Category Archives: Trials and Storms

The Dying of the Light

I wasn’t planning on commenting on the suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams. He is, in one sense, merely the latest in a string of tortured entertainers who eventually were overcome by their inner demons. I don’t plan on having a tearful “we’ll miss you Robin” Marathon of his movies. And while I do feel a sense of sadness, it is not for the loss of his art, but for the loss of his humanity.

I wasn’t going to comment on the suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams, because I didn’t know him, I feel no connection to him, and I honestly didn’t see how it would do any good.

I wasn’t planning on commenting on the suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams…until…

…Until some popular commenter decided to put his [ignorant and/or poorly articulated] thoughts online. This popular commenter intoned in his article that, because he has experienced some depression in his life and has overcome it, that he can speak to the hows, whats, whens, and whys of Robin’s depression. Since there are apparently still some very uninformed opinions about depression out there, I feel the need to weigh in. Continue reading

Through the Roof.

And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.” Mark 2:3,4

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

One week ago, I aired my inner struggles concerning a particular family difficulty in a very public place. It was nerve wracking. On the one hand it felt like a failure, because it felt as though I were not trusting that God would take care of my needs. On the other hand, I knew that God provides through people. In the last week through the generosity of friends (and a few friends of friends) and our parish family not only have our immediate needs been met, but likely the all the needs we will have during the reconstruction.

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We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed…

…perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. – 2 Cor 4:8-11

If you’ve been following us on facebook over the course of the last month, you have witnessed a small demonstration of the above verse. Since Mother’s Day we have had a house flood, our car has been vandalized, and our children, filled to the brim with cabin fever from living in a hotel suite, have incurred various injuries from rough play in confined spaces – the latest of which required emergency oral surgery and the removal of our oldest son’s two front teeth. Kristin and I have done our best to keep everyone in good spirits, but we are feeling afflicted in every way and perplexed, and struck down.

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Noah: Deluge-onal or Buoy Genius?

I’ve just returned from watching Darron Aronofsky’s adaptation of Noah, and I’ve got a lot to say. I ask your pardon, in the middle of this review, my wife gave birth to a beautiful son, so this was written quickly in two separate sessions. If I have a few disjointed thoughts, I blame in on first night of sleep with a new baby.

On to the review!

Spoiler #1 There’s a big flood that covers the Earth.
Spoiler #2 When it’s over, only Noah’s family survives.
Are you surprised? Continue reading

Rejoice?

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” —Philippians 4:4-8

Norman Vincent Peale once wrote about the Power of Positive Thinking. He believed that simply having a good attitude about things could improve your circumstances.

It has never quite worked that well for me. Trying to drum up a positive attitude can prove to be difficult. I’m a “hope for the best, plan for the worst” kind of a guy, so it is fairly difficult for me to try and find the “positive angle” on difficult situations.

The Apostle Paul, took this idea of positive thinking to a deeper level. For Paul it wasn’t about looking for the positive angle in life, rather, it was about finding God in all situations. “Rejoice in the Lord!” We can rejoice in all situations because we believe and trust that God is Lord over all situations. There is nothing that we will ever face that God cannot use for our eternal good!

It is in this scenario that we can lay aside our worries, and with thanksgiving trust God to meet our needs! It is in this scenario that no storm can threaten us, for we rejoice in the Lord of the storm! “Rejoice in the Lord, always; again I will say, Rejoice!”

Homework this week:
Find the book Prison to Praise by Merlin Carothers. It’s short, and worth your time. Find the song I Am Ready For The Storm by Rich Mullins on iTunes, it’s cheap and worth your time.