Archives For help

There is scene in The Lord of the Rings which Professor Tolkien felt was the pivitol moment of the book; in it, Gollum nearly repents, having been won over by Frodo’s kindness. But the well-meaning Sam interferes. Chastened by Sam’s meanness, Gollum sulks off. Following are Tolkien’s thoughts:

“For me perhaps the most tragic moment in the Tale comes when Sam fails to note the complete change in Gollum’s tone and aspect….His (Gollum’s) repentance is blighted and all Frodo’s pity is (in a sense) wasted. Shelob’s lair becomes inevitable” (Letter #246).”

One wonders how often this happens, e.g., when a sinner is close to repentance, but one of God’s well-meaning children interferes? More often than we’d care to admit. There will be much one day which we will have to answer for. Many surprises are in store.

Along these same lines are the all-too-often instances of when a brother, or sister (or both), are hurting, and reach out for help. Let’s say that they’re getting help, finding some measure of mentorship, of folks coming alongside them. Things are happening, God is moving.

Then the church steps in.

The church leadership. If the church is a hospital, they are its doctors facilitating a connection to the Great Physician. Not this time. Not on their rounds.

The church says “No, you can’t do it that way. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting helped, making connections. You’re not doing it under our auspices. You have to stop.”

There again, Gollum is shut down, shut out, feeling cast aside… Wondering “What did I do wrong? I thought the church was supposed to help me? Isn’t this a spiritual hospital? God was moving, my struggles were getting better. Why did you shut me down?”

Brothers and sisters this ought not to be. But it happens over and over again. 

Have you been there? You think you’re doing the right thing, reaching out, in evangelicalese getting “plugged in,” but it blows up in your face, and then crumbles into dust… Leaving you wondering why you ever did this in the first place. You’re left feeling like you’d find more camaraderie, more acceptance, down at the corner bar. At least there they won’t judge you for being a sinner seeking solace, relief, healing.

What do you do when the church fails? Where do you go?

Who has the words which bring you life? Can life be found? Is it worth trying again?

Jesus, where are You in this?

Jesus

I’m happy to announce that I’ve just released a brand new eBook, Casita 106 at the Red Pines (also available in print). It’s the story of a married couple, Jack and Veronica Hartman, and their fateful weekend trip to Sedona, Arizona. What they have planned is a getaway to reconnect after a stressful season in their relationship; what happens is something else entirely.

  

Click the following to go to Amazon: Casita 106 at the Red Pines. The eBook is available for $2.99; print is $4.99. If you’re interested, and can commit to leaving an honest review on Amazon, please contact me by clicking here to request a review copy. I would be happy to send you one. I sure appreciate your support as I launch this new chapter in my life!
Blessings,

Chad

It’s not bad to feel ashamed when we’ve done shameful things. There is such a thing as a healthy regret. We’ve all done things we wish we hadn’t.

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This post is not about that kind of shame. But rather about the shame that we, the culture, and church project. The kind that makes us worry more about our reputations, than about getting the help we need.

Continue Reading…

The Holidays Can Be Hard

randomlychad  —  November 22, 2012 — 4 Comments

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I know today is Thanksgiving (here in the US, anyway). I know it’s supposed to be a happy day, a day of feasting, and family.

But for some, the holidays can be hard. Very hard. Some want to give up, but press on. Others, facing a season alone, opt out–not wanting to face life alone.

Statistics show that the incidence of suicide increase during this season.

Are you a divorcee, facing a season alone, a widower, or widower alone now for the first time since… you can remember? Are you perhaps hundreds, or thousands, of miles away from friends or family?

I want you to know that you are not alone.

Last year, I was very privileged to contribute to an anthology of true stories called Not Alone: Stories of Living With Depression (Link to Kindle edition; a paperback copy can be ordered from the link to the right, or on Amazon).

I have not, nor will I receive, any compensation for my participation in this project. But knowing that my story, along with those of many others, is out there is compensation enough.

Because it has helped people. And that is more than any remuneration could ever be.

I know the the holidays can be hard, but there is hope.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Since writing The First Time I Saw A Black Person a few weeks ago, and subsequently being privileged to host Ben Emerson, I’m hooked.

I’m hooked on the notion of my blog being more than just a place to share my ideas (merely a place drop an Internet infodump if you will). I’m hooked on the idea that it’s a community, and because it is, it can be a great force for good in the world.

What do I mean? Benand I have shared our stories–will you consider sharing yours with the RandomlyChad community?

Have you either been marginalized, or the “marginalizer,” in the evangelical community? Please write a guest post. I would love to share your story here in a series I’m calling “God of the Gaps.”

I, and the community here, look forward to hearing from you.

Thank-you!

Submissions can be sent to: Chad Jones

Note: you may ask yourself why is an introverted, middle-aged, white, evangelical man doing this? Fair question. The only answer that makes sense to me is: because I’m crazy enough to think that together we can make a difference. That we can make the church, and thus the world, a better place. That’s it. That’s my bottom line. Now let’s do some good together!