A Practical Guide to Culture: Book Review

A Practical Guide to Culture Book Review

If you’ve never gotten onto a river ride that you mount using a giant spinning table — well, I’m not sure if I would recommend it to you. Oh, they are easy enough to find. There’s one on the Rio Loco ride at Sea World, and I’m sure Six Flags or any other theme park with a river ride has one as well. But I waver in suggesting it to you. Because as enjoyable as the rest of the ride may be, that wooden platform is completely and utterly unbalancing. Literally. You step off of a firm concrete slab, onto a twirling place of confusion, where neither your feet nor your stability is right. You mentally know that this is completely safe, but still your adrenaline jumps as you rush to a boat as quickly as you can, for a moment irrationally worried that you might be left behind. And sometimes, that’s what life can be like for young adults.

I should know. I am one. Continue reading

Are You Offensive?

Are You Offensive_

I’m sure you balked at this title. I certainly would. “Offensive? Of course not! Isn’t that the exact opposite of what we as Christians are supposed to be?”

Because we don’t want people to get angry with us. We don’t want to be disliked. We work very hard to portray a pleasant image, a pleasing demeanor, and why would we want anything to disturb it?

And when that pertains to our own character traits and speech, that’s fine – good even. I shouldn’t try to be annoying. I shouldn’t use harsh, grating words. I shouldn’t be abrasive and loud, brow-beating and abusing everyone around me. That all goes against how we’re called to live as Christians.

But as Christians, we are called to be offensive in another way. Continue reading

Think Fully, Love Fully, Live Fully (Summit Ministries Thoughts)

Think Fully

Uncertainty. Fear. Confusion.

Those seem to be the words defining this generation. We are vividly, violently passionate about our beliefs — but uncertain about what those beliefs are. We claim ideas on which to live our lives, but don’t even check to see if those pieces fit together. We are indeed a generation divided — our hearts and our minds, our logic and our beliefs, our words and our actions, our truth and our love — our questions and the truth are seemly separated by so great an ocean that we haven’t even bothered to get our feet wet.

Just look at what passes for truth all about us. Continue reading

The Most Beautiful Story

themostbeautifulstory

Days they force you

Back under those covers,

Lazy mornings, they multiply.

Life is mundane sometimes. It’s slow, it’s dragging, it’s the same circle round and round again. The sun rises, and the sun sets, slowly spinning round again, and everything seems much the same. We work. We eat. We sleep. We get up the next morning and do it all over again. Life is reduced to dry facts on a page: breakfast, shoes, car, computer, water.

And facts, well, facts don’t do much of anything. Contrary to what we often think, they don’t command you, they don’t encourage you, they don’t comfort you. They only tell you what has happened in the past, and what is happening in the now. You are here, this is going on, this is all there is, and this is all there’ll ever be. Basic, textbook definitions.

So everything becomes a grey list of steady, unending, unrelenting march of facts. Dry monotones that dull your sense and close your eyes in slumber. Basic, textbook life.

But we were never meant to be a textbook. Continue reading

Candles Are Lights Too

Making our mark. We all want to do it. We want to do something big, something important; to change to world, to change lives. To be a brightly burning star, dashing across the sky, spraying light and sparks in a trail of glory behind us! — that is our dream.

And as Christians we still have this desire. Maybe it doesn’t manifest itself in the same ways: wanting to be a famous singer, becoming a billionaire, running for president; but we still feel it. There is still that title of important, world-changing Christian: the pastors, the missionaries, the rebelutionaries. Sometimes, in the words of my friend, we just “want to do something crazy, like drop everything, sell it all, and go be a missionary in a foreign country!”

And Amen and Hallelujah! If that is what God is calling you to do, go! Don’t let any complacency, concerns, or cultural standards stop you. We need more radical Christians, on fire for the Lord, following His call into the ‘craziest’ of situations.

But also don’t become caught in the lie that if you aren’t out on the mission field, you aren’t faithfully following Him. Continue reading

Don’t Win the Gold, Walk on It

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a bit of a sporting event that’s been on lately. A big sporting event. A great, big, wonderful, crazy, exciting event of hundreds of different sports all at the same time showcasing a million different skills and the site of a thousand different stories. In short, the Olympics.

Our family always enjoys watching the whole thing (although our DVR might not be quite as appreciative) always cheering and shouting loudly to the athletes. (Yes, I know they can’t actually hear me. But obviously my moral support helps them somehow!) Continue reading

If America Falls

I’m frustrated right now. I’m upset.

I’ve watched our leaders run rough-shod over democracy, lie openly and blatantly about their actions and words, put themselves above the law, and ignore all rules of courtesy and even morality; and then watched the people of America accept it. I am persuaded that the Land of the Free, our glorious Republic, is coming apart. The United States of America is dying.

But, despite what you might think, this isn’t a political post.

Continue reading

Don’t Be Swept Away

Today I was supposed to write a post about how life is beautiful.

And that post will happen, because life certainly can be, as God’s common grace abounds in the loveliness of His creation.

But some days, life doesn’t feel beautiful. Some days it seems the whole world is going in a no good, very bad, terrible way.  Like a top, we seem to be spinning more and more erratically, the horizon swinging up and down at the strangest angles, until at last we must fall over completely. Continue reading