I’m Here For You

Hi. How’s your day today? If your night was anything like mine you went to bed far too late and were awakened far too early.

Since:

Becoming a parent

Entering my forties

Being diagnosed with sleep apnea

I have more nights/days like that. Rest is a fleeting commodity. Add to that work pressures, comitments, obligations, family issues, and sometimes I want to pull the escape hatch.

I’m sure you’ve felt the same, right?

Sometimes life is too much.

But I’m a guy. I’m supposed to be tough, stong…

I’m suposed to be able to handle it. Thing is, I don’t always. I don’t handle it at all well. Sometimes, my coping strategies involve just about exactly the wrong thing.

I have struggles I don’t want to have.

My prayer of late, after trying to lay ahold of kingdom promises, has simply been:

“I’m not strong, I don’t have it altogether. God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

How about you?

If you’re a guy, and you’re going through something you’d rather not be, I want you to know:

YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

I’m here for you. This blog is a safe place. It exists for our mutual comfort and encouragement.

I’m here for you.

Can I count on you when life is hard?

Win a Son of God Inspired Prize Pack

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This Son of God themed prize pack includes:

A novelization of the recently released feature film.

A movie soundtack CD

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My Lunatic Friend

I want to tell you about my friend.

My lunatic friend.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at him. No, from the outside looking in he appears to be as normal as anyone else. He’s calm, cool, collected. Has his stuff together.

Or at least appears to.

But in his chest beats the heart of a beast.

Yes, despite all appearances to the contrary, he doesn’t have it all together. He knows it, and it drives him up a wall!

He is a mass of conflicting desires, thoughts, emotions, pent up frustrations. He wants life to get easier.

But it never does.

It never does.

You see, my lunatic friend can fake it with the best of them. He can pose.

But in his heart he knows:

He’s not strong

He hasn’t got it all together

And prays everyday, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.”

You might know my lunatic friend. He’s me, you see. He’s me–and you, and everyone who’s ever lived.

“For the flesh lusts against the spirit,and the spirit against the flesh. The two are contrary to one another.” And no matter how long we walk with Christ the flesh never gets better. We can get better at resisting its allure.

But it is never sanctified. Our souls are. But not our bodies. “Who shall deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We, as long as we are here on this earth, shall never be sinless. But let us pray fervently to sin less and less. And let us remember to be as forgiving towards the lunatic friends of others as we are of our own. That to my mind is what it means to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Are you brave enough to admit you have a luntic friend? Are you ready to do something about that? Put it down in words below.

God bless you!

The Two Lives of Mr. Thomas Anderson

'Film Matrix: a choice in your life' photo (c) 2006, surfstyle - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Matrix is a 1999 film directed by the (then) Wachowski brothers, and starring Keanu Reeves as Thomas Anderson/Neo. At a point early in the story, Mr. Anderson has been arrested, and is being questioned by an agent. The agent, Mr. Smith, says to him, “You’ve been living two lives, Mr. Anderson. By day, as a developer for a respectful software company. By night, you operate under the hacker alias, Neo. Only one of these lives has a future, Mr. Anderson.”

Now within the context of the movie that agent–Smith–is trying to scare Anderson into conformity, keep him a slave to the Matrix. In our world, the paradigm is parallels that of the story: the world, the flesh, and the devil comprise the wool the which has been cleverly pulled over our eyes. As in the world of the Matrix, we have to escape the seemingly gravitational pull of a world that wants nothing more than conformance with the status quo. Like Neo in the movie, Jesus has come into our world and upset that Apple cart.

He came blasting into a culture which prided itself on conformity with the rules, and turned everything upon its head. He said the we needed to be “born again,” to die to ourselves. That indeed it was only on death that we would find life. That it was for freedom that He came to set us free.

We, like Mr. Thomas Anderson, could continue to confirm, toe the line, play it safe. Or we could launch our coracles out into the vast ocean of grace. The late, great C.S Lewis said that “our passions are not too strong, but too weak. We muck about with drink and sex when all the pleasures of Heaven lay before us.”

As the Bible says, “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end of the ways thereof is death.” Put another way, and in the words of Bob Dylan, we’ve “gotta serve somebody.”

The question, then is who? Who will we serve?

Self (the devil), or God? “Only one of these lives has a future.”

Choose you this day.

“Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

What say you? Speak on it?

Noah Will Open Doors

noah-poster

Call me strange, or old-fashioned, but I strongly believe when one wants to get one's facts straight one goes to the source. Much digital ink has been spilled regarding the upcoming biblical epic, Noah (starring Russell Crow, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Emma Watson), how it is not particularly biblical, etc. We all know that controversy drives the press, nets clicks and impressions.

It seems however that this controversy is more of a non-troversy, because (and this surprised me) Paramount hired an honest-to-goodness biblical adviser. A man who has been involved since the beginning, a man who (in his own words) has "read probably more than 10 drafts of the script, given longwinded feedback on each, seen every piece of footage that was shot and been flown around the world ... twice."

Remember what I wrote above about going straight to the source? In this case, that source is the man I alluded to in the preceding paragraph: John Snowden. Mr. Snowden (no relation to the infamous Edward), prior to consulting on the Noah film for the past two years, worked in vocational youth ministry in the Los Angeles area. In an editorial for the Christian Post, he gives his careful, measured, informed opinion that People of Faith Can Embrace Noah.

Yes, that's right, the biblical consultant on this multimillion dollar epic has weighed in on this debate that's been raging almost since the picture was announced. He makes a convincing case that this film will open doors, that it does not mishandle scripture, that it presents God at the front and center. Rather than reiterate his case, I'll say this: knowing a thing, or two, about story, I understand that a story at its most basic is about a character who wants something, and undergoes conflict to get it. In this upcoming film, Tubal-Cain (as portrayed by Ray Winstone) personifies the wickedness of mankind, giving the story its antagonist (and Noah's primary conflict). Put another way, any story without conflict would be boring. As author Donald Miller says, one could write a story about a man who wants a Volvo, but who would be engaged in such a tale?

Here, in Noah, the stakes are much higher: the fate of humanity is on the line. So Noah comes into conflict the wickedness of mankind (as personified in the person of Tubal-Cain). His life, and the lives of his family members, are on the line... In what is arguably a post-christian culture, giving people--the young, the old, the indifferent--a story into which they can sink their teeth is a good thing. It will open doors of discussion for we who are people faith to walk through. Rather than criticize Noah, let's rather embrace the opportunity afforded us.

And rather than editorialize any further, allow me to again direct you to Mr. Snowden's excellent analysis: Why People of Faith Can Embrace Noah

Thanks for reading!

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