Thursday’s Random Thoughts

 

 

1) My youngest child has begun doing some serious stuttering in the last few months. I’ve never looked into whether this is something handed down from parent to child but my own struggles and difficulties with stuttering make me hurt for him. Those who ridicule stuttering cannot know what they are doing. It is a painful thing to live with. Daily pain. It affects you socially in ways you cannot even know until you are an adult. I go through seasons where I stutter very little. But the fear is always there that I will be talking with someone and the words will not come out. And there are the seasons where you have to forgo saying certain things because you know words that start with ‘h’ will never pass across your lips without the repetition that makes people uncomfortable or induces ridicule. Do you know how many greetings start with words beginning with ‘h’?

2) I’ve been doing really well at work but it’s been hard to enjoy. A guy I work with is not doing well and he is getting very discouraged. It’s painful to watch because I’ve been there. You’re just waiting to get called into the boss’ office while you watch someone else succeed. The business world can be a dark place.

3) Watching someone struggle with belief can be attractive. It seems to be the thing to celebrate nowadays. But we need to understand that clarity of conviction is also attractive. At least it should be. In a world of shallow and soft thinking, clarity of what you are convinced of, should be prized while being patient with those who are sincerely struggling to get there.

4) Prediction: Kids in little league will soon have agents.

5) I’ve been reading Calvin’s Institutes for a couple of weeks and so of course I’m thinking about what is typically considered Calvinism. And I’ve been thinking about objections people have to the “5 points.” I sympathize with the objections since I was once an objector. But there are two things that I want these people to see outside of the goodness of “Calvinism.” People often complain that it doesn’t make sense and logically cannot be true. I usually respond with a question, “Do you hold any other beliefs that are hard to understand?” And then I ask if they believe Jesus is both God and Man and if they believe in one God that is three persons. The second thing I want them to see is specific to those who like to describe faith and belief and the Christian life as “messy.” These are people who revel in the contradictions. I like these people. In many ways these are my people. But one seeming contradiction that is just too messy for them is predestination/election. They often ask “how could a loving God do…” and they do not want a messy answer. They want squeaky clean answers. Bleached. I like these people but I fear they use “messiness” as a soft place for their unbelief to land.

6) I long to be a pastor again. Sometimes it’s painful. But I’m content to be where I am and do what I can where I am.

7) I think we are coming to a point in the history of our country where the most evangelistic endeavor we participate in will be faithfulness to our creed and love for those who despise it. Both will be very difficult.

8) There are a number of things I do not like about myself. But the thing I despise the most is when I laugh at other people’s expense. Making fun of people. Ridiculing them. It’s a short-term solution for my insecurities. Couple that with my own inability to laugh at myself sometimes…

9) Some: Theology is divisive.
Me: (shrugs shoulder) OK.

10) My wife’s birthday was yesterday. She is a joy to hold and a joy to behold.

8 thoughts on “Thursday’s Random Thoughts

  1. Pam Burns May 8, 2014 / 9:46 am

    I see the growth in you. You still don’t like your job but now you are content to be there and do what you can. I really appreciate how you love your wife.

  2. Eagle May 8, 2014 / 11:58 am

    Matt-

    Its a joy and privillege to read your blog. I worked in banking when I was in grad school and I can relate to some fo what you say about the busienss world. It can be cruel, and I saw people let go over not meeting their sales goals, etc…

    I’m one of those people who looks at faith as being messy. I’m puzzeled why I am not an atheist and yet I still can somehow believe in God despite my concerns over the problem of evil and other issues such as what happens to those who never heard the Gospel. The second one is solved if you like Calvinism..that settles it. They were never destined to hear the Gospel. But I am not a Calvinist, I see how Calvinism makes the Problem of Evil worse.

    Yet I think you’d make a fantastic Pastor! Your heart is in the right place. I enjoy reading your work, and even though we have be on different sides of reformed theology I would still show up at your church if you lead one, and try and learn more from you. I hope you’ll become a Pastor again one day. You’re one of the good guys that has a great heart in the right place.

  3. Chris Peters May 8, 2014 / 6:56 pm

    Always enjoy reading. This weeks comments seemed especially insightful. And not just the one about little league kids w agents. Ha.

    Chris Peters

    >

  4. Dallas Swoager May 9, 2014 / 9:07 am

    In regards to number 7, I was just thinking and actually writing about this a bit yesterday. I was reading through the book of 1 Peter and much of it acknowledges that there will be persecution (though we don’t see it to any great degree today) but personal holiness is what we are called to, which I think is largely what you are talking about here. In the good times we are called to do good, and to love people… it doesn’t really change when life goes bad except that our personal testimony may very well be more engaging.

  5. Patrick Kyle May 9, 2014 / 11:22 pm

    I was a closet Calvinist for years, but became convinced that the starting point for Calvinism, God’s sovereignty and Glory, was rather arbitrary. Why not His holiness, or His love, or His Spirit? Eventually I settled on God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself as the starting point and cornerstone of theology. Hebrews says that in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son. It put me on a very different arc from the standard Calvinist/Arminian dichotomy. (I have the Lutherans to thank for that.)

    • mattbredmond May 9, 2014 / 11:24 pm

      The starting point for Calvinism is not God’s sovereignty. It is his glory.

  6. Larry May 10, 2014 / 3:18 pm

    One of the best preachers I’ve ever heard struggled with stuttering. He never became a household name but his sermons and teaching were influential on me as a young Christian.

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