Thursday, August 20, 2009


I've never been the best at life transitions. In some ways, I've been able to roll with the punches and counter pretty successfully. In others, it's almost as if I have a tendency to retreat within myself, either scared of the next step or simply trying to protect myself from the pain of the break. I'm not really sure but it's something I've noticed.

I'm in the midst of a transition right now in my life, right in the midst as a matter of fact, as my job of nearly ten years has come to a close on this day. It's not been a perfect job but it's been an interesting one, providing me with food for thought, great friendships, and flexibility that was much needed during that season. I'm sad to see this chapter come to a close, in some respects, but am also pretty excited to see what the next season will hold. My only fear is that, as in some times in the past, I retreat instead of marching forward.

In the meantime, here's to you, all my Living Word cohorts, past, present, and perhaps future. It's been an adventure!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kung Fu Kitchen

This is the conversation Tyler and I had last night as I was preparing dinner:

Tyler: Dad, what kind of rice are you making?

Me: Chinese rice.

Tyler: What's in Chinese rice?

Me: Carrots, onions, celery, ginger, garlic, chicken...

Tyler: No, no, no...That's not right!

Me: What?

Tyler: Jackie Chan only has white rice. That's Chinese rice...

So maybe I introduced the kung fu movie a tad soon...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Disagreeing With Tozer

The great pastor/preacher A.W. Tozer has always been a great source of inspiration for me. From my first discovery of his little pamphlet, How To Be Filled With the Holy Spirit, I was hooked. That led me to other gems of his, most notably his most famous book, The Pursuit of God, and a few others. Plus, it also lead me to some of his fellow contemporaries like Dr. Leonard Ravenhill, who was just as compelling and hardcore as Tozer himself.

So, recently, when my friend offered me a chance to read another Tozer gem, I gladly accepted. The book was Tozer on Worship and Entertainment and it sounded right up my alley, the good culture seeking child that I am. And Tozer didn't disappoint. He doesn't mince words, calling out perceived evils, sins, and gaps wherever they stand. He's old school and calls it as he sees it. And that's something I appreciate, and particularly that Tozer doesn't come across as an uneducated slob either. He's well spoken and convincing.


You knew it was coming didn't you? Some of Tozer's thoughts this time out definitely cause me to pause and, well, frankly, disagree. He makes some solid challenges to the Church, calling out issues of performance that have slipped into our worship which are certainly pertinent to this day. Those issues I have no problem with. Yet, when he turns to the believer's interaction with culture, with the movies and music of the world, that's where we've got to part ways.

For sure, the interaction of faith and culture has always been a dicey, contentious area. And there are surely elements wherein we've fully dropped the ball. But Tozer takes to task the idea of "story" and I really have to disagree with him there. Tozer contends that the idea of story takes away from the Gospel itself, from the teachings of the Bible. He believes that the parishioners are more interested in hearing a good story as opposed to his hard-edged truth. And he's right and I agree. Yet, I can't believe that detracts from the beauty and the need for stories.

Consider our own Bible. Essentially, the Bible is just that, a collection of stories. It's the tale of God's interaction and overarching love for His creation, as they rise and fall and rise again, all due to His grace. And these stories encourage us, they challenge us, and in many cases, they convict us, leading us to salvation. And it's near impossible to detract from the truth that Jesus Himself utilized the power of story as a key to his own teaching. Clearly, story has a place in the life of the believer.

Stories draw us in. Stories challenge us. Stories invite us. We need the power of story.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Gold on the Horizon

For whatever reason, save for a small window during my late teens when, well, I think we all made every attempt to sleep until 11AM, I've pretty much always been an early riser. This is never more true than the few and far between times when I get to go camping. I usually awake curled up in a ball and lay for a few minutes, relishing the warmth of my sleeping bag against the cool dew beaded up on the outside of the tent. My eyes adjust and I reach for the zipper and step outside into the cool morning air.

Once I've restoked the fire, a really cathartic process in camping for me, I sit down and just listen and experience. It's so quiet, so very quiet, with just the gentle sounds of nature awakening around, the crackle of the fire, and the yawning of the early morning. And this time is one of my favorite of all, as, off along the horizon, a gentle glow begins to emanate, shrugging off the inky black night and eventually morphs into these golden rays of sunshine that emerge and blossom into the day. It's one of the most beautiful times of day for me.

I say all that to share that I feel like the night of my life, so to speak, is reaching another dawn. For some time, I feel like I've been in the dark of night, with the night sounds and little but a dying fire to keep me going. Yet now I feel as though the first rays of dawn are peeking out from the horizon, casting their ethereal gaze onto the canvas of my life. For whatever reason, I feel as though the doors are finally opening to something new, something beautiful, and something redeeming.

So, I'm back to blogging. For some time there I was religious about it, much like the way some are with their Facebook or Twitter now, but life just didn't seem worth blogging after a while. But I think that that time has passed and that it's safe for me to once again take up the pen, er, keyboard, and start writing again. Friends, family, and newcomers alike, please understand, you won't always like what I have to say or, dare I say, the way I say it, but this is just me being real and honest and open and growing and learning and all of that. If you want to journey along with me, please come along.