Thursday, August 2, 2012

We Were Wrong

I begin this post with hesitation and a little bit of trepidation.  It's easy to be passionate about something that a lot of people can get behind, but it is hard to confront people when you feel that they are in the wrong.  That being said, I want everyone to know that this is not written out of ignorance, hatred, etc.  I fight for Truth, and I feel that it was overlooked yesterday.  Let's begin.

I am appalled.  The more I think about it.  The more I research both sides opinions.  Chik-fil-a day should never have happened.

The fact of the matter is, this was never about freedom of speech.
This was never about toys.
This was never about faith.

When the first outcry happened after Dan Cathy spoke his opinion openly, it was about a group of people who have already been victims of inequality in so much more than just marriage.  It was about the fact that Chik-fil-a has funded millions of dollars to organizations that view homosexuality like this:

Criminalize, cure, and deport homosexuals.  I'm offended that anyone would be OK with this.  This individual isn't the only one who says it either, check out another individual's blog post.

I'm posting these links because I want it to be shown that I'm not just making this up.  People are really hurt right now.  People that we, as Christians, have been called to love.  

This isn't about Chik-fil-a.  
This isn't about one man's opinion.
This is about something bigger.

Whether right or wrong, the LGBT community is greatly offended by the actions of a franchise because they felt that those actions have further encouraged the outright hatred that has been shown to them over these many years.  Don't believe me?  Check out these statistics on just bullying in schools!

What was the Christians response?

"Support family values!  Buy a chicken sandwich!"

I can't help but scoff at this!  Family values?  I don't know about my readers, but to me a real family value would be standing up for people who are unjustly persecuted.

Same Sex Kiss Day came about as a response to Chik-fil-a day.  In the end, I feel that it was the Christians then who made the first move.  We started the war.  We caused more unnecessary bloodshed (metaphorically speaking).  And we will suffer the consequences.

Because now when LGBT community sees pictures like this:
and this:
What they are seeing, feeling, and interpreting is this:
and I can't support that.

Because for me this shouldn't be about who is right and who is wrong.
This should be about showing love and support even when you don't agree.

Because in the end, the only thing we did by having a "Chik-fil-a" day was look and sound like this:
And I know, no one wants that.

If you do, I am deeply deeply concerned.

Grace and Peace.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Christians at War

It has been a few weeks since I posted something and I apologize to those who like to actually follow my thoughts.  I've been pretty busy lately with VBS and the like and honestly I just haven't taken the time to sit down and right.  That's mostly true for my book as well.

I am writing now, however, to express a few thoughts I have been having the past couple of days.  I think I will give this an overarching theme of "Christian Wars".

Christians are constantly seen as being brutal, unkind, unloving, and intolerant of those around us.  I cite Atheists and Homosexuals as being some of the most hated by our "factions" of Christianity.  But, this is not how we should live!  If anything we should be the ones people run to when they need help, not away from because of it!  But everyone has heard that sermon before, no need to repeat it.

I have been engaging (and I say that loosely, I've really mostly been observing) in a very fascinating conversation with a couple of atheists and a good friend of mine via Facebook (which goes to show that it is, in fact, not all bad).  While I don't agree with a lot of what they say, they are very level headed and are not outwardly aggressive to people who, like myself, have taken on the mantle of Christianity (and all it represents, both good and bad) and are willing to discuss.  Discuss, not argue or shove verses at them, just... talk.  In the past two days I have learned more about the complexity of Atheism than I have ever learned in church.

This concerns me for two reasons:
1. Christians are fighting a false enemy.
2. Christians, at large, seem unwilling to educate themselves on true complexity of other religions.

I understand, not all Christians are like this, so please allow me to use it as a generalization and perhaps as recognition of how others most likely see Christianity and those who follow its stipulations.

Christians are fighting a false enemy

Be it Atheism, Homosexuality, or any other aspect of peoples lives that Christians don't agree with, we are constantly seen as fighting against it.  You'll hear on the radio how Christians have boycotted movies (The Golden Compass), or how we should all buy a chicken sandwich in support of a company who happens to be a representation of so much more than one man's opinion, and especially of the church that "hates fags", Westboro Baptist Church (*shiver*).

Christians are at war and I think to some degree we should be.  We are also, however, at war with the wrong enemy.  The enemy isn't the people who are homosexual (they certainly don't need "curing", even I find that word oppressive and offensive on so many levels) and it's certainly not the people who are Atheists.  The enemy isn't people at all.  People are just trying to make it through life like they always have; by following their hearts.  Shouldn't following their hearts lead them to the truth?  Absolutely, but how much of the truth is my question?  Is not our perception of skewed by our reality and our experiences?  Right now, people are casualties of our wars with an increasing rise in numbers.  This is unacceptable.  What's worse is that the fighting isn't limited to just those outside the Church, the body is constantly trying to maim and underhand itself.  No wonder we don't know who or what the real target is!

In all my years of being a Christian, there is one thing that has always stuck out more than anything else.  There is this instruction to yearn for Truth.  To walk and grow -in- Truth.  To love Truth.  If God is Love in it's purest form, God must also be Truth in its purest form.  Truth, did not fight against people, it fought against the lies they had come to accept.  Truth, represented through Christ, turned a world upside down on its head, without shedding a single drop of blood except its own.  Yet, here we are waving our swords back and forth with no direction, skill, or discipline; cutting all who stand in our way.  We are not warriors of light, we are embodiments of the very devils we hate.  This must stop.

Stop fighting for the legislature that controls our country and start fighting for people's hearts.  Stop fighting others opinions and start fighting for truth.  Stop fighting the people who have the courage to come to us for help, and start fighting the thing that is chasing them.  Christians were called to be the hands and feet of God and from where I stand it is a rare thing to find a church who does this.

Christians are unwilling to educate themselves

This is a bit of a sensitive topic I know.  I hesitate even to put the wording as I have, but I think it best represents a very large portion of Christianity, especially within the American culture.  You see, the interesting about fighting a war is that you not only need to know who your enemy is, you also need to know how your enemy is.  How do they fight, what are their weaknesses, what are their strengths, etc.  If we must be at war as Christians, lets make sure we know what we are up against so that when we strike it is with a clean swift stroke and not a bloody mess.

What does this mean?  It means we need to start educating our congregation correctly inside the churches.  It means we need to speak with those people we don't agree with (Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, etc.) and learn more about them; "sneak into their camp and spy" so to speak.  Find out what is false in their religion, find out what is true. I believe everyone has discovered some truth in their life, so working from those truths is always best.

I realize that I may be coming across in a way that I don't mean to.  The analogy of war alone is a tough one to create and understand without some type of backlash to the one making the analogy.  Still I write this all because I feel like there is a war going on right now, culturally and spiritually.  If we must be at war, let us be at war with the right enemy and for the right reasons.

That concludes my little bit of thought for today.

Grace and Peace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Point of No Return

This weekend has been full of surprises, and most of them have direct consequences of choices I made.  While I wouldn’t say it has been bad, I definitely wouldn’t say it’s been great either.  I have crossed a few thresholds in my life, and as always with those aspects of life, once you cross it, there is no turning back.  Things will never be the same for better or worse.

If you will permit the analogy, the ripple in the water has begun to move its way outward.

As a result I find myself constantly distracted by my thoughts.  Asking questions in a “what if” fashion.  What if ‘x’ and how would I feel if ‘x’ happened?

My answers startle me.

Which is what leads to this posting.

Is it possible that certain changes that need (yes, need) to happen have to result as a consequence that is out of your control?  I wonder.  As I have gotten older, my ability to jump right into to something has toned down a bit, but there is still an incredibly impulsive part of me.  This impulsiveness, naturally, follows the guidelines “shoot first ask questions later”; however, this is not the best way to live and often will get me into trouble.  That being said, I think sometimes, no matter how much you think about something, you just have to jump into the potentials feet first and see what happens.

For people who like to know everything, and maintain control through that knowledge (such as myself), this is not ideal at all.

I don’t handle unknown well, especially when it directly involves me.

Example:  When/if I ever finish the book I’m working on.  I would wager that my submission of manuscript will look something like a range of emotions from excited to submit, to fear of rejection (which is basically inevitable by the way), to a void of emotions while waiting for feedback, to trepidation as I read that response.   It is all unknown and sometimes stressful.

In the same breath, not being in control can be incredibly freeing.

I’m not sure where I stand on this spectrum.  However, I do know that now that I have crossed these certain points, marks, thresholds, insert your own analogy, I cannot afford to look back thinking how I wish I was back on the other side; what good would it do me anyway?
No I must press on with renewed vigor and compassion.

Of course, that is much easier to say than to do.  It will take getting used to, and I’m terrified.  I feel like I’m clinging to a rope on a suspension bridge, and the only thing I can do is cross or stay in that state forever.

Jumbled musings of a 25 year old I guess.

Grace and Peace.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why I Am Disciplined and a Christian

It is tough to be disciplined.  Not in the, “I just got grounded because I stayed out past curfew” kind of way but a, “I was going to play with my friends but realized I needed to do my homework first” kind of way.  It is tough to be motivated, to remind yourself every day to do the things that need to be done.  At least, it is difficult for me.

For instance, yesterday I actually disciplined myself to write some more of the story I’ve been working on.  Yes, the number on the right side of this blog is still correct, I’ve been stuck in this spot for a little bit.  Regardless, I sit down and begin to type and I realize that I have absolutely no motivation to write.  I love to write, but I have to have some sort of “feeling” that I don’t really know how to explain to be present if I am going to write something worth reading (fictionally at least).  So, I didn’t push through that battle and instead stopped all together.  I think now, if I had only kept writing anyway, I would have ended up with some pretty awesome elements in the story.

I guess that’s where motivation is commandeered by discipline.  At the point of most resistance, discipline is the foundation that pushes you through.  Motivation will only carry you so far before it proves to be too weak a force.

I have found this to be especially true in the areas of exercise and writing for me, and I think just writing these past few paragraphs has kicked in the motivation to keep at it, and has brought about a new perspective on that area of life.  I digress.

The tricky thing about discipline, and any change that people want to make really, is that it has to happen inwardly before it can happen outwardly.  That is, all changes that are permanent in a person’s life that pertain to the person (habits, personality, beliefs, etc.) start inward and work their way out. 

Example: Two men are trying to quit smoking, one is doing it because he can see the pain it puts his family through every time he lights up another cigarette; the other is doing it because it would be interesting to see what life would be like without the craving.  One man is motivated by a deep need and want, and the other is motivated by curiosity.  In the end, who do you think would be more likely to succeed in their endeavor?  I would wager that the man who did it for his family succeeds and does so willingly, while the man who does it out of curiosity would ultimately give up thinking that knowing an answer isn’t worth all the pain involved.

Now, I cannot say if this is true or not as I have not been in that position.  However, I have seen time and time again, as I am sure you, my readers, have as well, that people who have this deep internal need/want to do or change something are the ones who are successful.  When we internalize these needs and wants they become a part of who we are.  Things that are innate within ourselves will naturally reveal itself in our actions; not that we do it perfectly every time, but there is a consistency involved.  So, to bring this back to my example of writing and exercise earlier.  I exercise and write not because I want to (although I find that oftentimes I do) but because it is who I am.  I am an active and healthy individual who is also an aspiring author. 

It is just who I am.

I am also a Christian.

You see, I have been so inundated by the Christian sub-culture; it is hard to say that I could be anything else.  Except for one thing, there are countless stories of people who have grown up in the church like I have and have left, for various reasons, never to return.  I too have the same capacity, so why do I stay?

Why do I go to church every Sunday?  Listen to “worship music” from time to time? Pray?

I will tell you: it is because it is who I am, and I am in love.  I was not born a Christian; in fact, I spent the first ten years of my time in the Christian culture unwillingly.  I just wanted to do my own thing.  Although, as a ten year old what do you really want?  But, someone captured my heart while I was there, and I have been unable to leave ever since.  I speak, of course, of Jesus.  He is reason I am who I am.  You see, as strange as it may sound, this “invisible deity” has changed my life for the better.  When I was younger I suffered from so many anger problems, even to the point of getting violent and blacking out once.  However, through my relationship with Jesus I no longer suffer from these anger issues, or at least, not nearly as much.  This was not a change I made on my own, and it was not one I even initiated within myself, but just a change that came as a consequence of my regular commune with him.

I guess the important point here is that I am not making changes in my person simply because Christians have this list of rules they need to follow, but rather I make the changes because I am in love with a being that I believe to be the Creator God.  In fact, to think of the moral standard like some list of rules is to misunderstand it.  The standard is no different than obeying the laws placed down by any government; after all, what are our laws if not a moral standard placed on ourselves?  As far as I can tell, the biggest difference comes in this: the Christians’ moral standard comes from something bigger than themselves, while the government’s moral standard comes from within.    

Earlier, I said that changes are made from within, this I still hold true, but the catalyst to this inward change, as a Christian, comes from a force outside of myself, and yet, simultaneously within as well.  This force is both God and my love for him.  Just as I do certain things for my wife because I love her, I also do things for others and for God because I love him.  It is my love for him that leads me to follow the standard, to do everything I can to show love to those around me, and to apologize for those who have not acted as they should under the banner of Christianity.  Seriously, I am sorry that some people treat you like garbage.  If it is any consolation they treat their fellow Christians like dirt too.

It is not who we are meant to be.  It certainly is not who I am.  Who I am is appalled by that, and I believe God is too. 

Grace and Peace

Friday, April 6, 2012

Story of Life

Everyone wants to be part of a story.  At least, that is what I have concluded.  This thought came about on my way to work this past Tuesday as I let my mind wander (as I tend to do on my way to and from work).  In all honesty, I don't know many people who would say they would rather live a boring uneventful life.  How many of you men pretended to be the hero when you were younger?  How many of you women played house or some other form thereof? How often did you rope your boy friends into playing it with you? 

I think the reason for this is because we want to be a part of the story.  There is something exciting about facing adversity (such as an imaginary dragon) and overcoming it (especially if it involves some makeshift weapon). There is something enticing about adventure. There is also something incredibly significant about feeling important and cherished.  This, I believe, is true for all people and not just men or women.  The fact of the matter is that sometimes, ultimately, we want to be the rescuer, and sometimes we want to be the rescued.  After all, it makes for some of the best stories right?  People do not always have to be physically rescued either, sometimes the emotional rescue is just as satisfying (I site the standard 'chick-flick' in this case; the woman is rescued from her terrible circumstances [usually] by some buff and incredibly romantic dude that [sometimes literally] sweeps the woman off her feet).  While I like a good mushy movie from time to time, I have to admit that oftentimes that genre can cause a perverse desire for the impossible.  Let's face it ladies, there is no way you will ever find that perfect guy.  He doesn't exist.  Those movies pervert the excitement of story that we want to be a part of.  Action films are no different, so we are not exempt from the desire of the impossible either.  I think this might be why I, and many people I know, love the movies that hit close to home and feel "real"; or are blatantly different (such as fantasy or animated) because we know it could never really be, so it is just a "nice story".

The thing about story though, is it is full of conflict.  How many people would read a book if all the character did was the same thing he did every day?  No adventure, no excitement, just routine. How boring would that be?  You see my point.  Story has to have a conflict, or the character never grows, and if the character doesn't grow what is the point?  Are we really all that different?  Who does not want to improve an aspect about themselves?  Who does not want to be a part of something that is life and maybe world changing? I know I do, I could give a list of the aspects I would like to improve in myself, and of course I want to constantly be a part of something that is bigger than me.  I want to be a Hero! But, to be a hero, I also need to be rescued.  Rescued from what though? 

Now we are getting to the heart of it.

Every Protagonist has a starting point to their story.  It is an understood concept that the main character(s) of any story had a "life" before the story and will have continued "life" after the story ends.  After all, life is a series of stories skillfully woven together.  Well, the starting point for so many involves a rescue of some sort.  Sometimes it is a literal rescue from a prison, sometimes it is a rescue from mundane, sometimes it is a rescue from themselves, and the list goes on.  How often is the protagonist (and us too really) rescued from something so that they might "live to fight another day"?  That day of course arrives only after time spent in conflict and growth.  After all, you can't overcome any problem if you don't grow, and you can't grow without the experience of the adversity that you are trying to overcome.  This is why, as much as I dislike hard times, I have at least some appreciation for them.  The truth is that the things that tend to cause the most pain in my life are the very things that spur me to become a better man, husband, brother, son, and friend.

Every conflict is a battle, every resolution a victory or defeat, every victory or defeat is a learning experience, and every experience acts as a catalyst to the next cycle of growth. 

Naturally, I wonder how the the concept of story that I love so much, applies to my life.  As I look I can see different conflicts that have brought out a warrior in me in just the past year alone, so then I wondered where did the rescue come from, and I realized that, it came from a sacrifice that happened a couple thousand years ago.

I have made no efforts to hide that I call myself a Christian, and have out-rightly claimed it often, so it should come as no surprise that I would find my rescue in the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ.  But it is true, since Christ captured and romanced my heart I have found a purpose to fight, a reason and cause worth dying for.  I hope it is plain to see that I am not happy with the way many people who claim to be Christian have treated others, but I also cannot deny the changes that have happened in my life due to the freedom from salvation, from being rescued from my sins, my worries, and even my anger (to name a few).  It is also Christ who has mentored me into the man I need to be, that I want to be, because it is who I am.  He is making me a Hero.

Today is Good Friday.  Despite calling it that, it is one of the saddest days in history when you think about what is celebrated in the Christian circles: The Crucifixion of Christ.  The reason it is a good Friday then, is because not only was the crucifixion necessary for salvation from sins, but also promises the resurrection which is celebrated on Easter Sunday.  The resurrection completes the story.  It is reason I can claim freedom.  If Christ did not rise from the grave, then freedom is non existent.  That's a strong claim though, so let me clarify by saying that I can only go off resurrection as I understand it now.  Who knows what revelations will be made in the future?

I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Grace and Peace.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Religion of Christianity

This past week the pastor of the church I go to asked the question if Christianity is a religion. A valid question and one that is surprisingly highly debated. I cannot begin to count the amount of times I have heard it said, “Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship.” I am guilty of using this phrase as well.

I once believed the statement, but after the years I have experienced at college and since graduation. I truly believe that there is something more to Christianity than just its religion. There is experiences I have had that lead to this belief; ones that have meant an intimate connection with a personal God. However, Christianity is still a religion, no matter how much some might want to twist that around.

Definition of Religion:
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

I pose a question, how is this not what Christianity does? Does it contain beliefs concerning the universe? Does it involve devotional and ritual observances? What about a moral code? If nothing else, no one can deny that Christianity claims a moral code. By definition alone, Christianity is a religion. One that has created a bad taste in the mouths of those who have encountered it; which is such an unfortunate truth.

The problem is, people within the Christian sub-culture view religion as this mysterious, dark monster that is of the devil. In truth, religion is a neutral thing. A way to define an aspect of life. I have to admit at this point in my post I had to delete a couple of sentences that were full of undertones that implied bitterness and hinted of a rant.

The fact is Christianity has become institutionalized. I guess I should define that too.

An institution is a well-established and structured pattern of behavior or of relationships that is accepted as a fundamental part of a culture. [insert Christianity]

When you think of a Christian, what do you associate with it? Having grown up in that culture my first response is this, church. Church is the place where people go once to twice a week to sing a few songs, listen to some guy (maybe a woman if it's one of those “liberal churches”) talk about the Bible, and then leave. Seriously, I think Christianity as an institution acts more like a cult than what's portrayed in the scriptures. But again, that's a different blog post.

To reiterate at this point, I believe Christianity is a religion.

However, I think there is something more to it than just the religious practices. This is where the experience, intuition, intellect, and discernment/interpretation of those things. That is to say, an individuals approach to religious interpretation.

In my case, the approach would be that of the relationship that is so often spoken of by people within Christianity. The fact of the matter is, much of our faith banks on this idea of a personal and intimate deity. While it might sound crazy, I have had experiences that have led to confirm this belief. The problem with experiences is that they are just that, experiences. I have a high appreciation for experiences and believe that they are incredibly valuable. However, they are also incredibly subjective, which is why they are usually under valued. Still, experiences, at the end of the day, is really all we have. They define our perceptions of reality and they are one of the few things that we can truly call our own.

I guess this is what I'll conclude with because this post is starting to feel broken. Maybe I'll post again on this in the future when my thoughts are a little more coherent.

Grace and Peace

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Gospel?

What is the Gospel? No, really, what is it?

Now that it’s been a few weeks since I read the book, The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight and have had time to digest it more I think I can be ready to put up my thoughts here. So, back to my question: What is “The Gospel”?

Many Christians will tell you that the Gospel is that Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sins and eternal damnation in a fiery pit called Hell. While I believe that there is truth in it, I also believe that this statement is incredibly short sighted and largely misses the target.

Gospel is defined by many as meaning “good news”. What about the above statement is good news? Salvation, sure, but saved from what? Our sins? What does that even mean? What about Hell? You expect me to believe in some ultimate destiny that no one really cares to think about? Honestly, how often do you think to yourself, “When I die…”? I know I am often distracted by the present to think too deeply about an expected 50 years in my future. Obviously, not all of us alive today are going to live another 50+ years, but I think it’s safe to say that we all expect and hope to. So this good news often feels irrelevant to John Doe who works in a corporate office from 9-5, whose wife is threatening to divorce him, whose kids hate him, and whose dreams are slowly slipping away. John doesn’t need to be saved from death; if anything, death might feel like a relief. No John needs to be saved from fear, pain, worry, and despair. There is no better way to break a person’s soul than to make them fall into despair.

This is a little bit like where Israel was around the time Jesus showed up: Romans had taken over the government and frequently levied taxes on the people; Their deity, I Am, has become silent for over 400 years; the people they trust to direct them in the ways that honor their deity have become corrupt; and there is general unrest. You might even say that this was Israel’s form of The Great Depression. I do not know about you, but I can almost feel the darkness that surrounds this era of earth’s history. So many things go on in the shadows.

In comes Jesus, born of a virgin, Mary, and raised by an earthly father, a carpenter, Joseph. On the night of his birth an insane amount of Angels shout out in joy (and scare the crap out of the shepherds they are speaking to), there is excitement in the air (certainly wasn’t a “Silent Night”), and YET, this kid enters the world largely unnoticed, and would not really make a name for himself until he reached the age of 30 and began his ministry. For 3 years, Jesus develops a relationship with and intensely invests in 12 men, which we know as the 12 disciples. As a closure to this time spent with the 12 men and the crowds that followed to listen to his teaching, Jesus is accused of blasphemy (rightfully so according to the religious leaders at the time) because he did, after all, claim to be the Messiah and God Incarnate. The penalty for Blasphemy is death, but by this time the Jewish religious leaders were so angry they decided stoning was not good enough. The man needed to be crucified as the show of ultimate shame. Thus Jesus was killed, on all accounts blameless and sinless. The story doesn’t end there though, according to his followers, this man decided that he did not want to be dead any longer and revived on the third day. After spending a few more months with his disciples Jesus finally ascends into heaven and is never heard from again, or at least, not in the physical sense like he was for those 33 years.

A couple of decades later we have Jesus’ disciples writing about the events that happened in his life. These accounts are known as the Gospel. We have all heard the story, but have we all grasped the fullness of it. Looking at Matthew alone I find there are details that I often overlook; for instance, the constant use of numbers to emphasize a point. 12 disciples, 3 days, 5 loaves 2 fish (7), and on and on it goes. Each number means something to the Jewish reader; each one sticks out like a sore thumb.

All that to say, the Gospel is – so – much more than the story of the death and resurrection of a Jesus, Messiah. It is a completion of a story. It is the Resolution of a long history, and the beginning of a sequel. The story of Jesus is the story of God restoring Israel, and all of creation with her, to that has been longed for since the first sin of Adam and Eve. It is freedom. Freedom from legalistic law, freedom from the worries, stresses, and hopelessness experienced by people under the rule of a Roman Emperor, and freedom from themselves in some sense. No longer are they enslaved by the law, but freed by it. How many times did Jesus say something that had to do with life? Jesus’ death allowed for people everywhere to live. He was the “ultimate sacrifice” as I’ve heard it called sometimes. I tend to think of it as the ultimate communication.

“I love you, come be with me.”

And I think that is what he would want today as well. Yes, we are saved from a wretched existence, enslaved by the very things we often do not want to do. But even more importantly than that, we are given a freedom and a life that we can experience here, now, in the “today”. I believe that in the death and revival of Jesus, there is peace that can be found, and a relationship that can be established with a very real and involved deity that we simply call “God”.

I believe this for so many reasons both intellectual and intuitional. I would even argue to be a Christian you cannot have one without the other. And even if I’m wrong, to paraphrase Puddleglum in C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair, I would rather believe in a place that has peace, freedom, life, and emphasizes this concept of altruistic expression to others and to a creator being than in this hopeless place we are in now. I do not mean place in the physical sense (heaven, hell, or earth); I mean it in a status sense. I would rather follow a standard that tells me to make my current location as much heaven on earth as I can. To let people know that I love them, even if no one else will.

Now comes the temptation to trail off. So, I’ll be done.

Grace and Peace