To Its Logical End

If logic is your god, at least make logical decisions….

Logic

I have some friends who do not believe what I believe… heck, none of my friends agree with me completely in my beliefs. This, in-and-of itself is an interesting thought to ponder. Do you completely and wholeheartedly agree across the board with anyone who carries the same general belief structure as you do? I would venture to say that the answer to this question [if answered honestly] is no one hundred percent of the time.

As humans we are shaped by our experiences, insecurities, what we believe to be true and our ability to carry a situation to its logical end, or maybe it’s our inability to do so.

[disclaimer: If we get into semantics I would agree that there is more that shapes us as people than just these four things, but generally speaking, most any situation can fit into this categorization]

As I mentioned, I have some friends who do not believe what I believe, one of them in particular has continually challenged me in my faith by telling me that I should be more logical in my thinking and give no weight to faith in “God”, because it isn’t scientifically possible. For the duration of our friendship I have been the “Christian” and he the “Atheist”, a yin and yang that has brought about incredibly intimacy through heated and refining conversations for both of us.

One of the things I am most grateful for from our friendship is the way that God has used him in my life to keep me from being a ‘kooky right wing Westboro Baptist version of a Christian’. He specifically forces me to take every single belief I have to its logical end; this is a process that I have tried to adapt in most of my decision making.

I began thinking about writing this post after overhearing, and without tact, butting into a conversation that involved someone I care about dearly. [She will remain nameless to respect her personal life]. She is anxious for a dude to get out of prison in hopes that he will return with polished armor and be the prince who will swoop her into happily ever after. And while pursuing this situation, continually tells my wife and I that “she wants what we have”, and if we let logic run its course on the details of her situation… I don’t think the numbers add up.

So, why… why do we fight so hard for the life decisions that are so contradictory to logic, let alone the idea of taking logic to its very end? Back to my dear friend who believes differently than me and has helped me be a better man because of it. He always tells me that “logic and reason” should be our guide, not a high in the sky esoteric deity.

Look around… think about the last time you read or watched the news, our world is ignorantly selfish and irrational in its decision making. But, somehow these individuals would rather be left to the fate of their gods: logic, reason and karma. It is logical to understand that the way humans treat one another is unreasonable and I pray to God that we’re not left to karma, because we’d all be damned.

To what end is your logic leading you? Is it leading you to self-preservation and honor and respect of others? Or, is it leading you to a broken heart, years as the victim and a perpetuation of the insecurities that eat you alive from the inside? Is your logic leading you closer to God, the author of all the we want to experience as humans: love, joy, hope, peace and grace. Or, does our stubbornness tell us to abandon that nonsense because it interferes with our decision making? With the way we make decisions, any interference would be a blessing.

Think about it… Evaluate it… Do something about it…

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Pastor Greg Rohlinger on Suffering and God’s Plan

Greg is the Pastor at Palm Valley Church in Goodyear Arizona. He has been diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy with Parkinsonism; basically his brain is trying to shut his body down. This is just one of those situations where I most certainly could not say it any better. I love how Greg approaches his terminal illness and how he allows for God to still be all love and all good. I feel like I’ve come across a lot of people who are dealing with hurt or disappointment or suffering lately. Most recently we had a friend die tragically over the weekend. It can be very hard to deal with hurt and disappointment within the confines of Christianity and a Loving God. Our prayers are with his family in these hours of mourning and deep hurt. Parents just shouldn’t outlive their children, it’s so amazingly difficult and my heart breaks for the family. It was this incident that in some way lead me to post this video. So many people are going through hurt and often times I think we ask “:why” but aren’t actually prepared to deal with the answer. We can be very quick to blame God or defame him when “bad” things happen. Atheists love to use “bad” things and the work of evil to suggest that God must not be real and if He is that they would not want to serve someone who would allow such things. What’s worse though is when we as believers use tragedy as a point of disbelief and allow our faith to be shaken. Dealing with heartache and tragedy and pain and disappointment is almost never easy but I believe this video helps with some perspective and I think Greg really nails it on the head. So, I’ll get out of the way and let you just watch the video as was the original intent. I hope you are blessed!

Sincerely,

Ryan

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

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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