Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Some explaining to do...

So often, so many questions get asked about the Emergent movement that don't get answered. I have been searching for a band-aid for the bleeding this is causing, and found a decent one. This article does a whole lot of explaining about the Emergent movement and the Emergent church. It talks about differences within the movement, differences between Emergent and Emerging, beliefs, practices, etc etc. Its wonderful, and its an easy read that fills in a lot of blanks. If you have general (and even some specific) questions, then take the time to read this! Let me know what you think...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

It is decidely so.

I've been thinking a lot about being right. And I think we're all obsessed with it. I don't know if its a yearning for validation. Or if its a desire to be on top. I dont know. I just dont know. Its like with a Magic Eight Ball. You ask it a question and you shake it and you turn it over hoping it says "It is decidely so" or "Without a doubt" or "Signs point to yes." With live life turning over Magic Eight Balls in our minds... hoping we're always right. Always wanting to be right.

What's bad about that mentality, is that it infects our hearts. We are more concerned with coming out on top than about the well being of others. More concerned about being right than about making a difference. If someone isn't a follower of Jesus, and they don't agree with my stance on Creationism, I don't think I should sit down and give them a point-to-point Biblical exhortation showing them evidences of why Creationism is the better thought system over Evolution. I don't think that makes a difference in Eternity. It makes a difference in my ego, sure. But I don't think my best methods should revolve around trying to convince someone to think and believe just like me.

And its the same within the walls of the Christian faith. If we disagree on Biblical view points or about what a Christian world view should be comprised of.... who cares? I mean really, who cares? What does it really matter? We argue and fight and cause more division trying to make the Magic Eight Ball give us the response we want.

But Ephesians says there is "one body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all..." ONE ONE ONE ONE ONE! Unity is talked about along with patience and humility and dealing with eachother in love. We... us... me... you... we have to get to a point where the Me is not what's important. The Us... the universal church.... the body of Christ is whats important. Unity in "one body" and "one faith." Can we disagree? Sure. That's the beauty of this mosaic of Christian faith. But should it get in the way of "loving your neighbor as yourself"? NO. Never.

But it is. It is. Our desire... your desire... my desire to be right gets in the way of a world that needs help. Like my step dad used to tell me, I need to "suck it up." We need to get over ourselves and our petty discrepancies. We need to stand up and say we aren't perfect, we don't agree on every detail, but we are still ONE. And in that unification, there is strength to make a difference. Power to change.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Remedy is coming...

So, David Crowder Band began recording their fifth full-length studio album today. If you know anything about me, then you know I'm excited. You can goto Crowder's personal blog by following the link on the left side of the page. From there, just read and click, you'll find the live webcams they have set up so nerds like me can check in on what the band is doing during the recording process. Hurrah! Hurrah! Besides my birthday, Christmas, and Wedding day, this could be the best day this year. So, I suppose its the fourth best day of the year. But wait, when the album comes out, it'll be the fourth best day and will make today the fifth! Oh! Brain hurts... anyways, so far this year, this is the fourth best day of 2007.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Could you love this bastard child?

Its a provocative song--but its probably one of the best songs I've ever heard. Derek Webb's "Wedding Dress." Its an honest question though. One that I ask myself. How could the God of the Universe want anything to do with me? I don't say that to sound humble or to garner pity. Its just honesty. I am a prideful, bumbling attempt at being a follower of Jesus. I am always open to learn. And always trying... but I fail. I don't see it as weakness. I see it as being human. I see it as part of the process.

Later on in the song, Webb says: "I am a whore, I do confess. I put you on, just like a wedding dress, and I run down the aisle." Wow. Its interesting in the New Testament that Jesus uses the illustration of sex to paint the picture of the relationship he wants with us. Not that our relationship with God is sexual in nature at all! But its this closeness. So close, that the two are one. One is in the other. Its so special, its sacred. Beyond anything our mind can really describe. Sex--this is the image Jesus uses.

In the Old Testament, it says things like "Abraham knew Sarah and she bore a son, Isaac..." So what happened when he KNEW her? They had a kid. That's funny on the surface. But this word know, was used for expressing two people becoming one physically, sexually. Knowing someone was the most intimate thing two could share.

Back to the New Testament... the Bible talks about at the final judgement, humanity will be addressed individually. Each person will hear one of two things: A) "Well done, my good and faithful servant"; or B) "Depart. I don't know you." Wow, again. First of all, there's no "You were a good person. Come on in." See, Jesus doesn't grade on a curve. 100% is an A. 99% is failing. That's a high standard--a serious line in the sand, if you will. But that second thing. The whole "I don't know you." Jesus doesn't turn people away for being "bad" people. He doesn't turn people away for things they've done. He turns them away if he doesn't know them.

This whole "knowing" thing is rocking my world right now. God accepts me as I am--failures, baggage, addictions, questions, doubts and all. And he wants to know me... intimately. Completely. Always. I don't understand why... why love someone like me. I don't understand how...after all the mistakes and screw-ups. But, using sexual metaphors, he says: "I want to know you. I want you to know me." That's how close it should be.

It just gives me hope at the end of the day.
If God loves me, surely there's hope for us all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Take my world apart...

I kept thinking of the lines to Jars of Clay's "Worlds Apart" all afternoon. I had breakfast with a pastor this morning, and it was very constructive. Encouraging. Corrective. Forward thinking. Eye opening. It was many things. It really helped me with everything that's been going on lately. Its really made me think about my actions and choices. Its really made me reconsider some of my recent thoughts on the institutional church. Its really made me reconsider how I should be approaching these frustrations I have inside.

The conversation was kind, repremanding, but at the same time, Biblical. I felt like, for the first time, a pastor at this church cared about the outcome of the situation. I've been really negative lately, and I don't need to be. I realized that today. I realized I have been wrong about some things lately and I need to work on correcting them. I need to work on repairing some relationships. I need to make sure people know I am still the same me.

I need to say I'm sorry. For so many reasons. But mainly for acting out of anger. I don't think there's really anything wrong with being angry, but its how I react that can get me in trouble. I had a friend say today: "YOU? Act out of anger? No!" Of course, he was being sarcastic. I'm an emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve. And I need to soften some of these rough edges I bear.

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 that anyone who is weary and loaded-down can come to Him, and He'll give them rest. That's where I'm starting again at. I'm starting in the arms of a God who loves me no matter what. I'm starting in the arms of a God who is willing to take all the crap and junk from me onto himself because he cares about me. I'm starting again in a lot a ways.

I'm also starting to smile again.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Good news today. I needed it. Brit and I heard that our application was accepted for our new apartment. Moving out starting tomorrow! Woot woot! I'll be totally out of the house on Morehead by Saturday. Its sweet relief. Brit said she was secretly wishing we could get some place nice, but knew I was too proud of the house and what all I'd done to it to mention that to me... just shows how much she loves me. Can't explain how thankful I am to have a better job with which to afford this place.

I was reading an article about how faith and trust and reliance in God is a whole different thing in modern America. We have everything we want--right here. And if we can't afford it, who cares? You can charge it and live even more beyond your means. That's the American way... and its sick. It has totally jaded my perspective. I am spoiled and I am ruined. Can't blame it on the folks. Its everyone's fault. We live in a time when we don't have to rely on God to fill our basic needs because those and more are already met. So trust has to take on new meaning. Sacrifice has to be taken seriously.

For the first time in a long time I am asking what that means for me. I read a blog by a local pastor asking what we keep off limits to God. I don't want that. I know I do it, but I don't want it. I don't want to block sections of my life off from my Creator. That's not sacrifice. That's not living Galations 2:20. That's selfishness. Moreover, that's not trust. We think tithing 10 percent is rough. That's a command! Not a request! And I'm the first to say I'm the worst with my money and my faith. The two play hand in hand. There's no one to blame but me on this one.

At the end of the day, I don't wanna be thankful for a job with which to afford steeper rent. I want to be thankful for a life that has needs being met by a God who provides. I want to be living a life that takes risks for the kingdom of heaven. I want to be real. I just wanna be like Jesus...

So I'm really pursuing what that is for me.
Really pursuing handing my life over.
Really pursuing authenticity.
I'm really pointing the finger at myself and saying: "This is what's wrong with Christianity."


Monday, March 5, 2007

Black and white...

Today I had a conversation with someone over my recent involvement in the Emergent movement. It ended with us both agreeing to disagree, but then I was told I was still in the wrong. It wasn't: "Hey, we both see things differently. And that's okay. We're working towards the same purpose." I had hoped for that. That's kinda where I was going with the whole "remembering Titus" thing... we're all different people who think different things and see things different ways. But I don't see a thing wrong with that.

It's kinda the beauty of God's masterpiece... isn't it? We're a mosaic. A kaleidoscope of humanity. And we should be working as one. Together. United. Not divided over who's right and who's wrong... not forcing the issue of who's in and who's out. We should be one. Peter says that "love covers a multitude of sins." I feel so strongly about that... that in love, we shouldn't be so focused on the minor issues. We shouldn't be so focused on disagreements. If we both don't see eye to eye on something, who cares?

I just don't think that in a world of gray, to make things black and white, someone always has to be wrong.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Surprise, surprise, surprise...

I went to a local production of Fiddler on the Roof tonight. I really enjoyed it honestly. Much more so than I thought I would. There were a lot of ideas that hit home with me right now. Sides that, everyone did a really great job. Several of my friends were in it, so kudos to them. It got me thinking thought about the lack of arts in Bowling Green. Performing and otherwise. No real galleries to speak of. Not much to just enjoy in this area. Sucks. But really, there's not much to do anyway, much less when it comes to art.

Well, short, simple, and nothing else to say tonight...

Friday, March 2, 2007

On a different note...

Anyone can post a comment on here. You don't have to be a registered Blogger. Just click on the comment section below the blog you'd like to comment on and type away! I'd love to hear from everyone...

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I weep for us...

Today, I was asked to move out of the house I rent for reasons too many to talk about here. I wept and wept over the situation. I've tried so hard to provide a nice place for my soon to be bride. So much time and paint and work to make it nicer for her... for us. And that's all down the drain. So we're looking for a new place. But that's not what really hurts.

What really hurts me inside is that it happened at all. I weep for us. I weep for Christianity. This is what's wrong with us. With me. So much ignorance went into this decision, it seems. So many people are talking about me without actually talking to me. So many people are slamming the Emergent Church without really knowing anything about it. So much ignorance. So much blindness.

What happened to love? When did we become so obssessed with who's right and who's wrong? We did we lose our backbone? Instead of going to a brother or sister in Christ and talking to them, we talk about them behind their back. I had a friend tell me the other day he doesn't see anyone trying to "out love or out give" one another. When did we quit caring about what we are really here for? Jesus left us here to continue his work. We are supposed to be bringing the kingdom of God here and now. We are supposed to be imitating Christ. We are supposed to love people unconditionally. We are supposed to give as much as we can without asking anything in return. We are supposed to be community.

Maybe you don't know much about the Emergent Church. is a great resource for some basic information. You could also try http:/// for some good info on it. I can even suggest some good authors like Donald Miller or Rob Bell or Louie Giglio or Mark Driscoll or Dan Kimball--they all write about a lot of the ideas the Movement holds dear. But if you have questions or concerns, talk to someone. Talk to an Emergent, like myself. Find out what it really is. It's not a bunch of moral relativists (people who think there is no Truth and you can do whatever you want) who sit around and slam the church in America. Its not a bunch of pessimists who don't think the Word of God (ie, the Bible) is important. Its not more division of the church. It is people who are seeking to live like Jesus. Its people who want to see the kingdom of God come here and now. Its people concerned about loving a world that is hurting and dying.

I make mistakes. I fall. I do the wrong thing all too often. I'll be the first to say that I'm not perfect. I'll be the first to say I don't have it all figured out. But I have hope for change. I have hope for us. Even today...