Showing posts from May, 2012

Skewer Your Ideas With Humor

Do you ever stumble into nostalgia that forces your face into an unexpected smile?  The other day, I was rummaging through old files and uncovered old seminary publications.  The finding filled me with a chuckle that grew as I scanned each word.

Back in my seminary days, partly out of boredom, and partly our of contentionsness, myself and two other friends (who will remain nameless) created a fake newsletter patterned after the official Seminary publication--the Towers.  We entitled ours the Faulty Towers.

At most we only published 4 issues, and because of cost we didn't even print enough for all the students.  We printed just enough to cause a stir and then effectively distributed them into the right hands to create controversy.  We found a mole working inside the post office who would distribute them into the boxes of random students and select professors.

The seminary had recently escaped a liberal phase via a conservative takeover, and was slowly embracing the theology of J…

4 Ways Memory Makes You a Better Person

This past weekend my sons and I joined our Boy Scout troop on a trip to our local federal cemetery to install flags at the graves of all the veterans.  The ceremony surrounding our effort was short but sober honoring the sacrifice of the men and women who in many cases gave their lives for us.  

It was an important event for my boys, if nothing else than to remind them that Memorial Day is not merely the unofficial start to summer and the occasion for outdoor grilling, but an important part of whom they are and will become. 
It is a time of memory, a memory of those gone before whether they are military dead or departed family.  These people shaped our lives, and to forget is to cut off their person from our own lives.  
Memory is a significant part of humanity and has the ability to change us as we participate in something bigger than ourselves.  Here are four ways memory impact our daily life.
1.  Memory is an essential component of the image of God in our lives.  Humans are unique in …

Do We Really Believe in Communion?

Here's my last post on the OCN's The Sounding Blog:

Do We Really Believe in Communion?

Why Reality is Communal

Reality is communal.  The fabric of creation, the heart of everything, the meaning and purpose of life, the path to transformation, the very code of our DNA is communal.

If you are a Christian, you believe this.

God is communal.  He is three in one, eternally, never alone.

Because we are God's image we can not escape this need for communion and the effect it has on our lives.

Our molding as persons is linked with who we enter into communion with.

I wonder why I behave the way I do, when I am in communion with those who behave the same.

I wonder why I don't act like Christ, when I neglect communion with Him.

What is communion?  How does it affect your daily life?

The Pearl 7:1 Sharing the Faith of Abraham

St. Ephrem's The Pearl 7:1

As in a race saw I the disputers,
The children of strife,
To taste fire,
To see the air,
To handle the light:
They were troubled at the gleaming,
And struggled to make divisions.

The Son, Who is too subtle for the mind,
Did they seek to feel:
And the Holy Ghost
Who cannot be explored,
They sought to explore with their questionings.
The Father, Who never at any time was searched out,
Have they explained and disputed of.

The sound form of our faith is from Abraham,
And our repentance is from Nineveh and the house of Rahab,
And ours are the expectations of the Prophets,
Ours of the Apostles.

Comment:  It sounds like those who try to delve into the intricacies of theology through an attitude of questioning run the risk of becoming heretics.  
The model of true faith is not these "disputers", but Abraham.  What does St. Ephrem mean by that?

Why Stuff Matters?

Stuff matters.  Why?

It is part of our salvation, not meant to be sloughed off like an old snake skin, not a prison to escape, not a weight holding you to the earth.  It is a path to salvation and groans for redemption. 
It was created by God and called good, provided as a conduit for man to commune with God. 
God became stuff, and uses stuff to save:  mud to make blind see, handkerchiefs to heal, bones to resurrect, hems of garment to restore, water to wash away leprosy, bronze statues to deliver, rods of wood to bring water from rock, food to sustain, fiber to clothe.
It is infused with the grace of God for our salvation. 
What happens if stuff does not matter?
We neglect and abuse our bodies.  We see others as objects to be used and thrown away.  The earth is exploited because one day it will burn with the rest of the stuff that doesn’t matter. 
One purpose of man is the redemption of this fallen mess.  
We must bless all the stuff of this life, for everything matters and can be…

You Are a Writer (a review)

I've been following Jeff Goins online for some time now, and I have learned a lot.  
I love to write, and even though I am a published author and blogger I have never thought of myself as a writer--until I read Jeff.  
I was fortunate enough to review Jeff's new book You Are a Writer, and am thankful.  It is full of inspirational gems and practical advice.  As a blogger, who has been frustrated by lack of traction and readership, and an author looking for greater visibility and promotion for material that I believe is truly life changing; I can't wait to put into practice Jeff's advice.  
Here are some inspirational gems, I found laying on the surface of the page:
"Everything is practice"  "The secret to mastering any discipline: As you conquer one, you'll find it easier to tackle another."  "Multi-tasking is a myth.  You can either create or react.  But you can't do both.  Choose wisely."  "..dangerous territory, when your c…

Can I Think My Way to Heaven?

Can I think my way to heaven?  Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  Yet this question sums up a popular approach to salvation. 
This question represents a knowledge-based salvation.  The path of salvation is through the mind, and reason becomes the highest form of spiritual attainment.  Apologetics is king in this world.  Logical, reasoned arguments for God’s existence trump all else. 
The fervent believer confronts science and philosophy and worldly wisdom with a point by point logical, scientific rational defense of God, the Resurrection, Creation, the Virgin Birth, the problem of evil, etc.  Ideas are consumed with consent and commitment, but nothing substantial happens to the believer, yet facts are provided providing a system to make good decisions and give an appearance of holiness. 
Understanding’s competitor is Union. 
This is salvation by communion, connection, dipping into the currents of grace so the residue of death is sheared away replaced by a renewed man.  Union is a relation…