Visiting the Girlfriend for the Weekend

Wow. What a weekend. Did you miss me? For those of you who don’t know, I drove six hours this weekend to meet up with my girlfriend in the middle of Wisconsin. Not exactly the ideal meeting place, but it gets the job done. When you’re 700 miles from your girlfriend, you’ll take whatever you can get–even if it is a weekend in Cheese Country. For those who were wondering, it was a great weekend. Of course when you’re seeing your girlfriend, it doesn’t take much. We could have spent the whole weekend sitting on the floor starring at each other and it would have been a great weekend.

Here’s a few comments for your intellectual stimulation, seeing as you’ve been deprived for a few days:

Continue reading Visiting the Girlfriend for the Weekend

May God Bless You With Discomfort at Easy Answers

Well, I have a four day weekend and I’m takin’ off. So you won’t hear anything from me until at least Sunday night. But knowing my record, it’ll be Monday. So I leave you now with a prayer that our campus pastor, Keith Anderson read during chapel last semester. I found it rather inspiring.

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you will live deep in your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people and the earth so that you will work for justice, equity and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer so you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy. May God bless you with the foolishness to think you can make a difference in the world, so you will do the things others say cannot be done. Amen.

My Challenge

Who says Jesus Christ and Christianity aren’t real? The life-transforming power of Jesus Christ is so intense as to cause a man to cut a check to Dayton’s for the cost (plus interest!) of 8-tracks stolen as a teenager. That is amazing. Since taking a Christian Theology class this past semester, the truth of Christianity has become that much more apparent to me. When taken as a whole, all the intricacies of the faith fit together in a kind of giant puzzle of faith. It’s like the extremely complex plot of a novel, the plot of religion so to speak. But with Christianity all the pieces fit. Everything makes sense. I really question if any other religion out there can offer such a complete puzzle. A plot that works so well and doesn’t contradict. What other religion uses the death of its founder as its saving grace? What other religious founder claimed he would rise from the dead, and did? And if you don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead, where’s the proof that he didn’t? Historically it’s the only option (I’m not going to go into it here, but I would gladly explain it to anyone). Christianity works so well, and what I love is that it is NOT a religion. It is so much more. It’s a relationship with the God of the universe. What other worldview offers so much and makes so much sense?

I’ll make my challenge here. I claim that my God is the one true God and that Jesus Christ is the one true way to salvation.

Coming In and Out of Our Lives

In some sense, today is going to be a continuation, or maybe an explanation of yesterday’s ponderings. As I knew would happen, one of you called me on what I was saying, and I had to admit that I wasn’t quite sure what I was saying. That’s the joy of pondering, you figure it out as you go along. And sometimes you need a little outside assistance, which is where all of you come in.

Yesterday I was wondering about friends coming in and out of our lives. Being in college, it seems to be happening a lot. I think I came across as questioning the value of friendships that fade away. I’m not trying to do that. I’m convinced of the value of those friendships. I think I was questioning the activities those friendships centered around. Twice now, I’ve had friendships that were epitomized in certain activities. When the activities ended, the friendship wasn’t over. It may have changed, but it wasn’t over. I’m not questioning those friendships. They’d be pretty shallow friendships if they ended that way. I’m wondering about the activity itself and the hope I put in that activity.

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How I Spend My Time

Sometimes I just have to stop and wonder if what I’m doing is right. Here I am in life, making choices to do certain things. I decide to be a part of a yo-yo ministry here, over here I decide to be a radio personality. Sometimes I just wonder if I’m concentrating on what I need to be concentrating on. Is this worth while? It really makes me wonder sometimes as I see things disappear before my eyes. I ended up leaving the yo-yo ministry. Was that time well spent? My co-host who’s made radio a lot of fun may be leaving next year. Was that time well spent? I just have these doubts sometimes. I suppose I’m learning valuable skills and just enjoying life, but I just have to wonder sometimes. I get so excited about things when I’m in the midst of them. Then six months later it’s all over. Do I just keep building myself up to let myself down? Or am I focusing in the wrong area? Life is really confusing sometimes. I really value the experiences I’ve had in my life, but is it okay to question them? Could there be more out there that would be, in a sense, better to experience? Or do I need these ‘sidetracks’ to make me who I am? I just can’t help wondering sometimes, and just asking questions.

Who I am as a person so often seems to be shaped by who I’m with. And when that person leaves, it’s as if I lose shape. That part of me falls apart. It no longer works like it once did. The chemistry just isn’t there anymore. Am I always going to be shaped this way? Perhaps I need to be shaped by myself and be guided by my own dreams.

I’m just a little confused sometimes, and all I can do is sit and wonder.

The Uniqueness of Humanity

In my Christian Theology class, we’ve been studying a lot of worldviews and that kind of thing. It’s always seemed strange to me that someone would suggest there is no divine creator behind this world. If you look around, things seem so well ordered that it couldn’t have just happened by chance. If you look at humans, it seems so much more obvious. We humans are pretty unique. For example:

  • Only humans are designed to walk on two legs, and have both hands and feet.
  • Only humans have faces which vary so greatly in appearance that we can identify one another by looking at our faces.
  • Only humans can blush, showing embarrassment.
  • Only humans make love face to face. (I find that rather significant)
  • Only humans have a brain with a speech center. (A Faith For All Seasons by Ted M. Dorman, page125)

I don’t understand how anyone could say all that happened without some kind of divine creator. It makes even more sense to say that divine creator has to have some sort of personal interest in its creation. Everything just seems designed this way.

I’ll admit that at times this concept of God seems very distant to me, but at the same time, it makes so much sense. I can’t accept that the complexity of human life is the result of a crap shoot or an impersonal, unloving god.

The State of the Union 1999

Tonight I watched most of the State of the Union Address. Call me a pessimist, but I don’t see much hope in politics. Somehow I see fault in a system where a president stands up and talks about the State of the Union, and everything is positive and happy-go-lucky. Never mind the fact that the president is currently undergoing an impeachment trial, the first such trial in over 100 years. I’m sorry, but when Bill talks about restoring Family Values, I just can’t seem to trust him. You’ve lost all my respect Bill, you should just give up now. And the rest of politics isn’t much better. The Republican Reaction? What was that all about? No, we don’t have an excessively partisan political system. And what’s up with the applause during tonight’s address? They write his speech with pauses and voice inflections for applause. This isn’t Letterman, it’s the State of the Union speech. And what’s with all the special guests? Let’s just write a speech, and comment on some good stuff, and we’ll just happen to have the people connected to the good stuff here. We’ll show them off like some kind of trophy prize. Politics really makes me sick.

The Minnesota Vikings Melted

That’s odd, the unseasonably warm weather we’re having in Minnesota is not only melting the snow, it appears to have melted the Vikings as well. What a shock! It’s really funny, because it seems like everyone in the state (including yours truly) totally expected the Vikings to go all the way. Newspapers and TV have been filled with “Road to Miami” specials. Guess not. Did anybody see the Vikings owner on Fox after the loss? They talked to him after he came out of the locker room. As one of my friends put it, he looked like his mother just died. I’ve never seen such a depressed face. It seems strangely profound that we put so much trust and hope in a football team, only to see our hopes dashed. While watching the game, someone pointed out that they were glad their salvation didn’t rest in a football team winning. With one loss the 16-1 Vikings are finished. The finality of playoff football is unbelievable. It’s so uncertain. I’m glad my eternity is grounded on something a lot more firm.

A work-at-home dad wrestles with faith, social justice & story.