C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Saturday, July 13, 2002
The guy replies, “Well, would you like me to let you out?”
Rich: “It’s still cold, and I’m still tired.”
Guy: “I thought gays and Christians didn’t get along.”
Rich: “That’s funny, because I thought Christians were supposed to love.”
Guy: “Well, do you think that I’m going to hell for being gay?”
Rich tells us at this point that his first impulse was to tell this guy that of course he was going to hell because he was gay, but that he can change. He thanks God, though, that that isn’t what he said.. instead, what came out was: “You aren’t going to hell because you’re gay .. anymore than I’m going to hell because I lie. We deserve hell when we deny the grace of Christ.”
The story goes something pretty close to that, anyway. The point being that there’s this theory going through the church at large today that says that certain sins put us in hell.
I picked up a bumper sticker at Cornerstone this year, as I often do, because it made me laugh in a very cynical fashion when I saw it.
It says, I kid you not, “Any Sex that puts YOU in Hell -- ISN’T SAFE”.
(Tangent: I’ve always been fascinated by the words that get abnormally capitalized -- ie, against normal grammatical rules -- or put all in caps. Many things can be read into that, but I’ll leave that to individuals.)
Obviously, my point here is that people don’t go to hell because they have sex outside the boundaries of monogomous, heterosexual, marital relationships. People don’t go to hell for taking drugs, for commiting felonies, nor for any other sin known to humankind. Granted, we have all fallen short of the glory of God, and we do all sin, and without sin there would not be a hell for us to go to. However, sins do not “put us in hell”. They seperate us from God on earth, and it is our choice from there to accept His grace and mercy and love and be reunited, or to continue seeking ourselves (our kingdoms) first and therefore remaining seperated throughout eternity.
This sticker (and the other two I got for their cynically humerous messages -- despite being intended as serious evangelistic tools) will never go on my car, nor in any public display area where people could think I actually take such a thing seriously. I show it without explanation to people that I know will realize why I’m laughing and why I’d pick up such a hideously off-base phrase, and I’m posting it here with explanation because I really find this worth addressing.
One of the other stickers I got (the third being more of a special joke) is, in some ways, even more humorous than the first.
“On Judgement Day, you’ll wish your car had JESUS STICKERS”.
Just think: somebody in this world actually wrote that down as a serious statement.
Well, maybe don’t think that, because if you’re not as cynical as I am, you ought to hang on to your innocence, and if you are, you don’t need my help staying there. But even so, let’s play a little game of figuring out just how many thing are wrong with that statement.
(a) Judgement day is not about what stickers are on your car.
(b) “Jesus Stickers”, such as they are, have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation, nor with our good works on which the sheep and the goats will be seperated. It is entirely possible for a satanist to have such stickers on his car, just as it’s entirely possible for an egotheist to speak the name of God on television and therefore fool large amounts of people into sending him large amounts of money, just as it’s possible for a Christian to have outlines of doves and fish on everything she owns and yet neglect to take care of the orphans and the widows.
(c) For the majority of my adult life up to this point, I haven’t had a car, and when I have, I have never had “Jesus stickers” on them, yet I can confidently say that when I stand before the Judgement seat of Christ, I will not regret either lack.
Justin McRoberts made a t-shirt that says “And they will know we are Christians by our tee-shirts.”
This is, quite possibly, one of my favorite tees (even though I don’t own one myself, and don’t wear tees anyway), and one that I’m really glad someone made. I would put, on my car, a sticker that says “And they will know we are Christians by our bumper stickers.” I think that we, as the general church body, miss the point entirely when we come out with messages such as the two bumper stickers I’m addressing in this post. Likewise, when we have tee-shirts that take common advertising slogans or other tee-shirts and we twist a few things around to make it into a so-called Christian message. If anyone would like to explain to me the point of such attempts, please email me. I did own a few tee-shirts in high school (back when I wore whem) that had some tie to my faith, but I can assure you that they were never the imitations. They were also never the mean-spirited ones, such as “Darwin is dead.” Not that that makes me better than the Christians that do own such tees, or the ones that take these bumper stickers seriously .. we are all misguided humans on a very long and hard journey, and I’ve been fortunate in having certain experiences that made me rethink or realize the empty pursuit of pointless messages.
But if you are someone that has an imitation-logo tee-shirt, or that has a goofey bumper sticker on your car, please meet some non-Christians and find out how these things come across to them, and please think about the grace and creativity of our Saviour.
If, like me, you are someone that is finally able to laugh (laughter being the best medicine and all) at the silley things we do to express our faith, laugh with me. The laughter won’t put you into hell, and on judgement day we may all find ourselves wishing we’d laughed a little more.
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Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
"in time memories fade.
I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love
-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls
"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say
you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never
stop to wonder whether earth is just a little
better than the Land of the Free"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th