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Monthly Archives: June 2010

Don’t get me wrong: There are a lot of things that Mark Driscoll spouts off that I have a hard time with theologically. Because of that I’ve never really given him much of a chance (and perhaps rightly so?). However, I came across this sermon that I would recommend to most males (that being said, I’ll tell you now I don’t agree with it all). The first 10-15 minutes can be a bit painful (theologically, brash personality etc.) but it gets better as it goes. Personally, there were a few things he said that I could see in myself. And I think that’s the point. We all (men) have bits and pieces of this in ourselves. I think the key is the ability to see those things, repent, and move on from there.

The video is long so if you can’t make it through the whole thing I can’t blame you. But, if you can, give it a listen.

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“We can so easily make claims concerning the need to end child labor or look after the environment, and yet we continue to buy the products that employ child labor or damage the eco-system. Our religious or political ideology here functions as that which allows us to continue living in the way to which we have become accustomed with a minimum of guilt. The last thing we really want is to get what we are asking for, because this would cost us so much in terms of how we live. We do not want to sacrifice our comfortable lives, yet we find it hard to acknowledge that distasteful truth, and so we engage in forms of protest that enable us to blame another (the government, big business) while enjoying the benefits that such a corrupt system offers us. It is a little like employees talking about their manager behind her back while at the same time working hard, coming in on time, and seeking approval. The backbiting that goes on in the office is not, contrary to expectation, something that undermines the manager. If anything, it is the very valve that enables the manager to keep the employees from taking their grievances further.”

Peter Rollins.

Round of 16.

URU v KOR – URU

USA v GHA – USA

NED v SVK – NED

BRA v CHI – BRA

ARG v MEX – ARG

GER v ENG – GER

PAR v JPN – JPN

ESP v POR – POR

Quarter’s.

URU v USA – URU

NED v BRA – NED (while want Brazil to win this one I think Holland will pull it out. Shame!)

ARG v GER – ARG (Germany could potentially pull this off though, but I’m taking Diego’s boys)

JPN v POR – POR

Semi’s.

URU v NED – NED wins 2-1

ARG v POR – ARG wins 3-2

Final’s

NED v ARG – NED wins 3-2 (Again, while I would rather see Argentina win I think the Dutch will take it in the end if they make it to the finals).

“It’s very hard for the human race to accept that cold: “Nothing separates us from the love of God.” We think there must be some breaking point where God would give up on us. “Well, what about if we…?” Sin is not a problem with God. God solved all his problems with sin before the foundation of the world, in the beginning—and it’s done. The iceberg that lies under the surface of history is the Son of God; redemption is the mystery behind all history. Sin is a permanent irrelevancy. And God is the one to say, “Look, I have taken away the handwriting that was against you.”

Read the rest of the interview here. (Thanks Dan S).

The last number of years have been pretty challenging for me. Most of you know that I spent a number of years as a youth pastor and during that time I changed a lot as a person. I changed a lot as a Christian. I count those 2.5 years as some of the best in my life (the word ‘best’ is not to be confused with the words ‘easy’, ‘joyful’, ‘fabulous’ etc). I saw a lot. I thought a lot. I did a lot. I became disillusioned with a lot of things including middle-class suburban life, Evangelical Christianity, and the influence materialism was having on my life. All of these things changed me.

Now there are probably others out there who can identify with this sort of paradigm shifting, life-altering sort of experience and what I want to note is that there are different ways of dealing with this.

Towards the end of my time as a youth pastor I began to develop some bad habits. Things started appearing in my life that may or may not have been bad in-and-of themselves but these things lead to other things which resulted in me living a dishonest (less than abundant) life. I was so overwhelmed with life/employment situations and so frustrated with the confines of Evangelical Christianity and white middle-class piety and I’m not sure I really knew how to handle all of this.

Last night I sat down with a good friend/mentor in my life to talk about some things I’ve been struggling with and he posed the following question to me: “Ok, so what are the real issues?” What? At first I didn’t know how to respond. I couldn’t really pinpoint any “real issues” in my life that manifested themselves in bad fruit. I couldn’t think of any internal issues that showed up certain ways on the outside.

But I’ve been thinking about this since last evening. And while I’m still (obviously) processing a lot of these things I think one of the internal issues that manifested itself in a particular way on the outside was bitterness. I didn’t start out bitter. I started out frustrated but the more and more things I saw and experienced caused this frustration to slowly turn to bitterness. I began to hate a lot of what I was exposed to in Evangelical Christianity.

I won’t delve too deeply into the sorts of things I’m talking about here because I’m still working through them but perhaps I can touch on them at a later date.

Also, while I’ve begun to realize the root of bitterness in my life this should not be confused with me retreating and embracing much of what Evangelical Christianity has on-tap in the developed world. No. A lot of that is still bullshit and still frustrating but I’m hoping that from here on out I can use those things and those emotions to write a different sort of story for myself in the grace and peace of Christ.

So, here’s to life. Triumphs accomplished. Failures experienced. Second chances. And, above all, grace that refuses to allow us to remain the same.

ps – Today as I was thinking about all these sorts of things I read this blog by Don Miller and, needless to say, it hit be square in the face.