Category Archives: Seasons of doubt

Even Through This S@*#, I Still Believe In God

depressionIt seems that I’ve been rolling in some new emotional turmoil over the last few days. Mining the depths of some newfound psychological…whatever.
I say “new” because I know I’ve experienced bouts of anger, and frustration, and doubt, and questioning at certain times, in certain situations; and this isn’t any of those. Those other things have sources. They have causes. They have answers. For the most part.

This? I have no idea where it came from, and it took me up to yesterday to finally put a finger on what it is that I think I’m dealing with here…

It’s depression.

And the thing I’m discovering (and those who suffer from recurrent depression will probably nod their heads in agreement) is that there really is no reason for it. It just…is. Continue reading Even Through This S@*#, I Still Believe In God

A Taste of Things To Come…

writingI thought I would give you a taste of one of the projects I’ve been working on over the last few months. This is a brief excerpt from my upcoming non-fiction/testimony manuscript, tentatively called “It Is Finished: So Why Isn’t It Finished”.

This comes from the Introduction:

For years I too gravitated away from these types of discussions, the exchanges some fellow Christians joke are “intense moments of fellowship”, because everyone around me just seemed so…certain. I’m not so sure I have ever been certain. (Would that be a certain uncertainty of certainty?)
Comfortable, yes.
At peace, yes.
Certain? Not so much.

Personally, I think this is a very good place to be, or at least it’s been proving so for me.
I think that it’s because, for years, one of the main problems I had was in confusing my uncertainty with doubt. And, though I still wrestle with doubt and likely will until the day I pass into the ethereal void, I no longer have a tendency to wallow in it.
Oh, I did. I had my moments, big time! But now I no longer so much doubt the existence of God or the tenets of my faith as much as I remain uncertain of just how big, how gracious, how loving, even how authoritarian, my God actually is. These days, I tend to err on the side of really big, and really gracious, and if I tend to confuse anything, I think it’s more of a confusion of uncertainty with…wonder.

A Plague of Indecision

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

We all face a plethora of decisions, every day of our lives; no matter the job, no matter the circumstance; and actually it’s more of a plague of INdecision rather than decision; an inability to choose between two or more directions that lay open before you.

Mine at the moment certainly isn’t an earth shattering choice. Actually, I simply can’t decide where to take the direction of the fifth Drifter Series book. I’m stuck at a certain point with two main characters and a villain, and can’t decide where to go from here.

It’s just a temporary case of writer’s block.

What led me to this writer’s block…aahh, these are the choices behind the choices. Continue reading A Plague of Indecision

The War on Christmas? We’ve Already Lost

starbucksCan I just say that I’m more than a little disheartened that the first volley in this year’s “War on Christmas” seems to be over a red coffee cup.

I hate to be the one to say it, but for me, this so-called “War on Christmas” was lost long ago; a beaten and bloodied casualty at the hands of a free market society and retail commercialism as we see more and more displays of Santa, reindeer, green and red baubles, and candy—always the candy—showing up on store shelves and display windows even before the ghouls and goblins of Halloween have been tucked away. Look no further than the ever-increasing creep of “Black Friday” sales now encroaching on Thanksgiving dinner…even into that particular Thursday’s breakfast and pre-dawn hours.

Further, I don’t see the War on Christmas as so much an “us vs. them” conflict as I do an internal civil war. A war created by a master deceiver, drawing our attention away from what should be truly important to us and instead toward such superfluous bickering like what is or is not on a secular corporation’s coffee cup.

Wasn’t it Christ who said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls”? (Luke 11:17)

Didn’t the Apostle Paul also write, “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law (or coffee cups, cashier greetings, window displays, et.al), for they are unprofitable and worthless. (Titus 3:9-10, with a bit of editing)

Paul continues: “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11, and I’m looking at you Josh Feuerstein)

And didn’t Jude, the brother of James, write, “These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage…It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear…” (Jude 1:16, 19-23, emphasis mine)

None of these were written against the world, but against those within the church itself; as Jude puts it, those “certain people (who) have crept in (among the faithful)”

With rare exception, retail stores like Starbucks, Target, and any other who chooses to put up neutral displays, or says it’s employees are to greet customers with a hearty “Happy Holidays”, are not Christian companies. That’s not a slam, that’s a simple fact. Why in the world are we getting offended when they fail to uphold our misguided expectation of adherence to Christian beliefs, or to express Christian language? They’re secular organizations trying to appeal to the widest swath of customers possible in pursuit of market share and profit. You know, the ‘Murican way!

If anything, they are a prime example of who we should be “the light of the world” for.

Light doesn’t produce offense. Light illuminates. Light guides. Light holds back the darkness and, as such, should be a relief and comfort to those caught up and blinded by the darkness.

Yes, Jesus is the “reason for the season”. But that sentiment needs to be spoken in gladness with family around the dinner table, talked of in grace with friends over a cup of coffee or pint of beer, preached as “good news” from the pulpit in the weeks leading up to the day. NOT ranted into an I-phone with venom and arrogance and posted on social media.

Josh Feuerstein, and other ‘certain people’ who think that saying your name is “Merry Christmas” so the Starbucks barista has to shout it out when your order’s ready? You’re not helping.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another (Starbucks) and, if one has a complaint against another (Starbucks), forgiving each other (Starbucks, and, by all means, buy a cup of coffee for the stranger behind you in line and wish them a “Merry Christmas”)
As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15)