Friday, September 2, 2011

Random Stuff on God, Faith, and My Kids

  • If you were to start a file titled 'God,' what would you put in it?
  • I should write a sermon on that one. Would you guys read my sermons?
  • Have you ever had a week that seems to have a theme, like God is shouting something at you? For about a week now, my theme, the word that keeps being repeated over and over again in differing forms is: ritual.
  • I'm reading more than one book right now. One is about the ways that we should approach Bible study. The other is about finding faith. They're actually, on the surface at least, oceans away from one another. One is more instructional. The other is more of a memior. They're both bringing me back to this idea of ritual, or habit.
  • My own local pastor mentioned something very similar in his sermon last Sunday. He was talking more about habits that keep you growing spiritually, but to me, that's the same thing. Here's a link to that sermon - click here.
  • Ritual. Ritual. Ritual.
  • In the more memoir oriented book, the author asks a great question: If you wanted to connect yourself to anyone in the past through ritual, who would it be? Would it be a group? The idea being, you would mimic their behavior or rituals in hopes of seeing some truth that they obviously knew. In a way, ritual can be like time travel, you can connect with people that are no longer among the living.
  • Ponder that for a month.
  • In the same book, the author stopped running from God around the year 2000, the basic same timeline that I stopped running from God.
  • Thinking this over, it's staggering to think about where I was then, at the beginning of faith, and where I am now. How many books have I read on the subject since then? How many articles? Not to mention all the things that have come and gone in my life: A house, two kids, a dream job gained and lost, a community of people I'm now connected with, friends come and gone.
  • Staggering.
  • The other book, the one that's just trying to lead to a more open minded reading of Scripture, it's a dense book. Full of tons of ideas and tangents, but they're all great fun and somewhat revelatory. It's hard to put down, but full of things that I could ponder for hours and hours on their own.
  • One of the big ideas I think the author is trying to get at is the idea that we should take care not to make more of the Bible than we do God. Don't let the Bible itself become an idol to the point that we ignore what we know about God.
  • If we know and experience God in a positive, loving way, why are we so easily convinced that God isn't loving when we encounter Scripture that appears to portray him as less so?
  • He highly recommends further study, especially in regards to context, history, culture, and even possible problems with translation errors when we're talking about the English language.
  • None of this is exactly new to me, but he does have some amazing illustrations that he uses to make his points.
  • If curiosity has gotten the better of you, the authors I'm currently reading are Peter Gomes and Mitch Albom - again, in many ways, oceans apart. The books, The Good Book, Reading with Mind and Heart and Have a Little Fatih, A True Story. The latter is available right now at a local, going out of business, Borders store near you at a very reasonable price.
  • I've gotten back in to some of my rituals this week.
  • I may do another random post soon based on the Albom book. I'm only about a quarter of the way through the Gomes tomes, they're going to be a while.
  • I like to face my fears. I don't want my life to be ruled by fear. Here's the thing though… I'm terrified of whales. I don't think I can face that fear. They're down there in the deep, big enough to swallow a person whole.
  • My kids ask for broccoli when we're grocery shopping. I'm proud, but it's also weird. I'm sure it's our fault too.
  • Has anyone else experienced this? We've bought about a hundred ink pens in the past two years. Do you think I can ever find one? My kids love to draw, so they're always snatching the pens, but what are they doing with them? Are they somehow falling into the foundation of my house? Is the upholstery of our couch packed with pens?


  1. I love the randomness of your blog entries and yet the way they seem to be connected in a rather common theme, Brian. I think it's cool the way you just sort of seem to let your mind wander and then write down everything that flashes across the screen. I sense from your writing an honesty and willingness to listen to opposing/contradictory views, while, at the same time, just putting out the "this is who I am and what I think about...." type of essay. Thanks for being who you are and for being willing to share!

  2. Have you read RADICAL yet? It's sorta, well, radical.