Showing posts from 2011

Destination: Home

A good epic fantasy (like Lord of the Rings, for example) involves a character(s) making his/her way through a very trying journey, to accomplish the impossible and arrive at a distant desirable location, usually being home. Motel 6 paints an accurate picture with their slogan, "We'll leave the light on." People on a long, difficult, tiring journey long for the eventual end of the road; for their arrival to be anticipated, welcomed, enjoyed. They want to get to the place where they belong.

Thus goes life. For the nonbeliever, the grave eventually becomes an emblem of peace (hence the epitaph, RIP...not to mention the location of most cemeteries on a shady, picturesque hillside, fenced off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life). For the believer, heaven is our hope. As the apostle Paul put it, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men" (1 Corinthians 15:19, NIV).

Jesus said, "Don't let this throw you. Y…

Late-Night Wonderings

When I do not sin, I feel self-righteous. When I do sin, I feel dirty and cheap. I wonder where the line is between trusting in God's grace and riding the proverbial fence to see how much one can "get away with". I wonder at what a great responsibility it is to teach others in matters regarding their souls. I wonder that so many people's "revelations" conflict with each other...and at how superficial we tend to be who think we have such revelation. I wonder that EVERYTHING in life is a rat race. I want to live outside the grid.

Thinking About Where I'm At

I am in a very strange place right now, emotionally speaking. It seems I am at the end of some processes, in the middle of others, and just beginning yet others. I have a lot going on in my day-to-day life right now; concrete here-and-now things that need taking care of. But as I go about my tasks, I am doing a lot of thinking.

Let's do a typical Melodic jump and start with things I am in the middle of. I am in the middle of finishing this past semester of seminary. I have been late in finishing the last two or three semesters, and this time I have two courses finished and two yet to complete. I have until June 20th. I think I might make it, but I will really have to focus. I think part of my hesitation in finishing has been that I have been unsure of what to work toward as a goal. (Finishing would be good, eh?) I have struggled with a lot of self-doubt...fearing that I cannot effectively accomplish anything ministerially...or that I am unworthy to do so. Many times in the last yea…

A Poor, But Grateful, Spirit

I'm reading Brennan Manning's book The Ragamuffin Gospel right now for one of my classes. On page 80 he tells the story of a meeting he held in Louisiana, after which a man he didn't know handed him an envelope, which he later discovered held a $6,000-check. He decided to send the check to a man he had met the week before, who had 10 children, three of whom had already died because of the poverty they experienced subsisting off the garbage of the town trash heap in Juarez, Mexico. Manning related this to the first beatitude ("Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven") and wrote:

"He wrote me nine letters in two days - letters overflowing with gratitude and describing in detail how he was using the money to help his own family and other neighbors at the dump. That gave me a beautiful insight into what a poor man is like. When he receives a gift he first experiences, then expresses, genuine gratitude. Having nothing, he appreciates t…