It is interesting that it takes the people in the audience awhile to get that he is not meaning to make jokes about Britney and the people who are hurting.