Sunday, September 18, 2011

Joy

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!
Where?
Down in my heart!
Where?
Down in my heart!
I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!
Where?
Down in my heart to stay!”

How utterly presumptuous.  When singing that song as a kid I had no idea what it meant, not to mention the gravity of its connotations.  After having numerous conversations with my friends and family about the nature and quality of joy, I’m convinced that we’ve been tricked into settling for a well disguised nostrum.  The very next line of that song is “and I’m so happy…”

Oh how we’ve been tricked.

There are so many ways I can achieve happiness, and most of them are morally neutral things like money, sex, food, hobbies, and almost anything else you can think of before it’s pulled into perversion.  But it’s these things that our conscious and unconscious minds attribute joy to.  Am I feeling depressed?  Eat some chocolate.  Feeling down?  Listen to uplifting Christian music (the definition of such can vary according to your cultural background and personal taste.)  Now joy.  Non-Christians will accuse me of trying to suppress my happiness when I don’t do things that are obviously fabulous and fun.  Christians will tell me I’m suppressing my joy when I do things that are against the religious code.  Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. 

The problem I’ve noticed is that both “Christians” and non-Christians fill their lives with all sorts of the same worthless elixirs, and suddenly it’s a supreme court battle over who is right.  “Gay marriage is abominable, and the fools don’t realize they’re miserable!”  But then you have the happily married gay couple…and what do you do?  Even if they divorce in two years, they still found happiness for a brief moment.  The same can be said of Christian marriages that are over almost before they begin, and suddenly pastors are raving in the pulpit about how we need to stay together to show the homosexuals that our religious zeal is worth the misery.  So again, where is the joy?  And does it equal happiness?

Talk to almost any Christian, and they’ll tell you that happiness doesn’t equal joy, but I get the feeling they’re repeating rhetoric given them by others.  I say this because, even in my own life, I find that I’ll latch onto euphoria and call it joy, simply because…well what else could it be?  Certainly not a chemical reaction in my brain releasing endorphins and delaying depression.

I recently discussed the objectively complex issue of sex with someone who doesn’t know God…it was painful.  How easy is it to believe that God is mistaken when He says that sexual relationships should remain monogamous?  Especially if both parties are consenting?  It was especially hard realizing that I can never “sell” God.  I can’t convince people He’s worth it because of [fill in the blank.]  I only know. 

God is the eternal supernova of true happiness.  He is a flame that needs no fuel.  He is glorious in His ability to know the astronomically colossal as well as the mundane.  He is.  I wish there was some way I could contain his worth in words, but I can’t, and this is the reason I write stories.  A brief glimpse at the reason I exist and choose to pass on certain comforts of this temporal home.  I can’t sell God, but I can’t help talking about Him. 

Happiness is fleeting. Morality is death to those who know it, because they cannot keep it. Men will always be slaves to something, be it on earth or in heaven, but those who desire the things of God will find it.

People will know your joy often in your ability to confuse them with it.  You mean that you fasted on purpose?  You gave up a promising career in film on purpose?  You love God and tell people on purpose?  Why can’t you leave well enough alone?  Even among your own people, people that refer to themselves as Christian, if you have what God refers to as joy, you will often cause confusion by your actions.  This is the way God is.  He does things that anger and enflame even the people who call themselves His followers, even unto death, so that He might display his glory to everyone.

You want joy?  Prepare for things that make normal people unhappy.



James is better than me at communicating the
meaning of joy.  Check him out.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Being Mediocre for God


So I’m guessing there’s already more than one person reading right now (if there’s more than one person who reads this blog) who are questioning the validity of the above title.  I definitely question it myself from time to time, but I would stand by this like William Tell’s son stood under that apple if I thought it got me anywhere.  I mean, the idea is so ludicrous I felt like it had to come from God, because otherwise where in the world would this ever be acceptable?  (Of course, the moment I start promoting infant cannibalism I hope someone calls me on it, because that would be one area of crazy I’m pretty sure God frowns upon.  But I digress.)

I feel like this is one of the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn…which I guess I could say about every lesson which sucks (but is, in the end, God glorifying and totally worth it), but I wanted to close out my summer with a final word to all my friends in the big C-O, and share what I’ve been wrestling with since I cared about anything.  I hope you will stick with my premise until the end, but you people already know I’m a little crazy, so I’m guessing there’s been no surprises so far.  The crazier the better, I say.

So what does this idea mean?  And why would it be applicable…and why would I write a farewell letter like this?  And where in the world is Carmen San Diego?!  So many questions. 

Well before I completely divulge the secret as to why God would ever call me to be mediocre, I also have to say this.  I hate accolades.  Yeah.  You heard me.  I hate accolades because I am a proud person.  And I also love God with the type of intensity that scares people.  I love Him because of who He is.  There is nothing else.  I bought the field because I wanted the treasure (hint: treasure=Jesus Christ.)  He is...everything.  

But you get it I hope; there’s nothing else I’ve been more excited about and nothing else I will ever desire more than Him (at least this is always my prayer.) 

So what does that have to do with accolades—also known as approbation, commendation, laudation, ovation, and kudos?  (Thank you thesaurus.)  Or more to the point, what does that have to do with being average for Jesus?  Well I’m glad you asked.

I am nothing.

God is everything.

Get it?  No?  An accolade or “atta boy,” coming from anyone other than God, is worthless to me when I’m following Him.  Now this isn’t to say that certain exhortations are bad, in fact they could be a blessing from the Father, but if they don’t ultimately credit the one who is worthy of ALL CREDIT, they are worthless and possibly even sinful.  I want to make it clear then, that I deserve no credit for what happens because I was somewhere, doing something, with someone…you fill in the blank.  At least if it was truly good.  I want to avoid taking credit for that which God put in me to do, and gave the ability and wisdom or foolishness to accomplish in His name, because I cannot take the place of Him.  I am not a god.  Now I know some people are laughing right now and saying “haw haw (you sound like a donkey in my imagined scenario), we could have told you that Chase.”  And you’d be more than right, but it is easy to sit back when things go right and think “damn I’m good.”  Or maybe that just happens to me, but I’d be willing to bet my right upper incisor that I’m not the only one who thinks too highly of him/herself.

So back to mediocrity, and why it is important.  Understand that I am not saying you, as a follower of Christ (if you are one), should be “luke warm” (and if you grew up in church you know what I’m talking about.)  I’m saying that as a follower of Christ, you have to accept that people will almost always look at you as being mediocre, and in many cases less so.  And this is good.  Why? Let’s consult the Good Book.

2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
    5"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
    6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
    7"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
    8"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
    9"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
    10"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    11"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Who’s blessed here?  Does it say “blessed are the intrepid, for they shall conquer and enslave the earth?”  Or “blessed are the hippies, who will bring peace and love because of their laid back righteousness?”  Or maybe “blessed are the [insert political affiliation here], for they shall bring wealth among the nations?”  God you forgot some beatitudes.

Jesus says “blessed are the poor in spirit (little “s”)” because he knew the heart of man.  Men love religion and politics because it’s a way to get them where they want to be.  Nobody, including me, initially enjoy being poor.  No one wants to hear (or tell people for that matter) that if they’ll only become as a slave to God, then suddenly everything will get better in the form of people abusing and taking advantage of their weak disposition.  That doesn’t draw a crowd, so we almost never hear it.  But this is what I want to tell everyone in case I don’t see you again (and I’m applying that statement to the afterlife.)

Following God is worth it.  Don’t get distracted by the good things of life, because they will, and currently are, passing away.  Don’t desire money, power, health, fame, Cheetos, or even the ambition to shine like a star for God.  If you love God, he will shine through you, and you’ll never have to worry about that again.  Don’t desire the accolades and approval of others, or take satisfaction in anything other than the one who can fulfill the desire to be known, because everything else is dying.  You are dying.  

Learn to find approval in Him.  Achieve mediocrity. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hijacked

Jesus tells us a parable.

"For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants talents, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' 21His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' 23His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 24He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed,25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' 26But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

So the talents here are obviously anything God has given you to glorify Him, i.e. abilities, money, or something else of value.  If we’ll only utilize them as God has commanded He will bless us with even more so that we might glorify Him with them.  Right?  Isn’t that obvious?

Or what about this verse?

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Obviously, “these things,” which Jesus referenced above are earthly things.  Food, water, shelter.  God is saying don’t be anxious because he’s going to give us all this stuff so that we don’t have to worry about it…right?  What else would he give us?  And wouldn’t we be required to do the best with what we have, so that we might glorify him?    

The two verses above are, I believe, two of the most hijacked verses in American culture.  It is almost automatic, as we live in one of the most well provided for nations in all of history, to believe that God has given us His stuff so that we might glorify Him.  But is this what Jesus was talking about in the parable and the paragraph?  Was he really so concerned with our welfare as it applies to our home on earth?  Just above the verse about the lilies of the field Jesus says to not store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.  So which is it Jesus?  What are we supposed to be looking for?

Well let’s think for a second.  And then let’s look at some of the people Jesus supposedly cared for.

The first person I can think of, and possibly one of the greatest examples in history of God using crazy to break preconceptions, is John.  The Baptizer.  This man ran around in nothing but animal skins and ate locusts and honey for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (possibly also elevensies.)  He was also called the “greatest man to be born of woman” by Jesus.  Jesus.  Not by other crazies.  Not even by the smart people of the time like the Pharisees.  By Jesus, the man born of a virgin who lived his entire life so that he could eventually sacrifice it, and then raise it on the third day for the glory of his Father.  That guy. 

But what happens to John?  Sure he eventually uses his talents, right?  Is eating bugs a talent outside preschool?  He died, in case you were wondering.  In fact, he died a pretty unimpressive death.  John lives a brief life and is executed during Jesus’ ministry by an old pervert named Herod.  THAT was the greatest man to have ever lived?

What about the disciples?  Surely Peter eventually got his fishing boat business together for the glory of Christ, right?  Not really.  Tradition says he was crucified upside down.  And the other disciples?  Only John lived to a ripe old age, and he was imprisoned for the majority of it.  These men, Lord?  You provided for these men? 

Now let’s be honest for a second.  If you were on a ship that you knew was going to sink because God said it was, wouldn’t you be a little anxious?  If Jesus specifically told you that you would be persecuted for the sake of his name, would you not be anxious?  If Jesus says don’t be anxious, but himself sweat blood before the cross, then what in the hell was he talking about?!

God if I can’t use my talents for your glory and my ambition as the fuel for my ministry, then what am I? 

I am loved.

What was Jesus getting at in the parable of the talents?  Did he mean earthly abilites?  What does it say?  The master gave his servants talents—how?—according to their ability.  In other words, they were already able, and God blessed them.  Now what is a talent, and why is it important?   Because if a talent is my earthly ability, then I have a lot of catching up to do.  In fact, I’d say I’ve totally dropped the ball in multiple areas God has gifted me in.

But what if instead God is talking about talents that matter eternally? 

Jesus says, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”  In heaven.  Jesus, in this parable, meant the Spirit.  How can athletic ability be given to someone because they were really good with money while they were on earth (the one talent man has his taken away from him)?  And why?  Jesus wasn’t saying that the man who horded his ability to play baseball would be stripped of that ability (although naturally if you don’t practice, it’s eventually lost anyway), he was saying that if we do not share and multiply the Word of God, Jesus, the Spirit, we will be cast out of eternity with him.  Does God apportion His Spirit differently depending on a person’s ability to receive it and multiply it? 

What kingdom are we working for now?  Why did the disciples all die horrific deaths?  Why did Paul say that if there was no resurrection of Christ, then we as Christians are to be most pitied?  Because we’re working for the end.  We’re working for an eternal, heavenly kingdom.  One which we cannot see, and one which at the moment often does not make sense.  We pursue and love God not for ourselves, but because he called us to do it. 

If God says do not be worried about life, because we need to observe the grass of the field, did he really mean that our calm comes from knowing God is going to keep us rich?  What is the very next part of that verse?  What happens to the grass?  It’s thrown into the oven!  Birds eat each other.  Animals are devoured by plagues and fungi.  Death reigns on earth right now.  But do we fear it?  Well we’re not supposed to.  Why not?

Jesus says he will be with you.  Seek first the kingdom, and all these things will be added.  God is saying the lilies of the field are glorious because they simply ARE.  They are.  You won’t find a flower slitting its stems because it doesn’t want to live anymore.  God gave us His Spirit so that we could live as His Son lived.  Completely content with our future as we know God to be sovereign in it.  Jesus desired the will of his Father more than anything else.  And how does God refer to himself?

I AM. 

God is.  We are.  Jesus came so that we might have life, but if you hide that life, what kind of person are you?  If I hide the Word, the one eternal truth that gives life to all things, would I not be worthy of the “outer darkness?” 

Jesus calls us to live and breathe with him.  Fall in love with God, and suddenly it won’t matter how He uses you, because your desire was always to be with Him in the end.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How Do You Describe Infinity?

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

When Jesus talked about the joy set before Him, what did he mean?  Was he talking about the joy of serving people?  Or the joy that would come from his Father giving him everything for the sacrifice which he was to accomplish on the cross?  Or was it something else? 

Who was this Jesus guy?  And why did he love death?  How is it that someone could be so involved in their death, making reference to it multiple times while he was on earth, when everyone else on that planet was so concerned with how they would live?  Who are you LORD?  Who are you?

Jesus knew from the very beginning that his life was forfeit—but forfeit for whom?  Us?  Were humans so important that Jesus willingly gave up his life so that we might be saved?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.”

Are we so important?  But if we are that important, and God is in it to save everyone, and he holds everything within His power, then how come everyone is not saved?  There must be something more.  Is it possible that we are not important, but that we are loved?  Is it possible that all our work and striving on this earth will eventually be nothing but a memory in a history book, even if we are really good at working and striving?  But we are loved.

What if we are not important?  Did Jesus come to die, or to live?  And which is more important, and why is this so imperative for someone who follows Christ to understand?

I am a man.  Barely, but I am.  I can do things.  I can win.  All I need is an unbeatable strategy, and suddenly I can become the greatest person to ever live.  Is that the message of the Bible?  Did God put down thousands of years of history so that I could claim a great victory through my own well thought out plans?  Am I such a fool?  Unfortunately so.

God did not send his Son because of our inherent value.  Jesus did not live to show us “the way to live,” but considered his life forfeit for the sake of his Father, whom he loved. 

Jesus died.

And he did so with great joy and purpose because he loved his Dad, and his Dad loved us.  GOD (the Father, Son, and Spirit) loved His kids so much that they sent one of their own to sacrifice something that humanity can still “only see in a mirror dimly,” so that one day it might be “face to face.” 

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he now also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

God did not come so that we would be able to deal with our problems, as though they were so important.  Nor did he come so that we might be able to work well and live.  He came so that we might have life, and have it abundantly.  And the abundant life is so much more than dealing with our petty difficulties.  God is so infinite, and we so finite, that it must be frustrating to offer us everything, only to have us scorn the gift because we think that what we see is more attainable.

My goal is always Christ.  An infinite, universe-creating, universe-destroying Christ.  An intimate, soul crushing, fire wielding, storm controlling God.  I cannot be shaken in Him.  I cannot be frustrated, or disappointed, or dismayed, or proud, or lost in Him, for he is the author of everything.  It started with Him and it will end in Him. 

God my prayer is always that my eyes are so fixed on you that everything else seems pointless in contrast.  I have bought the field, and sold everything else.  

Monday, May 30, 2011

Z-Poc Homework

My friend from SHS, where I work, gave me their geography end-of-the-year assignment, and I was ecstatic to find out that it was all about the Zombie Apocalypse.  I was a little skeptical though and thought, "Seriously? It's nice that you're trying to help those high school kids out, but I'm pretty sure the Justin Beiber/Just Dance 2 generation wouldn't know an apocalypse if it came up and bit'em in the face (which it totally would.)"  So I, long time veteran end-of-the-world-scenario purveyor and aficionado, decided to take a crack at the skull of this zombie quiz.  Unfortunately, a lot of my knowledge is stuff you just can't teach.

1. What kind of diffusion would the zombie apocalypse be?
Uh…I’m gonna guess apocalyptic diffusion.  Seriously, what kind of a question is that?

2.  Name five cities that would be affected, in the order they would be affected. (I think it's important to note here that the outbreak originated around Temple,Texas.  I don't have the map to share with you.)
San Antonio first, definitely.  If they’re not the fattest city in the world they’re close, and if there’s one thing zombie movies have taught us, it’s that fat people are the first to go.  So remember the Alamo, ‘cause it’ll be zombie central.  Houston will probably suffer the same portly fate.
The next three cities are up in the air.  Mainly because by the time zombies get to Waco, Texas will be ready.  I’m pretty sure everyone owns a gun in Waco, and judging by their past cult history, they don’t give up without a fight.  Diffusion will be running away from the barrels of 126,217 guns.  New York will be piled with the cries of the undead long before Dallas is.

As this video demonstrates, Waco has a strict anti-pussy policy.




3.  How would the outbreak of a zombie virus affect migration and travel patterns in the state?  Where would people go, and why?
Well I can tell you where I wouldn’t go.  Wal-mart.  Everybody thinks they’ll just stroll on into Wal-mart like it will be a Jersey Shore reunion or something, when in reality it will probably be a lot like Black Friday…but with zombies.  Welcome to Wal-mart, home of the braiiiins…oh, and low prices. (On brains.)
All I’m saying is that you better own some guns.  And if you don’t, know someone who does so you can trip them into the zombie horde chasing you and steal their piece.

4.  In an economic sense, what would the widespread effects be?  Would any industries remain open?  If so, which ones?  What goods would become available, and what goods would become worthless.
In the event of Z-Poc (zombie-apocalypse, currently working on trademark rights to that term,) your cash will be about as useful as honey in a bear nest (they have nests, right?), that is to say, it will attract all the people without it.  You want to survive zombies?  Trade in bullets and scalps (preferably the ones you took off people trying to take your bullets.)

"What was he trying to say about a cure?  I couldn't hear through all the screaming."


5.  Would urban or rural locations make the best place to survive?  Justify your thinking about population density, services available in an urban hierarchy, transportation networks, and any other concept we have studied.
How about I ask you a question faceless questioner?  How many people does it take to survive in any kind of apocalypse?  If you answered “more than one,” congratulations, you’re a zombie and I have to shoot you.  If you think you’re going to run errands around the city using the subway and other forms of public transportation, then go ahead and choose urban.  I’ll be laughing at your naiveté from the remains of Camp David in my up-armored HMMVW.  In fact, the more people that decide to take refuge in downtown Fort Worth, the less ammo I have to waste on my drive to the most isolated position I can think of.  And no, you can’t come.  My tank will be too laden with the corpses of city slickers.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Ultimate Wingman

I find it a little hilarious that within only a few weeks of moving into a new apartment, my roommate has found a girl.  Bear with me.  It's funny.

Now I don't know how completely serious it will turn out, but judging from my previous roommate history, it is--like--totally serious.  I know this because I'm a little OCD, and I recognize patterns all over the place.  It's actually kind of annoying most of the time, but occasionally this dumb superpower predicts the future.

Withing weeks after moving into an apartment with my brother, he suddenly just dropped off the map.  I'd be like "hey bro, wanna go do crazy man stuff?,"  and he'd be, like "what? And miss the new Miss Congeniality movie?  Are you gay?"  And just like that, I'm my own wingman (and maybe a little confused as to why rated R is suddenly the devil.)

Then my buddy Jon moves in, and it's all Halo until 3 in the morning, and working out, and binge MDew drinking on weekends, and Nick has been replaced.  But it's all good because my brother found someone else to spend time with, so we're cool.  But then suddenly Jon is disappearing.  I'm like, "Jon!  Halo!"  And he's like "Dude!  You're gay!  (Actually he'd never say that.)  I've got to work and pay off my parking tickets and be an upstanding citizen," or some other such nonsense.  And I'm like WTF?  Where the fun at?

So suddenly I'm by myself, talking to myself.  I'm cool with that, because I like it sometimes, but it seems crazy that within only a year my two closest bros were so enraptured with girlfriends that their lives were literally and figuratively changed.  Nevermind that Nick was a directionless maverick before I got there.  Or that Jon hadn't been in a truly serious relationship for five years, and was the embodiment of a bachelor before moving in.   Coincidence?  Maybe.  Pattern?  Almost.

Now I wouldn't have even recognized this as anything but a random series of unfortunate events had it not been for what is happening currently.  Aaron, my roommate and long time friend and neighbor, is now spending quality time with a special someone.  Not me.  I'm sure he'd appreciate that I clarified that.  No, a few months after I move in and he's at first base.  I'm pretty sure that area of his life had seen little traffic in the last couple years until I got there, by the way.  What can I say?  I'm a chick magnet.   So Aaron...you know...you're welcome.

So what does this all mean for me?  I'm not sure, but think of the possibilities it could mean for you!  Are you a guy, looking at a girl you're sure will be "the one?"  Or maybe you just haven't been that lucky recently?  Come talk to me.  We'll fix that.  I have some sort of dark gift.  I bet it even works for both sexes.  If true though, I don't know if I could take the irony.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

In the beginning...

How do you talk to someone who hates Christianity? 

Oh you thought I was talking about Richard Dawkins?  Good one rhetorical question.  I’m talking about Christians who hate Christianity.

There is a lot of self-hate that goes around modern Christian circles, like we need to continually apologize for the Crusades, and the Inquisition, and the witch burning, and the Holocaust (wait, that last one wasn’t our fault; people just associate us with anti-Semitism because of Mel Gibson.) But seriously?  What’s with the animosity amongst your own people Christians?  What’s a little witch burning among friends?

 I know God followers trying to be culturally sensitive by applying better business practices, as though it’s some mystery as to how the Word ever flourished to begin with.  Other people are subtracting all the negative bits from this thing called the Gospel, like this will somehow draw a bigger crowd.  You want a bigger crowd?  Build a waterpark.  People hate to be judged.  People hate justice as it applies to them.  But people love utopia…at least as it applies to the people they agree with.  So how do you rewrite God’s book so you can look better?

Grace.  Love.  Peace be to you.  Yes.  Who doesn’t love a little of that?  Forget the judgment homosexuals, utopia is in the God of love and peace.  Of course this would also include the radical fundamentalist who screams PG expletives at them.  Right?  Oh wait, God is only gracious to the good, practicing homosexual and not the good, practicing homophobe.  Or is it the other way around?  Okay now I’m confused author-I-will-not-name.  Who does God show grace to? 

What if sharing the Gospel was as easy as telling people the truth?  What if the truth was also a little difficult to hear and ultimately appreciate?  My blog is about that.  Of course the trick will always be in telling the truth without becoming obsessed with it.  Jesus is about the truth because he is the truth. 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

So that’s what I’m going to begin with.  The Word.