Take Offence at Nothing

•August 1, 2009 • 2 Comments

So I recently picked up The Screwtape Letters when I realized it has been 6 years since my eyes graced the pages. Not only is this book an easy read, it is packed with spiritual conviction.

I share a passage early in the book that has got me thinking.

In civilised life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a blow in the face. To keep this game up you and Glubose must see to it that each of these two fools has a sort of double standard. Your patient must demand that all of his own utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same time judging all his mother’s utterances with the fullest and most oversensitive interpretation of the tone and context and the suspected intention. She must be encouraged to do the same to him Hence from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or very nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent. You know the kind of things: “I simply ask her what time dinner will be and she flies into a temper.” Once this habit is firmly established you have the delightful situation of a human saying things with the express purpose of offending and yet having a a grievance when offence is taken.1

I have been married now for 6 years and I love my wife dearly. I know that I am guilty of the above. I say ‘innocent’ things at a time I know is not helpful in a tone I know she doesn’t like. Then when she gets angry I play dumb and get upset.

I am being entirely unfair to her and ultimately damaging myself by way of my marriage. This is totally not what I want to do. I want to be a good husband. One that my kids (when I have them) can look up to an see what a man should be like with his wife. I want to be a man of honour.

So I guess I step out, speak slowly, and try to watch my tone. I step out and do not take offence at the little things. I step out and love my wife as God meant her to be loved.

Wish me luck.

1The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Touchstone, New York 1961.

Impressive Faith

•December 11, 2008 • 3 Comments

One of my co-workers has impressive faith. A few weeks ago she left a friend’s house (new ager) and felt she needed to pray for them. She turned the car around and asked to pray for them.

By the end of the prayer they were all crying. There were deep uncertainties in their lives and they were wondering about this whole god thing. They hadn’t acknowledged it on the surface yet but they realized it was there for a while.

Would you do that? I know I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even say outloud that it crossed my mind for fear of being held accountable to the impressions of the Father in my heart.

“Lord open my heart.” How do you live? Do you listen or do you fear being embarrassed like me?

Want to Break Free?

•December 8, 2008 • 4 Comments

I want to break free of this time in my life. I know I have written lots lately that is kinda down. It’s not uplifting, cause I don’t feel uplifted. I feel antsy.

Church grates on me. Don’t get me wrong I have found a great church. I love the people there. The fellowship with them personally is awesome. We have a great pastor who preaches the truth and doesn’t pull punches.

But I still feel restless every Sunday. I sit there and feel like I am confined. Like there are some chains on me that keep me in place in the seat at church.

I would much rather be quiet in the mountains. Or canoe in silence over the lake early in the morning and enjoy the silence rather than the noise of daily life.

I need to break free. I want to break free. I listen to that old Queen classic “I want to break free” and my soul resonates with the lyrics.

I need to break free of the lies that are around me. I need to live a life that is for God. I have fallen in love for the first time again with what I need in God and want to drop the crap.

Now I search for the way to do it. Have you broken free?

The Power of Fellowship

•September 4, 2008 • 4 Comments

So we started back with our small group tonight after the summer off. You know what I missed the most time with other Christians.

Yeah I work in a Christian Ministry now so I interact with other believers everyday. They people at work don’t have the history with me that my small group has though.

My small group has been together for a few years and we have shared some tough times for all of us. They were there to support me when my parent seperated a few months back. In fact one couple is old enough to be my parents. They get to be a great example of staying together when the times were tough, they do have quite the story of tough times.

That type of knowing and fellowship even though they know that you aren’t perfect is amazing. Today I suggest that if your church has some small groups then you need to get involved. Make some time in your schedule. The time spent will be returned many times over in the input into your life.

PS. Thanks to those who left comments and emailed after the last post. It’s nice to know that some people are still out there.

Discipline

•August 21, 2008 • 3 Comments

It’s been a while since I posted (wonder if anyone will still read this). Thanks for those who emailed me. I am great working a new job (Insight for Living Canada as a web designer) and attending a wonderful church.

This post has been sparked by my new job. I will readily admit that spiritual discipline has always been a hard thing for me. I can discipline myself to exercise (I ride at least 100k a week on my bike and whitewater kayak 3 days) and have disciplined myself to learn web design over the last few years. But discipline myself to pray or read the Bible, no way!

I often soothe myself with the thought that lots of people are like me and it’s not like I beat my wife or watch dirty movies. I’m a nice guy. I’m the guy you call at the last minute to help you move because everyone else didn’t show up. I’m the guy you call when your car breaks down and you need me to drive 3 hours each way to get you. But nice guy doesn’t cut it in spiritual food.

As stated in the intro here I now work for a christian minsitry. We are the Canadian branch of Insight for Living (Chuck Swindoll’s ministry). Obviously I get lots of interaction with Christians but what has had the biggest impact on my faith is the daily prayer time. I have especially loved hearing the other men I work with bring their broken hearts to the table and be vulnerable. Men you know what I am talking about. We pray every morning, and read a devotional (of course it’s written by Chuck).

This routine has really helped enforce in me the need to have one of my own (and one with my wife and I). I can’t say that I get it all the time but I’m working on it.

The Job Times in Life

•April 12, 2008 • 6 Comments

So what do you do when you are facing a Job moment in life? My family is currently going through a moment like this. Financial strain has lasted for my parents for years. Now one of them has decided that they need to move out.

I am not naive enough to assume that there is only fault on one person’s side. No matter what each says they are both equally responsible for the relational difficulties that they have together, just as my wife and I share parts in every fight we have.

So I am in need of some encouragement. What do you do when the life you have had crumbles around you?

Is God Done with the Church?

•January 28, 2008 • 8 Comments

God’s plan for believers in this world is the church. The church is the place in which we are supposed to fellowship. In the church we are supposed to live our lives and learn how to live them for Christ. I firmly believe that the church is supposed to be for Christians today. What I am not sure about is what Christians have made of the church.

What is the Church

When I say the word church what is it that you think? For most of my life I thought of the building that my church inhabited. For most of my life I was taught that the building was the church. But you know what it isn’t. I know that many of you have heard this by now, but the church is the people. The building is not the church. With this freeing realization we are free to cast off the building that has always been the focus of our attention.

Casting off the Building

What things come with a building? A place to meet, a place to hold events. With a building comes a place to store your stuff, a place to keep your expensive stuff safe from thievery. But that is not it, with a building you also get bills. You have to pay a mortgage, hydro, heat… You have all that money sucked up into maintaining this massive building. With a building many people also feel that the building always has to be full. Each night has to be full of events, no idleness is allowed. The church I currently attend has no building and no plans to get a building so they are free of all of those bills and that need to fill the building with people to define success.

Happily Sitting in a Rented Space

As I have said my church sits in a rented space. We happily go out and involve ourselves in the community as our church activities. We don’t have everything in the building we go out. Outside of Sunday morning and Christmas eve services we don’t use the building on a regular basis. Our pastor shares an office space with another church. If you asked him he would probably say that having another pastor not emotionally involved in our politics as a sounding board is amazing. So I am happy with no building.

 
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