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A conversation about dating...

Nobody has the corner on dating.
This became abundantly clear last night when our family was talking through the "rules of engagement" (no, not that engagement) as it relates to "becoming official" or "going out".  This is really our first need for an extended sit down to process our values and vision when it comes to being in a relationship with a boy in high school. 
We've brushed up against the topic here and there, but nothing was ever serious enough to actually force us to state our personal opinions and, dare I say, conclusions.  Opinions didn't seem to ruffle any feathers last night; conslusions on the other hand, well let's just say they were met with a cold countenance.  As a verbal processer, I love talking things out and putting words to feelings and beliefs, but in this case it seemed that when I would state my case for whatever my position was, it was met with altnerate stances and interpretations and ideas about what was happenin…

The Redemptive Heremenuetic...my thoughts.

I've been reading heavily over my sabbatical.  All kinds of books.  All kinds of genres.  All kinds of authors with all kinds of perspectives.

Yesterday I just finished a book that was both enlivening and unnerving.  I consider myself a guy with   a fair bit of tolerance as it relates to perspectives on religion, doctrine, and theology.  I don't know if I'm a straight up latitudinalist, but I'm not the kind of guy who only reads what I believe and only hangs out with people who see life as I do.  I feel it's good to engage conversation with people who don't agree with me and don't see what I see so as to refine and sharpen my understanding of life and, more importantly, my sense of reality.  I derive my reality from my theology...I feel I need to state that.

Theology isn't just a set of beliefs for me, it's a lens of interpreatation through which I perceive.  I see everything around me through the ideas I have about God and the ideas, I believe, He…

When I wonder I awaken wonder...

Soul stirrings this morning:

1. What is that thing inside me that desires greatness?  I can deny it or disown it, but it still pesters me on the inside.  (Is it something that God grants or gives like he promised to Abram in Gen. 12?)  Is it my flesh?  Is it my spirit?  Is it a part of the call or fall of humanity?  Sometime I just block it by pursuing humility, but is this a copout?  Are greatness and humility enemies?  What is this instinct?

2. Why do I default so easily to "many, much, more, most" in all aspects of life.  "How many...How much...What more...Am I making the most?"  What in me bends to ask these questions to rate my effectiveness and equate my value?  Even as I have this time away from the pressure of producing, I am hounded by whether my life is moving toward or away from these words and what they signify and signal.  These words seem to be the dashboard lights of whether I am a success or failure, whether my future is secure or susceptible.  Hmmm…

Kami's 18th birthday letter...

Kami,

I know today doesn't seem like the ideal birthday for you, but I think it says a lot about you.

Usually a birthday is a day cleared out for friends and family to dote on you, planning parties, coffee dates, after school pedicures, cake, and piles of gifts.  This day is a bit different.  The minute you get out of school you were mentioning last night how you have to rush home and lock yourself in your room to go over your message notes for tonight.  Leave it to you to agree to speak in youth group on your 18th birthday on Selflessness.

Instead of relaxing at home before going to ISM, you have to go early to speak to the Middle Schoolers first and then the High Schoolers later on in the evening.  I'm sure by the time 9:00pm rolls around and youth group wraps up, you'll be more than a little tuckered out.  That's kinda what happens when you pour out your heart and share all the things that you've studied.  What an awesome way to spend your special day...preach…

Doing wood with my dad today...

Wood and my Dad

There are some special pastimes
that wake the boy in me,
but few can touch the unique thrill
of cutting down a tree.

It starts with mixing up the fuel
and sharpening the saw,
oiling up the bar and chain
just like I did with pa.

"Get the tractor filled with fuel
then go and get the wagon,
Don't forget our leather gloves
and water when we're draggin'."

I still can hear by father's voice
giving these reminders,
for I was just a little boy
with adolescent blinders.

In time I didn't need his words,
the prep was second nature,
the woods became my habitat
almost my second culture.

With that we'd promptly hit the trail
that led into the wild,
Evoking almost everything
that stimulates a child.

My dad would spot the perfect tree
that needed to be felled,
he'd notch it out and cut with care
and all our plans just gelled.

The tree would crash onto the ground
falling in the clearing,
And every time dad cried, "Timber",
I'd find my…

Spiritual Warfare...this is life or death.

My sabbatical coach shared a story with me from the Bible that I had apparently blown by before.  It is found in the Minor Prophets in the obscure book of Zechariah in the 3rd Chapter.  I just want to share a short part of the story focused on a guy named Joshua, the high priest at the time who seemed to be under some sort of spiritual attack.

When I talk of spiritual warfare, I am often speechless when it comes time to definitively describe what's occurring.  I feel like most of my rationale is conjecture at best.  I'm swinging in the dark hoping to land a punch, but I'm not sure if I'm making it up or telling the truth.

But I know this, I undoubtedly face spiritual attack and it's brutal.

That's where this passage comes along to give us a picture of what is often only a hunch...
____________

Zechariah 3:1-5

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.  The LORD said to Satan…

An ordained conversation with a gay man...

There are times when I know that I know that I know I am having an ordained encounter.  Some would call it a divine appointment.  This morning happened to be one of those holy moments.

I had just doctored up my Starbucks coffee and was getting settled into a plush leather arm chair in the corner when I saw a guy sit down next to me in the other matching chair to my left.  Sometimes I will lift my head from my book and say hi, other times I will keep my head down and mind my own business.  For some reason I lifted my head, smiled, and nodded with a nonverbal 'hello'.  One reason, come to think of it, was the salmon jeans he was wearing that almost glowed in my peripheral.  I'm a color guy and happen to have salmon pants myself, so I had to greet this guy.

To say that I initiated this conversation would be giving myself too much credit.  He was the one who opened his mouth and asked me if I had come from the gym.  He saw my running shoes and shorts and put two and two togeth…