“We can live without sex, but we cannot live without intimacy.” – Julie Rodgers
The problem with being single in a Christian world is that the church and Christians in general have done a poor job of separating sex and intimacy. We wrongly believe that intimacy can only truly be found in a marriage relationship. What does that say to those in the Christian community who are single or feel called to celibacy? In short, and bluntly put, it tells them they aren’t worthy or are incapable of experiencing true intimacy. But we were designed for intimacy, for deep bonds of love and care experienced in and through a community of fellow believers.
Continue reading “The Quest For Intimacy”
My car started making a strange noise somewhere in the middle of November. And like any wise twenty-something who responsibly handles his possessions, I turned the radio up until I couldn’t hear the bothersome noise anymore. My method of fixing the problem worked rather well until a month later when the noise became a loud grinding, which quickly tuned into a louder pop that sent my car squealing and shuddering down Kingston Pike. After panic had settled, a quick tow and a mechanic’s assessment, I discovered I needed a new engine. Oops.
Continue reading “Old Problems & New Cars”
If you have spent any amount of time near the church or any Bible-centric programming you no doubt are familiar with the story of a young shepherd boy who would one day become king. David was the youngest of eight sons who, despite insignificance in the eyes of the law and man, was handpicked by God to become king.
David was chosen by God to be the king of Israel; he was in the eyes of the LORD the rightful ruler of God’s people and kingdom. David was destined for greatness, destined to become the greatest ruler the kingdom of Israel would ever know…and he had to wait some fifteen years until he could fulfill his divine calling. Continue reading “The Land of In-Between”
No one asks for a map when they know where they are going. In fact, maps are pulled out, dusted off and unfolded only when the user has no idea where they are or where they are going.
Maps are for the helpless.
Maps bring order and definition to the unknown. They give the user a picture of all surroundings and succinctly and precisely say, “You are here.” With a few glances, one can figure out where they are, where they need to be and the quickest way to get there without much effort or thought. There is no question about the authority of the map. What the map says, goes.
I treat God like a map. I intend on using God to show me where I am at, where I need to go and how I need to get there. And when I find myself in times of the unknown, when I do not understand where I am going, I cry out asking for clarity. In the moments of uncertainty, I believe that God has abandoned me or I am listening improperly to the map.
I thought that God’s intention was to reveal my entire life plan to me. I assumed God would show me exactly what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. God has a plan and if I just listen close enough I can make all the right choices that will lead me to the perfect life. Or so I believed. Continue reading “You Are Here”
The curtain falls, demarcating the pause between Act One and Act Two. However, this is not just any pause. This is a pause long enough to allow you to grab a Diet Coke refill or some fresh snacks. A pause allowing you to empty your bladder or fill up on gossip with the fellow theatre-goers around you. A pause which creates conversations about the direction of the play or musical you are in the midst of watching. A pause which, from the outside, seems to be nothing more than an excuse to step outside for a bit of fresh air.
This is the intermission.
To the casual theatre aficionado the intermission is a mild inconvenience or a welcome respite from the world of staged performances. For all the audience member knows, behind stage all is calm during the intermission. A chance for the actors and actresses to breathe and rest up for their upcoming scenes. Yet those with any sort of knowledge, minute or vast, about the theatre life knows that the intermission is anything but a respite.
You see, the intermission is created to allow the actors, actresses, and stagehands to prepare for Act Two. Act One is over and Act Two is impending so there is much work to be done. Costumes are changed, sets are swapped out, and lines are rehearsed. The intermission is a vital part of any theatre production. Those involved in the intermission must perform their roles perfectly or Act Two will be delayed, or worse, ruined. The intermission is not just an excuse for the actors and actresses to prop up their feet and relax, rather it is an intense period of preparation which directly influences the quality of Act Two.
We are in the midst of the greatest intermission of all time. The Intermission. God’s Intermission.
Continue reading “Please Pause For Intermission”
I avoid hard times and tough choices at almost any cost. If being allergic to hard times was a thing, I would definitely be allergic. Like highly allergic. There is something buried deep inside us all that tells us we were not meant for pain and hardships, that these things are results of the Fall not of the Creation.
While it is natural to be resistant towards difficulties, it is completely unnatural to expect that difficulties will never arise. And yet, for some odd reason, Christ-followers tend to believe, either consciously or subconsciously, that when we dedicate our lives to following the way of Jesus our lives will be void of hardship. It is almost as if we think God owes us something for deciding that we want to live life the right way instead of the wrong way. But that is not the way life goes. Continue reading “Threadbare”
Do you ever have those seasons of life where you wake up one day and realize that it has been far too long since you spent quality time with God? I just recently got out of one of those seasons. It was one of those moments where I had grown weary and frustrated not only with those around me, but with myself as well. And as I arrived at my last straw, feeling so out of place and lost as to who I really was, I realized that it had been a scarily long time since I had been in the presence of God. Once I came to this realization, I took time to abide in God’s presence and it was as though the sun had broken through the cloudiness of my thoughts and feelings. As though my life had found its center once more.
It was not the first, and unfortunately I can only assume that it will not be the last, time I go through one of those seasons. The reality is that we are messed up human beings who allow ourselves to get crowded, overwhelmed and distracted by far lesser things than the God we serve. Though we know we desperately need the presence of God to sustain us in our very lives it is often the first thing we spurn and set aside when life gets too “busy.” Continue reading “White Noise”
Being a Christian kid in the ‘90s made it nearly impossible to escape the “WWJD” phase of the church world. For those of you who are unfamiliar, “WWJD” stood for “What Would Jesus Do?” The goal of the movement was to saturate young minds with that particular question causing them to think about what Jesus would do in any given situation in which they might find themselves. Apparently there was a rampant issue with young Christians in the early 1990’s not composing themselves in the way Jesus would, or at least in the way the adults around these students wanted them to act.
I myself owned a handful of “WWJD” bracelets, some homemade in Sunday School while others were leather bound and were only to be worn for special social occasions. These bracelets I displayed proudly to let the world around me know that I was intentionally seeking to do what Jesus would want me to do. However, even as an elementary aged student, I struggled with this concept. How could I really know if Jesus preferred if I watched Disney or Nickelodeon? How could I know for sure that Jesus did not want me to play Pokemon? What would Jesus really do if some kid made fun of the fact that he wore glasses? Digging into my illustrated story Bible did not help much and only added to my confusion. What would Jesus really do?
Continue reading “WWJD?”
I have a Yamaha Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar that sits proudly in its case underneath my bed. I purchased it off of my best friend during my sophomore year of college, bound and determined to be the best guitar player this side of the Mississippi. I bought new strings, picked up the best set of picks I could find, found an instructional book on how to play the guitar, and even scheduled daily times for learning new techniques and practicing my new found skill. In short, I had all the pieces I needed to become a master guitarist. I was set to enter my name alongside the likes of Jimmy Hendricks, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King. I mentally and emotionally prepared myself for the spotlight, swooning girls, thousands of autographs and adoring fans. The future looked bright.
Nearly six years later, the only attention my guitar gets is from the dust bunnies that co-inhabit the space beneath my bed. I learned a few chords and was able to struggle through a few Chris Tomlin songs at youth group, but ultimately my career stalled out before it ever really began. All the pieces were there, the passion, the vision, the tools to accomplish my goal, but I lacked willpower and perseverance. I wanted all of the glory without the hard work. I wanted to pick effortlessly through the most complex songs, but avoided the calloused fingers and monotonous hours of practice. I wanted to pull off the impossible, move from Point-A to Point-B without taking the journey to get there.
Continue reading “So, I’m Not A Master Guitarist”