Life has a way of getting complicated quickly. Facts and opinions get muddled, emotions run wild and something always manages to go wrong. In a world where seemingly nothing is concrete, objective or steadfast, it's just a matter of time before we are confused and struggling to stay afloat amongst the onslaught of ideas and content.Read More
If I have fallen in love with a God who isn't real... then I have been joyful when I should have been sad.
If I have fallen in love with a God who isn't real... then I have been at peace when I should have been scared.
If I have fallen in love with a God who isn't real... then I have had compassion toward others for no good reason.Read More
Men are different.
Different from each other, to be sure, but especially different from women. No surprise there. But that means that women’s ministry and men’s ministries are completely different in the way they look and function. Women go to ministry gatherings and learn about how to be a good wife, or how to be a “Proverbs 31 Woman” and all that mushy gushy stuff. Men go to ministry gatherings that have serious names like Man Church and Men of Faith, and they get hit with the “holy 2x4” of Jesus. They get told how bad they are at life. They get told about their short comings as men, fathers, husbands, brothers, providers… you name it, and we’ve heard it.Read More
Oddly enough, one of my best friends since Jr. High had planned the same trip with a mutual friend from college. Needless to say, serendipity is the coolest. She's and I, both, are in a period of transition in our lives and as we discussed our various obstacles, fears and future plans she said something that not only helped quell some of my concerns but also made a lot of sense.
"Your move, God."
You see, when our will is to glorify God in this moment, our will lines up with our Father's will. We have been promised that God will never forsake us, always desiring what is good and perfect for us even when we can't see it for ourselves. Practically, this means that the pressure is off.Read More
We hop off the train and are immediately greeted by rows of images of smiling cartoon animals encouraging you to come visit Gardaland for only sixteen euro! It had been raining all day - ever since we woke up to rain drops pitter-pattering on the tops of our hammocks in Cinque Terre. Being hundreds of miles away in a completely different city apparently doesn't phase the Italian rain. I snug my rain jacket around me and secure the straps on my Osprey travel pack before we perform a routine scan of the station to find a bus ticket kiosk. After securing a few cheap bus tickets we spend the next hour and twenty minutes with our noses plastered to the window pane; breathtaking mountains rise out of the massive lake, completely flat on the sides as if God had taken a heavenly razor blade and cut a valley for the lake out of the solid rock.Read More
Have you ever wondered what contribution that person who plays video games all day is making to the world? Or how about this: have you ever wondered what contribution that person who works a tedious 9-5 job, plays golf with his buddies on the weekends, takes his 5 vacation days to go to Disney World once a year, and spends his paycheck paying off a car note and mortgage is making to the world? Yikes. That's like... 80% of America or something.Read More
Everything they say about feisty Italians is true.
We arrive in Salerno after a 9-Hour train ride with the intentions of finding a nice beach-side campsite for the evening. Upon consulting Mr. Google and finding out that the city along the Amalfi Coast that we wanted to visit was Sorrento not Salerno, we hasten to find a route to make it there tonight. Meanwhile, a pregnant, homeless lady asks us for our half-empty Coca-Colas, but that's another story.
Though we passed armed guards and wrought-iron gates, we walked in silence as we entered into the sanctuary. The only word ringing in my head was reverence. Though we were directed by tired, grumpy priests to sit in cold, metal folding chairs, we sat in silence as the masses filed in, one by one. The only word ringing in my head was reverence. Though we knelt on cold, hard concrete with our feet uncomfortably twisted beneath us, we knelt in silence as we listened to the angelic choral music fill the void. The only word ringing in my head was reverence.
"Hey... where's your other shoe," I asked.
"It fell off somewhere along the way. I guess I can just throw this one out."
15 minutes earlier
We shouldered our packs, tightening the waist and chest straps snuggly against us. The doors slid open at what seemed to be a snails pace.Read More
To those who may be angry or confused:
What is Christianity?
To some, it's a systematic approach to the world through a faith-based lense. It simply gives them an easy answer where there wouldn't ordinarily be one.
To others, it's a crutch upon which Bible-believing scientists, historians and writers get to pass Go! and collect $200, copping out of the "truth".
Many see it as a organized, well-put-together list of rituals and practices that help you rejoice in the good times, take comfort in the bad times and gives you a hope that there is something else out there other than what we can see.
But pure Christianity, stripped of its cultural bells and whistles, is a commitment to knowing Christ. Until we get there, we haven't adopted it truly; we have only adopted the habitual practices - prayer, Church, mission trips, youth lock-ins - that accompany it.Read More