Thursday, July 19, 2007


Religions, to my mind, can be summed up by their articles of faith. This isn't a good or bad thing - but it is a powerful thing. That something can be defined by the expression of a set of abstract principles. But religions aren't the thing.

Consider, for example, yourself. Let us assume that a parallel existed between religions and yourself, and that you yourself had your own articles of faith. The question is - can you be summed up by your personal articles of faith?

I think this is the goal that a paradigm believer needs to seek - not that their articles are perfect, not that the expression of those articles is perfect ... but if their goal isn't to model the articles themselves, then the REAL articles of faith of the person, the ones they are truly modeling, will be the 'religion' they are summing up.

So my question is two fold: what are the articles of faith someone outside of you might define YOU by - and is the resulting person, the one summed up by those articles ...
The person you see yourself as?
The person you truly wish to be?
The person you hate the most?

Note: This call to action is difficult. There will be many temptations to lie to yourself. If you feel this is temptation real, please consider choosing someone you trust and who does not judge you and ask them to check out the list. This will be your accountability person. Their job is not to add to the list, nor take away from the list - their job is to tell you if the list itself matches how they see you or understand you to be.

Call to action
*) Define, for yourself, what key things you feel are most important.
Try to get them down as simply as possible. But do so without sacrificing accuracy.
Note - this list might change while you're writing it.
Done correctly, this will either wake you up or help you regain your focus

*) Compare your actions through the filter of those articles.
How much of what you do or say match your articles?
How often does the list of articles not quite match or explain an action.
(In this event, you might consider adding to your list of articles)

*) Revise this list, when you first make it, once a week.
Repeat the revision process for a month, then update it once a month.
Continue doing so until your list has not fundamentally changed.

Knowing what your own articles of faith include can often help you see where you need to change, to truly identify your weaknesses, as well as drawing you closer to the goals you have set before you. Indeed, knowing your own personal articles of faith will generally reveal which of your goals you truly care about and likely indicate which goals you care about that you're not actually working toward, regardless of your opinion to the contrary.

Be honest and be yourself. Are you up to the challenge?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I went to a Bible study today - and it showed me how far I had come.

I used to be the question guy - more focused on debating the merits of perspectives instead of shooting from the hip. My goal was simple - if I gathered enough information, asked enough questions, but didn't push too hard, I would gain a clear understanding of things.

I met myself at the Bible study. I was thin, sleepy, friendly, passive, and when directly pressed, I responded with a position focused more on posturing than listening. And what a dance it was - people rising to the occasion, suggesting this course of action or that - I continued to detract from their approaches, pointing out that nobody really knew anything and perspectives that are based on subjective reality are objectively valid - good stuff, if you want atheistic ammunition.

I saw who I was, who I had the potential to be still, and who I had seen God deliver me from being, and I ran out of time, unable to witness fully to him. But I know God used me in some way and believe that His will was done in that Bible study.

I am no longer the frazzled, unfocused teenager using wit, perception, intelligence, and arbitrary philosophies to build air castles out of subjective frameworks. I am no longer the beleaguered young man searching for answers, failing to listen in the hopes of hearing just one more answer to the same question, and no daring to actually put into practice the information I got. I am no longer the man with no home, no hope, no foundation, and no past.

God has healed the years the locusts have eaten.
God has given me a new voice, a new heart, new eyes, a new compass, and new hope.
God has chosen me for the job of being me - and none other was ever better or more perfectly qualified.

I am glad I met the man I once was.
And I am excited about teaching my own children in such a way that the man I once was remains dead.