Thursday, May 10, 2018

Out of Legalism, Vol. 2

The way churches manage youth groups has seemed strange to me for some years now. When I was young and in a youth group these thoughts never occurred to me. Later, when I was fresh out of Bible college and trying to find a way to serve at my home church, it became more apparent to me how backwards it was.

I never wanted to be a youth pastor, but I wanted to be a pastor. I didn't feel called to minister to young people, but to people, and young people are still people. But at the age of twenty two, with two degrees in practical theology (not very practical as degree goes), and an official minister's license and ordination from an organization associated with my college, there was little else offered to me than to help with the youth group.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Out of Legalism, Vol. 1

What is legalism? A quick search on Google renders two definitions: A) Excessive adherence to law or formula; B) Dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith.

But, in context to my thoughts, what is legalism in the church, specifically the Christian church? The above definitions are good for describing what legalism looks like, but maybe fails to express the spirit behind it. You can say someone's adherence to the law is excessive, but you must first understand what law they are adhering to, why they adhere to it, and why it is wrong. The excessive part becomes moot when you understand these other questions.
With the second definition you welcome an equally dangerous concept by depending on personal faith, as though your brand of faith is what will save you. This misses the point of the gospel and is not faith in the Christ of the scriptures but faith in yourself. But it is still true if you become dependent on the law written within the scriptures for the purposes of salvation, blessing, etc, then you have fallen into legalism.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

So Long to Fantasy Football

In my youth I discovered the wonder that is the sport of football. Watching Barry Sanders break tackles on Thanksgiving day from the 27" tube TV in my grandparents living room is the earliest memory I have of the sport, and it was a wow moment for me. How could a human move that way? It seemed impossible and so exciting.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Hello Blogger My Old Friend

A couple months ago I posted some thoughts about where I am at, how this year has been going, and whether or not people need to hear what I have to say. I also mentioned future products that may be in the works, and posts I may eventually post. Afterwards I really just tried to focus on projects, work, and family (not necessarily in that order) that didn't include this particular blog. Hopefully I can get back into a regular pattern going forward.

While I am not ready to drop those aforementioned posts, I can talk about the new projects I am working on.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Do I have anything to say?

Maybe a better question: Should I say the things I want to say?

If you look at my timeline for this blog for 2017, you will see some big gaps. That's not to say I haven't been writing posts, but it is to say I haven't been publishing them. In fact, I have at least four completed posts written right now that are sitting in the draft folder waiting to see the light of day.

So why haven't I published them? Good question.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Madden 18 Wishlist

With the NFL Draft coming to a close, we can feel football right around the corner. Unfortunately, I have struggled of late to get behind the NFL and its shady business practices of holding cities ransom for publicly funded stadiums, which makes it hard to watch games, but I digress.

I still love the sport though, and a place I can get all the football action I want without the hassle of the actual NFL is the Madden video game. With the new title coming out in August, we should start to see features of the new game being announced in the near future. In the meantime, we can all dream about what we would like to see in the EA Sports staple franchise.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Psalm (4)

My enemies are subtle,
I am not.
Though I thought myself reasonable I have wished for their demise,
And justice is a hammer that should be wielded against them.
They have earned my ire.
They deserve my opposition.
To see them destroyed, knowing they have wrought it upon themselves,
How I would rejoice in my heart and laugh in their midst.
They are ignorant, and they are weak.
Their earnings should be pain and suffering for their despicable actions against me.
Have you heard their words?
Have you seen their actions?
Would you not agree they are worthy of suffering?
Should I be so concerned with them, as they have not concerned themselves with me?
No, they have done only what is terrible towards me and my family,
They have not spared us, not a single one.
They do not withhold their anger, or their venom.
Reciprocation is what they deserve.

Oh Lord, why have you cursed me so?
Why have You spoken Your will to my heart, and illuminated my soul with Your righteousness?
I should be happy in their demise, yet You say otherwise.
What a burden to know Your love, so complete and so true,
To know Your love burns not just for me, but for those set against me.
You do not desire the destruction of your children.
You did not die so they may be destroyed.
Oh, that I did not understand Your will for all to be saved,
Your will that all would see Your glory, and praise Your name.
You do not see their ignorance and set Your face against them,
But you set Your Son against their chains, and desire me to proclaim their freedom.
You make it clear that justice is not my weapon, but Your gift,
Not to destroy, but to provide freedom and grace to all who would come to You.

Yes, Your judgement is righteous,
It should fall, not on some, but on all.
It burns away the darkness, and renders all payments to be made.
No one escapes it, and none shall be able to turn from it, as it is Yours and it will cover the earth,
Pure judgement from a pure King, a King whose wrath is kindled by the misdeeds and sins of nations.
And who has that wrath been set upon?
All have earned your ire.
All are deserving of Your opposition.
My own actions condemn me to the side of my enemies, none able to stand before Your righteous judgement.
Yes, on whom should Your wrath be poured out?
We have all fallen short.
I am no better than those who have set themselves against me.
The whole earth waits in expectation.

Oh Lord, what is this that you have done?
We have earned separation,
We are not worthy to be Your children.
Only one should be called Your Son, but You have seen to it we all may be accepted.
For the wrath we have deserved has been poured out.
Your judgement has been served.
And You have poured it all out on the One who was worthy of Your love.
Oh Lord, I have despised my enemies, and You have loved them.
You gave Yourself for them.
Teach me to do the same.
Show me Your ways and gather us together under Your wing.
You do not see what we deserve, but You see the blood of a perfect Sacrifice.
You see the One who loved us while we were yet His enemies.
Oh, that I could I love my enemies with such a perfect passion.
That I could demonstrate Your desire for all to come to You.

Oh Lord, do not leave me to my own devices.
Do not allow me to say words and turn my back on actions.
Burn Your passion for all of mankind into my heart,
And let me be an example of the love You have given freely.
You are love.
Let me be like You.