Because Every Story Matters

February 27, 2015 Leave a comment

I was talking with a friend the other day and he was trying to remember a specific song. He said, “All I remember is that the song is about a girl…” That narrows it down to about 98% of all rock and roll, minus a few Beach Boys songs about cars… which are still probably about girls, anyway…

Please continue reading today’s post at Eastern Hills Staff Blog.

Can I Be Conceited For A Moment?

February 6, 2015 1 comment

I really don’t like conceited people. Or maybe more accurately – I don’t like it when people are conceited. Even if they have the goods to back it up, it is still a very unattractive quality. Because it bothers me so much, I have really worked to avoid it in my own life.  And, with the exception of some incidents in college that were quickly and summarily dealt with by good friends, I think I have mostly avoided it. Until today… I know this is totally conceited and full of self, but I have to say it (because it is true…):

I am way too pretty to be this old.

Before the laughter really kicks in, let me clarify… I have been on a Rich Mullins kick lately, having read his biography last Fall and then receiving the movie ‘Ragamuffin’ for Christmas… and it is one of the things he said that has spurred this blog…

“So go out and live real good and I promise you’ll get beat up real bad. But, in a little while after you’re dead, you’ll be rotted away anyway.”

I had heard this quote before without much effect but that is because I think I misunderstood it. I read the word ‘good’ and assumed that he meant if we ‘live real good’ in the sense of faith and Christ-likeness that we will be beat up real bad by enemies of faith. But now I am not sure that is what he meant…

Recently, I listened in on a conversation with a group of friends as they traded stories about scars and tattoos and piercings… a story or adventure behind every mark… some of the stories were grand, some were silly, some were tragic, some were plain stupid… but all were about life lived. And these lives lived had resulted in bodies marked.

To live real good… sometimes that involves choices about right and wrong – that kind of good… but oftentimes it’s you and some friends and they all decide to jump at an adventure – do you go or hang back? Do you risk the scar and gain the story? or do you hold back and stay pretty? stay safe?

I am way too pretty to be this old and I feel like it’s time for some scars, tattoo’s, and piercings of my own and the stories that come with them…

Categories: Musings

Go Ye Forth and Do Something… Normal?

February 4, 2015 1 comment

Anyone who knows me knows that I love heroes… whether super heroes from comic books, the unexpected heroes of fantasy novels, biblical heroes of faith, or the underdog heroes who surprise everyone (including themselves) when they step up… I love when ordinary people become extraordinary.

Please continue reading today’s post at Eastern Hills Staff Blog.

That’s How We Roll…

January 21, 2015 Leave a comment

Worship and prayer are funny things… the New Testament gives us some specific direction about intent and motivation, but less about method and mode. It strikes me as interesting how we humans get it reversed and try to enforce strict guidelines about practice and ignore to great extent the content.

Direction on the invisible and freedom on the visible…

Please continue reading today’s post at Eastern Hills Staff Blog.

Inappropriate Conversations With God

Have you ever had an inappropriate conversation with someone? Said the absolute wrong thing… brought up a taboo subject… reopened an old wound… a badly timed joke… or flat out gone for the jugular?

Most of us have been taught to avoid the inappropriate at all costs because it is so… well, inappropriate.

Being appropriate is so much nicer. And cleaner. And tidier. And sterile. And safer. And lonelier. And easier to hide behind.

Please continue reading today’s post at Eastern Hills Staff Blog.

More Light

December 23, 2014 Leave a comment

We just passed December 21st… the Winter Solstice… the shortest day of the year… the first day of Winter… sigh…

For a lot of folks here in the snowy northeast the Winter is great – the people who love to ski or snowboard, the ones who have snow-blowers, and a white Christmas is never a bad thing. But for others, Winter is hard. The cold, the long nights, the isolation and solitude can spell despair. And don’t even talk about driving conditions…

Please continue reading today’s post at Eastern Hills Staff Blog.

What Rich Said…

December 10, 2014 Leave a comment

I have been a big fan of Rich Mullins for years – love his music and am always challenged by his thoughts and faith. While the date may not be as influential as the death of Kennedy or Lennon, I remember where I was the day he died in 1997.

Recently, I read his biography ‘An Arrow Pointing to Heaven’ by James Bryan Smith and came across the following quote:

“It’s not gonna matter if you had a few scars, it will matter if you didn’t live.”

As a guy who often asks the question “Is this safe?” I am both challenged by and somewhat shamed by these words. Because the fact of the matter is – life is dangerous.

No one denies this. Parents teach their kids all sorts of ways to stay safe from crossing the street to ‘stranger danger’. Our vehicles are loaded down with increasingly sophisticated safety devices. Products are covered in warning labels, my Starbucks coffee warns me that this delicious drink is extremely hot!

Even Scripture touches on this, Psalm 103 says:

The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

With all the emphasis on danger and protect yourself and ‘its place remembers it no more,’ one could easily rationalize isolationism and a cocoon lifestyle. But still there lingers what Rich said…

Somewhere along the line we bought the idea that a good life is easy, clean, and pain free. But that is not life, that’s a coma. I know toy collectors who value most highly the toys that are untouched and still in their original packaging. But those aren’t toys, those are museum pieces.

Toys are meant to be played with. Lives are meant to be lived.

To live is to feel. To live is messy. To live is reckless and risky. To live is dangerous. And in the end, if you have lived, you will be spent and used up. You will be wrinkled and scarred. You will be marred. And better to be bent and broken with a life full of adventures than clean with a life full of staying in your original packaging.

At least, that’s what Rich said…

 

Categories: Musings
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