Tag Archives: Life

Thoughts on Going Back to Church

OK. I’ve been wanting to write this, and ducking it all morning, probably for days. Perhaps longer.

“Start with the truth as it is, Eric, and only then into commentary, and on to thoughts about that truth, or what you wish to do with it. Start by what is”

Seems like sound advice. The sort of thing I might say. Continue reading

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Guest post -no words of mine need be added

Guest post today –

Back in the mid-late 1970’s I shared a house in Houston with a man called George O’Malley. George was the second-best roommate I ever had; I moved out only to get married, and nobody disputes the honest fact that George was the Best Man at that wedding.

Paul Simon wrote a song I like that goes “Some folks’ lives roll easy…” That hasn’t always been George. But in the midst of the tosses and turns of this life, George has maintained the central goodness of his heart. Today he posted something that I thought not only showed something of George, but also pointed for the rest of us the way forward. I argue theology. George simply does it. His is the more excellent way. Continue reading

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The “Roman Road” – there is more than one.

There are any number of mnemonic devices for remembering Bible verses, and for remembering and communicating the central points of Christianity. The “Apostles’ Creed” is about the earliest, and I think still about the best. “The Four Spiritual Laws” is one I remember from my teens and early twenties.

Many of us, perhaps most of us who seriously entered an Evangelical understanding of Christianity 40 or 50 years ago will remember  “The Roman Road” as it lays out the work of God in Jesus through six verses in the Epistle to the Romans.

Romans 3:10  “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one…’ “

Romans 3:23  “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”

Romans 5:8  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 6:23  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 10:9  “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:13,  “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ “

I think, though, that there is another “Roman Road” spelled out. I have often seen the journey described as the road humanity takes/has taken when we refuse to look to God. But I have discovered that here, as in most warnings, they are not only for “those OTHER people” … Christians, too, are vulnerable. This “Roman Road” leads to deception, self-deception. I know very closely at least two, who think themselves devout Christians yet have fallen into this road.  I am one of them. Continue reading

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Understanding the Voice of Pain

Time for a long, rambling bit of pop psychology. I am much more comfortable thinking of the big-picture mysteries, but there is a valid claim against that. While I happily affirm and declare that every point of theology and doctrine has implications as to how we must live, that does not mean that we (and I) will actually make the connection. It’s one thing to take good notes in the lecture hall, but if I can’t get the project to work right in the lab section, I probably did not understand it as well as I thought. Real life is where the theology is lived out. This is where it happens.======

I have noticed both in myself and others a linking of experience and interpretation, bound in lock-step, where they should not be linked. Indeed, I am surprised that we and I do it so readily, almost automatically as first response.

The first condition is the experience of pain; emotional, spiritual or physical. As I try to think through what I want to say, I find it almost impossible to confine myself to a few sentences. But that is probably OK. You know about pain. Everyone does. Continue reading

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Small Victories!

I have been more open to restorations lately. I think perhaps that can happen when one doesn’t try so hard to keep everything on the fence, balanced so that you can go for either opportunity that may present itself. Nothing wrong with staying open – I heartily encourage it – but one’s real life is lived in only one pasture at a time, not on the fence. (Damned uncomfortable place, anyway!)

My latest small victory is in rediscovering music. Continue reading

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Thinking about Dirt

Over the last several weeks I have run into what is often called “The Parable of the Sower” from the Gospel According to Mark (It’s also in Matthew and Luke, but this month, it always seemed to come up in Mark). If you ever had any exposure at all to stories from the Bible, you probably remember this one; on its simplest level, it tells of a man sowing seed, somewhat randomly. The seed falls on four different kinds of dirt, and the story explores what happens to that seed in each. The link to the story is here: Mark 4:2-9. But what does it all mean? And why did Jesus say it that way at all? Well, as our good fortune would have it, Jesus’ followers asked those questions too, and He told them. We can read it right there in Mark. No need for fancy interpretation, “…move along, nothing to see here, it’s all been explained….”
However some of us can’t leave well enough alone. Here’s my addition… Continue reading

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Bring to the Light …

I have mentioned the persistent presence in my thought of Ephesians 5:13

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”

-That even those things that bring shame can bring the light of God if exposed to the light.

But in this, as in so many things, I must confess that my thoughts are more persistent than my deeds.

There is an area that I have been reluctant to bring to the light. But a fellow blogger, whose comments I have greatly valued both here and on her site, has inspired me to make real this idea, which I so often profess.

I bring it up now only on trust that it might do someone some good; either to know that someone else has walked this path and come out the other side, or to know what I learned about my own dis-ordered thoughts, or just that they are not alone. Continue reading

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