Tag Archives: francis chan

Setting Down the Bible-Shaped Sledgehammer

photo courtesy kidsandthebible.blogspot.com
photo courtesy kidsandthebible.blogspot.com

I don’t know if I’m writing from a place of conviction, or if I’m just flogging myself unnecessarily, but it seems to be getting harder to find subjects to write about in a 5-800 word blog post lately. Maybe I’m concentrating on the book(s) more than on blogging, yet I don’t think it’s as simple as that.

When I started Spiritual Drift two…well, almost three years ago now…I had a definite idea in mind. At the time, I was still working 40+ hours a week at Barnes & Noble, and struggling to reconcile my fledgling faith with the untamed jungles of retail customer service.

…and failing badly.

I got to wondering; maybe my struggle isn’t that unusual in this big, wide world. Maybe, there is someone out there that needs a hearty, “Me, too!!”, or maybe what I need is some sane advice other than the voices inside my head who were, at the time, telling me how miserable I was and what a wretched Christian example I was being. And, out of that came this amazing blog! 🙂

It helped that, several months into my journey, I had a life-changing epiphany thanks to the catalyst of a thin, red, non-descript book called, “Crazy Love”. Then, shortly after, my blogging became more of a travel journal of rediscovery—of myself, my family, my faith, and my God.

It’s been a wild ride, and as I’ve told anyone in the last year or so who would bother to listen, I’ve probably grown more in my faith in this last two years than I have in the prior ten, most likely ever since I crossed the line of faith back in college.

But now, the feeling I have is much like one you get when coming home from the journey: The adrenaline has abated; the dust has settled; that surge of initial excitement has waned.

The “now what” has firmly settled in.

Oh, I know good and well my journey is far from over. I’m easing in to what best would be described as the “middle age” of my faith walk. I no longer feel the need to convict the “heathen” around me. I no longer feel the need to point up the ills of society. Mostly because we all know what all of our shortcomings are already, especially me, and I was never that good at wielding a Bible-shaped sledgehammer anyway.

Now, here I sit, not quite sure of what direction to take my old friend Spiritual Drift next. I hesitate to write about my own faith—what I know, what I’ve learned, what I believe—mostly because this is my journey, not anyone else’s, and I don’t say that as an egotistical statement by any means, but only that each of our spiritual journey’s is uniquely our own. I wouldn’t want someone else to follow in the footsteps of my conviction, just as I would warn against following down the spiritual path of someone actually famous: a best-selling author, a mega-church pastor, or even your own small town preacher. Yes, there are great teachings there just as there are some great teachings and discussions in the blogosphere, plenty of faith nuggets to mine, refine, and treasure, and I know many people who do. Yet there are many, many more who hang on every word that spills forth from the pulpit each Sunday, or the page with each post, and personally, I feel their journey is lacking, if not downright stunted, because of it.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. ~ (2Timothy 4:3-4 ESV)

I also hesitate to write on hot-button topics, or subjects of inherent controversy; issues that are doing a very effective job of separating the sheep from the goats, though I would hesitate to declare on which side of that fence many of us stand—*bleat*.

There’s been many much better writers than I who have articulated their stand on these issues, and in general how I feel about my current attitude toward writing on them, and I have freely plagiarized their work below…(Feel free to pick the one you think best would describe my feelings. 🙂 There’s several to choose from.)

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. ~ (Romans 16:17-18 ESV)

“I have yet to meet anyone that has come to know Christ as the result of an intense debate. I know many who have had to wrestle with honest questions on their journey to respond to God’s grace, but these were seldom done within the debate arena. Instead, these were explored within the context of safe, vulnerable relationships.” ~ T.E. Hanna/Of Dust & Kings

“My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don’t really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don’t believe in God and they can prove He doesn’t exist, and there are some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it’s about who is smarter, and honestly I don’t care.” ~ Donald Miller

“Every article, regardless of its position for or against, is the same. The support arguments; same. The rebuttals; same. The circular thinking; same. The responses are fully expended, (and in the end) we discover we are at the same impasse.” ~ Jen Hatmaker

“When it comes to issues with two-sides and there’s a heated investment in “who wins” — the comments section of the internet is like an asylum of nine year olds in the playground with free reign to sickles and sledgehammers.  It’s not pretty.  You have a first-row seat to the basest underbelly of the reptilian keyboard-caveman Google-expert.  I’m on the fence with a lot of these issues, mainly because 1) I don’t think they matter nearly as much as the volume of the yelling, and 2) we very quickly elevate the issues over people and we destroy bystanders with all the childish anger.” ~ J.S. Park/The Way Everlasting

“Maturing is realizing how many things don’t require your comment.
~ Rachel Wolchin

Or maybe this one…

“While we were busy arguing about inconsequential things, people were dying without a savior because we forgot to mention the gospel. God gave us the opportunity and the information to pass along…and we squandered it.” ~ All of us on judgment day.

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The Inner Turmoil of Living Out Faith (. . . on Facebook)

Hmm, I think this is interesting . . .

I had a little mental conversation (okay, argument) with myself this morning.  I was on Facebook and I ran across a really good video by Francis Chan that I wanted to “share”.

As some of you may know, I’ve got my Spiritual Drift FB page, and my own personal page; and I wasn’t quite sure onto which page I wanted to share this Chan video.  After all, this was an overtly religious point that Chan was making, and it was fairly specific on the responsibilities of following Christ.

My Spiritual Drift page, apart from being the landing page of all the posts here on my blog, is also the place where I put all of my “spiritual/religious/Christian” musings, links, quotes and so on.  And I got to thinking . . .

Why?

Why does my “religious” stuff go in one place, and the rest of my . . . life, essentially, go somewhere else?  And when it comes right down to it, don’t a lot of us who’ve crossed the line of faith do that?  We put on one face, or set of clothes, or virtues on Sunday and quite another the rest of the week?

As if God isn’t looking on Thursdays?   “Oh hey,” He says, “Good thing you came to church on Sunday and confessed what you were doing this last week.  I totally missed it!!”

Yeah, right! Continue reading The Inner Turmoil of Living Out Faith (. . . on Facebook)

Search Terms That Send You To Me (You Poor Thing!)

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a wonderful thing; a useful tool in the arsenal of any website owner, helping wayward internet browser’s find your brilliant site and all its worthwhile information.  Like many bloggers, I’m curious to know what terms and phrases people use to find my site.   And, like many bloggers, I never cease to be amazed at what people are actually looking for…and why that search would point to me.  Anywhoooo….

As you’d expect, some phrases are obvious:

“Spiritual Drift” is #4.  Along with…
“spiritual quotes” at #6 and,
“spiritual drifting” #7.

I used a Francis Chan quote one time (one time!) for a Photo Friday piece and “Francis Chan quotes” rose to #2.

“How to piss off a Christian” is my #1 term (well, okay, #1 AND [as “Christians”], #3).  I’m so, um, proud.    Go ahead, Google the phrase, I’ll wait…..see, I’m the number one result!  Infamy!  Yay, me….I guess.  (Actually, throughout my search terms, there’s variations of this theme a half a dozen times or more.  That’s a LOT to be pissed off about!)

Now, “worst bikini bodies” (#10) throws me a little.

As does, “man’s hand and baby legs” (#22).  I don’t even want to KNOW what they were actually looking for.

“Dear god im (sic) miserable” (#33) got several returns, so I’m actually kind of glad they did find me.  Hope I helped.

Farther down the list . . . Continue reading Search Terms That Send You To Me (You Poor Thing!)

WednesDevotionals ~ A Little Exercise On Love

How are you doing in your Spiritual Walk?  How are you doing in living out the fruits of the Spirit?

I was challenged in this area by something I read in Francis Chan’s wonderful book “Crazy Love”.  In the chapter entitled, “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God” I came across this little exercise:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)

Now, take all the references to “love” and substitute your name. (For me it would be “Kent is patient and kind.  Kent is not jealous . . .”)

Now, how are you doing in living out the fruits of the Spirit?  Hmmm?

Yeah, me too! Ouch!

As Chan goes on to say, “Following Christ isn’t something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side.  It is not a label we can display when it is useful.  It must be central to everything we do and are.”

Our faith is not something we can internalize, keep to ourselves, and think we’re being all God is calling us to be.  It needs to be lived out . . . outwardly . . . that means to other people.

Do you demand your own way?  Stop it!
Do you keep ‘records of being wronged’?  Throw ‘em out!
Do you give up?

Romans 8: 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (NIV)