New Years Restitution

res·ti·tu·tion

[res-ti-too-shuh n, -tyoo-]

noun

1. reparation made by giving an equivalent or compensation for loss, damage, or injury caused; indemnification.

2. the restoration of property or rights previously taken away, conveyed, or surrendered.

3. restoration to the former or original state or position.

4. Physics. the return to an original physical condition, especially after elastic deformation.

In a season full of resolutions I got to thinking, “There has to be something better”. Most resolutions have to do with starting something good or quitting something bad and in many cases one resolution does both. For example, someone resolving to go to the gym is doing something good in that very action and quitting something bad, like being lazy. The problem I guess is that very few resolutions actually come with any resolve. We know this because for many of us we make the same ones year after year. If we had really resolved to do it in the first place we wouldn’t have to come back it. Sure some of these resolutions are misguided and come after a night full of drinking – either while still in an alcohol induced state of increased confidence or in the fetal position wrapped around the toilet the morning after – so maybe we exclude those ones. Of course that would not apply to any of us ;), but we at least know someone we can attribute this to. It is dawning on me that most of this paragraph is useless to the point. Right, so the bottom line is that most resolutions are crap. If you’ve resolved to read the Bible every day, definitely do that. If you’ve resolved to get in better shape, definitely do that. If you’ve resolved to love more/better, definitely do that. Resolutions aren’t inherently bad, we’re inherently bad at keeping them. This brings me back to the point I think.

Restitution. I would encourage you to take the new year, each and every day in it, to focus on restitution. Be restitute (I’ll explain). Think back to when you were a kid. How easy was it for you to believe something and express this belief by blindly living in it? I never saw Santa in my house but I believed he was real; wrote letters to him and everything. The same can be said about our belief in Christ and what was done for us, the ultimate restitution. Insert John 3:16 here. There was a time in all of us who have accepted Him as King when we had faith like a child. Since then, life has thrown us many dirty curve balls. Some of us more than others for sure but none of us are excluded. I wrestle with God all the time. Sometimes I wonder if what I believed to be true necessarily is. Sometimes I feel like his promises are missing or are taking too long to come through. Sometimes I simply wonder, “Why?”. What saves me in these moments or days or weeks is restitution. I become restitute in my faith. I become restitute in what I know to be true. I become restitute in my time with God(Thank you Holy Spirit!). Most importantly though, God is restitute. Constantly. We know that he is omniscient and omnipotent and omnipresent and all love but are we living like we know he is also omni-restitute? All day, every day, God is laying out a path for our restitution; a way to become as we were in The Garden…perfect. His desire is for us to be not only holy but redeemed…restituted. The best part is, He does not fail. The free gift of salvation through grace is our path to final restitution but we can try each day to meet Him on this path. He tried to do this without sacrificing his son (think lots of water and an Ark) but we screwed that one up of course. Eventually Jesus was hung on a cross and rose again. God does not fail. Final restitution. I think God appreciates our resolve when we actually have it but I also think He wants, deserves and expects more. Naked we came in, restitute am I in getting naked again.

Cheers,

Ryan

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“Taste of Ink” – Taboo Tattoos

Some of you may recognize the title as the name of a punk rock song by The Used. Very sacrilegious of me I know and I love it! There is something to be said about the sort of desire for tattoos one gains after they get their first but that’s beside the point. Instead of wasting 100 more words on set up I’ll just direct you to the below photo:

Tattooed Taboo

The thread goes on in support of our friend and even contains some examples from others who have been spiritually harassed for their appearance. One even got told she would be going to hell because of her tattoos (this occurred in a Hobby Lobby which I can totally picture and find hilarious). So why write about it?

I think in a way, it’s things like this that spawned us even wanting to start this purposefully button pushing site (I haven’t even spoken to Dennis about this so we’ll likely here from him too 🙂 ). As I think about it, this also kind of ties in with Dennis’ recent post on dinosaurs. The things that we’ll say to each other in the name of our God are insane. It would be easy to just rant about the idiocy of believers (post on this word to follow, OMG) and the ridiculous lies we live by but maybe (though it’s hard for me) I’ll spare the rant.

Do we find people saying things like tattoos and piercings and sagging pants (yes people really associated saggy pants with sinfulness) will land us in hell because it’s an accurate summation? No!! I have to think that people say things like this out of their own insecurity, uncomfortableness and/or incompetence. As society grows and changes, too many people are found living in the past and the “security” of how it used to be. This would be fine if that’s where it stopped; ignorance is bliss after all. The problem is that people are such jack asses that they actually think it’s okay to run around casting unfounded judgements on guys like our Facebook friend and Dennis and I alike. I mean if my half sleeve is a ticket to hell then surely so also is my use of the word “ass” not more than a sentence ago. And let’s not even talk about the thoughts I had when that guy cut me off the other day. Ironically (if my wife is reading this I apologize for probably using irony wrong 😉 ) the person riding the tidal wave of inappropriateness and consequential sin is the aforementioned donkey that has the gall to make inaccurate judgments and accusations against a total stranger.

How about we try getting to know people and not getting immediately to why someone is different and doesn’t belong and therefore must be off track with Jesus and certainly far from salvation. I can tell you right now that if the moron that asked our Facebook friend to check his walk with Jesus instead took the time to get to know him at all, he would have been blown away by the incredible man that stood before him. A man that seeks after God’s own heart and His will for him and his family as genuinely as I’ve ever seen. So ya, screw that guy but more importantly good on all of you who are living naked and throwing conformity to the wayside. Good on all of you who are the true hipsters and live in acceptance of the minorities. Good on all of you who are loving on your gay friends the same as your straight ones and black ones the same as your white ones and brown ones the same as well you get the point. The Body of Christ is about unity, about gathering together in our differences to be on the same page about one thing…The Gospel. My pastor likes to refer to the upside down, inside out, backwards gospel. For the record, he’s referring to the actual gospel. The actual call of our Lord. The actual purpose of our lives on earth. As Christians we’re not supposed to make sense. We’re not suppose to conform and we’re not supposed to find safety in the good old days. Get with it people. We serve a radical God. A true nonconformist. The ultimate challenger of the status-quo. So I don’t know, stay wild and free I guess. Get a tattoo if you want, gauge your ears until your lobes break whatever makes you comfortable but seek after the truth about your God, your Father and your Savior.

Maybe I’ll post pictures after my tattoo appointment this week. haha, oh the irony!

Stay Wild,

Ryan