Let’s Talk About Depression (Seriously), Pt. 1

Don’t grade me on the look of this post, for I don’t want to take the time to make it look pretty.

Don’t judge my writing based on this one post, for it is not going to be eloquent or edited for content; I’m just going to share with you what’s on my mind, straight from the heart, holding little back.

Here we go.


Scarlett

For the last few days I have had another blogger on my mind. If you want to, go check her out at The Full Story and read her post “My Depression.”

Scarlett (aka, bloodmoonxxx99) has left some pretty pointed comments on this blog, especially regarding my post “Atheists On Christianity.” Because of those recent comments I decided to go to her blog to discover what she was really about – was she for real, or just another atheist troll out to try to yank my chain? Well, come to find out, she’s a broken, scarred, and hurting young woman who needs to be loved, just like the rest of us.

In “My Depression” Scarlett described some things I can understand, for I, too, know a lot about depression. I could feel her pain and sense her struggle. But I guess what really broke my heart was that I wish I could have offered her some real hope…some help…a Way to deal with it. Yet, as she will probably attest, I’m sure, she doesn’t want prayer, or Jesus.

Nevertheless, I’m going to pray for her. Frankly, I’ve had her on my mind all day long.

But enough about Scarlett, for now… Let’s talk about you and me.

My Depression Story (not Scarlett’s)

Have you ever been depressed? Have you ever suffered from clinical depression? What are your thoughts about depression? Do you think depression is a sin? A character flaw?  A mental problem? A weakness?

For the record, I am no stranger to depression; I battle with it on a regular basis. And when I say “battle,” I do mean an all-out fight at times…a fight to notice the sunlight while staring at it.

Years ago, when I was just sixteen, I nearly committed suicide. Had it not been for my dad knocking on the door of my bedroom, I would have pulled the trigger of the loaded 12ga. shotgun that was pointed inside my mouth. Long story short, no one had adequately taught me about God’s grace, only the legalistic perspective of holiness, and I was failing at it. I was ashamed of myself, my sin, and my constant asking for forgiveness. I came out of that period of my life, but without any counseling or help, because I kept it a secret.

Years later, I went from poverty to riches (practically speaking) as I moved up the ranks from a salesman in the funeral business, to manager. I was making more money than I ever dreamed possible for someone like me – every take-home paycheck each week had a comma in it. Now, I was not only legalistic, but I had money and was making a name for myself – literally, my name was actually the only thing used in a big radio campaign.

Then, in 2000 or so, the proverbial rug got jerked right out from under me and I, along with every thing I had, came crashing down. I hit rock bottom. I literally came to the point of shaking my fist at God, cursing Him with every vulgarity I could muster, and daring Him to kill me. I blamed Him for my career loss, my marriage problems, and especially my loss of ministry opportunity, and I wanted to die – I didn’t even care about hurting the ones who loved me most.

Until around 2002 I regularly went to counseling, at least twice a week, with both psychologists and psychiatrists. I was prescribed medication and was nearly committed to an institution for my own safety. It was almost impossible for me to see any future worth living, for my pride had been crushed, my self-righteousness had been proven worthless, and I couldn’t see why God would want to have anything else to do with me. For a while I was literally card-carrying crazy, or at least that’s how I described it.

What made it even worse was the fact that my wife loved me so much that she stayed with me, working extra jobs when I couldn’t hold a job. She loved me, even when I hated myself, and that made me hate myself even more – at least for a while.

But I specifically remember one night when I got drunk and started cursing God, telling Him exactly what I thought. It was in the midst of my wretched ranting that I heard that “still, small, Voice” whisper into my heart, “I know you don’t mean that, Anthony; but even if you do, I’m still here, and I still love you.”

Jesus wouldn’t let me go.

My Right Now

Now, let’s fast forward to today. For the last couple of days I have been dealing with some feelings of depression, and it’s been very difficult. What caused it? I’m not sure. All I know is that when it got triggered my mood went downhill faster than a Jamaican bobsled. In just a few hours I was wallowing in the muddy pit of despair, thinking terrible thoughts, even questioning my beliefs.

But what I have learned is that God is real, His ways are higher than our ways, and that whenever He is about to do something in our lives, or use us in the lives of others, the Enemy (who is also real) desires to counter those plans. More often than not, long before we even have a clue about what is going on, Satan and his minions are already working for our defeat and disgrace. It’s in our times of depression that we must realize our faith is the number-one target of the Devil.

Ultimately, in the plainest of explanations, the truest way to defeat depression of any kind is to hold on to our faith in God and his character. I submit the following video featuring Lauren Daigle.

This afternoon, after lying down for a short nap (it was a long night and I needed some sleep before getting back on the school bus), some words started coming to mind, sort of like a sermon outline, and all alliterated with the letter “P”.

What came to my mind were five (5) reasons why we get depressed…what causes depression in so many of us…what has resulted in deep depression in my on life.

I will share them with you in the next post. 

In the meantime, would you pray for Scarlett?

 

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Filed under Depression

10 Easy Tips to Spark Up Your Love Life (Conservative Evangelical Edition)

Your Requests

Lately I have been getting a lot of requests* from my readers and random people I meet on the street. They have been asking things like, “Hey, Anthony! Why don’t you write a blog post that deals with relationships and dating?”

There have also been multiple married couples** across the country come up to me and point-blank beg me to share my thoughts on marriage, keeping the love alive, etc. Probably 25 couples*** specifically asked, “Can you enumerate a list of actions we as couples can take to ‘spark’ things up, but in a Baptist way?”

So, what else can I do but give my readers what they ask for, right?

Therefore, as requested, here are approximately 10 easy tips to spark up your love life – if you are a conservative Evangelical or Baptist, of course.

10 Easy Tips to Spark Up Your Love Life

Men:

  1. Open the car door. I know, it may sound old fashioned, but the ladies really to like it when you open and hold the door to the car, especially when other people with bad marriages are looking. NOTE: Make sure you hold it open and watch your wife/fiance/date actually complete the task of getting all the way in before you turn your head and shut the door. Remember, it’s not your responsibility to notice the ooo-ing onlookers touched by your chivalry; that’s the female’s place…you don’t want to break her ankle.
  2. Buy her flowers. Christian girls adore God’s creation just as much as the nearest tree-hugging liberal. Therefore, don’t forget to buy your woman some flowers now and then. NOTE: Make sure beforehand if she is allergic to any particular specimen. Otherwise, make sure you have some anointing oil handy, along with someone who can demand that the spirit of asthma be gone.
  3. Choose the right restaurant. When your better half wants to go out to dinner, or when you suggest it, ask where she would like to eat. When she then says, “Oh, it doesn’t matter; wherever you want to go,” you softly say, “I think I would like to go to _______.” With what do you fill in the blank? The restaurant SHE likes, NOT where you would actually want to go.
  4. Tell her she looks beautiful. Married guys, right when you roll over in the morning and see your wife, tell her you love her AND “you look beautiful this morning!” No, she won’t believe you, but she will enjoy hearing it. Then, later in the day, say it again, right when she doesn’t expect it. NOTE: Don’t tell her she looks beautiful more than twice in the same day – she’ll know you’re up to something and the plan will backfire. Single guys, just tell her she’s “pretty” and save the rest for marriage.

Women:

  1. Tell your man you’re proud of him. In all seriousness, if there is anything a man wants, it is to be respected. Even if he’s been acting like an idiot and messing up everything he touches, let him know you are proud of him for trying. The last thing you want to live with is a bumbling idiot whose depressed, too.
  2. Brag on your husband. Don’t misunderstand, bragging on your husband is just the half of it. What you need to do to spark things up is brag on him to other women, and do it is such a way that he is not supposed to know what you said, but you “accidentally” let him find out. For example, send an email or text to your BFF saying something like, “God gave me the best husband any woman could ever dream of! I’m sorry your husband isn’t as wonderful as mine…#praying4u” Then, leave your computer on, or “accidentally” forward him a copy.
  3. Surprise him with tickets to a manly-man guy flick. Believe me, ladies, if you want to make your man feel special, accepted, loved, and adored, say to him, “Honey, guess what? I got us both tickets to go see Star Wars! Unless, of course, you’d like to go see The Day the World Was Saved by Blowing Up Stuff; I’d really like to see that, too.”
  4. Pick some flowers for him. First, you’d be amazed at how guys can be touched by something as sensitive and caring as you giving him flowers. But, keep this in mind – don’t buy them! Your man will be far less stressed if you don’t spend money on stupid stuff like flowers that are only going to die in a day or two, anyway. Pick the flowers and he will love them – and you!

TransGender & LGBT Folk:

NOTE: I can’t help you. However, see the United Methodist, Presbyterian (USA), Unitarian Church, Alliance of Baptists, and Ecumenical Catholic websites, to name a few, for further information. Or, just look for wherever the co-opted symbol of the rainbow is displayed.

For Couples (heterosexual, married, and not just living together):

  1. Pray together. Don’t just pray for each other; pray WITH each other.
  2. Go to church together. Don’t just go to church, however; sit with each other and worship together. NOTE: if you have children that seem to require the whole pew and it forces the both of you to separate and sit at either end, see my other post entitled “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child.”
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. That’s all I’m going to say about that; you’ll need to look that up on your own.

BONUS: Spend the evening together at your local Lifeway Christian Book Store.

Conclusion

The last bit of advice I can give is this: Put God first in your relationships and He will provide whatever you need to make it great and make it last.

 

* Not really.

**Again, not really. I’m joking.

***Ditto.

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Filed under baptist, Christian Living, Defending Traditional Marriage, Faith, Humor, Relationships and Family, wisdom

Real-World Apologetics (Jack Knows “Jack”)

This is probably the longest post I’ve ever published, but I didn’t write it. However, since my last post caused such a stir with one young atheist, I thought this might be worth re-posting. My thanks to Jack Seiler. 

And, for the record, I don’t hate atheists, nor do I think they are “less than” me. I simply care for their souls, else I wouldn’t be sharing my beliefs from my heart. Even the beloved atheist Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) had to ask the question (paraphrased), “What kind of uncaring person would have what he thought would be the key to eternal life and deliverance from hell, yet keep it to himself?”

I care, or I’d just shut up.

Apologetics

The body of this post was copied (with permission from both parties) from Facebook. On the day I read it I was so impressed that I asked if I could just re-post the whole thing on this blog.

Jack Seiler is a pastor who obviously has a heart for his people and a love for truth. But instead of remaining in some “ivory tower,” Pastor Seiler is all about getting down where the rubber meets the road. He uses Facebook to directly engage others with the Truth of God’s Word, especially in the realm of apologetics (defending the faith).

What made this particular Facebook entry so impressive to me was the length to which Jack went to respond to Amy North, a former congregant at the church he pastors. But more than being well-written, it was a wonderful example of how a Christian should respond to genuine questions – with love, humility, and patience.

The following Facebook conversation is a direct copy of the original. The only thing I did was adjust the format a little.

[Jack Seiler]:
A point of interest to me is the contradiction within most atheists and even agnostics. They directly and/or indirectly claim to have a corner on reason, yet seem to be irrational and highly emotional when confronted with reason contrary to their supposed conclusions. Then, in turn, they are unwilling to consider and forcefully ignore the point.

Man cannot survive as man without an ultimate anchor and reference point for what he calls “reason.” Dismissal of dialog does not justify any position of this great a significance, and when eternal gain or loss is the proposed outcome of reaching or not reaching a reasonable conclusion, refusal to consider the possibility of a loving God in Christ Jesus based on emotional disappointments is not only intellectual suicide, its just plain dishonest.

Amy Lang North
As an atheist it seems to me the practicing religious clans do exactly the same which u ponder upon. According to – well, you – man cannot survive as man without an “ultimate anchor” — really? Says- you? I have considered the reason behind my decision as well as sat in the pews of many a church throughout my life so far — listening — and thinking – and have drawn a conclusion to abandon the cult of “religion by human stories” and “I know it all” sermons that dictate that there is only one way – I respectfully ask how do you with you human capabilities know? Or how do u decide u have the authority to tell everyone else – “this is THE only way?” Maybe it is the religious that stubbornly judge the atheists as shallow and ignorant who think they have all the right ways/answers.

Amy Lang North
As an atheist it seems to me the practicing religious clans do exactly the same which u ponder upon.

Pastor Jack:
**No doubt. Willful ignorance abounds in every corner! That is another subject I have taken aim at and am happy to address. Christian apologetics has been around for a very long time but it seems to me that the “rank and file” Christianity of today is largely shallow and unstudied. However, this willful ignorance is not confined to Christians. But for now, here we are . . . and I am glad you have taken interest in making some very thoughtful points.

Amy:
According to – well, you – man cannot survive as man without an “ultimate anchor” — really? Says- you?

Pastor Jack:
**Well put and a good question.

Actually no . . . this is not simply only according to me. But please allow me first to clarify and complete what was said. “Man cannot survive without an ultimate anchor and reference point for what he calls ‘reason.’” This is not just an isolated view from little old me. This is a philosophical argument that has been around for a very long time. And it is playing out in the world around us in an undeniable fashion.

All reasoning is based upon underlying presuppositions. Have you ever listened to two contrary positions debated? Both individuals believe, within their reasoning, that what they believe is right and rationally sound. Both individuals had a starting point from which their reasoning process began. Yet because these presuppositions were different they came to contrary positions. For most, it is not because their process of reasoning was right or wrong but because their presupposition was right or wrong. Certainly, some have defective reasoning, but that is a different story from what I am addressing here. Starting from an absolute brings unity, meaning and purpose even in diversity. It gives man a “rallying point” if you will. How we arrive at an absolute I will discuss latter on.

In the world around us we have seen the process of the dismissal of the moral absolutes (which is a very broad statement, I know, but I will define later as well) of God as the presupposition in reason. As this has happened we have seen before our eyes the destruction of the United States and chaos in the world . . . . which is escalating at break-neck speed. Confining my focus on America, the divisions are multiplying and have become diametrically opposed and irreconcilable and increasingly hostile one to another. Each position, such as pro-life/pro-choice; liberal/conservative; Democrat/Republican; Sodomite/Straight; etc. etc. etc… has a line of reasoning which each one separately regards as completely sound, yet the conclusions are totally opposed. I’m not here to argue for or against any of these positions right now (though I certainly have my positions firmly ensconced). My objective here is to point out that the presuppositions in each line of reasoning determines the conclusions.

So, in answer to your first objection I state once again: Man cannot survive without an ultimate reference point and anchor for the process of reason. He will, ultimately, destroy himself. And I am not an isolated voice!

Amy:
I have considered the reason behind my decision as well as sat in the pews of many a church throughout my life so far — listening — and thinking – and have drawn a conclusion to abandon the cult of “religion by human stories” and “I know it all” sermons that dictate that there is only one way

Pastor Jack:
***Being the Pastor of one of those churches you attended for a short time I am deeply ashamed of myself as a Pastor and teacher and sorry that we left you in such a questioning position and added to your lack of satisfactory answers. I must take responsibility for missing the mark in ministering to your intellectual needs. This is not an excuse, but it is a very difficult task to find a balance in reaching those who are simple and would neither be interested nor able to follow what I am talking about right now, and those who have the need to be satisfied with further depth. I don’t want to sound insulting or discourteous to anyone, though at times I am taken this way, but some people enjoy swimming deeper than others. The beauty of the Gospel is that it can and does satisfy the simplest mind of a child and meet the intellectual needs of the philosophical giant.

It appears from what you have said here that one of your presuppositions are becoming apparent. The phrases, “Religion by human stories” and “I know it all” sermons” seems to be coming from an underlying position that man in some way discovered or invented God and/or that Christianity is just another man made mythology. I certainly understand the thought, because I also took that position at one time. I am wondering if you are more of an agnostic than an atheist. Are you saying that God does not exist? or that God is not knowable?

If you are saying He does not exist, the same burden of proof rests on you that you would ask of the theist. If you are saying that he is not knowable, I believe you are correct from our present human perspective. Unless God reveals Himself and His will we are left with a God Who is unreachable and unknowable. From my perspective, knowing that there IS a God is a logical conclusion based on the evidence of existence itself. Knowing Who He is and what His mind is, however, is another matter altogether.

As I said . . . unless He reveals Himself and His mind! This is something else that needs to be addressed here . . . and I plan on it.

Amy:
– I respectfully ask how do you with you human capabilities know? Or how do u decide u have the authority to tell everyone else – “this is THE only way?”

Pastor Jack:
A very intelligent agnostic (I think he would categorize himself agnostic at any rate) person very close to me once said that he believed it was arrogant to think that we have figured out God and what He wants. It appears that you are coming from the same direction. If his statement were true concerning the basis of Christianity I would whole heartedly agree. But the reasoning is based on an erroneous premise. Here is where I want to pull together the thoughts I have proposed. I hope you don’t mind the length of what I am going to attempt to discuss.

First, simply stated, Christianity is not man reaching to God to discover Him or figure Him out. It is a revelation of God TO man! It is not man in his pride and strength dissecting God and testing Him in a tube on his philosophical bench. Man CANNOT know God unless God reveals Himself to man. It is God condescending to man to seek and to save that which was lost, revealing Himself incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ . . . Crucified and risen from the dead. I intend on expanding this thought but wanted to state it here for the sake of keeping the direction of the given knowledge of God in focus. The direction of the knowledge is from Him to us, not from us to Him.

As for there only being one way…..
The teaching of exclusivity is not confined to Christianity. Without going into long drawn out details, even the atheist claims exclusivity. So I suppose the same question could be leveled in your direction . . respectfully. Even those who claim there are no absolutes make a self-defeating statement in their claim. In reality, every line of reasoning is making the claim of an absolute whether they like it or not.

First let me deal as briefly as I can with the claims of Christianity and why, outside of the proposed authority of the Bible (which I also shall discuss), they are intellectually sound and exclusive of all other positions.

There are 4 questions that need to be dealt with in the minds of every human being.

1. Origin (where do I come from? . . and everything else for that matter!)
2. Meaning (Why am I here?)
3. Morality (How am I supposed to live?)
4. Destiny (Where do I go,, if anywhere, from here?)

These are questions every human being who has ever lived and thought has had to cope with. These four questions need to be answered in two ways in order to meet universally satisfactory standards:

1. Every question must correspond according to truth; either by empirical form of measurement and/or the logical reasoning process. (It must make sense)
2. When these four questions are answered, the answers must cohere and not be incoherent. (They must work together and not be contradictory)

Correspondence and Coherence
I guarantee you that ONLY in the Judeo/Christian world view will you find these four questions answered with corresponding truthfulness and with the coherence of a world view. And these answers have stood the test of time an adversity being as relevant to man today as they were thousands of years ago.

All of the world views in existence can very basically be grouped into three categories: (All positions can be categorized under one of these headings)

1. Only the universe exists (Naturalism and Atheism)
2. Only God exists (Eastern religions and spiritualism-many forms but they all boil down to this)
3. Both God and the Universe exists (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)

It is relatively easy to subject each of these categories to the above tests. Number three is the only position which passes these tests. Then we examine the three positions contained within the third category with the same criteria and discover that Christianity is a continuation and fulfillment of Judaism, and the third, Islam, destroys itself in its own contradictory nature of the god it proclaims and the self-evident nature of the intrinsic value of human life.
I realize there is much that can be detailed by way of shared questions and dialog here, but basically stated in examination of one’s presuppositional standards this is how one comes to a factual position to start with.

What is happening in the system we are now seeing overtake and destroy what we have come to know and enjoy in life is the replacement of rationally sound suppositions with emotionally based motivations. Facts are no longer considered . . . just how one feels about it. Truth is no longer a matter of thesis/antithesis (if one is true the opposite is false), but a supposed matter of synthesis. But even the proposition of “synthesis” is disintegrating into this post modernistic cesspool. Truth has become a matter of opinion and force. Life has no intrinsic value because the only thing that sets human life apart from insect life is the posit of man being created in the image and likeness of God. The emotions we have as human beings are reduced to meaningless electro-chemical functions accidentally falling into place in a mad dance of atoms. To say to your wife or child “I love you” has no more value than saying “my back itches” or “I have a headache.” Both are nothing more than hormonal secretions and the functions of a machine. Man cannot and does not live this way. He assumes that love, ethics and some form of morality have value but without something to GIVE it value it is an empty romanticism with nothing to refer to for a coherent reason.

I love my children and grandchildren and I know you love your children. Do you not understand that it means nothing if there is no God? I know why I love them and I know what its value is. Do you?

On to the nature of revealed truth from God.
First the nature of revelation is not just propositional, it is embodied . . . it is incarnated. But I would like to deal with the propositional side because that is really the point at hand. It is a very important issue because on this hangs just about everything the Christian believes, and it is shameful to know that so many Christians don’t possess the understanding to articulate it.

There is something about the enscripturation process that is very important. Because truth is primarily a property of propositions. When you look at the Bible, it is a very distinctive book. Unlike Buddha’s teachings, which are little sermons of Buddha. Or the Koran, which is the utterance of one man and the compilation of it posthumously. This takes 66 books from about the mid 1400’s BC all the way to the first century; 29 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament, and there is a single thread going through all of it. The collusion factor would have been impossibly incredible to bring this about. For example, going back to the prophecy of Isaiah, writing 700 years before Christ, to talk about the virgin birth, Micah speaking of the city where He would be born, Zechariah talking about the way the Messiah would ultimately be crucified, take these writers most of whom were not contemporaries, talking all of the converging lines of evidence, the hundreds of prophecies, and bring them into the Person of Jesus Christ . . . it would have taken an extraordinary stroke of genius to retroactively bring all of that to the convergence of one single Person! If falsification were possible you would be able to do so rather quickly. That has been attempted by many over millennia but to no avail. Even the supposed “new” documentaries and arguments in the latest books are nothing more than old rehashes of debunked attempts from the past.

(Just a quick side note: it is very interesting to note that so many who have set out in an attempt to disprove Scripture have actually become believers, and there have never been any death threats to those who seek to malign the Bible. Yet the thrashing of the Koran by authors like Salman Rushdie, which rather conclusively discredit Islam and its not-so-holy book, end with proclamations of vicious death to both him and his family. Can you imagine if a trash book and movie like “The Da Vinci Code” come out concerning Islam? The Islamic zombies would go into meltdown mode faster than they are now.)

After 2000 years of Christ’s incarnation, and 3500 years since the enscripturation process began, no book has been more studied, no book has been more scrutinized. No book has changed the lives of countless millions. No writing of any atheist has changed a drunkard into a saint. No book written promoting atheism has lifted a broken man from the gutter and set his feet on solid ground. NO atheism has given hope to the hopeless or purpose to the destitute.
I will bring you 1000 men changed and made right by the Christ of the Bible if you can bring me 1 saved from a life of broken sin by atheism.

Yes . . . I am deeply sorry that these truths were not presented clearly or to your satisfaction in any of the churches you attended . . . including my own. I take that seriously to heart. But rejecting God, specifically Jesus Christ, because of these lacks of answers really didn’t change anything in your life. Pains were still there . . . life was still happy one minute sad the next . . . answers were still absent . . . purpose was still transient . . . death is still imminent . . . and ultimately all that you hold dear has no intrinsic value or meaning.

I know that there are many more question that cannot be answered in one discussion, and it is not possible to address every objection that would arise while reading this. However, I am more than willing to continue exchange in dialog. I feel that I have failed you in my responsibilities as a minister of the Word of God, and if you . . . then how many others? If nothing else I am being spurred to be more concise and address the needs of the soul with more awareness.

Amy:
Maybe it is the religious that stubbornly judge the atheists as shallow and ignorant who think they have all the right ways/answers.

Pastor Jack:
I will repeat what I said in the beginning . . . no doubt that unjust judgment abounds and is in no short supply in every corner. May God help me not to do what he condemns. It is only because God has revealed what is right that anyone can know it and be definite about it. God has the right answers . . . and the real arrogance is in rejecting what He reveals.

Amy:
And ps I do enjoy reading what u write bc ur writing do give me things to think about.

Pastor Jack:
You have always been nothing less than respectful to me Amy. I appreciate that . . . not everyone is! Lol. I hope that what I have laid out here is understandable and also gives you food for thought. It is my wish that you would truly come to know Christ as Lord and Savior and find the relationship with Him that He so deeply desires to have with you.

PS
There is so much more I wanted to say concerning the inspiration and recording of Scripture, but this has already taken me many hours to write and I need to rest.
Thanks

Conclusion

So what do you think? No pulpit banging, as many would expect. No all-cap YELLING and calling Amy all kinds of derogatory names. Just a calm, organized explanation and defense of one’s beliefs.

My advice? Try to be a little more like Jack.

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Filed under Apologetics

My Daughter Does Opera

I know I’ve posted a lot, already, but this is my daughter we’re talking about. 

Katie is a Music Education and Biology Education Major at Bryan College. Today she performed a piece while I was at work, so my wife filmed it. 

I downloaded the video and then uploaded it to Youtube so you guys could see it. 

I don’t have the foggiest idea what she is singing, but it’s pretty. 

Enjoy! 

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Filed under music, Relationships and Family, Uncategorized

Atheists on Christianity

I wrote the following post back in 2010. Because of some recent conversations and comments, I thought I’d re-post it for this Monday morning.

You know, I was just watching some videos of atheists firing all their best shots at Christians and the belief that there is a God. One such video that you could watch on YouTube is of a debate put on by ABC. The Christians were Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, but I can’t (or don’t care to) remember the names of the others. If there was anything more evident than anything else, it was the snarky, condescending, teenager-ish, even (may I dare say) “b***hy” attitudes of the atheists.  Their attitude was typical of people who hate being told what to do (just like juveniles that argues about everything, even when they know they’re wrong).  It really just made me sad.

Then I looked down at my shirt…

At this moment I am wearing a T-shirt that shows all of the more common, recognizable religious symbols of the world. In the middle is a cross, the symbol of Christianity. What a stark contrast to all the others is the cross! A symbol of death for crimes not committed. A symbol that used to stand for shame, but now for the One who bore our shame. He didn’t have to, you know. What other symbol represents that?  What other symbol offers forgiveness from the very One that suffered unjustly?  What other symbol cries out, “Agape!

Atheism and all of its relatives are on the march, emboldened and encouraged by a world that wants to have it their own way. They are vicious and brash.  They have a chip on their shoulder because of all that “sinner” stuff.  “Even if there is a God, who are you Christians to say you have the only way?” they ask.  

But guess what, this isn’t Burger King; “this is my Father’s world,” and His rules apply. God (the Christian God) will have the final say. And, just like my shirt says, “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.”

Just say’n.  

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Filed under General Observations, Uncategorized, World View

Theology 101

A great illustration. Right down my alley.

Mitch Teemley

Presentation1A professor of religious studies informed his students on the last day of the term that not one of them had demonstrated a satisfactory understanding of Christianity. He ordered them to take out a blank sheet of paper and, in one minute, explain the theological essence of Jesus’ teachings.

The students panicked. Some wrote nothing, others wrote and erased, wrote and erased. When the professor ordered them to bring their papers forward, some were shaking, others were angry, a few were sure they’d nailed it.

The students stared in horror as the professor flipped through the sheets, muttering, “No…wrong…not even close…absurd…”

He then stood, and with a red marker scribbled an “A” on each of their papers.

“It’s grace,”he said. “Have a good summer.”

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Happy Earth Day 2017

Embracing Diversity

Let’s face it, I have a wide variety of people who follow this blog. They range from the ultra right-wing conservative branches of the political and religious spectrum, to the left-wing, tree-hugging,  tofu-eating, god-hating leftist trolls who do nothing all day but listen for billy goats to cross their pitiful bridges. Obviously, with that kind of readership, I’m going to offend somebody, no matter what I say.

Yet, I embrace this diversity! My arms are extended and waiting to offer hugs to anyone and everyone who would let me show love. I may not affirm your lifestyle, and I may disagree with what you believe, but at least I care about you.

That being said, I know someone is going to be offended by what I’m about to write. However, there’s always another day and another blog post that you can enjoy. As the climate fluctuates, so do the posts of this blog 😉

Another Earth Day

A lot of melted glacial water has floated to the ocean since the first days of Earth Day celebrations. Predictions have come and gone, and yet the world is still flowing right along. A little warmer, maybe, but still here.

Early predictions from the first Earth Day in 1970 guaranteed that we would not be around until the year 2000. Some predictions had the world ending by 1985. Yet, here we are in 2017 and nothing much has really changed.

Do I believe that the earth might be a little warmer than it was in 1970? I guess it could be. I mean, I haven’t really been checking the temperature every day since I was three years old. But what I do know, is that we still have four seasons every year. Just like it’s always been, seasons change, and so will the epochs of nature.

If global warming is truly a thing, do I believe that man is contributing to it? No, I don’t. It has been warmer, then it got colder (they called it the ice age). Then, for some reason, long before man used coal and gasoline-powered engines to industrialize the world, things got warmer! Man had nothing to do with it!

A Proper Perspective 

What I do believe is that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). He created both the earth and day, and night, and time, and matter, and us. This is His world, not ours; but we are to be good stewards of what He has given us to manage.

I do not believe it is the Christian thing to do to waste resources, t0 pollute the environment, to run crazy with all of our self-pleasing pursuits at the risk of damaging creation. God cares about his creation, which is why one day He will remove the curse that is upon it because of sin. However, because creation belongs to the Creator, it is not the creation that we should be worshiping; we should be celebrating the One who made it.

If kept in the proper perspective, World Earth Day could be a good thing. On the other hand, if all it is meant to be is an anti-capitalist, anti-God, celebration of a deified planet, one where humans are taught to be the scourge of the earth, rather than the epitome of creation, you can keep it!

In reality, I sort of feel like paraphrasing the apostle Paul when he was writing to the church at Corinth: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you” (1 Thessalonians 5:1).

Just take care of what God has given you, praise God for it, and leave the season changing to him (Daniel 2:21).

PS, here’s a great article for today by reporter John Stossel. 

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