The Shiny Cross

“So I notice you’re wearing a new piece of jewelry,” my friend remarked as soon as we hugged our hellos.

My hand went up on the cross hanging on the chain around my neck.

“Why,” he asked?

Why indeed?

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Sisyphus’ Hope

“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” [Matthew 12:43-45]

 

I sin. And sin again. And sin some more.

And I ask for forgiveness.

The next day, I do it again.

And those verses terrify me.

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Apologetics For Monkeys

And by monkeys, I mean those small humans that call me Mommy.

I sometimes wonder why I am so *driven* to learn so much about my faith. Do I *really* need to struggle through the Kalam argument? Can I give a confirmed relativist (oooh, is there such a thing by definition?) a run for his money? I know I will never understand all the theology, or even a large part of it. So why struggle so hard? Some days I feel like I’m torturing myself on purpose. Oh gee, here’s a tough question I never would have even thought of by myself…let me look into that and get all riled up all over again.

But I can’t tell you how many times I have just learned something and I turn around and one of my kids will ask me the very same question.

My little boy asks: If God makes everything happen in the world, aren’t we just like puppets? If God made the world, who made God?

My girl asks: How do I love God if I can’t see him? I love the stories from the bible, but they don’t seem like those things really happened.

I talk to them seriously. I tell them what I know. They wouldn’t accept pat answers anymore than I didn’t. Thank you to all of you who are helping me, and in turn, helping my monkeys. :)  The struggle goes on…

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Character –> Hope?

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. [Romans 5:3-5 NIV]

Help me connect the dots…

I see how suffering produces perseverance

I see how perseverance produces character

I see how hope does not disappoint us because of God love poured into our hearts

But how does character lead to hope?  I’ve been puzzling this for a bit now.  The best thing I can come up with is that because you trust in the Lord enough in your sufferings to persevere and see that you can lean on him while you’re developing this character in your difficult times, that he really is trustworthy enough to hope in?

Oh learned sages…what say you?

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Baptised

Here is the text of what I read tonight at my baptism*:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

I was here once. Here in these waters, with a pastor, and I dedicated my life to Jesus. I dedicated my life to him and then I turned my face away. Not all at once, and not … completely. But yes, I turned away and went to live in the world and do it all myself.

If you had asked me a year ago if I was a Christian, I would have told you, and this is painful to say now, but then I would say lightly, yes, on take-offs and landings. When I would sit in the aisle seat of a 747 and remember my mortality and the path I’d stayed so very far from, I would ask my father to forgive me and promise to go back to church (real soon now…). But you know just what happened then. The plane would land and my plans would go on and I would forget about him. Again.

But I tell you, that he did not forget about me. He was always there when I wanted to whisper to him. He was always there, guiding me even in my worst days, using my conscience to remind me of what was right and what was wrong. And even after I had started to believe the world, that there was no real truth, that there was no real meaning, he brought people into my life to disprove that by the way they lived and the way they loved. I found myself wanting to be with those people, wanting to find the truth, wanting to be with the good, fighting for the loveliness.

And I found myself at Celebration this last Easter morning, listening to Jesus speak to me. He offered me truth. He offered me rest. He offered me himself, again. Even after all I had grieved him, he welcomed me home.

So I am here again. In these waters, with a pastor, and I rededicate my life to Jesus. By his grace, I pray that I will keep my face turned to him.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

 

*I didn’t actually read the scriptures for time (my speech was a bit long as it was), but I thought I’d go ahead and include them here, as they were what I was thinking of.

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A lil too much theology…

Sometimes a little humor can put it in perspective:

http://thinklings.org/?p=3223

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Magnetic Cries

Magnetic Cries

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