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.
Those who live fearfully cannot live fully; they are slaves unto themselves. Vox
Christ’s ‘great commandment’ instructs Christians to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ […and to] ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV). This summation, of course, recompiles a few Old Testament passages, notably, Leviticus 19:18 (“love your neighbor as yourself.”) A week or so ago I commented on another professor’s blog post that loving our neighbor *as* ourselves means that we must love ourselves equally as others. By way of example, a battered spouse should not remain with an abusive partner because, no matter the love for the partner, the battered spouse must love the self as much as the other. A loving parent does not place a beloved child in harm’s way so neither should a loving self place a beloved self in harm’s way. Today my eyes were opened to another implication of Mark 12:31.Continue Reading
To do what no one did before, you must think like no one thought before. Vox
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.
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.
A man need not be “trans” or “metro” to want to present his most attractive self to the world. After all, men shave (or shape) their facial hair and style their hair in a manner that they see as enhancing their aesthetic. I do not want suggest that all men wear full-on cosmetics, but having some knowhow in a back pocket and some basic tools in a gearbag can really prove useful! After all, ho hasn’t had a important photo scheduled or a really big date planned or a really big presentation prepared only to see a giant pimple, an ingrown hair, or a boneheaded razor nick in the bathroom mirror?Continue Reading
In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. Abraham MaslowOne can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again. Abraham Maslow
Never stop seeking what seems unattainable. Stephanie Niznik as The Wraith, ST Enterprise, “Rogue Planet” S1E18
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
Lie number 1 you’re supposed to have it all together, and when they ask how you’re doing just smile and tell them “never better”. Lie number 2 everybody’s life is perfect except yours, so keep your messes and your wounds and your secrets safe with you behind closed doors. Truth be told, the truth is rarely told.
I say I’m fine, yeah I’m fine oh I’m fine, hey I’m fine but I’m not. I’m broken. 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
If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu
An exceeding number of evangelical Christians have long crusaded against Evolution Theory solely because it discredits Abrahamic teaching. But is this really the most appropriate doctrinal or theological battleground? It occurs to me today—and I hope to explore the idea in a future post—that Evolution Theory is a greater doctrinal threat to the premise of salvation than it is to scriptural inerrancy. Continue Reading
Wrong or right, stop being acutely obtuse.Vox
El Omnipotente eligió hablar por medio del asno. El hecho de que Él también habla por medio de ti sólo afirma que vales el burro. Vox
Why do those who have never experiened soul-crushing struggle think themselves equipped to mentor those who are working through their issues?
Is being “sapien” homo’s Achilles’ heel? Homo sapien’s life might be an easier existence but is it a better existence? Shouldn’t it be preferable to live in a state of nature? So is our sapienhood a perversity of evolution or a cruelty of creation?Continue Reading
I would rather die as the man I was than live the life I just saw. Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek TNG S6E15
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
I led the horse to water. I made the horse drink. The horse drowned in the process. I beat the dead horse until its flesh fully macerated and its bones completely pulverized. The currents carried away the horse. The horse is no longer my problem. Vox
I found myself reflecting on the 2002 Hillsong lryic: I will bless the Lord forever, and I will trust Him at all times. He has delivered me from all fear… I will not be moved, and I’ll say of the Lord… You are my shield, my strength, my portion, deliverer, my shelter, strong tower, my very present help in time of need…
While largely a paraphrase of the 34th Psalm, it really boils it down to a kernel.Continue Reading
As I lay there naked in the heavy dampness and slight chill with only the drizzle and the creek accompanying me in the blackness, I contemplated the existence of my earlier hominid ancestors sheltering such nights in caves. Continue Reading
I was just reflecting on a past confrontation where a niece spewed unwarranted hate and vitriol (she’s a millennial, of course). In retrospect, I wish I had said something like I don’t know what your damage is, but what right have you to visit that damage upon me? A former pastor used to say that hurting people pretty much do two things consistently: 1) they are easily hurt by other people and 2) they easily hurt other people. When someone is blinded by psychic trauma or by a sense of social entitlement, it’s hard to say whether such a person could comprehend the truth, but it’s worth a shot.
If you want the things you’ve never had,
Stop doing the things you’ve always done. Vox
People do not deeply examine that which they deeply disdain.
Kellyanne Conway on The Daily
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
Haste is the enemy of Prudence. Vox
Just because something is out of our control does not mean that it is outside of our influence. Vox
Maybe sometimes it’s better to be broken than to be hardened. David Kaczynski
Age-defiance vanity is underrated. Vox
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
Two intrinsically-linked quotes from Sir Edmund Burke:
1) The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
2) Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.