Monday, March 28, 2011

The Point?

I've only a handful of blog posts during this month of March, and it's not because I've been overly busy; it is simply because the more I think about it, the more I realize I have nothing worth saying. I've been told quite often recently that others "don't care" what I think, feel or have an opinion on, but I've dismissed it because surely they didn't mean it that way; how can one have community or friendship if no one cares about the other person? But after being outright told "I don't care" has made me come to my senses.

And it hurts.

A few days ago I posted a link to an article on facebook from the Wall Street Journal about girls growing up too fast. Normally I post links to articles to further discussion, and my friend commented a very good insightful post. And after waiting a day or two called me a stinker for not discussing my own views. Didn't I want a dialogue?

I realized that I no longer need a dialogue because it is pointless. I wanted to be heard, I wanted to engage and dialogue and be known, but what's the point if my views, likes, dislikes, struggles, thoughts and ideas don't matter and no one wants to hear them? It is one thing to say to someone that they don't need to know they're having spaghetti for dinner that night, but it is another thing to tell a person that you simply don't care what they have to say and their opinion or other, weightier matters.

Once upon a time I blogged pretty faithfully because I thought I had made a commitment to do so, but right now I really fail to see what the point is except my own stubborn, legalistic resolve to post something just to say I'm faithful and consistent. But if no one cares..... what is the point?

A God Great Enough

"If you have a God great enough and powerful enough to be mad at because he doesn't stop your suffering, you also have a God who's great enough and powerful enough to have reasons that you can't understand. You can't have it both ways."

- Tim Keller, King's Cross, page 54

Monday, March 21, 2011

Life View

"Christian discipleship is not about a bunch of oughts that you don't really believe; it's about the life-view by which you really live."

- Transforming Christian Theology, Philip Clayton

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Dance

I"m reading Tim Keller's The King's Cross and already after just chapter one, I'm impressed and enthralled. I wanted to share this excerpt with you. You really have to read this book!

"In the Garden, Adam was told, "Obey me about the tree - do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or you will die." Why was that the temptation? As I said earlier, God created us to orbit around him, to center our lives on him. When God says, "Don't eat, or you'll die," what is our first response? "Why?" But God doesnt' explain; if you obeyed God because you understood what he was doing and how it would benefit you, then you'd actually be stationary. You'd be saying, "Okay, it makes sense. I understand why I should obey and shouldn't eat from that tree; yes, of course." God would be a means to an end, not an end in himself.

God was saying, "Because you love me, don't eat from the tree - just because I said so. Just to be in relationship with me. He and Eve failed their test; and the whole human race has been failing the same test ever since. Satan never stops testing us. He says, "This idea of self-giving love, where you make yourself totally vulnerable and you orbit around other people -that'll never work."

In effect, the same thing happens to Jesus in the wilderness. Though Mark doesn't tell us what Jesus' temptation is, Matthew's Gospel does. His account (in Matthew 4:1-11) basically says that Satan tempts Jesus to step out of orbit around the Father and the Spirit, and around us. To make sure everyone else centers on him, and to protect himself. And of course this temptation doesnt' actually end with the literal wilderness: Throughout the remainder of Jesus' life he's assaulted by Satan, and the attack comes to a climax in another garden, the Garden of Gethsemane, the ultimate antigarden to the Garden of Eden.

We look at Adam and Eve and say, "What fools - why did they listen to Satan?" Yet we know we still have Satan's lie in our own heart, because we're afraid of trusting God - of trusting anybody, in fact. we're stationary, because Satan tells us we should be - that's why he fights the battle.

But God didnt' leave us defenseless. God said to Jesus, 'Obey me about the tree" -- only this time the tree was a cross -- "and you will die." And Jesus did. He was going before you into the heart of a very real battle, to draw you into the ultimate reality of the dance. What he has enjoyed from all eternity he has come to offer to you. And sometimes, when you're in the deepest part of the battle, when you're tempted and hurt and weak, you'll hear in the depths of your being the same words Jesus heard: "This is my beloved child -- you are my beloved child, whom I love; with you I'm well pleased,"

Page 11, 12, 13...... the last few paragraphs of chapter 1. Tim Keller's The King's Cross: The Story of the World in The Life of Jesus

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I'm reading an interesting book that I identify with. Much like the author, my youth group was a magical time for me and I excelled and knew all the answers. I was unabashedly Christian, invited many to church, talked about faith, and won every competition revolving around Bible verse memorization, trivia questions, or bringing the most visitors to church. I was so very good at this thing. And here I am now, armed with all the right answers and yet, I still have so many questions.

"It occurred to me that in worldview class, we laughed at how transcendentalists so serenely embraced paradox and contradictions, but then went on to theology class and accepted, without question, that Jesus existed as both fully God and fully man. We criticized radical Islam as a natural outworking of the violent tone of the Qur'an without acknowledging the fact that the God of Israel ordered his people to kill every living thing in Canaan, from the elderly to the newborn. We sneered at the notion of climate change yet believed that God once made the earth stand still. We accused scientists of having an agenda, of ignoring science that contradicted the evolutionparadigm, but engaged in some mental gymnastics of our own, trying to explain how it's possible to see the light from distant stars. We mocked New Age ambiguity but could not explain the nature of the Trinity. We claimed that ours was a rational, logical faith, when it centered on the God of the universe wrapping himself in flesh to be born in a manger in Bethlehem.

Most worrisome, however, was how we criticized relativists for picking and choosing truth, while our own biblical approach required some selectivity of its own. For example, I was taught that the Bible served as a guidebook for Christian dating and marriage, but no one ever suggested that my father had the right to sell me to the highest bidder or to take multiple wives, like Abraham. Homosexuality was preached against incessantly, but little was said of gluttony or greed. We decried the death of each aborted baby as a violation of the sanctity of human life but shrugged off the deaths of Iraqi children as expected collateral damage in a war against evil. We celebrated archaeological finds that supported the historical claims of the Bible, yet discounted massive amounts of scientific evidence in support of an old earth."

Evolving in Monkeytown: How a Girl Who Knew All The Answers Learned to Ask the Questions by Rachel Held Evans, pages 79-80.

Ash Wednesday

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Last year I gave up drinking anything but water for Lent to benefit an organization called Blood:Water Mission. Basically, for every time I would normally drink a diet coke or coffee, etc, I'd donate the cost of that beverage to Blood:Water Mission instead. It was great fun and several others joined in. I loved it.

This year I've been plagued with the concept of Lent and why I am participating. Is it really in preparation for Easter? I'm a non-denominational protestant; we don't observe Lent or Ash Wednesday.

Yet I still wanted that little ash mark on my forehead yesterday but too timid to go into an unknown church to participate in that ritual.

So have I given something up for Lent or did I finally concede that I really am a protestant and started acting like it?

I didn't give up anything yesterday, but did today. I deactivated (temporarily) my facebook account. But more an an experiment than actual Lent. Facebook is a way I connect with others, and I wonder if it is the primary way. I suppose by deactivating it I should be more proactive in pursuing relationships in other ways and forms, but the question is: will I? Or are my friendships with others more a matter of convenience and one line remarks?

So I journey away from facebook. It might be for a few weeks or the whole 40 days. Maybe I'll like it. Maybe I won't be able to go even 4 days without it!

We shall see.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Band that Played On

I don't know much about the Titanic; my son definitely knows more than I do, so I enjoyed learning a bit more about history though the story of these heroic eight musicians. Basically, these men chose to continue playing to soothe other passengers, knowing that they would not be saved and would die.

It is hard to even imagine playing music in that moment of chaos and uncertainty!

This is a nicely written book that will appeal to those who are interested in the Titanic. I thought it was mildly interesting and enjoyable and happy to have been able to read it.

Note: I recieved this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own; my only compensation was the book.