Leave Room for God

I got to thinking about this idea while in Yosemite with my In-laws.  As a side note, if you’ve never been, it’s worth the trip; one of the more majestic and beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen.  Strangely, the recent events in Boston got me thinking about it again but there will have to be another post.  Anyway, we were driving back to the cabin from dinner and my mother in law and wife started talking about how a glacier carved through the mountain thousands of years ago and created the Yosemite Valley as we know it.  This of course led to a discussion about macro vs. micro evolution, which of course led to a discussion about creation, which led to a mild disagreement about the completion of God’s creation.  If you don’t believe in creation and can actually wrap your head around the idea of a single particle which existed outside of time and space somehow exploding into everything that exists, then I admire your level of faith.  For the rest of us I think this is an interesting discussion.  One of the things I love about my faith is the journey it takes.  I have opinions and stances now that may have seemed crazy to me only a few years ago.  I’ve had experiences that point to previously dismissed ideas being realities.  It’s really wild and at the same time really rad how being willing to challenge yourself and wrestle with your own status-quo in the midst of your Savior can evolve your point of view and bolster your understanding.  That to say, who knows, maybe a year or ten from now I’ll think differently or maybe my family will but my initial reaction to the idea of creation via glacier wasn’t necessarily agreement.  At the very least I didn’t, and really still don’t, want to believe that Yosemite (nor most anything) was created by happenstance.  Does a God who declares me fearfully and wonderfully made and who knows all the hairs on my head leave creation to chance?  Maybe.  Maybe he designed nature to evolve.  Maybe he sent that glacier into motion.  Maybe it was just a natural phenomenon.  For me though, it’s hard to take God out of the equation.  I fear control and definite knowledge far more than the unknown; far more than ruling God out.  I choose to leave room for God in the creation of Yosemite.  I choose to leave room for God to fill my wife’s still barren womb with life.  I choose to leave room for God in the midst of the Boston bombings.  I choose to leave room for God in the fate of our country.  I choose to leave room for God in the plans for my future.  I hope for less of me and more of Him.  I yearn to be completely out of control.  I choose to leave room for God.  Maybe this causes you to think, maybe i’m just way behind in my understanding but please share your thoughts either way.

Stay Naked,

Ryan

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Quiet Down & Listen

We choose all kinds of unnecessary conversations to engage in, most of which the bible warns us against having [especially in the company of folks who don’t believe in Jesus]. We waste hours being indignant to our family, friends and strangers who don’t believe what we do, all the while we should know that an argument has (likely) never turned someone’s heart towards Jesus. We write blogs, spend hours reading and exercising our pride for the sole purpose of proving someone (christian or not) wrong.

Please, for the sake of your public esteem, quiet your desire to “be right” in a faith where mystery far out weighs indisputable fact, rather focus on listening to The Lord who (I believe) is far more concerned with you being fully alive than being right.

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If you identify yourself as Christian then there are only a few things that we trust as truth, things that don’t dance with mystery:
God is a trinitarian reality who is whole and equally God the Father, God the Son-of-Man [Jesus Christ] and God the Holy Spirit].
That unfathomable trinitarian deity is the visionary, designer and builder of everything, literally everything.
God the Father introduced commandments aka rules to live by and he willingly punished certain humans for being disobedient.
God the Son-of-Man showed up on the same earth that He created to live amongst humans that He created in Their image.
God the Son-of-Man chose to be a normal, functional piece of society. He Built furniture, was full of sarcasm, drank wine, got pissed off, made friends in all walks of his life, exemplified grace and emotional vulnerability and closed the chapter by doing supernatural, prophesy fulfilling things.
God Holy Spirit took over as the voice that speaks the word of God the Father to a humanity created in Their image and inherently attuned to The Voice of God.

These span of events have each demanded a new way of living…
When humanity was living based on the 10 commandments and subsequent laws, humanity was expected to obedient to such rules to justify their holiness.
When God the Son-of-Man lived on earth, the flow of humanity was being stirred and shaken for approximately 33 years; the status quo was changing. He was setting up a new way of living for humanity rooted in freedom.
Now we are under the leadership of God Holy Spirit, the communicator, the mediator, the one who shares divine wisdom and knowledge with His likeness, humanity.

If you are traveling this journey of faith without putting a great deal of weight into hearing from God Holy Spirit then you are greatly discounting the intimacy you could have with a God who wants your time. Joy. Peace. Freedom. Vision. Influence… these are all things that we are promised, if we can only believe that we are worth this type of intimacy and unending love from God the Trinity.

The NCM challenge you to shut up and listen today… If you don’t know what you’re listening for, here are a couple insights:
1. You are as crazy as you feel.
2. You will likely hear “your own voice”, which is par for the course; God Holy Spirit is speaking to you, in your voice, in order to be able to communicate clearly.
3. Ask God to tell you something about someone you know very well [preferably someone who believes that God could speak through you if he wanted… this lessens the “crazy” feeling you’ll have].
4. Just go with what you hear… no matter how weird it may be, don’t try and make it sound “normal”.
5. Tell that person what you heard from The Lord and they will be able to confirm or deny if it is really a word from The Lord.

Happy listening 🙂

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Dinosaurs are badass!

There are some odd thoughts, theories and opinions wrapped around Christianity. Opinions that have caused good men and women to lie. Not evil lies necessarily, but the type of lies that we tell when we want to be right, when we know for sure that we don’t have the darndest clue!

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Is the existence of dinosaurs contradictory to a biblical account of creation?
Did dinosaurs exist in a prehistoric time?
Wait… What does ‘prehistoric’ actually mean?
If Adam was the beginning of “history” then is it possible to have a “prehistoric” earth?
But what about the ‘facts’ presented by carbon dating?

Who gives a sh!t?

It simply baffles me that these are the conversations we have to try and prove or disprove an account of creation, or more-so, whether or not God exists!

When millions of humans are internally and externally dying from the social and personal depravity that we all experience, the best we can do is dinosaurs?! Get ready for a rough left turn… I recently had a conversation with a new friend named Ross, he was telling me about a newer collegiate major that he called, “Behavioral Economics”. This study focuses on the reality that humans are not rational beings, therefore the historic theory of economics as a prediction of human choice and purchasing habits based on being rational, seems to be a grossly unevolved theory. As I listened to him explain some of the major thoughts of this study, which were: all humans lie to make themselves appear/feel better than they are, and, humans are most likely to be very similar to those that they spend their time within behavior, social class, and appearance, to name a few. [I think I ran out of breath just writing that sentence… congrats if you got through that marathon] I responded to his brief explanation by saying, “It’s very interesting to me that you’re learning about explicitly biblical principals and they are being called a ‘new social science.'” He looked at me as if I had just told him that I wrote The Bible- and after an awkwardly long pause asked me how I had concluded that those were biblical issues. As our dialogue continued he purposefully communicated to me that he was “Jewish”, and later was a little more honest by telling me he “wasn’t very religious” and this was the open air that allowed for our conversation. [taking a right turn back on track]

These are the types of conversations that I want to be involved in… real, life-bringing, thought provoking conversations… Not mindless bullsh!t banter that steals so much life and energy from those involved.

SO… We would probably all agree that dinosaurs are badass! But did they exist? Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t, but that answer will depend on your personal theory of how we got here. In conclusion, let me suggest that you waste your breath on conversations that you believe in, and topics that are worth dying for, as opposed to dinosaurs.

#nkdchristianmen