Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Prayer we are always told is one of the most essential components of a Christian's life. We are encouraged in sermons, bible studies and conversations with other Christians to pray often. But what I rarely seem to get is an answer on how to pray or what it means to pray or at least an answer that satisfies me. Sometimes I get the reply its just talking to God or they will say its a 2-way street and you need to make sure you are listening to him too. This doesn't seem to help me any. What listening to God look like? I have never experienced him speaking audibly, although I have asked him to many times. Am I supposed to sit in silence? If so do I try shut down my thoughts and my mind or should I expect God to speak through my thoughts and if he speaks through my thoughts how do I distinguish him speaking from my own will and selfish thoughts. If I am supposed to sit in silence and try to shutdown my mind then how does God speak to me if not through a thought? I feel like this is pretty key and prayer shouldn't be this hard for me to figure out. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Surrender or surrendering was a word I heard at nearly every church event growing up. I have gone to the altar and tearfully surrendered different things countless times. I have earnestly told God that I am surrendering certain areas and all of my life to him. After hearing tons of sermons, sunday school lessons and even a couple of college lectures on surrendering I still don't think I have grasped what it means. How do you surrender something that a portion of you doesn't want to surrender. Do you just think or pray really hard that you won't want to hold on to that area or thing anymore? I can completely mean that I hate something with the majority of who I am, but that doesn't change how the minority of me feels about it. And these questions have to do with both sinful things and things that aren't really sinful but need to be let go of too. I am starting to wonder if I have ever actually surrendered anything. If I have it would seem like I would not be struggling with the same things I struggled with in 6th grade. And when you talk to people most of the time all you get is comments like "just give it all to Jesus" or other emotional phrases that don't give me any real direction. If I say anymore on this I will just start repeating myself. There will probably be a post on prayer soon.


I finally have internet access so I can fulfill my promise of some new posts. This is the first of those promised posts. I got the chance to go to an Evangelical Congregational Church Children's Camp. It took pretty much the whole summer for my friend to pressure me into going, but I'm very happy that I caved. I was a counselor along with another guy named Chris (a guy who is pastoring 2 churches one EC and another Church or Christ) of 12 guys from 3rd-6th grade. I loved it. I have been a counselor before when I was in highschool but I must have matured some since then because I felt much more at ease this time. I got to pray with 2 kids from my cabin as they made recommittments to Christ. The whole week reaffirmed that ministry is what I'm meant to be doing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Posts are coming soon!

Sorry I've done so little blogging, but there will be a few coming shortly hopefully depending on my internet access and how the creative juices flow. (but mainly internet access because I'll post one even if I think it sounds stupid and boring)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Response to a Friend

My friend Justin posted a few questions on his blog but my answer got too long and so I decided to move it to a post rather than clog up his post. Here is his questions and my attempt at an answer.

What role does/should the bible play in our lives?

How much authority should we give the bible?

Is the Bible fallible? How do you define fallibility?

Why are you a Christian?

All I know is that I find the Bible meaningful because
1. It tells me what my identity. I can trace my faith back to the people that are recorded in it.
2. I can relate to many of the emotions and characters expressed within it.
3.It has challenged and encouraged me many times.

This all being said, I don't think all parts of it should have the same weight or role within our life. The Gospels should have a bigger impact on our ethics than Song of Solomon or Revelation.

Maybe I am making a double standard, but this is the order of which I give Scripture authority (In descending order) The Gospels, Rest of the New Testament. OT.

There is definitely a human element in the Bible and so I think it is fallible. Fallible in the sense that not all places or names may be right. Fallible in the sense that Paul clearly states that parts of his letters are his own opinion and therefore not necessarily correct. It is also fallible in the sense that it is usually a theological narrative and so it can't always give us scientific and historical data. I am still working out in my mind to what extent the bible is fallible and infallible.

Why am I a Christian? It is the only thing I have heard that truly gives any type of hope. I want to say that its the only thing that makes sense to me, but if I'm honest it doesn't always make sense to me. I'd also like to say that I have a peace in my heart and Christ constantly talks to me, but that would be a lie. A peaceful emotion is usually pretty fleeting and I am usually asking Jesus to talk to me or at least acknowledge that I'm speaking to him, but I rarely get a response. Despite all this I can't escape it. I've tried a couple of times and I was miserable. I keep coming back because I still get choked and sometimes outright cry when I read about the cross or take communion. I still get chills when I read about Pentecost and the things the early followers did even simple "non-miraculous" things like sharing their possessions. I can't help but cling to the glimpses of and short bursts of hope I find in Christianity.

Sorry about the length. I'd like to hear your answers to the questions though.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Glimpses of the Kingdom

I've been intrigued the past semester or so with the term kingdom (as in the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven). It conjures up a lot of images and ideas, but I was having trouble really understanding what this kingdom is. What is it? Why am I wanting to further it? What does it look like?

I still don't know if I've nailed it down, but I think the past week I've been getting glimpses. This Kingdom is different than other kingdoms. It doesn't rely on glorious and bloody battles to further itself. It can be seen advancing in subtle and dynamic ways. It can be seen in someone opening a door for a guy having a hard time coming out of a store with his bike, or sitting on a porch talking and sharing concerns and hope and jokes with each other. It can be seen in people sharing their food with each other without conditions. It creeps further still in conversations iniated by a book cover with a line from the Sermon on the Mount on it that makes someone say "I didn't know Jesus said that..." It can be seen in a group of people pushing a car that ran out of gas across a busy a street to a gas station for an elderly man with heart problems. It can be seen in a cop seeing them do this and coming up behind them with his lights so they don't get hit by cars. And a man being a peacemaker and defusing what could be a heated situation. The Kingdom can be seen in people devoting themselves to the Apostles' teaching, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (I had get a Pentecost reference in there plus Dr. Sanders pounded this verse into us in the Fall).
I don't think its possible to give a detailed blueprint of what the Kingdom of God is; I think that's why Jesus had to resort to parables, ...The Kingdom of God is like:
A mustard seed
A man sowing seeds
A pearl of great worth
Yeast mixed in dough
A weed bursting through pavement?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Current Favorite Song

I love this song so much that I have been suggesting everyone I know listen to it. I myself have been listening to it a lot. In fact there are some afternoons that I just play it over and over. I don't actually own it so I go to youtube and play it there. I find that it calms me, challenges me, and encourages me and just reminds me in general that I am loved. You should listen to it.