Thursday’s Random Thoughts

1) Jesus does not appear in the NT to care about protecting the brand.

2) I tend to assume the worst of those I disagree with and assume the best of myself. The gospel of grace *should* change that.

3) Most of the things we argue about in the church assume wealth and liberty.

4) I think Christians should be far more afraid of money than we are.

5) Fundamentalism sees error everywhere but within.

6) Spellcheck recognizes “cheesiness.”

7) When the Cherokee walked the Trail of Tears, many were heard singing “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah.”

8) The *fix* for the greatest problem in the Universe is grace. Why do I try to fix everything else without it?

9) My wife’s cooking > everywhere else.

10) The loss of both parents in such a short period of time is starting to overwhelm.

Thursday’s Random Thoughts

1) My friend at work is leaving. He has been here a year. He’s good at his job and still leaving for another.

2) I keep reaching for my phone to call my mom.

3) I can sit in the heat of my hometown with relative ease. The air is alive with memory.

4) The greatest threat to me is myself.

5) In an interview for a job in ministry I had to admit our fear of leaving the kindness of our church for the unknown of another.

6) At Bible Study last night, some students asked me about being married for 15 plus years and I thought “she is really now the best part of me there is.”

7) People keep telling me I should be good at sales because of my previous work in ministry.

8) Hemingway.

9) On social media you can say something provocative to no one in particular and then get personally insulted for saying it…by people you have never met.

10) It is a uniquely good these days when you can call your pastor your friend. I’m glad I can do that.

Thursday’s Random Thoughts

1. If you are frustrated with God, good. That means 1) you believe in him, 2) you believe he is in control, 3) and that he is not like you.

2. On Sunday, at church, two men came up to me after and talked about the orphan feeling when both parents have gone on ahead. I have felt more comforted by those two conversations than you can imagine.

3. A lot of people are talking about how we Christians can talk less freely about our faith these days. Not due to the law so much as societal pressure. The church must not mirror this. People need to be able to talk about their faith among Christians without fear of judgmental reprisal. One small example is the authors a person likes. Let’s not assume the worst because someone likes a particular author we have rejected because of a particular view. Just because someone likes Doug Wilson doesn’t mean they are part of the patriarchy movement. And just because someone likes N.T. Wright doesn’t mean they buy into the Federal Vision.

4. There is a freedom in Christ the flesh finds hard to tolerate.

5. The other day I posted a joke about how parenting is hard. And once again someone told me I was being insensitive to parents who are struggling with infertility. It happens every time I’ve done this. Parenting is hard. We need to be able to laugh about it. Those who know our situation know how hard it is. Yes, some have it harder. And some do not have it all. But we need to laugh. Man, do we sometimes need a laugh.

6. I’ve been listening to the music of Bill Mallonee relentlessly over the past couple of months. Mainly, because I need some words to process what we’ve been dealing with. With words that stand entirely on their own as poetry, his songs have given me “nomenclature” to understand the struggle and the grief. A compass to navigate the sea with its wide open fears. His music has been a companion for over 20 years, shaping me and my own use of words. If I were on an island or jail cell or hospital bed, I’d want his writings stuck in my head. Sixty albums later, he’s still making unbelievably great music.

7. The list of those I know who have been burned by the Mars Hill/A29 firey machine continues to grow.

8. My wife asked me why there are so many pastors who cover up crimes of sexual abuse by other pastors they work with and by parishioners. It’s a good question. And my gut tells me it has something to do with money…money over integrity.

9. We are to never accommodate legalism. For some reason, we’ve bought into the idea we can and sometimes should. After all, it’s “safe.” Or seems so. But underneath it’s deadly. And a slavery.

10. My wife is a gift like no other. We have seen our fair share of troubles over the past few years. Her presence and support are of incalculable value. Glad I get to gather wrinkles with her.