A number of people, quite understandably, have not taken fondly to my vocal fortress-of-fear / fortress-of-faith position. We shall now see whether that position is summarily disproven should I test positive. Of course, testing negative does not affirm my position, but a positive result would presumptively invalidate it. But when it is all said and done, I elected to self-isolate because, should I test positive, others should not suffer the consequences of my inadequate faith. To be absolutely clear, though, nothing I have stated, past or present, should be construed to suggest that those who contract corona are somehow lacking in faith. In this life, misfortunes do strike undeserving people. This does not mean that God intends for anyone to suffer or that God wishes to instruct us by way of suffering. While commendable for a suffering soul to be able to glean something positive from tragedy, God must be viewed as benevolent. God no more causes one to die of corona than God would cause one to die from an earthquake. There simply are natural forces at work that were long ago set in motion and which play themselves out. Earthquakes happen, hurricanes happen, mental illness happens, All of these can result in considerable tragedy and losses of life. Pure evil also happens (Pearl Harbor, 9/11, JFK).Continue Reading
Among the hardest words to internalize are these: you are where you need to be. Those words never come at the heights of success nor in the throes of ecstacy nor in the still waters of contentment; they come in the disenchanting valleys of transition between mountaintops. Valleys are where all the mountain runoff and detritus and pollutants collect as if to be ignominiously relegated to drink only of the mountains’ bathwater. But valleys are far more fertile than the mountaintops and while the natural elements will erode the mountains, valleys will never cease to be valleys and will enjoy the protection of the mountains which need not be perceived as hopes unattained but as insulators and protectors awaiting the moment. Valley water might not delight the palate in the moment, but it is plentiful and predictable; you will not thirst in the valley as on the mountain.
Most Christians are familiar with the “thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan” that tormented the Apostle Paul (II Cor 12:7 KJV). Just before this, Paul wrote at length about all the glories that he had experienced as a minister of the Gospel (an implied subtext being that he would never have experienced such things as a passionate, but lifeless pharisee). “Three different times [Paul] begged the Lord to take it away” (II Cor 12:8 NLT). This juxtaposition of highs and lows sounds a whole lot like someone struggling with self-doubt.Continue Reading
The same First Amendment which guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of speech, also puts a qualifier on it as “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”. At first blush those words are taken to mean that citizens have the right to congregate, whether that be to exercise the First-Amendment freedoms or to seek government redress of grievances; however, those words could just as easily be read to condition all First-Amendment freedoms upon a righteous purpose Continue Reading
Reviewing Google’s search data I was surprised to see queries about how to wear a skirt (the suggested subtext being “. . .as a male”). I have seen this and similar queries on Quora were a variation asks whether a parent should allow a boy to wear skirts “like a girl.” The answer to both is astoundingly simple:Continue Reading
There was a popular charismatic Christian mantra the 1980s and 1990s known as “name it and claim it.” The idea was that Christians would articulate a particular desire—usually material—and claim that as God’s promise to them as believers. Psalm 37:4 often accompanied this confession of faith: “take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (NIV) and Proverbs 13:22b “the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (NASB). It was a widely popular faith proclamation that stood in sharp contrast to humble hearth and home. As a matter of personal interpretation, I would have to say that God’s desire for humankindContinue Reading
One of my 9th grade teachers, Doug Scott, wisely told me “when you don’t know what to do, go on what you know.” To this I add, “because if you knew it was as trustworthy [knowledge/judgment] yesterday, it will still be trustworthy today.” It might seem like treading water, but treading is better than swimming the wrong direction when you’re already worn out.
I find myself in a special paradox where my higher self observes my lower self. It’s like I am simultaneously the parent of my inner child and the child of my inner parent.