On depression and grace

23 February 2012

Another week and a half, another absence from the blog.  No matter how often this happens, I never seem to get used to it.

I know I should be more consistent with this.  For one, I have plenty of things to say.  For another, people seem to like them (or at least read them).  And I know the best way to “build traffic” to a blog is to post something, anything, every day.  So I know these long absences are working against my best interests.

And yet they still occur.  The reason they still occur, while simple to state, is not so simply remedied.  Basically, I find it hard to write when I’m depressed.

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Women in ministry: another view

13 December 2011

I was over at InternetMonk.com, reading an article dealing with women ministering in the church — specifically, with one (male) teacher’s statement that women should not be allowed to perform general teaching ministry in the church.  This concept usually goes under the title of “complementarianism” in Christian circles, though it also shows up in Islam and some sects of Judaism.

Now, I hesitate to leave it there, because to give this general theological stance a single name is kind of misleading — there are dozens of differing opinions even among self-proclaimed complementarians as to where the line between what women are and aren’t allowed to do in ministry should be drawn.  To some, no public ministry is allowed for women, ever.  To others, women are not allowed to preach or teach except to other women, or except to small children, or at some church functions but not others, or in hiding where the neighbors can’t see it … and so on.  I saw one report recently where a prominent evangelical leader, in answer to a question of whether it’s OK to listen to female Bible teachers on the radio, said that it’s probably all right … as long as the woman in question wasn’t the guy’s “primary teacher.”  (He left “primary teacher” undefined, so who knows what he meant.)  In regard to women in ministry, there’s a lot of that kind of hair-splitting in Christian circles.

One of the commenters on the article (credit where it’s due) was a fellow who calls himself “Eagle” — an outsider like myself, only more so.  He shared something he’d gotten from elsewhere, that was too pertinent for me not to steal and share with you. Read the rest of this entry »

Liturgical Fidget, part 2 – System analysis

29 October 2011

(Blogger’s note: I should’ve known better than to plan a blog entry for Thursday in the middle of one of the more exciting World Series in recent memory.  Silly me.  Congratulations to the 2011 World Champions of the World, the St. Louis Cardinals.  And if you missed part 1 of “Liturgical Fidget,” click here.  Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled spiritual crisis, already in progress …)

So I’ve been thinking about the possibility of checking out Sunday morning congregational services again — not to analyze the state of the American church, but to be part of an organized body of believers.  Granted that in most Sunday morning services, the opportunities for fellowship (what I discovered I was really missing, as I delineated in part 1) are often limited.  But what fellowship there is, I find I miss.  I’ve been out of the picture for 30 months now, and while I’ve been able to stay in Christian fellowship via a few close friends, plus contact online with other believers, it would be nice to have more.

But there’s something about the whole liturgy of a Sunday morning meeting that still makes me uncomfortable.  It’s also what keeps those fellowship opportunities down.  In a word, it’s liturgy.

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I know when Jesus is NOT coming back!

10 November 2010

Have you heard?  Have you heard?!?  JESUS IS RETURNING!

And he’s returning soon!  In just over six months!  Seriously — on May 21, 2011, Jesus is coming back!  (Hmmm, that’s a Saturday … well, I won’t bother mowing the lawn that day, huh?)

How do I know this?  Well, because against the teaching of Jesus Himself that “no man knows the day or the hour” (Acts 1:7), against the words of the Apostle Paul that Jesus “will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2), against twenty centuries of church tradition that God will not reveal the time of His Son’s return before it happens, I have …

… one pamphlet from Family Radio that I found outside the county courthouse a few months ago.

Um … maybe I don’t really know that at all, do I?

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World Series flotsam

29 October 2010

I watch the Series.  I haven’t missed the Series in years.  Even in the cooler. When I’m in the cooler they run it there or they’ll have a riot.  What’s the matter with you guys?  Come on, be good Americans! — Randall McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

A few random thoughts on the World Series and the San Francisco Giants, who could erase over a half-century of futility (and make me a very happy man) in the next week …

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Out on a literary limb

26 October 2010

I did it.  Yesterday afternoon, I clenched my teeth, summoned up my courage, went ahead and did it.

I still feel nervous about it.  I know there will be people that will think I’ve been wasting my time and energy.  I’ve got a good chance of facing rejection by some very respectable people.  I did it anyway.  I had to.  If I was going to obey what I perceive to be God’s will (not to mention keep my sanity), I needed to do this.

Simply put, this wannabe novelist is back on the horse once again!

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The grand re-opening (and my promise to you)!

18 June 2010

It’s time to fire up the machine once again! – Jim Rome

That’s right, your favorite crazy blogger is back – considering it my grand re-opening after a major emotional/spiritual remodeling.  And this time (Lord willing) I’m back for good!

Some of you will recall that I had to take several months off between August 2009 and March 2010 to deal with a slew of crises in my family, none of which I caused (for once) but all of which impacted me and commandeered most of my time and energy.  (If you don’t recall, you can click here for a quick review.)  I came back in March to re-connect with you, my loyal (or at least tolerant) readers, and managed to crank out a full update on what had been happening, before dropping like a shot pigeon in May of exhaustion caused by … well, all of the above.  And the way I was feeling, I didn’t know when I’d be able to come back.

Until yesterday, when a man I’ve never met gave me a well-placed kick in the tush.

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