Monday, October 12, 2009

I like dark chocolate

I have always disliked dark chocolate. Perhaps it's because I've spent so much of my life preferring sweet foods or the fact I distinctly remember sneaking into the family larder and sneaking some baking chocolate - regardless, I've never liked the dark stuff.

But I've heard good things about dark chocolate. How eating some measure of it can be a good health choice. How it comes it a huge variety - and in fact, more of the world's high-end chocolates are often measured in degrees of cocoa present.

In other words, the darker the chocolate is, the better it is for you. Working with this perspective as well as the assumption that appreciating dark chocolate is, much like coffee and alcohol, an acquired taste, I realized that this could be a kind of spiritual model.

This got me to thinking about how God's grace is like dark chocolate; it is multi-layered, has textures, aspects, flavors, and elements that only exist to those who have the proper palette; it is better for you than what you might select of your own nature; and there are many who encourage you to appreciate it's depth and amazing character.

And this led me to realizing that without God, we wouldn't understand His grace. It's something we forget - that we need God to understand, perceive, appreciate, recognize, or even miss God. When we lose sight of this, we lose something precious.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


One of the foci of this perpetual novel of a blog was that it was intended to be my witness of what God is doing in my thought life as well as evidence of who God is in my life.

If this is accurate - this means that God only rarely speaks to me.

Regardless - I did mean this to be antiprattle.
I think I've been settling for a higher grade of prattle than that which I normally hear.
But I've still been prattling.

What about something more ... excellent?

If these thoughts are intended to be a humble exposition on what I've learned in walking with Christ ...
... and if these thoughts are intended to inspire actual change.

What is missing?

I think it's a biblical worldview.

I want one.

Do you?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Thoughts on rhetoric

I was thinking on something last night.

I've been intellectually swayed by a well-turned phrase for a long number of years. If you say the right words, in the right sequence, and nothing that you say contradicts my experience, I can often accept what you say as literally true. I can do this because I have no reason to question the veracity.

Then along comes reality - and those parts that bear no fruit, that don't match reality, often fall adrift.

I think this is good in some ways - building one's foundations on the sand of reason can often be understood implicitly as poor craftsmanship in addition to just being foolish.

I think this is bad in some ways - in as much as faith is belief without experience, if a new experience can thwart belief one wonders if there were any at the start.

I think that, ultimately, it's a good thing. It has allowed me to accept Christ without reservation much of my life - certainly ever since I was adopted by God as a new son. It has allowed me to hold my peace and feel less abandoned when others don't walk my path. And it has given me something concrete that I can share - something that none can remove or destroy.

And so I praise Christ who strengthens me that He has allowed me to accept He is sovereign without immediate, tangible evidence - for His evidence lasts longer and envelopes those who accept that reign.

How about you?

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I hate waiting. Mostly I hate knowing about something that is important and having to wait for it to happen. It is a weakness of mine, and God has certainly been working with me through various trials - I have seen myself improve immeasurably on this point. But I hate waiting. I bring this up because, in my most fierce times, when waiting is frustrating and painful, I am most humbled when my eyes turn to God. Because, God is love, and love is patient. And so God is patient.

Recently, in Virginia, America, NASA launched a rocket from Wallops Island. It was a relatively large project, involving dozens of people, a fair number of teams, millions of dollars in resources, and TIME. It took upwards of two years for this team to organize their efforts to the a single purpose.

Have you ever done this? Have you ever been part of a group that had a single goal, and worked together with that group over a period in excess of a year on that goal, and completed it successfully? I haven't. And I am amazed at the conscientious focus, character, and integrity behind the ability of any group to maintain mindfulness of an ideal long enough to accomplish this kind of task.

If we pan out, God has done this kind of focused and intentional waiting for far longer - in each of our lives, He is doing it right now. Waiting in His perfect time for His perfect help or patience or whatever we need.

He has the necessary character to see it through.
And he has the authority to accomplish it.
All we need to do is trust Him.
Do you?

Call to Action:
Recognize that God has short-term and long-term plans for you. Given this, most of the short term plans and trials you will experience will likely lead into His long-term plans. Your job, today and every day following, is to be mindful of the manner in which you can develop into the person God needs you to be to execute His long-term plans. Don't rush it but be mindful of opportunities, thoughts, and passions you have that may be drawing you away from Christ. Hold them up to Him and consider getting rid of them. Repeat daily.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What value perfection?

I - Perfection

One of the recurring themes in expression, whether artistic, personal, or otherwise, is that of perfection.  I believe we consider someone a master because they've "mastered" the ability to be perfect in some realm - whatever perfection means in that realm.  Everyone has something they're mastering - be it mastery of self, mastery of character, mastery of a profession/tool/skill, or mastery of presentation.  Desire for mastery abounds.  Actual mastery is found with far less frequency.

When identifying something universal to all people, I find it profoundly important to ask the question "why?”  Why would a desire for perfection be embedded in each of us?  Does it have a purpose?


II - Eden

The Garden of Eden must have been an amazing place.  First and foremost, it was the only garden created by God.  Can you imagine someone with the creative gifts of God, who made volcanoes, black-holes, anti-matter, time, space, trees, and clouds?  Can you then imagine what kind of wonder the garden must have possessed?  The variety of flora and fauna, the textures, colors, flavors, and sheer abundance must have been awe-inspiring.  Included in this mix were two interesting trees - one of Knowledge and one of Life.

Given God's creative nature, His ability to do things right the first time, it seems a small leap to consider that His plan for man was to love forever.  What would it mean for man to live forever?


III - Consider

* You were made to live forever.  It may be in your current body, a glorified body, or something in between.

* You were made to recognize and appreciate perfection.

* Neither is possible without God.


IV - Action

Imagine every thought you have today will reflect upon you forever.

Guide your eyes, hands, tongue, and mind to guide each thought to reflect this.

Select thoughts by which you would wish to be known.


Monday, February 02, 2009

What is love?

I think Jesus spent nearly his whole ministry answering this question.  In fact, you could say this question is the principal motivation for the whole of scripture.   And I believe, without the God, nobody on earth has the slightest idea what love IS.

This is mostly because we often define things the opposite of the absence of things.

We define cold as that which is not hot and vice versa.  Nobody really knows what heat is.
We define darkness as that which is not lit and vice versa.  Same thing as before.
We can't even identify what gravity is - we can simply predict, for the most part, when it shows up.

If we can't event identify such simple things as hot, light, and gravity, we certainly can't begin to know what LOVE is - the most complex and powerful emotion on the planet.

And we know this intuitively.  Poets dream about knowing true love - and all the best poets will tell you that they have but a fleeting whisper of this intangible.  Politicians offer the appearance of love in exchange for your pledge.  And philanthropists would have you believe that they are motivated by it.

But without God nobody gets it.  As a matter of fact, without God, nobody realizes they don't get it.

So this is my challenge to you today:

1. Assume you have no idea, in the natural, what love actually looks like.

2. Look up in the bible to identify what love looks like, how it appears, how to identify its particular characteristics.  It may be of use to visit Corinthians 13 (link).

3. Intention to be a walking representative of this - and when it gets hard (and it will), pray through and seek God's guidance.

4. Post your results here!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wisdom hath builded her mansion

One of the easiest things to forget is that God is God.  It is in His nature to be God.  He does it without trying.

We forget because we're not God.  Out of habit, training, or perspective, we see God as massive enhancements to us.  And so begins, regardless of slope, a pattern that we spend the rest of our days either reckoning or hastening.  In addition, the only knowledge of God we have is what He gave us.  This means that we necessarily have an incomplete view of God.  That's okay - we can't handle all of God; but, we can handle what He has shown comprises Himself.

Today's five-minute moment focuses on this fact - wisdom is acting like God would in your situation.  Or, as God would have us act in our situation.  And without God's guidance, this is impossible.  So he leaves us clues.

As I mentioned in my last post, I challenged you to identify the wisest person you know.  I asked you to do this to help you recognize by what standard you evaluate wisdom.  Why did you pick that person?  Are they rich?  Are they happy?  Knowing by what standard you evaluate wisdom will help you recognize whether your own standard is reliable and how far your standard is from God's guidance.

Let's test how well you chose your person:
1. Does the person fear the Lord?
2. Is the person humble?
3. Are the fruit of the spirit ever present with the person?

As service is the manner in which Christ revealed and modeled his walk, may I thus suggest today's challenge:
Pray that God would reveal in what way you might be of service to your selected wise person.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What does wisdom look like?

This is one of those questions which appear to have no answer.
I believe this is because, unless two people read the same book, they are likely to answer the question differently. And I believe this different reflects more about what that person values (and defines as 'common sense') than anything else.

So what does wisdom look like?

Men and women, the world over and for many years, have sought her guidance, her arms, and certainly her attention. One could even argue that it is wisdom, not knowledge, that men of education often seek - and are misled into believing that the sane perspective they seek is found in textbooks of equally confused and often well-intentioned brilliance.

I will follow this post with some discussion of this topic - but I would be blessed if you, faithful reader, could ask yourself one thing:

What one person that you personally know best embodies wisdom?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

How will this year differ from the last?

Two weeks ago Christmas commanded the attention of millions.
One week ago the New Year with resolutions commanding the attention of millions.
Today - not so much.

It has been said that, other than the books you read and the people you know, we don't change all that much.

I would argue this to be the case but would have used two slightly different words: wisdom and relationships. Thus, the phrase above can be said to focus upon:
The amount of wisdom a person possesses
The nature and character of the relationships in which a person finds themselves engaged.

Do YOU have a resource for Wisdom?
Have you chosen relationships that edify?

I believe ...
     if we don't actively seek wisdom,
          the wisdom we DO have slowly drains away.
     if we don't actively seek relationships that build up our relationship to Christ Jesus
          all other relationships can draw us away from Christ Jesus.

Let this year be the year that you grow and flourish!

Seek Wisdom!
Seek edifying relationships!