Thursday, December 30, 2004


“Perhaps after death was nothing. But if there was something, then he couldn’t believe it had anything to do with the earthly things that the body had done except insofar as those things altered one’s soul, one’s state of consciousness.”
Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver

I can’t lead the life that Jesus lived, I am a sinner. But recently I've been challenged to have an attitude that is “the same as that of Christ Jesus”. And I mostly get why this is a good idea, but aren’t I just setting myself up for failure and how’s that going to make me feel: guilty and shameful. Even if I tried my absolute best, I’m still going to sin against God and my fellow human beings in thought, word, and deed. So what is the point?

The point is not - because I’ll be a better person or because it is the right thing to do or because it will help me get into heaven. But there must be some point, so then I wonder, what is my motivation? There are many theories about what motivates us humans. Recently, in Adam’s Curse, the author offers that there may be a genetic cause that affects our motivation, that our cells are actually manipulating us. Maslow, in his Theory of Human Motivation, states that “man is a perpetually wanting animal”. Wanting what: love, a sense of purpose, self-actualization? I think what we want is our God-given life that has been buried under the weight of the world. I believe that when I can somehow ignore what the world thinks is important and practice having an attitude that is “the same as that of Christ Jesus”, I may then, on very rare occasions, briefly understand what the point is. At least that’s my motivation.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2004


John was in prison when he heard what Christ was doing. So John sent some of his followers to ask Jesus, "Are you the one we should be looking for? Or must we wait for someone else?” Matthew 11:2-3, CEV

Doubt can be a powerful force. I usually feel it coming on slowly, needling it’s way into my heart and soul, persistent and consuming. I may be able to push it out of my mind for a time, only to have it come back stronger and more well-organized. Doubt feeds on my life’s unsettled situations and unhappy feelings. Eventually I’ll hit rock bottom and doubt will appear to have eclipsed my faith. I reach for the faint outlines of my faith and try to hang on, but it feels this quest for faith is impossible and endless. Finally, a turning point will occur – some act or word or kindness will rekindle my faith and help me push doubt out of the way.

I believe, as with all aspects of growing into our life, our faith journey will encounter doubt. We will learn things and experience things that will make us question our basic beliefs and values. But that’s okay, that’s part of growing up and learning life’s lessons. As a wise man said to me just last week, you cannot have faith without doubt.

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Thursday, December 02, 2004

God is still speaking

I think the UCC has nailed a message that will speak to lots of people ( I like their use of testimonials on the homepage and the way they use the website to assist their UCC churches to "opt in" to the message. I really think the future of church health and welfare will depend on other denominations getting on board with this kind of message and media exposure.

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