Feelings/Emotions


I’m sitting here at work, the day after the 4th of July, and I’m pondering a few things.  I hate when that happens as it doesn’t happen often.  But here I sit in my office at the college with absolutely nothing going on but our usual rain soaking.  Nothing is going on because we are normally closed on Fridays during the summer months and since the 4th fell on Wednesday this year just about everyone took today off (silly me).  So here I sit, drinking my green tea and reading blog after blog.  And pondering.  Pondering is an actual word meaning, among other things, to “chew over, think over, meditate, excogitate, contemplate, muse, reflect, mull, mull over, ruminate, or speculate.”  The root word, as far as I can tell, was probably taken from Ponder Texas, which isn’t that far from here and has a population of 507.  With a population that small I’m guessing there’s not that much to do but ruminate.  I always thought that ruminate was something Captain Jack Sparrow would do quite often after a night of frolic and rum, but it’s not – it means to ponder. (more…)

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I know you may find that hard to believe but trust me, it’s true.  And it’s not the first time, nor will it be the last.  After a lot of thinking (thanks to Dan and others) I’ve decided that I was wrong about my Zen Dog post.  Not posting it mind you, but in the direction it took my thoughts.

I agree with Zen Dog in that we don’t know where we are going in life, it usually can’t be controlled by us.  As the commercial says, “Life comes at you fast.”  And unexpectedly.  And full of joy, pain, sorrow, laughter, and love.

“He knows not where he’s going.
For the ocean will decide-
It’s not the glory of the destination…
It’s the glory of THE RIDE”

I really didn’t see myself where I am at this stage in life, and it seems I’ve just been along for the ride.  I haven’t reached my destination so there is no glory in that, but I don’t think there is all that much “glory” in the ride either.  Our ride, our journey through life, IS our own and we each face it as best as we can.  But where is the “glory” in growing up in an abusive home, or with addictions, or in poverty, or even in having so much money that life is boring.  I stated in my post that “we only have control over our own ride” and not the ride of others.  While that may be true to some extent, we can control life in the same way we can hold back the tides of the ocean.

We worry about where we will wind up in eternity, the destination (or we worry about where everyone else will wind up); or we worry about THE RIDE and the storm up ahead, or the storm we are in, or the fact that everything is calm and when will the storm come up.  We are paddling with all of our strength just to keep a float and the truth of the matter is that a lot of us are tired, just plain tired.  We talked in our Bible study Sunday night that sometimes being an adult sucks.  So tell me again, where is the glory?

So if the “glory” isn’t in the destination, and if it isn’t in the ride, then where is it?  Well that’s the problem: we assume our glory is in one or the other.  But this is what John tells us in the New Testament:

“The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…For we have all received grace after grace from His fullness.”

So there you have it.  The glory isn’t in the destination OR the ride, but in Jesus who gives glory to them both.  And  the grace to get us through the ride to our destination.

His peace on you.
B~

Well, I’m not really sure how to answer that question. I haven’t been gone, just mainly lurking around reading other blogs, and occasionally making a comment or two. But obviously I haven’t been writing anything lately. Sometimes the words just pour out, but lately they have been short circuiting between my brain and my hands. The thoughts are there, but the urge to write them down hasn’t been. Until now.

On my last post, Trinitie made a comment (it’s good to see she is still around and reading) that she didn’t like the post, that it felt like I was “trying too hard.” The truth of the matter was, I wasn’t trying hard at all…it was just a post to have something there. Slap something together and get it online, and make it fit the season. It wasn’t something on my heart as much as it was just something in my brain. I don’t want this to be the last thing I ever write if I get hit by a car or something on my way home tonight.

And so I write. But the odd thing is I still don’t really have anything of importance to say. About anything. Well, almost anything. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in a job interview for another position here at the college, and I thought I had the answers they were looking for. Except for one question. This question has been bugging me since that day and I still don’t have an answer for it. Not a truthful one anyway.

The question?

What are you passionate about?

What am I passionate about? Lots of things. Some things. Not much of anything. What drives me to get out of bed each morning and live life? What motivates me, what do I care about more than anything, what do I live for? Besides family? Not much of anything. I use to be passionate about the church, but not anymore. I use to be passionate about God, but not anymore. I use to be passionate about what I did for a living (video production), but not anymore.

There is a saying in video production that goes like this, “Old cameramen never die, they just lose their focus.” That’s what has happened to me, I’ve lost my focus.

What are you passionate about?

When we lose our passions, our zeal, we wind up going through the motions of life. Not really living life, just existing. I see that in a lot of people – mainly the older we get the more cynical and “tired” we become. There is a lot of truth to the saying “youthful passions.” We become safe, and boring. I don’t want to be safe; I don’t want to be boring. But at the moment the question remains.

What are you passionate about?

B~

If you don’t know about the tragic shootings in Pennsylvania, then I don’t know what to tell you, I’m not going to rehash the horrible events here. But there are a couple of things that came out of the news reports that give me concern. Both concerns are somewhat related, but only in the fact they concern Christianity and how we tend to perceive God and His will, and how the world sees our faith. Perhaps someone out there can help me get my mind around this; I’m not really sure where I’m going with this.

(more…)

I’ve tried several times to respond to your blog post about godliness, but the words never seem to come, never seem to be quite what I wanted to say. So instead of filling up your blog with my opinions I’m posting my thoughts here, knowing you read my blog and knowing I can say whatever I want here.

You say I opened a can of worms Sunday night at our Bible study because I wanted to know what this “eclectic group of young adults” thought about godliness. I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. My intentions were to just get people thinking about godliness and how it should impact our lives. And you are right, everyone seem to be looking for a definition that was measurable. But that is understandable – everything we do in life seems to have some measurable quality to it, why not in the spiritual realm? But I think we get off on the measure because we use others as our standard, and we measure others by our standards. But the true measure should be Jesus Christ. How do I stack up against Him? Well of course, I stink. But He is still my standard. Our measure should be: “How am I improving compared to how I was yesterday, or even an hour ago?” When I start comparing myself to other believers I can quickly become defeated and frustrated. It’s like running. When I compare my 15 minute mile to those who can run a 5 or 6 minute mile I could get really frustrated with running. But when I realize what I can do now (based on my weight and level of fitness) I’m ok with my 15 minute mile. But how excited I am when I run a 14 ½ minute mile; and then a 14 minute mile. I probably will never run a 5 or 6 minute mile, but I’m ok with that. I know what I’m capable of at the moment and I’m at peace with that. Not satisfied, so I push myself a little harder, but at peace with where I am at the moment.

You also said that you thought our sinful nature makes being godly “unattainable.” I must disagree with you. I think our sin nature keeps us from being perfect, but it doesn’t keep us from being godly. I think we are godly people just because our hope is in the Living God, who is alive in us because of what Jesus did. I think we often make perfection and godliness synonymous, and that is a mistake. Godliness is an attitude, a frame of mind, a way of looking at God, the world, and those we come into contact with. Godliness is our way of representing God to the world, and I think godly people don’t even know they are godly. Some days we are godlier than other days. But we should be seeking and striving to be, as Paul said in the scripture we looked at, an “example of godliness in our speech, conduct, faith, love and purity.” Most days I fail in at least one of those areas if not all of them. But I keeping pressing on, knowing “God has given me everything I need for life and godliness.” I’m not sure I could handle perfection, but I know I can handle godliness. I like your question: “Are Godly people just normal folks who occasionally screw up as they search for truth?” Yes. I see godliness in a lot of people, mostly doing small things they think aren’t all that godly. I see the spark of godliness in all of us, whether we recognize it or not. I see godliness in you T, even in the midst of your “rebellion and cynicism.” Don’t quit trying T; the payoff will be worth it.

B~

Addendum: Becky sent me this quote in an email. It’s Oswald Chambers for Sept. 19th.

The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but God likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit Divine characteristics in your life, not good human characteristics. God’s life in us expresses itself as God’s life, not as human life trying to be godly. The secret of a Christian is that the supernatural is made natural in him by the grace of God, and the experience of this works out in the practical details of life, not in times of communion with God.

 

I’ve been out of town for a while, taking my daughter back to college, so I haven’t been on the computer for a few days.  At least not long enought to post anything, as if I had anything to post.  Also, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, as far as reading my favorite bloggers and what you’ve been up to.

But I wanted to make a quick comment.  This morning I was reading Oswald Chambers and he was talking about prayer, and how we should go into our secret prayer rooms and meet God face to face, which is always difficult for me to do since I get distracted so easily.  But his last line caught my attention and and my heart said , “This is what I want.”  Now to make it so.

But if you will swing the door of your life fully open and “pray to your Father who is in the secret place,” every public thing in your life will be marked with the lasting imprint of the presence of God.

Wow.

B~

*Warning – whine alert: proceed with caution and open mind.

I’ve decided that I’m bored. Bored with what I do for a living. You see, I do video production. I video tape something, and then edit it together to tell some kind of story. But I have a problem and the problem is two-fold. First, the “somethings” that I’ve been shooting for the college the last few years are really uncreative, talking head kinds of things. Boring stuff. The kinds of production where I could take my camera, lock it off while it’s taping, and no one would care because it doesn’t matter.

The second problem is that I’ve been doing this work since 1982 and I’m so ready for something different. Something creative. For those of you who are mathically challenged, that’s 24 years – longer than some of you have been alive. There are days, ok months, where it wouldn’t bother me if I never pick up a camera again. And in a way, that makes me sad. I remember the thrill of directing multi-camera live shows, of going out on location, and the planning and the creative work involved. But not any more. Now it’s become just a job that I do. “Hi, I’m the Instructional Television Production Manager.” Even the title sounds boring. I find myself doing something that I said I would never do, and didn’t for a long time hence the lack of money or retirement, and that is working at a job I hate just to make a living and reach retirement.

I also find, I think, that I may have become bored with my Christian journey. I seem to be doing the same things over and over, and that can get tiring. I long for newness, and refreshing rain, and peace unlike the world can give or knows anything about. And I long to do church differently because I’ve done it the same way for so long. Singing the same songs, hearing the same sermons, all of us speaking the same language. I think that is what intrigues me about people like Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Real Life Preacher, and others who are trying to address the growing boredom of today’s Christianity. I think that is what Jesus really was talking about when He refers to us being salt. We lose our flavor as salt because we have become bored. And boring.

But the first hope of the dry bones living again is the realization that we are dead. That we are boring. That we are bored. And we shall live again.

“Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live.”

Just thinking out loud again.

His peace.

B~

PS – This news story got my attention. I’ve got a friend in Peru and if you would pray for her safety I would appreciate it.

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