March 2006

Hello. My name is Bruce and I'm a hypocrite.

I'm a hypocrite all the time. You can't be a part-time hypocrite…you either are or you aren't. And I'm a hypocrite. There are times I'm more of a hypocrite than others, like when I'm writing this blog or teaching my Bible study class. And my friend Trinitie called me on it. Oh, she didn't come right out and say, "Bruce, you are a hypocrite," though if anybody would, Trinitie would. No, she was much more subtle but just as effective. Her words, intended this way or not, opened me up like a doctor doing heart surgery, and finding my heart wasn't pumping to it's full potential because the arteries were full of fat. Full of excess. Weak because of laziness. Let me explain.

On Sunday I posted a quote about skidding into heaven, totally worn out and screaming "what a ride!" I said that should describe the Christian life. Worn out from serving God. That suddenly seems so cliche. But Trinitie responded in a quiet voice: "Who will be able to say that, though? Everyone is scared of life. Especially Christians. Jesus didn't call us to be afraid like we are." The sad thing is, Trinitie knows me. Not well, but well enough. I've written on this blog before about living a Christian life that is not traditional. I've complained in class about people being "saved," then they get "churched" and they become ineffective. I've talked and written that Jesus wants us to live a life of purpose and meaning and danger and mystery and different and challenging. And most of all, complete. I've read Blue Like Jazz and Erwin McManus and many other "emerging" writers that talk about a fearless, different kind of faith. But my Christian walk is safe, and easy, and white, and middle-class, and traditional in a "contemporary" sort of way. And I'm afraid, just like Trinitie said. I don't know what I'm afraid of, but I do know I'm tired of talking about a different kind of Christianity instead of living a different kind of Christianity.

And so, right now, I'm a hypocrite. I pray that some day I'll be able to stand in front of you and say, "Hello. My name is Bruce and I'm a recovering hypocrite." But I've been living this way a long time. I need intervention. Please help.

His peace.


I want to thank everyone who made comments on my last post…your thoughts and prayers are always appreciated. Reading back over the post I realized, at least to me, how whiney I sounded. This is why I don't like to post anything too personal. I have a tendency to whine. When I wrote the post I was feeling somewhat frustrated, but I think Gary hit the nail on the head when he prayed for me to "have a new sense of worth." I suppose my male ego had been taking a hit and I really didn't feel worth. Thank you Gary for your prayer.

On to other things. Last night we had the first gathering of Altar'd, the worship experience for 18 – 35 year olds. The name, of course, is a play on words. We had altars set up all around the auditorium, but we were praying that lives would be altered, to be changed, to be transformed. Only God knows if this happened or not, but I've left it in His hands to deal with. I just setup and ran the sound and lights, but I really appreciated the experience. The band was great and the preacher was God empowered. And our MCs, a young man and woman from my single's class, did a wonderful job. The auditorium was completely redone with candles and tables and more of an inviting atmosphere. If I can get pics I'll post them. Last night was an experiment, to see what could be put together. We have two more scheduled – one in April and one in May, with plans to go more regular in the fall. Hopefully we can duplicate last night on a less expensive budget because it was paid for with money outside the budget of the church. And it took three long days to transform the auditorium from the traditional look to the more emerging look. But we're learning and God is teaching. I'm excited about the next two.

His peace.

I’m looking for a new job. I hate looking for a new job. Not because I don’t feel that I need a new job, but in the process of looking I’m made aware of my feelings of insecurity. And frustration. I have a Master’s degree that should account for something, but the problem is I’m too specialized. My undergraduate degree is Communications. My Master’s is in Communications but it’s from a Seminary. And my career has been broadcasting and video production. Because of that I have a very narrow window of experience. And I’m getting to the age where employers, even though they won’t say it, don’t want to hire me. They want to go with someone younger who can afford to work for next to nothing because they are just starting out and don’t necessarily have a family. I’ve been looking for over a year. And every time I think I’ve found something and interview…nothing. And my insecurities start to creep back in. Too much education. Too much education of the wrong kind. Too much experience. Too much experience of the wrong kind. And I’m too old. I’ve some friends who are in the same boat, except for the age thing, and they are getting frustrated too. I don’t usually like to post something this personal, but this has been on my mind a lot lately. If you remember, say a quick prayer. I’m off to look at again.


St. Patrick's Day!

It's Spring Break…what more needs to be said.

Click to enlarge.Coming March 22nd, April 19th, May 17th. This is a worship service gathering at First Baptist Burleson for 18 – 35 year olds. Right now this is an experiment. I hope it will be different.

It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.

Ever feel this way? Do you ever feel that things can get much worse, that God really doesn't care, that you are alone and without hope? I'm constantly fighting these feelings, the voices of self-doubt that whisper in my head all those things that can't be spoken out loud. The urge to give in and just quit. A friend of mine asked me in an email recently to narrow my concerns down to one sentence. At first I thought she was joking. But then it dawned on me, all my concerns can be narrowed down to this one thing: I'm afraid of becoming "faithless." You know, one of those people that use to believe but doesn't anymore. That doesn't go to church because it just doesn't work for me anymore. That whines and complains all the time. Ok, I have always done that last one. But in the midst of my stumbling and groping around in the darkness, there is an occasional flash of light, like a flash on a camera going off. And in that instant I can see clearly. I can't see everything in front of me, but I can see enough to just make it a few more feet. It doesn't last very long, but just long enough. And I have to cling to that last flash of light to know that I'm still on the right path.

You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You're out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it!

Ephesians 5:8 (The Message)

In His Light.

Correction (3/11): I don't like the line I put in about not going to church. I know several Jesus Followers that don't "go to church" and I don't consider them faithless. What I should have writen is: I don't hang with other Christ Followers, whether in church or small groups or wherever, because it doesn't work for me. Make sense?

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