A Little Bit About Me...

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I have many hats that I wear. I am a husband and father. I am pastor/teacher at my church. I am part of a team working on a large project at work. I am a friend. I am a budding visionary. I am a writer, an actor, and a director. I am an artist. I am a student of the Bible. I have a brain that comes up with some pretty crazy and interesting ideas, and I have a personality to match. I try to treat all people how I would like to be treated. I strive to be steadfast, immovable in my faith. I seek after the TRUTH, and I believe that it can be found, not just 'from my perspective', but for all people.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Teeth.... and Discipleship.

They help us chew our food, which in turn allows our body to gain strength, build muscle, harden and strengthen bones, be healthy.

If we care for our teeth, we brush them, floss them, be careful not to eat too much junk, our teeth will last. But even if we do all of these things, there can still be problems. That’s where the dentist comes in.

A while back I had a piece of my tooth fall out. For a while I just tried to make it work. I ate on one side. I kept it clean. As time went on it began to hurt. I ignored it for a couple of days. I began to hurt more. I worked up the courage and went to see a dentist. I SO did not want to see a dentist. I SO did not want to see the dentist. Dentists do things that hurt. I was afraid. No wait… I was terrified.

He was good. He went in, froze the tooth, did some cleaning and put in a temporary filling. That was uncomfortable. He said we would wait and see what would happen. If there was pain, I was to go back in and they would do a root canal… There they were…. A heart-stopping couple of words…. Root Canal. He emphasized … “It’s expensive.” I was gripped with fear. I was sure I was going to have to endure the procedure.

Once the temp filling was in, I noticed every twinge of pain. I was sure that it was going to be the root canal. I found myself able to tolerate a little pain to avoid going back. Besides, how was I going to pay for the procedure? As a way of paying came up, I called and asked the price. $1000. Good thing I have dental coverage.

I booked the appointment and braced for the worst. I was convinced that I had a root canal on the way. I was telling everyone that. When I sat in the chair the endontist did some spelunking around in my tooth and said that he was just going to fill it. Phew! Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t easy. The dentist was good though. Very gentle. Consoling. Sympathetic. I had one of those epiphany moments.

I was in the chair because of how I had neglected my teeth over the years where my dental coverage was sporadic. It was sort of how some people live their Christian life. They coast. They went to the altar once when they were young, but never allowed it to change how they lived their life in a moral and spiritual sense. Often those are the kids of “Christians” that drift away for a while and indulge in stuff that they know is wrong. Some people even end up in a very dark place because of their choices. Sometimes it takes God going in like a dentist and fixing the damage. We have to make the appointment, and it may still hurt, but in the end God allows it to make us stronger. We may have to give some things up that caused the damage. We may have to get ourselves back into a cycle of maintenance of our faith. That is why the Bible says to examine yourself daily to see if you are in the faith. It says to be faithful with the little things. It says to think of the things that are excellent or praiseworthy.

Discipleship takes discipline. Work at your faith daily.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/11 and the Truth...

With 9/11 having come and gone for another year, I have been watching a lot of the specials on TV where people sit and debate as to what actually happened on the day. Most of us just seem to think that it was just as we saw. A group of terrorists hijacked some planes and ran them into the Twin Towers in New York City. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed just outside of Virginia. All the evidence and witnesses seem to point in this direction as well. Several higher institutions have done examinations of the events with the blueprints of the buildings and specs of the panes involved, and what happened as we saw it on that day (and in my humble opinion) seems to be very plausible.

Most of what the “truthers” (I don’t get to see why they get to have truth attached to their name) seem to do is argue from lack of evidence. They tend to be George W. Bush haters. They use all kinds of argumentative fallacies. Just in general, they are really disrespectful of the fact that people lost loved ones in the attacks of 9/11. There are always groups of them yelling and harassing people at the memorial ceremonies.

The best of the theories that just had me stunned that they actually considered this was that all of the three planes that hit the buildings were replaced by empty planes at some point during the flight, while the real planes landed at a secret airbase. All of the people that were on those flights were put on Flight 93 which was eventually shot down by the US government. An NO ONE HAS SAID ANYTHING IN ALL OF THIS TIME.

Piece by piece, these people had demonstrations and explanations of the science and all the data was shown to them and each time it was like the covered their eyes and said, “I just don’t see how that could have happened.”

Arguing from lack of evidence… They say something like, “There was no video taped record of such and such, and so it must have not happened the way we think it did.” They set themselves up a false dichotomy. They try to make it seem like there are only two possible explanations for the way something happened. When often there are several, and some of them are even plausible.

I have seen these people argue a slippery slope as well. They go from pointing out a small detail to the position that the whole government is corrupt and obviously out to get us in the blink of an eye. I guess it just reveals their real intent. They hate George W. He could have made the whole world be at peace, and all wars stop and they would still hate him.

Ok, so now, why all of this? I thought about how these people seemed to want to hear nothing that could discredit their view of what they believe happened on 9/11. Is that how I am with my faith? I believe some things that many people find strange. Is what I believe based on the evidence? Or is it based on my emotions? Or is it based on some hatred? These were tough questions for me to look at. I really had to examine myself. I have spent many years looking into the reliability of the Bible. I do not want to believe something that is not true. Even though there is still a lot of evidence, there is still an aspect of faith. As one preacher puts it, “Even if we were there, we would have to take Mary’s word at the virgin birth.” There seems to be a strong amount of evidence to support what the Bible teaches.

I guess the biggest difference for me is that I do let my faith get tested. I have held up what I believe against ideas that oppose the Bible. I let the Bible filter it through and see what is left on the other side. If the Bible is not true, then there will be nothing left. If it is true, it will stand in the end. That is one of the claims from within its pages. People have scrutinized the Bible for centuries and the people have come and gone. The Bible has lasted. People’s lives have been changed. Even when people try to rewrite it (ie: The DaVinci Code, The Last Temptation of Christ), the Bible stands. When people claim that God is dead, and they die, the Bible still stands.

My one concern is that I always test everything that is being said to me. The Bible has stood in my life to this point.