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Archive for the ‘Higher callings’ Category

Jun

01

The opportunity finally arose, and I failed. Today, a coworker asked if my wife and I were “religious”. I balked. I blanked. I was left without an adequate response and was shamefully glad when someone else came up with a new matter and changed the focus of conversation. I blew it. A chance to share my faith and I fell flat on my face. I think if the question had been worded differently, I might have had a chance. It’s that word, religious. She didn’t say it with any specific negative connotation; but, I cringe anytime that word comes up. When someone says “religious”, I picture:

Convert or Die!

and

Follow my rules or else!

and

Look at me. I'm holy!

and even this

........

When someone says “religion”, it brings to mind (mine at least) legalistic self righteousness, condemnation, exclusion, division, and delusions of relevance. It represents the bastardization of all I hold close. It brings to mind images of pious people who “live for God” from 10:30 to Noon on Sunday, and live to edify themselves the rest of the week by letting everyone know how religious they are. You know them. They have an ichthus on the back of their car and some witty bumper sticker with a cute catch phrase that is highly visible in its irony as they flip someone off in traffic. It represents the legalistic ritualisms of Catholicism that seem so alien to those unfamiliar (and even to some of us who are [I’ll spare you my rant on the Catholic church for the time being]).

All of the above represent such a weak, lukewarm, watered-down substitute that pales in comparison to the joy my wife and I have in our walk with God. It’s so much more than that.

How then am I to profess my faith without being lumped in with all of that? Is there time enough for such a monologue in casual conversation? If there is, it escaped me when I was on the spot. I’ve been thinking about that wasted opportunity all evening. Who am I? I know who I am in God. Who am I in public? I spend so much time on trying not to be like (and therefor be associated with) the aforementioned examples that I fear I never really project a spiritual identity of my own. Is my only witness when I choose not to go out to the bar for work social functions? Is the polo shirt I have with our church’s name on it, the only way anyone would know what I believe? I need to develop my spiritual identity. Who am I?

Who am I?

In what do I believe?

“Well I believe in second chances
I believe the world is gonna end
But I would do anything to set the record straight ” – Mike Herrera

So let’s set it straight.

I believe in the omnipotent, all powerful God of the Bible; the God of Isaac, Jacob, and Abraham.

I am a follower of Christ. I believe He is the only son of God, fully God and fully man. I believe he led a perfect life, was crucified, and raised the third day, and in the process bore the consequences of my sin. By His stripes I am healed, and in His death, I have eternal life. I believe He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other way to God, but through Jesus Christ.

I believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. If it is in the Bible, it is true. Conversely, I believe that the Bible closes with:

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.

And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”

I believe this to be the end of the divine word of God. Anything written thereafter, I consider to be the work of man, whose motives are always suspect.

Here’s what I don’t believe. I do not consider myself “better” than anyone else. I’m just as screwed up as anyone else, if not more so. I’m a filthy fallible sinner, and I always will be. It is by God’s grace that I am saved. I can do nothing on my own but fall short of the standard.

I also believe that this has taken a lot longer to write than I expected.

I believe my wife is missing me right about now.

I believe she’s probably mad.

I believe I should go now.

If this has offended anyone, I regret it not.

“Like Father always said, and I can only agree
Son they will hate you because they always hated Me” – Andrew Schwab

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Dec

29

Especially after 2 weeks. Things have started looking up a little bit. Here’s a rundown of the updates. The possum did manage to climb out using the board the morning following the last post. We heard him clanging around 4:00 am and haven’t seen him since. We called Nebraska Furniture Mart back after the last e-mail. This time, the lady who answered knew all about it: “Yeah, we’ve just been telling everyone to bring those back.” So, we took it back and got credit for it. We decided to go with a name brand this time. It cost us more money we don’t have, but hopefully it’s an investment for the future.

Christmas went well. It was great to see my parents. Got plenty of nice presents. My wife outdid herself with a trifecta: a weight bench, a fitted size 7 7/8 NU hat (yes, my skull is huge), and she surprised me with an iPod shuffle.

Check the hat

The iPod’s been giving me crap since day 1. I’ll give it one more day to get its act straight before exchanging.
All in all, things, while not necessarily looking up, have leveled off. Disaster has been averted. Again. God is good. He’s got this bad habit of helping me put things in perspective and saving me from myself In an act of intense originality, I will again close this one out with someone else’s words. My eyes have been opened.

Comatose – John Cooper
I hate feeling like this
I’m so tired of trying to fight this
I’m asleep and all I dream of is waking to You

Tell me that You will listen
Your touch is what I’m missing
And the more I hide I realize I’m slowly losing You

Comatose
I’ll never wake up without an overdose of You
I don’t wanna live
I don’t wanna breathe
‘less I feel You next to me
You take the pain I feel
I don’t wanna sleep
I don’t wanna dream
’cause my dreams don’t comfort me
The way You make me feel

I hate living without You
Dead wrong to ever doubt You
But my demons lay in waiting
Tempting me away
Oh how I adore You
Oh how I thirst for You
Oh how I need You

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Nov

21

The Hammering Process

Posted by: mose

Posted in: Higher callings

This piece has been weighing on my heart lately. It was written by an e-quaintence from the old Project 86 message boards, Oni (Graham). The styling is rough and unprofessional. The meter doesn’t fit at times. I think that’s why I love it. It forgoes pretention for substance. It’s raw and it’s real. The piece itself is untitled, as far as I know (I’ve tried to find Graham a couple of times since 2001 when he showed this to me, but to no avail), so the title of this post was instead borrowed from a Living Sacrifice album. I hope they both sue me.

Eyes are as hot as the throat

Screams silence my own self

While tears sizzle and burn the layers away.

How much hate can a body hold for something?

How long until a force of sin pushes too far?

Can the Enemy overdo it?

Has the fallen pushed too hard on me?

It was so warm. I in Him and Him in me.

Nothing could tear Him away.

But what could tear me away?

The flies knew.

A chain of events well planned but poorly masked.

I stood facing the moon bewildered, only then realizing the newfound but familiar sound of shackles.

A woodworker shuffles His feet close behind me.

The knowledge of what was happening pounded at my chest, shattering my heart.

I looked at the Carpenter.

“Help,” Then the ground grew large fast.

But He wouldn’t allow me to crumble.

He grabbed me.

Used His hands to hold up a filthy animal.

Used His Light to change a filthy animal.

Used His Love to use the soldier.

I stood up on my new legs.

I had something to do.

I ran into the wilderness screaming.

There was someone who had to die.

I stopped under a hot black sky.

There was no moon.

I started to dig.

1 Foot

2 Foot

3

4

5

6

Done.

I let go.

I landed in the grave face first.

I could hear the soft patter of rain hitting the cracked soil above.

Pat pat became faster.

Pat pat pat became a solid roar.

Water began to fill my grave.

It tasted so good.

I looked into the pool of water waiting for my body to surface.

Nothing.

In the distance lightning lit up the horizon.

The outline of an occupied cross catches my eye.

I didn’t need to go closer.

I knew I hung on that cross.

With a tongue of fire from above, the cross was consumed and everything on it.

No more “Take this” and “Take that.”

This was take it ALL.

I am evil. All of me. Take it all and create a new creature.

Keep that cross. I don’t want it.

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