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There are numerous misconceptions in the wide world about Christianity, about Christians, about faith. We’re all bigots, hypocrites, weak-minded, deniers of science. We’ve taken the primrose path of easy-believism.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A life of faith is anything but easy. Some have the mistaken notion that faith in Christ takes all of one’s problems away. That’s, as Paul would say, “dung.” If anything, faith multiples one’s problems, because:

Having experienced the love of God, we are forced to reconcile that love with an unloving world.

With hostility.

With health problems (in ourselves, or those we love).

With financial worries.

With children who seem hell bent on piddling away their lives.

We who know God know that He can step in, render aid; instead, He often chooses to walk, and weep, with us through the hard times. Where we desire the miraculous, He offers succor instead.

Faith, Christian faith, requires much more of us than we are willing to give; namely, dying daily to our expectations about just who, and what, God is. C.S. Lewis once said that “faith holding onto to those things our reason once accepted, in spite of our changing feelings.”

In spite of a world which, where it doesn’t actively oppose a life of faith, is casually indifferent to it (and that indifference is infectious in that it tempts us to forgetfulness of God). It’s all pretty relative, and tolerated, unless one stubbornly clings to the cross of Christ. That life, as the Bible says, is offensive. Because it’s rooted in the Gospel it gives off a certain savor; to the saved, it is the aroma of life. To the unsaved, it’s the sickly sweet stench of moldering death.

No one wants to be reminded that not only are they going to die, but that they are in fact dead already.

This, amongst many other reasons, is why it’s harder to believe than not to.

What are some ways you’ve found it’s harder to believe than not to?

The New Normal

randomlychad  —  April 29, 2013 — 7 Comments

Dear God,

What was so wrong with the old normal that it had to be replaced with this?

The new normal.

It doesn’t feel normal at all. It’s like a half life–surreal, hazy, like I’m on the outside looking in. It looks familiar, but I don’t recognize it as my life. Who is this man who shuffles around in a stupor? Wait…

Can it be?

That’s me!

And me is not coping very well with this new new normal. I want to hide, cry escape when I see her–she who so loved life–reduced to a husk of her former self. The tears, shaking, anxiety.

It makes me angry.

“Why, God? She loves you. You who opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, raised the dead… Where are you now?”

If this be mercy, it’s severe. Fill quickly the cup so we can return to normal. I want to see her smile, hear her laugh, be with her in the way a man is with his wife.

Quickly let this new pass so that we may return to the life we had. It wasn’t perfect, but it was ours.

And we knew how to navigate it. This unfamiliar landscape is an arid, broken place. Where is the water and shade? Whither the oasis?

God, you’ve got to do something, anything–anything other than this.

What was so wrong with the old normal? Must you take every bit of happiness, and turn it to dust?

I’m calling you out.

Calling you to account.

Not for my sake.

Or for hers.

But for the sake of the watching world. The world that hears, sees, wonders if you’re there. Are you?

Show yourself.

We need a miracle.

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may feel you know a thing, or two, about me. And that may be. You know that:

I’m generally introverted, yet despite this:

I’ve gotten very personal on this blog, divulging a number of my failings.

Some of you have called me “brave” for doing so. I don’t feel particularly brave, but I do feel very blessed to have such an awesome group of readers. I appreciate each and every one of you.

As much as I’ve shared here, you don’t know the half of it–because you haven’t heard from my other half. As they say, behind every good man is a great woman. While I make no claims to “goodness,” God has blessed me with a great wife.

Without her, I couldn’t do what I do here, and elsewhere.

As such, I feel like it’s time that you all got to know Lisa a little better.

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Thus it’s time to take that next logical, albeit, scary step, and open the floor to my lovely wife. Although she usually reads my blog, and I have her preview some posts, she has by-and-large not been active here.

I’d like to change that by giving you a forum to ask her any questions you wish.

If there’s anything you ever wanted to know, like:

How does she feel about some of my posts?

20120518-120453.jpg What’s it like being married to me?

What’s the square root of 144? (Never mind–that’s just gross).

Or if you just want her to dish the dirt, ask away.

I’m opening the floor to you.

Expect her answers in about a week (or so).

Thanks!

The One Sin

randomlychad  —  May 10, 2012 — 14 Comments

Those of us who identify as “born again”–as Christians–know that when Jesus comes into our lives all of our sins go away, because we’re new creations.

Right?

No, that isn’t true at all. Not in the slightest.

20120509-223121.jpgUnlike angels, we are not pure spirit. But being spirits, we have souls, and live in bodies. As long as we are earthbound, we are tethered to the flesh, and the lines blur. In the words of C.S. Lewis, we are “hybrid creatures”–neither this, nor that, nor the other–yet somehow all three simultaneously.

And therein lies the root of our struggle:

20120509-223422.jpg“the spirit lusteth against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit.” The two are contrary to one another. It is in this tension that every Christian walking the planet lives. It is a sort of “schizophrenic” existence, having these two natures. There is a constant push and pull–an internal tug of war–raging inside of us.

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We are people of two worlds.

Some days, our baser nature wins; others, it seems we’ve never been closer to God. Yet still others, we go from victory to defeat in the span of a heartbeat… “O, wretched man am I! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”

Knowing the price Jesus paid, we resolve to struggle on–to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.”

20120509-224936.jpgAnd still we fall back–in a thousand ways, both large and small.

But God gives more grace.

The fact remains: sin-free we will never be in our sojourn here, in this vale of tears. His blood, however, covers us.

How God will separate spirit from soul from body when we each shuffle off this mortal coil, I do not know.

What I do know is: there is only one sin that can keep us from Him:

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Refusing the free gift of His Son.

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Ok, maybe I’m showing my ignorance here, and you cool kids can school me, but there are some things I wonder about. Things that make me scratch my head like a lice-infested grade-schooler, and go “Huh?”

Things like:

Why are there lice? What purpose do they serve? Why does RID cost so much? (Nit one, pearl two).

(Feeling itchy?)

Ok, let’s try again:
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