Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Read a great new blog today. Check out the latest entry.

OK, so I'm biased!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

uncertainty: heaven, family, relationships

After all the kids were in bed and I was talking with my Dad and Granddad, a young man came downstairs saying that his stomach hurt. He had that look - a little anxiety mixed with the pain - that begged me to probe a little.

He told me that he wasn't sure how to tell me what he had been thinking about. I explored his heart with a few questions? Then he began to talk. He had been thinking about heaven and family and relationships. What will heaven be like? Will we have family? Will there be relationships? The vacuum of understanding upset him. The possibility that family and relationships might not be a part of heaven frightened him.

The heaven question is more difficult to answer with great certainty. The family and relationship questions were much easier and more certain. His pain dissolved, not because of the certainty I think, but because we were together.

Thanks be to my Father who gave me the great joy of family and relationship with my son last night!

Friday, March 02, 2007

STORY, Part 1

“If you rewrite the past, you can make people believe whatever you want in the present” (Dr. Del Tackett – The Truth Project).

There are many present day examples of attempts at historical revisionism (e.g., our nation’s founding fathers weren’t Christians and the principles undergirding our republic do not rely on the Bible, the Jesus Seminar tells us what Jesus “really” said and what he didn’t, and the Muslims are trying to convince the world that the holocaust never happened).

But active historical revisionists are nothing new. Did you realize that Satan’s first words (Did God really say, …) were an attempt, apparently successful, at historical revisionism? In the simplest terms, historical revisionism is a lie.

Our beliefs, and consequently our actions, are shaped by history and this concept is foundational. As the serpent twisted history, the account of God’s interaction with Adam and Eve, he was able to shift their thoughts and beliefs – and you know the rest of the story.

Maybe this is why God says so many times, “Remember!”

How well do you know history? How has your own personal history shaped your beliefs? What has persuaded your understanding of history?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Elvis Sighted

The "Elvis" attractions in nearby Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee are obviously struggling. Elvis has been reduced to directing traffic.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


"to reach a firm decision about "

Daniel resolved in his heart to remain pure - Daniel 1:8. What am I resolved to? And what is the difference between Daniel's resolve and my intention to do something worthwhile? Daniel took action. He didn't just think about what a great idea he had, he asked to eat nothing but veggies and drink water. Seems pretty simple - decide and do.

I think what's missing from my good intentions is sharing those intentions with my family, with a community that will help me plan the work and work the plan.

My friend Ted has some good ideas on a simple plan for living missionally.

diggin' in

I need to be understood; whether I'm right or wrong, up or down, I want to be known. A lack of knowing and being known can cause so much pain.

It happened last night: I wanted respect from my son, but there was something going on deep in his heart. It was like throwing a match in a gas can. After an hour or so of trying to express ourselves, we came to a place - not a perfect place - of understanding. There were tears and smiles and hugs, and the sweet sensation of knowing.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I've been thinking a lot about mystery and wonder this Christmas season, trying to recognize more of it in my life. You might enjoy the article copied below from NPR on mystery.

Utterly Humbled by Mystery
by Richard Rohr
Morning Edition, December 18, 2006 ·
I believe in mystery and multiplicity. To religious believers this may sound almost pagan. But I don't think so. My very belief and experience of a loving and endlessly creative God has led me to trust in both.

I've had the good fortune of teaching and preaching across much of the globe, while also struggling to make sense of my experience in my own tiny world. This life journey has led me to love mystery and not feel the need to change it or make it un-mysterious. This has put me at odds with many other believers I know who seem to need explanations for everything.

Religious belief has made me comfortable with ambiguity. "Hints and guesses," as T.S. Eliot would say. I often spend the season of Lent in a hermitage, where I live alone for the whole 40 days. The more I am alone with the Alone, the more I surrender to ambivalence, to happy contradictions and seeming inconsistencies in myself and almost everything else, including God. Paradoxes don't scare me anymore.

When I was young, I couldn't tolerate such ambiguity. My education had trained me to have a lust for answers and explanations. Now, at age 63, it's all quite different. I no longer believe this is a quid pro quo universe -- I've counseled too many prisoners, worked with too many failed marriages, faced my own dilemmas too many times and been loved gratuitously after too many failures.

Whenever I think there's a perfect pattern, further reading and study reveal an exception. Whenever I want to say "only" or "always," someone or something proves me wrong. My scientist friends have come up with things like "principles of uncertainty" and dark holes. They're willing to live inside imagined hypotheses and theories. But many religious folks insist on answers that are always true. We love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of "faith"! How strange that the very word "faith" has come to mean its exact opposite.

People who have really met the Holy are always humble. It's the people who don't know who usually pretend that they do. People who've had any genuine spiritual experience always know they don't know. They are utterly humbled before mystery. They are in awe before the abyss of it all, in wonder at eternity and depth, and a Love, which is incomprehensible to the mind. It is a litmus test for authentic God experience, and is -- quite sadly -- absent from much of our religious conversation today. My belief and comfort is in the depths of Mystery, which should be the very task of religion.