Showing posts from January, 2006

Metaphor for Life?

What I'm listening to: Nickel Creek's This Side

I was visiting my very good friends in Wyoming last weekend and they are going through "The Purpose Drive Life" for the second time at their new church. And my friend had a revelation for herself that I am still thinking about and pondering - yes, it’s that good.

What is your metaphor for life? Rick Warren asks. Is life a journey? A test? A bowl of cherries? [Insert obvious Forest Gump quote here. I always hated that movie.] The first time my friend went through this, she decided that her metaphor was "Life’s a roller coaster". And she hates roller coasters. The unexpected drops and turns … the feeling of completely helplessness … the huge peaks and valleys … a huge sense of dread. She realized she approached her life with a "what now?" kind of attitude.

Me? I love roller coasters. But I’ve also never considered my life like that either. I’ve never read "The Purpose Driven Life" and never …


What I'm listening to: Gretal's Unreturnable Dirt and Grant Lee Phillips's Virginia Creeper

What is the process of sanctification? Simple. The process we go through to become more like Christ. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death". (Romans 8: 1-2) This is the ultimate message of grace. We are not meant to live out lives as though trapped by sin. Paul goes on to later say in the same chapter another very simple message in verse 37 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." The process of sanctification is a promised success, not failure.

There are many ways the process of sanctification manifests itself.

Scripture knows nothing of an isolated model of sanctification which takes place apart from human relationships. I find that fascinating. Here's why.

Would we need restoration w…

Everyone Else is Talking About it

'End of the Spear': missions buffeted by U.S. culture war

There is much controversy in the Christian community concerning the movie End of the Spear . (I will carefully note this is all happening just after the movie is released in theaters, and the most crucial money-making time for the studio and distribution company.)

The movie's been panned by critics, glorified by many Christian leaders who don't yet know about Chad Allen's sexual orientation, and boycotted by some Christian leaders and lay people who do. I remember Chad Allen when I was a kid. He was on the cover of every Teen Bob and Tiger Beat magazine for a time. He was the latest heartthrob for teenage girls to pin to their walls. I never thought much of him as an actor; he was mediocre in talent as far as I could see. Not that he had many great roles, but still. And sure I thought he was cute. I was 12.

I went to see End of the Spear the weekend it opened. I loved the book "Through the Gates of Splendo…

The Space Between

What I'm listening to: Santus Real's Fight the Tide

I remember the first time I heard a Dave Matthews song. It was well before they were mainstream and I was standing in line at the cafeteria and two people I knew were singing: What would you say/If you a monkey on a string/If you a doggie on a chain/What would you say. I have no idea why this memory stayed with me; it was probably 10 years ago. It's weird that I would remember something so insignificant, but I remembered it. Today.

So it couldn't be more ironic this is how I first heard DMB in light of what I'm writing about now. Today I read the following sentence: There is a space in between us on the journey that we both contribute to.

Years ago the following song was quite popular, and it's hard for me to forget because it was on the radio when a guy smashed into my car (with me in it) with his pickup. Every time I hear that song, it's followed by the sound of my blue mercury tracer going "crunch&quo…

The Birth Order Predictor

What I'm listening to: Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia

Huh. Interesting. I have two much older brothers. So I guess I am an only child in a way. The rest of it is nearly dead on.

You Are Likely an Only Child

At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.

At work and school, you do best when you're organizing.

When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.

In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.

Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.

You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.

The Birth Order Predictor

Being Watered

What's I'm listening to: Plumb's Candycoatedwaterdrops

I've decided that we're not that much different than plants.

A plant gives and gives oxygen. But if you don't water it, it dies.

I've been around the people who are constantly striving. Striving to be better, striving to be seen, striving to make their life better. But there comes a point when striving is more hurtful than harmful.

The very word "striving" has a lot of negative and painful connotations associated with it. It suggests the continuous, constant pushing of oneself. I picture a marathon runner at the end of the 26-mile stretch, reaching and reaching for the finish line. And I always picture a painful look on their face. But not all striving has to be painful. There are ways to push yourself without overloading yourself with guilt, fear, and critical thoughts. When striving begins to break your heart, beat down your spirit, it no longer is beneficial. But does that imply that pushing …

Reflecting Light

I've had such a surreal day... and sometimes the only thing that can truly express the way I feel, is someone else's words...

Sam Phillips - Reflecting Light

Now that I’ve worn out, I’ve worn out the world
I’m on my knees in fascination
Looking through the night
And the moon’s never seen me before
But I’m reflecting light

I wrote the pain down
Got off and looked up
Looked into your eyes
The lost open windows
All around
My dark heart lit up the skies

And now that I’ve worn, I’ve worn out the world
I’m on my knees in fascination
Looking through the night
And the moon’s never seen me before
But I’m reflecting light

Give up the ground
Under your feet
Hold on to nothing for good
Turn and run at the mean times
Chasing you
Stand alone and misunderstood

And now that I’ve worn, I’ve worn out the world
I’m on my knees in fascination
Looking through the night
And the moons never seen me before
But I’m reflecting light

Being the Better Person

Every time I go to my small group, I end up feeling convicted about something. And it's driving me crazy.

I had a friend back in college who blew up at me once - and it was for something pretty silly. He was mad that the costume designer in the play we were both in wouldn't sew a button on his shirt. I was the messenger (I don't remember how or why) so I was the one who felt the brunt of her message. He yelled, threw the shirt back at me, and caused a big scene in the green room. This guy was a good friend, and how he treated me was inexcusable. I let him know that. And he stomped away.

The next day in the cafeteria a mutal friend of ours came up to me and said "I think you should say something to him." So my reply was, "Why? I didn't do anything wrong. He should come to me if anything." Our friend's reply was "Sometimes it's best to be the bigger person, no matter who's right or wrong."

I knew our friend was right, so of cours…


What I'm listening to: PFR's Disappear

Why in the world do we thinking by avoiding something the problem will go away?

Maybe it's a situation, a person, a sin we want to oversome. Something in our life that's a thorn in our side, something that makes life harder than it needs to be. And we avoid it - believing that maybe if we ignore everything about it, the problem will go away on it's own.

Why do we think it's easier to avoiding and wonder that to confront and get it over with? Oh, I suppose there are lots of reasons - if it's a particular sin, we aren't willing to take the time to discipline ourselves. If it's a situation, we might feel as though it's not that big of a deal and we hope it will resolve on it's own. If it's a person, we are probably afraid to look that person in the eye and open the hurt you have from what they've done.

While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him a s…

Love and the Church

What I'm listening to: Sarah Masen's The Dreamlife of Angels

I was just out of college and searching for a new church. The city of Colorado Springs was my new home, so I had plenty of options. I decided to start with what I knew: the Evangelical-Free churches. The first challenge was simply finding the building, one of which was nestled very quietly on the far west side of the city in the middle of a residential area. It was very nearly up in the hills at the base of Pike's Peak.

I remember a lot of things about this visit - I remember the sanctuary was about 1/3 full. A youth pastor was candidating and filling the pulpit for the morning and his sermon was entitled "24-7-365". I remember looking around at the other people and feeling very uncomfortable as they all stared at me - wondering who I was, what's my story, etc, etc. I remember the man that greeted me at the door; he spoke to me kindly, handed my a bulletin and pointed me to the sanctuary.

But more imp…