Category Archives: Jesus

Christmas Eve Thoughts

Jesus probably wasn’t born today. Or tomorrow. Or really anytime in December.

But that doesn’t really matter. We celebrate anyway.

But what do we celebrate? What does the birth of the Messiah mean to us today?

It means God is with the poor and suffering. Jesus wasn’t sent into a family of wealth. He was sent to a poor, young girl and her fiancee.

And he was sent as our Savior. How could someone who was poor and powerless be the savior of the world?

He could be our savior exactly because he was poor and powerless. That was the only way to truly save us.

I guess what I’m getting at here is a time to talk about Substitutionary Atonement and how, when we put so much emphasis on it, we miss HUGE parts of the mission of Christ.

Jesus came as a child. He lived a life, a life probably no one reading this blog can even imagine. It was a life of poverty, of struggle. A life in a society where one’s worth was determined almost entirely by one’s class, which is something that’s better understood by those in India and the Middle East. Not something we really understand in the West.

He lived for 30 years on this earth, after which he began a ministry. This ministry lasted for 3 years. 3 years of him teaching and teaching some of the same things over and over again to his disciples, who at the end, still didn’t get it.

Now let me ask a question. If Jesus’s ultimate mission was to die on the cross, for the purposes of giving us a free ticket out of hell, why in the world would he spend 33 years in poverty when all he needed to do was slip down, get killed, and come back from the dead. Surely it wasn’t just because God needed to take up more pages in the Bible.

My theory is that God’s plan involved more than just Substitutionary Atonement. Much more. And while that was a piece of the puzzle, it wasn’t the big picture. The big picture involves redemption of the whole world, and Jesus’s life came to teach us how that could occur from the bottom up, rather than the top down.

This viewpoint gives Jesus 33 years an actual purpose. He was showing us the way. Not just the way to escape hell, but the way to live life to the full. Through Jesus example, we can see that its not an easy life. The life of a Christian will get you persecuted. But because he died and rose, we have no reason to fear death, for as he rose from the dead, so one day will we. So we are freed to live a radical life such as his, regardless of the consequences. This is the only way that the world can once again be restored to perfection, restored to what God intended it to be all along. Hearts cannot be changed through law. They can only be changed through radical grace and love. And the sooner Christians start to understand that, the sooner things will change.

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Personal Post

Man.

I’ve been having a lot of trouble coming up with ideas for posts. Probably because life is crazy and uncertain and busy and boring all at the same time.

I need a job.

I’m gonna put the real estate thing on the backburner… I will continue to keep my license, but I’m going to be part time. I need a full time job. If anyone knows of anything open, I would greatly appreciate it. Preferably something with benefits, or something that pays more than 12 bucks an hour. I’ve got a resume if you need one.

In other news, I played a show at Rocketown in support of Ron Paul yesterday (Saturday). Most people left while I was playing, but I’d like to believe its because their friends had all ready played, not because I was bad.

I’m winning in the Blogger Bowl as of last week. Depending upon the outcome of the Colts/Patriots game that is currently underway, I may or may not still hold that position.

One thing that sucks about living in East Nashville is events at LP Field. Last night was the TSU homecoming game, so all the roads were closed to get to where I live. Today, there was a Titans game, and once again, all roads were blocked… and then the game got out. And the interstate became a parking lot. Its like downtown Atlanta before a Braves game.

As of last Friday, I have been married for 5 months. That is absolutely nuts. I’m gonna wake up one morning and have 3 kids, a mortgage, and still two cats. Crazy.

I think I don’t like church. Kinda weird coming from a guy who used to love church. It continues to become more and more awkward. Will I ever stop going? Nah. Maybe it will be more meaningful when I have said 3 kids, but for right now, everything about Sunday morning seems forced. Whether its Sunday School or the worship service. I feel like intellectualism is lacking at our churches. And it feels like emotionalism reigns. Man. I’m sounding like an old school conservative.

Anyway, that’s all I have. Comments are welcome.

The picture is all that’s needed

Hat Tip to Brittney at NIT 

Faith and Doubt

Do you ever sit down and just think, “Do I really have it right?”

Occasionally, that thought will enter my mind as I contemplate the complexities of humanity and reality. When I start to apply a strictly rational thought process to my faith, I wonder, is this really true? Did Jesus really come back to life? Is there really an all powerful being out there that created us and everything around us? Sometimes its just difficult to wrap your mind around. I’m sure I’m not the only person who thinks about this sometimes. Surely I’m not the only one who struggles with doubting.

I just read this post from a featured blog on wordpress. It says the the hubble telescope has disproved God. I thought the title was interesting so I hopped over there. I had never thought about it before, but because stars are so far away, when we see their light, we are actually looking back in time. We’re seeing light that happened years and years ago. Or really, billions of years ago. It simultaneously causes doubt and belief. Its weird to believe that the universe has been around so long, yet humans have been around for a brief period of time in comparison. Why did God take so long to do that if we were the purpose of his creation? But also, when I see things like this article, I think, “there is no way that this happened on accident.”

I don’t know, I struggle. Belief is a hard enough thing. Faith that moves you to act is even harder. I pray that I have more faith. I pray that for everyone that reads this.

Local Evangelizing

Today I made a trip to Wal Mart. I typically avoid the world’s largest discount retail store on Saturdays, but I needed a mustache so I can be Borat at our Halloween party tonight. Target didn’t have anything and Party City was packed out with people.

As Carrie and I entered the parking lot, we saw something out of the ordinary (which really means something at an exurban Wal Mart on a Saturday). There was a man carrying a cross (Jesus style) down an aisle of cars.

That’s right, just in case you didn’t believe what you just read, a guy was walking around the Wal Mart Parking lot carrying a cross.

I assume this is just some sort of weird evangelizing thing. I mean, if I were a crazy fundamentalist, I would have done things much differently. Perhaps, I’d make the man dress as Jesus, with all out, straight from Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ make up. You know, scare the little kids. Its halloween, and we all know that halloween is the perfect time for scary Jesus to come out, as well as to scare people into accepting Jesus (see Judgement House and SBC).

Would that be effective for anyone?

There is a ton of stuff going on in the world today. In the political realm, the Foley situation has gotten more and more interesting by the minute. According to Matt Drudge, the instant messages that were leaked were to a young man who was 18, not 16 as previously reported. Also, there is speculation that a blogger (possibly the daily kos) is responsible for setting up a faux blog about pedophiles for the express purpose of outing Foley. I’m hesitant to even link to this, but blogactive.com has actually outed a whole host of Republicans… presumably for political purposes. Regardless your opinion on homosexuality, this is disgusting.

Second, gun violence in schools has been occuring more frequently of late. None of these incidents has gotten more coverage than the recent shooting at an Amish schoolhouse. After a week of discusion on pacifism over at GKB’s blog as well as some at preachermike.com, relating to Sean Hannity and Coleman Yoakum at Harding University, a real life situation has happened and real pacifism has been shown to the world. And not only that, but Spirit led forgiveness has been mirrored to the nations. Praise God for the Amish! Also, Scott Freeman is doing a series on non violence. It will be a good read.

And lastly, fall is arriving with full force. I think the foliage is going to be prettier than I’ve ever seen in my life. Its all ready gorgeous on 840 between the Boro and Franklin. High temperatures next wee will be in the 70s and towards the end of the week will be in the low 60s. I love autumn.

Five Years Ago

Five years and a week ago today, I was in New York City. My family had gone up to West Point New York to visit my aunt and uncle, and Monday (Labor Day) of 01 was our day to take a trip down to the city. We did canal street. We did broadway. We walked right underneath the World Trade Center.

A week later, they were gone.

However, unlike most people, I didn’t see things happening in real time. My high school was one of the few who kept us in the dark about what was occuring in our world on that day. Around second period, we were hearing whispers that something had happened. Something bad. Something, but we didn’t know what.

At Lunch, I over heard a youth minister talking to my Geometry teacher. “Maybe 50,000 dead,” I heard. I wanted to know what was going on. I’d soon get a taste.

Fourth period, all the teachers at school were allowed to make one statement. “Earlier this morning, two planes hit the world trade center in New York.” No questions were answered. Nothing more than that statement.

When school let out, I went straight to my car to turn on the radio. I figured Sean Hannity would be talking about what happened. Turns out, everyone was talking about what happened. No music. Just talk. Descriptions of images I had yet to see on every station. I figured I should skip baseball practice.

When I got home, my mom was glued to the tv set. I sat down in awe as I saw the first images of what had occured that morning. Disbelief. No homework would be done for the next couple days as I spent every minute at home in front of the television.

I’m not going to lie. I was angry. I didn’t love my enemies at that point. I hated my enemies. Whether it was Saddam or Osama, I wanted them dead. I actually remember saying that we should string up Osama bin Laden in New York city and Let everyone have a turn hitting him with a baseball bat. Its amazing how when faced with evil, we turn away from Christ.

Still looking back on it five years later, I don’t know how to love Osama bin Laden. I don’t know how to love the men who flew planes into buildings, killing nearly 3000 people. I pray that I can find the strength. I pray for the kingdom of God to break out in the world so that true peace can occur. I pray for forgiveness for harboring hate in my heart.