Archives For sacrifice

A month ago, at the urging of Caleb McNary, I joined forces with a group of fellow bloggers.

We joined faces forces to form a team, an hirsute team. Our purpose? To go on strike. From shaving.

That’s right, along with millions of others, we united, like the Federation of Planets, to observe the the annual beardfest known as “No Shave November.”

We did this to highlight the need for something we here in America take for granted. Every. Single. Day:

Clean drinking water.

We tweeted, we cajoled, we pleaded.

And you stepped up to the plate, knocking it right out of the park!

This is for you:

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Oh, sorry–my bad. This is for you:

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Because we, the #BeardedBloggers didn’t do it–you did!

Thank-you very, very much!

Create Past the Pain

randomlychad  —  November 28, 2012 — 18 Comments

Towards the end of the classic movie, Princess Bride, there is a scene where Westley–recently resurrected–bluffs his way through a confrontation with the the evil Prince Humperdinck. He threatens a duel–not to the death, but “to the pain.” To my mind, this is what we who call ourselves creative must do with the “Resistance.” We must wrestle it to the pain, through the pain, to get to the work we were made to do.

You say you are not creative? I don’t believe you. Bestselling author Tosca Lee says, “We are made in the image of the most creative being in the universe… But we allow things to get in the way.”

Things such as the resistance.

What is the the resistance? Whatever gets in our way. Whatever fears, doubts, messages, which assail us, and keep us from creating. You already know this, but it bears repeating:

No one else in this world of seven billion souls has the same well of experiences from which to draw. No one else has your unique perspective and voice.

Because no one else is you!

And you can do it! We need your voice. I need your voice.

Because it helps me to know that I am not alone, not crazy, in the pursuit of my dream.

Now: create your hearts out, write until your fingers bleed, your heart bleeds, your arms ache from sculpting, painting… And then do it some more! Cast off the fetters which restrain you from doing the creating you really want to do, feel called to do.

When you do that, the magic happens–because honoring the gift, whatever it is, honors the ONE Who gave it to you.

Create through the pain, past the pain, and get up tomorrow, and do it again. Because the resistance is not going away. But like Prince Humperdinck, we can threaten it into submission, quell its voice, and get down to work. The resistance does not fear getting ugly with you, so be ruthless in conquering it. Because you will find that it is, afterall, just a bully.

And like most bullies, the resistance is really a coward at heart.

So resist the resistance.

And do it one day at a time. Because that’s all we have to work with: one day at a time. Your courage, in the face of your fears, encourages not only me, but everyone watching.

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So there lots of days signifying something or other. Here in America, our national day of thanks is followed by a national day of greedy consumeristic materialism.

We’re bipolar that way.

Or at the very least, we are, as a nation, highly adept at compartmentalizing. Listen: I’m all for a good deal, and of faithfully stewarding the resources entrusted to me.

But Black Friday is ridiculous.

And in reactionary backlash (another thing we Americans are quite adept at: lashing back), we now have Small Business Saturday, which is quickly followed by Cyber Monday (wherein you suddenly realize those mall Uggs you thought were such a good deal at $150 you could have gotten for $100 if only you’d waited to buy them online. The good news: the Uggs are still ugly. Bad news: your wallet is $50 lighter).

Cyber Monday is of course now followed by Generous Tuesday. Which seems ridiculous, and again reactionary, right?

Shouldn’t we be thankful, like, I don’t know–everyday?

I think so.

In the spirit of being thankful, perhaps it’s high time to give back? Yes, there are many struggling, many out of work, here in America. But by-and-large, we here are highly blessed by God’s largesse.

I have a great deal for you:

How about helping some folks way less fortunate than you gain access to the most essential commodity? No, it’s not stuff.

It’s clean drinking water.

Earlier this month, I joined with an august

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group of men (and women) (and then shut down my blog to work on NaNoWrimo–I’m douchey that way) united with a single purpose:

To raise $1,000 to provide clean drinking water. We are nearing the end of the month, and are currently $250 short of our goal.

Please visit the Bearded Bloggers site to make your donation. Any amount helps. And 100% of your donation directly funds clean water projects in developing nations.

Please help us finish strong.

As Bartles & Jaymes used to say:

“Thank-you for your support!”

The Utter Humility of God

randomlychad  —  September 27, 2012 — 6 Comments

Forgive me if this isn’t clear, as it has come to me as in a mirror dimly. And like shower-fogged glass, it’s clearing slowly.
My wife and I were at a Bible study, and a question was asked: what’s the most stunning attribute of God? What immediately came to mind was: his humility.

The very notion stunned me.

I don’t know about you, but I have always thought of the Lord as high and lifted up. “As the heavens are high above the earth, so are my ways and thoughts high above yours” declares the Lord.

Very true–yet it misses the mark. Because the Incarnation was his idea! Follow me here:

God consented to humble himself to experience all that is to be human: by the Holy Spirit, he became a clump of cells in Mary’s womb, gestated for nine months, came wet squalling, naked, cold into this world. And was laid in a manger.

Because there was no room for God in the Inn.

He further consented to all the ignomimies of humamity: as an infant, he couldn’t walk, or talk–and soiled himself daily. Think on this!

The very Word, who called the universe into being by his word, couldn’t speak! (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”). The God who made it all, lying helpless in the care of people he’d made!

That is utter humility!

But he continued, and in a further display of his ways and thoughts being higher, further humbled himself to the death of a cross! The most ignominious death of that era–reserved for common criminals! (“Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).

But his abject humility didn’t stop there, friends!

In a way, he abases himself still–for he daily deigns to relate to such as you, and me!

He bids us enter into the same kind of relationship he had with his disciples. He calls us friends.

The very God of the universe consents to conspire with us in the universe’s remaking! He humbles himself to converse with such as you and me, bids us enter in to him!

Behold the humility of your God!

Have you humbled yourself today to enter into him? Have you followed his example?

“Humble yourself in the sight of God, he shall lift you up.”

Liar’s Lullaby

randomlychad  —  August 16, 2012 — 3 Comments

The world, the flesh, and the devil sing their siren songs–with only one goal in mind: to lull us to sleep. We want to be comfortable, and forget: this is a world at war, and we inhabit enemy-occupied territory. Else why do the Scriptures call our adversary “the god of this world?”

Yes, Jesus is sovereign, but we don’t yet see all under his feet.

We want comfort in wartime, and demand rest. And carp and complain when we get a soldier’s rest: we sleep where and when we can, tree roots, dirt clods, and stones poking us in the back.

Yet, the Liar’s Lullaby sings on in unholy 3-part harmony–with one goal in mind: to make us forget. And in the forgetting, sleep.

Only to be rudely awakened from our dreams by harsh reality:

God must often allow the gaping wounds to wake us up, to rouse us from our stupor. Because we have been lulled to sleep again, and He had no other way to get our attention.

The world is the wool so often pulled over our eyes.

How has this been true in your life? How is the Liar’s Lullaby singing to you today? Can you hear its beautiful, terrible strains?