Thoughts


I was reading my friend Chris’ blog, and he had a list of five songs that “defined” his life. It made me think of this post I had written in March of 2005, so I’m reposting it again because I’m lazy. The original post was in response to a post from a twenty-something pup who listed his music and it was the music of HIS generation.

It got me thinking about the music of my life, music that would define who I am and I found that a very difficult task. Of course a life is not “defined” by music, but the music is a reflection and description of how we perceive ourselves at the moment – what experiences we are going through now, and in the past, and how those experiences impact our awareness of who we are or want to be. (more…)

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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…)

First of all, let me say that I am NOT a proponent of people changing churches because “they are not getting fed.” Or in other words, THEIR needs aren’t getting met. I would like to think that I’m beyond that in my search for a new church home, but who am I kidding…it’s always about me. I’m as much of a consumer as anyone else, and churches today don’t feel much different, it’s just another “product.” Sadly, we don’t go to church to give something back or to worship, we go to get something out of it and if the “product” doesn’t live up to it’s packaging we move on to someplace else that can give us what we want. And if nothing ever meets our criteria for what we consider a good church, then we will keep moving around hoping to find that “perfect” church until we become nothing more that church hoppers. (more…)

We’re looking for a new church and I hate looking for a new church.  It’s not like we’re big church hoppers – the last time we looked for a new church was 19 years ago.  That’s right, we’ve been members at one church for 19 years.  So, why are we looking again?  I’m not really sure.  Something happened in the last couple of years that makes going to our current church just feel wrong.  Or more accurately, not where we are suppose to be.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about their theology, but more about how they do church.  Baptist love their programs and activities and committees.  Nor is it because of a falling out with the staff; as a matter of fact there are a couple of people on staff we really love (*cough* shelly/laura *cough*). (more…)

In Matthew 25, Jesus is talking about when He is sitting on His throne of glory and judging the nations of the world, and I noticed a very interesting thing: He was judging everyone based on how they treated their fellowman, not on whether they “walked the aisle.”  Now don’t get me wrong, I believe Jesus came to set us free, and that freedom comes from believing on His name.  But in this judgment He is talking about separating the people from each other based on our response to the misery of those around us. (more…)

“I used to have a disturbing suspicion that the very existence of doubt in my life and in the lives of other Christians was surely a strong argument against Christianity. Why would committed Christians continue to question the very basis of their faith? Why would God allow doubts to cripple Christians even after they have decided to follow Him? The only reason I could think of was that perhaps God is truly not there and we are just attempting to convince ourselves of some extravagant fairy tale.”

In an article based on her book, “Making Your Faith Your Own: A Guidebook for Believers with Questions,” Teresa Turner Vining writes about Christians and doubt. You can read the whole article here. We all struggle with doubts and questions; doubts and questions that don’t seem to have answers. And I’m always asking myself, “Do I?” Why do I doubt, why do I question, do I even have the right to question God? But the interesting thing is, it’s not just me. It should be “Do we?” Why do we doubt, why do we question, do we have the right to question God? I’m not alone, eh? (more…)

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~

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