Saturday, May 26, 2012

WEEKENDS ARE FOR FUN

Your Arm's Too Short to Box With God... One of my favorite Gary Larson comix.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE

I made this vid last fall when I went to Glorieta; dedicated to my Love, Karen.

video

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MOMENTS OF JOY

My son Jacob and my "Daughter" Stephanie led worship at our church this Sunday. It's such a joy to see your children doing something because they want to and not just because you pushed them into doing it.

And that's not all. My son Joshua was voted Teacher of the year at his rather large high school by a vote of his peers. East Side is not like the school I went to. It is organized according to the collegiate model; that is, there are different--separate--schools of math, science, music, social studies art, etc. He is rather shy about it, but I think it says a lot in that kind of setting for the Art teacher to win this award.

I remember hearing Greg Lauri when I was still in college and we were both infants. He was admonishing us young, hep, trendy and cool Jesus Hippy-types that change comes to everyone. "Someday" he said, (and I paraphrase from memory, here) We'll be standing up here worshiping with Children of the Day in long gray hair and walkers. Our kids are gonna come in wearing (basically, he described Alex P. Keaton) and demanding that we sing hymns and use an organ. "And we're gonna say; 'Son, God can only use drums and electric guitars'."

Who knew our kids would be cooler than us?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

DON'S "NOT GEAR" ROAD TRIP

I spent the evening editing my Road Trip movie. This is the trip I filmed back in October when I went to the Southwest Writers Studio in Glorieta, New Mexico. When I finish editing I'll put the whole thing up on the blog. For now, here is a clip.

video

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DOUBT

In the Bruce Willis movie, "TEARS OF THE SUN," there is an exchange between a priest and a nun upon learning their African mission church is under attack by rogue soldiers. The nun confides her fears to the priest who sternly rebukes her, saying she must have faith and not doubt. ...Okay, even I would encourage her to have faith in that situation. But, no doubts? Really? EVER?

I don't call that faith. I call that sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes and chanting "La-la-la-la-la!" to life's challenges. I think you would have to have the nerves and imagination of a bag of cement to NEVER doubt.

Perhaps this in not what the screen writer meant to convey. Maybe he simply meant we should have faith in God and not doubt God's love. Maybe that's what he meant. But I still have a problem with this thinking. It shows a weak grasp of the reality of human nature and the true message the scriptures teach us about God's expectations in light of our many failings.

Doubt is normal. It is human to go into a situation wondering if it will work out; fearing it won't. Faith is not the absence of doubt. Faith is trusting that God is good and working for my good even when things are falling apart around me. As a young believer I really struggled with the meaning of faith because I was not working with a good definition.  I thought faith was something you felt--like love, or happiness, or seasickness. I did not know faith is something you do or don't do.

The Greek word used in the New Testament is "pestueo." It is eye-opening to realize it takes three English words to encompass the meaning of "pestueo:" faith, believe and trust. When we talk about faith we must  keep belief and trust in mind. It is one thing to say I have faith in that two hundred year old rocking chair. It is quite another to trust it to hold my considerable weight.

Put it another way: as a boy, my dad taught me to swim by standing in the deep end of the pool. "Jump," he'd say, "I'll catch you." When I jumped, I had faith in my dad. When I did not jump, it is because I did not believe he would really catch me.

Sometimes--even after my dad had caught me numerous times--I doubted. Did my dad give up on me? Disown me? No. He stood in the deep end and said, "Jump, I'll catch you." That is a much better picture of faith and doubt than some stained glass, philosophical exercise.

Some people turn up their nose at this reality. Like the fictional priest on "TEARS OF THE SUN" they sternly demand perfection. Thank God the Almighty is a bit more realistic. I know, I know, someone will quote "be perfect for I am perfect" at me. But in fact, the word translated "perfect" in English actually means "mature," or "complete."

Aside from God, my favorite person in all the Bible is the man who brought his sick son to Jesus for healing. He says, "If you can do anything, help us." Jesus answered, "If you can’? Everything is possible for one who believes." The father's answer is classic: "I do believe; help my unbelief!" You know what? Jesus healed that boy and did not rebuke the father for doubt.


You are going to have doubts. The good news is you don't have to believe your doubts. You can doubt them.