Tag Archives: spiritual gifts

The Best of Spiritual Drift/2013

Best of 2013I close 2013 with the top seven, (because ten is, like, so predictable), most visited posts of Spiritual Drift in the past year; some surprising, some not so much.

For 2014 I’m looking forward to tagging along with The Drifter for a while longer (two and possibly even three more books within the series). I also have a few more ghostwriting gigs on the horizon and a special project with a fellow blogging friend of mine, Nate Owens from Finding Truth, which I’m particularly excited about. More info to come as we begin fleshing it all out!

Oh, and I promise to get back to more blog writing this year as well!!

I. Promise.

So, without further ado, I give you what people were reading on Spiritual Drift over the past twelve months, along with my thoughts on why they might have been so popular…

#1 (by far)  How to Piss Off a Christian ~ Let Me Count the Ways : My most popular post. Ever. Daily, it seems, people were plugging “how to piss off a Christian” into their Google search and finding their way to me. Hope they got something out of it!

#2) How to Piss Off a Christian in 372 Words Or Less : Yeah, no big surprise here either. This was the original “Piss Off…” post, written almost two years ago now, and my reaction, ironically, to another Christian blogger’s seeming intolerance and hard-heartedness toward sin and those who may be a little farther from God than he felt he was. Yes, I was the P.O.’d Christian in this instance.

#3) Another Question: What Does “Joy” Mean To You? : A new entrant into the top posts this year, likely due to the fine folks at Believe.com featuring a few of my posts. Special thanks to all at Believe.com for their continued support!

#4) A New Surreality (…That Was My Dad.) : I lost my dad very suddenly and unexpectedly on October 11th of this year. This was my reaction, my thoughts, and my eulogy all rolled into one.

#5) Quote ~ On ‘Hate the Sin’ : I ran across this quote from A.J. Thomas and felt it quite succinctly echoed my own beliefs/feelings on the subject…and still does. There was a good little discussion going on in the comments section of this post for a while as well. As far as I’m concerned, we can agree or we can disagree, but if we’ve caused each other to THINK, we’ve done all we can.

#6) Why Intelligent People Are Less Likely to be Religious : ßcase in point!

#7) Porn Addiction . . . My Old Friend : Glad to see this one here. It caused quite a bit of controversy when it first came out, even to the point of Cheryl and I losing our positions within a non-profit organization that she had helped to found. In fact, the very reason we were “asked to leave” was the very reason I posted this piece: Silence on the subject, turning our heads from this all-too-common reality, will not make the issue magically go away. To this day, though I’m not proud of the admittance to my own sinful failings, I am actually quite proud of this piece.

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Weekend Rewind ~ Oh, How Far We’ve Come in Two Years!

I was reading some old posts the other day and ran across this one from Sept. 12, 2011. Oh, how far we’ve come and how much I personally have grown in two years…with a lot more to go, for sure!

So, in honor of the release of my new novel, “In the Path of Judgment”, available for purchase to your right——>
I thought I’d stroll with you down memory lane and let you see for yourself some of my thoughts and struggles with “what am I doing with my life?”-type questions.  Enjoy!

Here’s Your Sign

I asked God for a sign yesterday; a confirmation on a choice I was considering. You see, after 40+ years, I think I finally know what I want to do with my life. All I needed was to find out if my envisioned purpose fit into God’s plan and His intended use of my talents (whatever they may be).

So I asked.

Yeah, that was a mistake.

I was praying on the way home last night and somewhere in the conversation I said, “You know, if I could just see that XX amount of people have read my post today, I’ll know that this is what I should be doing and I’ll know that my ideas for the direction of this website and my writing is where You want me to go.”

Can you guess how many readers I had when I got home?

Nope . . . lower.

Nope, lower than that too.

I went to sleep deflated, depressed and a few other de- adjectives. I woke up questioning (something I’m really, really good at.) and I asked my wife what she thought of the whole situation. Li’l Miss Pragmatic’s answer was, of course, “What does the bible say about ‘signs’?” So I looked . . .

Matthew Chpt. 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.

Luke Chpt. 1:18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

Or to put it more bluntly, Jesus tells the Pharisees, ‘I’ve been giving you miraculous signs all along and you still don’t believe.’ Gabriel tells Zechariah, ‘There’s a freakin’ angel standing in front of you and you still don’t believe.’ To me, they both say pretty much the same thing; the same thing that God is perhaps telling me by pointing these passages up: “I’ve been showing you signs, what good is one more going to do?” Then, when I look back over the road I’ve taken to get to this point, yeah, I can see signs that have probably been there all along . . .

First of all, regardless of the number of readers I have, I enjoy writing. I get a certain satisfaction in putting the final period, the final edit, onto a potential post.

Second, it didn’t take long for the direction of my writing to become clear. The original intent of Full Retail Christianity (my original blog), was basically going to be glorified bitching about my job. Who cares! But when I started writing more from my heart, writing from a perspective of questions I had or observations I saw, (starting essentially with D.Faults and Freaks and on since) it got easier. It got more satisfying. And, it started to resonate.

Third, I can see the direction for the future and a conclusion to the purpose of undertaking this in the first place. In other words, I know where I want to go, and I have ideas on how to get there.

And God sits up there and goes, “See??!!”

So, do I think asking for a sign was a mistake? Yeah, I do. All it did was ruin a night’s sleep and cause me undo stress and worry: something that, if I had had faith, I never would have had to endure in the first place. What good would one more sign do anyway? If I’ve asked God to lead in my life, what right do I have to continually ask, in essence, “Are you still there, God? Can you show me? Are you still leading me? Are you sure? God??”

Maybe, the takeaway of all this is, if you’re looking for a sign, don’t look up, look around. If you’re looking (through faith in the One who you’ve asked to lead in your life) the road’s most likely littered with them. If it’s not, well, that’s probably a sign as well.

And God says, “See??!!”

A Taste of the ReFoRMation . . .

Here’s an excerpt of the manuscript I’ve been working on these past couple of months.  It’s a Christian Suspense novel with a bit of Spiritual Warfare thrown in for good measure.  It’s presently going under the working title, “ReFoRMation”  Enjoy!

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With Eirin on his way, and Philos tending to the woman, Suriyan now stood a short distance from his own charge, studying him with unbridled fascination.  He was intrigued by humans.  Just as he was sure humans would be fascinated by the beings they called the Heavenly Host.  Suriyan simply called them friends and family.  Over the course of his long history with these humans, Suriyan had in fact been called many things: Angel, Archangel, Seraphim, Virtue, Cherub, Cherubim, and Principality among others.  Like many beliefs humanity held of the heavenly realm, these had been both entirely accurate and entirely inadequate.  Continue reading A Taste of the ReFoRMation . . .

Here’s To the Hur’s

moses aaron and hurIf you spend time in volunteer ministry, do you ever wonder if that time is producing fruit?  Do you wonder if your efforts are worth the . . . effort?

Exodus 17: The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”  10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. (NIV)

When I first volunteered in the Audio/Video Tech area of Real Life Ministries, one of the first things my supervisor did was to give me a small card with the above Scripture written on it.  He let me read it then he said, “If you’re gonna participate in volunteer ministry, you’ve got to understand the role we all play, right?  Now who all do you see in this story?”

“Well,” I answered, taking time to study the brief passage once again, “There’s Joshua, Moses of course, Aaron and Hur.”

“Exactly,” he said, “And as part of the A/V team, and especially us on the soundboard, taking all the roles that these men are playing within the context of that passage, what role do you think we’re playing here?  Who do you think we are?”

I looked at it again, puzzled.  “Umm,” I said, “not sure.” (I’m lousy at tests under pressure!)

He smiled, most likely knowing that’s exactly what I would say.

“Well,” he began, “Joshua is the focus of everyone’s attention at this point, so he’s basically center stage.  Moses is . . . well, Moses. He’s the one running the whole thing.  Aaron is both Moses’ voice and the voice of God, so he’s the one in communication with everyone else.  And then there’s Hur.”

“The only part Hur plays in this whole ordeal with the Amalekites is to hold up Moses’ hand.  That’s it.  Not much.  Yet, without him, Joshua would have failed.  Moses would have failed.  And the Israelites would have suffered a crushing defeat to a far superior force.  Yet, here he is.  A small part; most likely unseen by everyone but the three of them there on that hill: But crucial.”

“That’s us!  We’re Hur.  In fact, that’s volunteer ministry in a nutshell: Small, mostly unseen, yet crucial to the success of this, or frankly any, church.”

So here’s to all the Hur’s out there doing volunteer ministry!

The next time you pass out a bulletin, greet a guest, sing in the choir, or adjust the EQ on the pastor’s mic, remember: it may be a small part, unseen, unsung, soon forgotten; yet you play a necessary and crucial role in the success of that service, of your church and ultimately of Jesus’ mission to us all!

The unseen hands.  The unsung heroes!  The Hur’s!

Thank you!