A letter of encouragement.

I was just sending a letter of what I hope to be encouragement to a friend and thought to myself that the application is universal. So, I thought I would share it with you:

The narrow path is not easy but tell me, what is the alternative? Jesus requires a lot of us and many cannot stand the demands of it and turn away. In the end though, when He stands before us and asks, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” the only answer to give is the same as Peter’s reply, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”

Maybe I am up on my pulpit preaching down to you, I hope not. It is just that we have seen too much, done too much and know to much too turn back now. God is forever part of the fabric of who we are now woven into and through our entire lives. Try to prove Him false or unfaithful or untrue and you will make yourself miserable in the process.

Give me Jesus, or give me death… no, give me Jesus and give me death! I tire of living this trite life only for myself. It leaves me empty and addicted to whatever small pleasures I can grab. I want this thing in me to die that makes me so self-centered. If draw breath let it be for God and nothing else. And if Seek to follow after Him and fail, I will just keep at it until the day I die, because there is nothing else for me to do. I am ruined for God. You are to and I think deep down you know it.

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”, “Once more into the breach my friends!” and all that. If the world is out beat me down, I am going to go down swinging!

Now I am all riled up. Seriously though, we are made to contend for the faith. We are fighters. Maybe we have a higher opinion of ourselves then we ought but it does not change the nature of what God has made us to be. That is who God has made you to be. Maybe our pride has held us back but that can never change what He has made us to be.

Oh yeah, now I am ready for a fight! So are you, I think. If you feel tired, remember, He will revive, refresh and renew you.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:11-13 (NASB)


Dude at Paradoxology is offering up some images of Protestant Evangelical worship and asking for reactions. The interesting thing about the picture in part 3 is that it looks a lot like a friend of mine, Rusty. Rusty is a surfer and a rebel from way back, sure he has found success in business but, man, I have never thought of him as a suit or a traditional evangelical conservative.

It just seems like we are so ready to categorize and criticize, and I would be right there judging if dude did not look so much like my friend and mentor. See I know my friend’s story, we have a relationship, we know each other’s deep stuff and that knowledge does not give me the freedom to judge him.

So what about the guy in the picture? My guess is that he is just someone who resembles my friend. Even so, it makes me think that this guy has a history that I have no idea about and this is just a snapshot of one moment in his life. I do not know his struggles or his joys. I have no idea what goes through his mind at night when he is staring at the ceiling before falling asleep. I do not know the situations that have drove him to his knees and has made him cry. I have no idea, if he is just a guy that resembles my friend Rusty. But if that is Rusty, I do know some of what he has been though and some of what makes him the man he is today.

Either way, I cannot bring myself to judge him or even quantify my opinion of what he is doing/experiencing in that picture simply because when I look at him I see my friend and I just cannot bring myself to presume his intentions or the veracity of his experience, much less ridicule or poke fun him.

That reminds me of another friend, one that promised us that He would stick closer to us then a brother. If I believe what I read in the bible is true then we are all bearers of His image. Do you see the parallel?

Following the bread crumbs.

I was just following the links from blog to blog, which is an interesting test of 6 degrees of seperation btw, and found a post which led to a most interesting link. It’s a quiz that is suppose to answer the question “What is your worldview?” for you. Take the quiz and let me know how you scored. I will let you know what I score when I get the time to take it.

Update for 5.18.2005:

You scored as Cultural Creative.

Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative

What is Your World View? (corrected…hopefully)

created with QuizFarm.com

Who’s down with the DMCRA… We’re down we the DMCRA!

Much thanks to roomy Nick for this link so that I could take action and make my representive in the government know that I want them to support the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act (DMCRA, HR 1201).

Here’s some things The Electronic Frontier Foundation has to say about the bill:

HR 1201 would give citizens the right to circumvent copy-protection measures as long as what they’re doing is otherwise legal. For example, it would make sure that when you buy a CD, whether it is copy-protected or not, you can record it onto your computer and move the songs to an MP3 player. It would also protect a computer science professor who needs to bypass copy-protection to evaluate encryption technology.

In addition, the bill would codify the Betamax defense, which has been under attack by the entertainment industry through the “Induce Act� last year and the MGM v. Grokster case currently before the Supreme Court. This kind of sanity would be a welcome change to our copyright law.

So whatcha waiting for? Act now.

Like Edmund Burke ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’.

Things that chaff my hide.

Ok, maybe I should take a break from listening to the news, all it does is frustrate me anyways, but (the great verbal eraser) I just get so mad when I hear about stuff like this impending “nuclear option”.

I resent the republicians playing the God card on this and am saddened that leaders in the conservative Christian movement have fallen for it. I mean, come on! Liberal politians are “against people of faith”, can you be any more inflammatory?

Here are some quotes and article links that explain my position much better then I could:

“Despite the fact that Democrats oppose these judges for their views on a variety of subjects, conservative leaders have singled out abortion and gay marriage as their chief concerns and only want judges who support their agenda. Despite the fact that many Democrats who oppose some of President Bush’s nominees are themselves people of faith, Republicans and their religious supporters are questioning the faith and religious integrity of their opponents.”
Filibustering people of faith? by Jim Wallis of Sojourners

“But the biggest concern about removing the judicial filibuster is not about whether Democrats or Republicans score points. The current system is in place in part to make sure the judiciary never lurches too far in one political direction or another. Eliminating the judicial filibuster removes a set of brakes on partisan governance in the one branch of government that is the most removed from the political fray. It paves the way for more ideological judges on both the right and left.”
‘Nuclear option’ and bipartisan hypocrisy By Dante Chinni of Christian Science Monitor

“The filibuster is a tactic that delays votes with endless discussion. It is used to keep a slim majority from running roughshod over the minority.”
Religion, politics intersect in ‘Justice Sunday’ by Steve Lannen of The Lexington Herald-Leader

Life Sucks! …somtimes.

What to say? My mom has cancer and she just had the big operation that was suppose to get rid of it. Unfortunately, life is not that simple …simple being relative at this point.

The doctors are being compassionately pragmatic but are saying some very worrying things. They don’t speak in definitive terms but it seems that the form of cancer that my mom has is “aggressive” and needs to be treated aggressively.

So it looks like chemo, radiation and a drug trial are all part of a future that will drag on for the better part of a year, maybe more. Even then, after it is all said and done it may not be enough. I am getting the feeling from talking to my mom that the odds may be against recovery.

It is all so disturbing, I broke down for the first time last night. Dealing with the mortality of one’s parents is surprisingly difficult. Who thinks about these things before they have to? Who is prepared for these struggles?

It really makes me hate sin. I keep on thinking that if it were not for sin there would be no death and if their were no death my mom wouldn’t have to go through what she is right now. Over simplistic, I know.

I have no illusions about living a sin-free life from now foreword but I have become more aware of the cost sin has exacted from humanity through the suffering of my mom. It is a lesson I would rather not have to learn.

Breast Cancer Resources:

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
National Breast Cancer Foundation