Greetings, gentle readers. I hope this Lenten season finds you well.
I’m sure from the title, you have surmised what this post will address. After all, about 90% of my posts since November have had to do with my struggles with an old pain. And there seems to be no end to those insufferable (I mean, er…inspirational) Internet memes in my Facebook feed that constantly admonish me to just “forget it and let it all go.”
Well, you’d be wrong. 🙂
I was doing research for another topic the other day and stumbled across Philippians 3, where the Apostle Paul speaks about “forgetting what is behind.” And after reading what he wrote, I wondered for a second if he had utterly lost his mind and I had signed up for the wrong religion: Continue reading
Image from Woman of Color
I want to start by saying something that I would like every one to notice carefully. It is this. If this chapter means nothing to you, if it seems to be trying to answer questions you never asked, drop it at once. […] There are certain things in Christianity that can be understood from the outside, before you have become a Christian. But there are a great many things that cannot be understood until after you have gone a certain distance along the Christian road. […] They are directions for dealing with particular crossroads and obstacles on the journey and they do not make sense until a man has reached those places. […] There will come a day, perhaps years later, when you suddenly see what it meant. –C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Today, I want to talk about a box and a boat and a journey toward the greatest romance of our lives. I want to talk about beaches and oceans and a place known as the deep waters. Continue reading
The graph of biblical contradictions
Growing up under fundamentalism, I spent a lot of time defending the Bible. After all, I loved the Bible–Old and New Testament. Still do. It has been my life manual, my source of wisdom, and (most recently) a divine source of comfort. Nothing else quite sets my heart at peace like reading and meditating upon the scriptures.
Unfortunately, I was taught to read the scriptures only one way–according to the narrow doctrine of my church. In that view, the Bible had only one message, and that message was crystal clear to everyone who wasn’t blinded, in some way, by the world and its sinful liberalism. According to my church, the Bible contained absolutely nothing contradictory; it all lined up perfectly from beginning to end and could be explained in absolute terms.
So imagine my shock when people outside my faith tradition began pointing out ideas and messages in the Bible that actually were contradictory. Imagine further my surprise when I began discovering some of these conflicts on my own. For instance: Continue reading
Image from newmediawarrior.net
It seems I can’t go anywhere these days (especially Facebook) without hearing about the latest attack on Christianity. People won’t keep Christ in Christmas. Government officials are removing prayers from their meetings and nativity scenes from public property. A & E just suspended Phil Robertson, the star of the popular show Duck Dynasty, for saying homosexuality is a sin during an interview. It seems everywhere you look, the secularists are increasing in both number and volume. They are pushing back against those who claim to follow Christ and sticking it in our craw with all their fine rules and regulations designed to keep us in line.
And I, for one, couldn’t be more excited about it. Continue reading
For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to take the holy advice of my Christian friends and find rest in my Savior. It’s proven to be one of most disturbingly painful experiences of my life thus far.
A few months ago, I told the Lord that I wanted to draw closer to him. He said, “OK,” then proceeded to drag down all of my internal supports and kick me onto my face. All of my usual coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s hardships were suddenly rendered null and void. I became incapable of carrying the burdens that I normally carried. Now I struggle to pray for myself, let alone anyone else. The light of joy that had finally begun to blaze in my heart weeks before has flickered and grown dark. Most of the time when I’ve tried to explain to others what’s going on with me, they stare at me like I have three heads. The grief and humiliation has been almost beyond bearing.
If there’s a level of brokenness beyond this, I don’t want to know about it.
The few times that I have been able to pray, I have asked God to help me enter His rest. Up until recently, though, the help didn’t appear to be forthcoming. Finally, in frustration, I asked God, “Will I ever enter your rest?”
He answered, “I don’t know. Will you?”
I…what?! Continue reading