Tag Archives: life

Conversations that make you think

My parent’s where in town this weekend. I’m blessed to have to of the most amazing people that have graced the face of this earth as my parental units. I’ve learned to appreciate them more and more as I’ve interacted with a great many people who weren’t nearly as blessed as I was to have such loving and caring fathers and mothers.
I grew up thinking I could do anything, cause my mom told me (and still tells me) that I can. Even this weekend we had conversations that renewed me with an energy that I can accomplish any task I set my mind to. My dad is a doer much like me, and our conversations are very much a reflection of that. I’ve got umpteen new projects running through my head that I’d love to start working on, and know that I can accomplish if I stick to it.

I also love my parents because I can be real with them. Most of the things I say and believe I usually don’t bring up in conversation with folks cause they’ll get offended or argue, or a great many other things. With my parent’s though I can be real and honest.
My dad and I had a great discussion on stewarship, resources and the lifestyle we choose. He challenged me and encouraged me to think of things in a different light. Those conversations always help me further refine my beliefs and help me remember my values.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

Life is Fragile

Thursday, April 27th, was an intense morning for a lot of people. People close to me whom I know experienced very clearly how amazing and fragile life is in two very different ways. Here is how the morning went for me.
Sometime a little before 5 am on Thursday morning our phone rang. It was a call we’d been eagerly expecting, our good friends where going to have a baby. Our role was to come over and watch their three year old while they went to the hospital. We went over and they headed off to the hospital. I took a short nap and then dressed and headed to work.
At work I settled down at my desk and briefly checked my email, when a news headline caught my eye. I opened the news article just as the phone rang and Mindy excitedly shared with me some other news.

In one moment, I heard the announcement of a new life and read a tale of lost life.

Whitney Cerak, a girl I had met only briefly a few weeks before, died in a fatal car accident. I can remember her sitting in our living room talking about what her interest where and what she would like to do with her life in the future.
Roman Franklin was born at 7:00am on April 27th. A new life I have had the joy of watching grow from unnoticable in his mother’s womb to a quickly growing one month old.

That day was especially sombering for me as the joy and sadness mixed together in my heart and reminded me that each life is important and fragile. I don’t know what words or thoughts can explain the heaviness one’s heart feels as they recognize these truthes. There is a feeling of regret and shame for how flippantly one has treated life and relationships and you finally realize how sacred it all is.

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously–no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. -C.S Lewis, The Weight of Glory

I leave you with this saying, which my good friend Ashley (who introduced us to Whitney) started saying with me sometime 7+ years ago in high school.

How Goes the World?
The world goes not well,
but the kingdom comes.”

Why go to college when you can blog instead?

Let me start by saying that I did go to college and now I blog and after trying both I’m not completely convinced that one is better then the other.
College has all it’s pros like room and board, smart people all around you, and other stuff. But, it also has it’s cons like that big fat bill after graduation, grades, and smart people all around you.

Blogging on the other hand has very little cons that I can see. I like to read, listen, or watch stuff. I also like researching topics I’m interested in. When I was in college a teacher told me what to read, listen, watch or research, now I choose it on my own. In college I had deadlines, MLA, grades and smart people to worry about. When I blog about these things I just have the motivation that a good handful of people are interested in what I have to say, and if anything they’ll provide me with postive and constructive feedback on what I wrote. I work at my own pace (which is maybe to slow at times) and I get to choose my own style, which I can always go back and tweak later.

In both situations I’m learning and growing. I’d certainly opt for blogging if I could just convince them to give me one of those fancy pieces of paper at the end of four years.

What does denying yourself look like?

Today I was talking with a friend about some of the word’s of Jesus and it became so clear to me why I think the church should care about justice, should care about others, and shouldn’t just look like another club that people can join (as long as you look, act, and enjoy the same things as the majority of the people in the club). Jesus messes with people’s heads and says these words:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

The cross was a method of gruesome punishment, like the electric chair, or lynching. It’s equated with pain, struggle, hurt, and many other harmful and negative images; and Christ tells us to take that up. And then he get’s us even more backwards “lose” our life? What is that supposed to mean?
I’m not hear to do a theological exegesis of the passage, I’d rather just address the fact that THIS is the Jesus that we in the Church profess. There it is as plain as day for any passerby to read. Followers of Jesus should be denying themselves.
So why do those looking on see Christians drive in on Sunday in their fancy cars, pull up to their nice and decked out churches, listen to their health and wealth gospel, sing some feel-good songs, get back in their cars and go out to eat (where they don’t tip well), and head back to their house full of the same gadgets and gizmos everyone else has, ready to start another week?

Where’s the “deny” and “lose” in that? About the only “cross” it seems like most Christian folks are taking up is their house payment. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.