Category Archives: General

Life Is Painful

Life is painful. And the sooner I come to terms with that, the sooner I can get on with the business of living Christly and of fulfilling obligations that I am responsible for. Ultimately, I don’t really like to have to struggle and work hard, and it is especially difficult for me to struggle to improve in the area of my spiritual life. And yet, a big chunk of me desires improvement in this area, to be able to force myself out of bed in the morning to spend some time with God, to be able to actually be a strong spiritual leader for my wife, to defeat the pleasures of the flesh that have this irritating tendency to dominate me — in a phrase, to be a Godly man and husband. And yet the ‘old man’ dominates, inflicts his laziness upon me, and I am powerless against it.

But life is painful. And the funny thing is that I expect it to be otherwise, and so I keep treading water, hoping it will get better of its own accord. Yet, it never does. So, the thing to do is to face the pain, the hardship that goes along with growing, and fight the pain and fear and goes along with daily living, seeking my Savior all the way, and hopefully encouraging others to do the same while I’m at it.

And if I really want to go into the helping profession, then I really best get at it soon, or chance wrecking my whole ministry…..

Discontinuity

Finally! Some quality content with some actual depth! (I told you it would pass.)

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A discontinuity of thought that has been niggling at the back of my brain for the past couple of weeks finally came to the forefront of my mind tonight as I was driving home from school. It has to do with the now infamous Janet Jackson incident and the outrage that followed. The outcry of condemnation that I heard on every front was one of shock, embarrasment, and even disgust that such a thing could happen during family programming. What I wonder, however, is why anyone was even surprised. To be honest, immoral acts run rampant in our culture today, in everything from music to art to television and on and on and on. So, I wonder, when we fail to deal with the existence of immorality everywhere else, why we are surprised when it spills over into family time, into that “safe” zone. I wonder why we condemn one ‘minor’ act of immorality while overlooking more blatant displays of the same. I wonder why we are surprised, let alone shocked and outraged, when the snake on the path that we have been ignoring suddenly strikes out and bites us on the foot.

Tsk, tsk, people. You can do better than that……

Exhaustion

Exhaustion is the bane of my existence. When my body is weary, the whole of me suffers. My mind slags, my heart droops, my spirits resigns. Sometimes, I get depressed. Other times, I get irritatingly cynical. I always get apathetic, and when you want to walk the Christian life well, that is not a good thing. Oddly enough, I tend to think that the first line of defense spiritually is to take of self physically, including plenty of rest and healthy diet. Makes sense, then, why Christ spent so much time tending to the physical of those in need before tending to the mending and restoration of their hearts.

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I think I need to lay off the coffee. Two full travel mugs, and I feel really edgy. Lots of caffeine like that does not agree with me, and since there is a caffeine allergy that runs in my family, I guess I am playing with fire.

Ghosts

The call was to talk to a psychic about a possible haunting. The couple had only lived there a short time. In fact, the house was only two years old. She had taken a picture of him, and the print, when it came back, showed perfectly round spheres of light distributed throughout the photograph. She had also seen a little boy (not her own, as she had no children) sitting on her staircase, resting his chin on his hands. These were only two instances of at least half a dozen she mentioned. And she wanted to talk to the psychic to determine if her home was, indeed, being haunted. I never heard the outcome of the conversation because I had to leave for work before the psychic actually came on the phone. My guess is that they were involved in something that attracted this kind of demonic attention, in which case, even moving from that house would not relieve the oppression. Those things have a way of following you…..

Later, another caller wanted to talk to the psychic because he wanted to know how to attract ghosts to his home. He thought it would be pretty cool to have several ghosts to “hang out” with, something like a conversation piece. He thought it would be fun to open his cupboard to get a box of cereal out and find one of his ghosts buddies sitting there (reading the label, or somesuch thing). I don’t think this guy even knew what he was asking for. Dangerous…. and extremely naive……..

Same Desires

For the past couple of days, I’ve been listening to an extended debate regarding the legalization of gay marriage, and the “rights” and “responsibilities” thereof. It occurred to me today that the primary reason for the whole debate, other than the financial benefits gained for gay couples from such legislation, is that gays are seeking the same thing everyone else wants — a legitimate, long-term relationship. Human beings were created for monogamous relationships. It is how our psyches function and where the greatest stability comes from. Ultimately, even gays want some sense of that, and they believe, and hope, that legalizing their relationships will give them that.

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I found the book shown below in our local library. I’m just starting to read it, but the cover of the book caught my attention and so I want to see what this guy’s theory is about. I’m sure I will comment on it here as I work my way through it.

Moral Evolution

This whole business with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s performance at the Super Bowl this past weekend has sparked huge controversy internationally (even the British are marking remarks). Did they violate obscenity laws? Is TV becoming too lewd and crude? What is it really that big of a deal?

The whole problem with this discussion is that one side of the argument insists that morals are a human construct, and that, subsequently, morals change, even ‘evolve’. On the other side of the argument is that side that declares that morals are constant, that they haven’t changed since the Ten Commandments were handed down (to use the words of the notable Rush Limbaugh). As Christians, we stand on the moral absolute side, yet sometimes I wonder if we don’t forget that we are often talking to people who don’t believe in moral absolutes. We know right from wrong because it is clearly spelled out for us in the Bible, and we need to remember that we are talking with people who, just because they weren’t offended by the display (and by continuing downward spiral of morality on TV), don’t believe it to be morally objectionable.

In the long run, the goal is the same as it always has been. Win souls to Christ. Encourage the saints. We aren’t going to change people’s minds about morals without first introducing them to the One who established morals in the first place.

Relief

This will very likely be a shorter post than I would like, since it is late, my stomach is empty, and I have a good-sized headache — but I will see what I can do to stimulate some thinking.

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Tim Wilkins, former homosexual and founder of Cross Ministry, frequently points out that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but rather holiness. It follows in my mind that this can be said of everything, that the opposite of is not its logical opposite, but holiness.

I Peter 1:13 – 16 (NIV) — Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (emphasis added). Ephesians lays out further specifics of this principle.

I think we should be relieved. This, in some ways, makes it easier for us to live Christly. Instead of focusing on a list of do’s and don’ts, we can focus on what it means to be holy, what it means to be like Christ, our example of the Almighty. In the process, if we are striving to meet that goal of holiness, the do’s and don’ts have a way of taking care of themselves, via the work of the Holy Spirit.

Heresy? Or Not?

Call me weird, call me a heretic, if you will. But I don’t believe that our government should be based on the will of the Christian ‘minority’…. I believe it should be based upon the will of the majority. Granted, our nation was initially founded on biblical principles. It was founded on the notion that freedom would reign, that people would be able to worship God as they see fit, even if the God they serve is merely themselves. America was founded as a republic, a place where the people could have a say as to how they govern themselves. The reason that I believe the way I do is because of this notion, that the people choose the shape of their country’s government. Christianity will thrive no matter the shape of the government. Christianity is not a religion of authoritarianism or of dictatorship. It is a kingdom of grace and truth, and it is our responsibility to bring others into the kingdom, not by force, but by the grace and power and love of God. Some Christians think we should force the rest of the nation to become something of a theocracy, but I know from experience that the best way to turn someone off to God is to force them to ‘love’ and ‘serve’ Him. So, let the people choose their government, and let the Christians continue to do what they do, serve God and love others into the Kingdom, sharing the truth in love, as we are commanded, and bearing up under the persecution that results from those who hate us.

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P.S. Don’t get me wrong…. I’m not saying that Christians can’t or shouldn’t be involved in politics. I think we should be involved in every arena of life. I just think that we should focus on the eternal, using the temporal to affect the lives of others as we can. And, hey, if we again end up with a government based upon biblical principles and run according to God’s law, then so be it (though I doubt we will ever see a Christian society again until the millenial reign).