Month: June 2013

There is a friend . . .

Relationships evolve. What began as a first staff position, wherein my Pastor regularly produced axiomatic gems I would not soon forget, grew quickly to friendship. Rick once said to me, “You explain people and I will explain nuclear fission.” The complexities of the being called human defies a simple explanation. We are more than bi-pedal, carbon-based life forms, another Davisism.

When we hurt, when our minds find it hard to fathom what we call reality, the words and encouragement of a friend cannot be priced. They are a balm.

I was catching up on things having been on vacation for the past week and found this,

Todd and Patty Littleton, their daughters Kimberly and Tommie, and all their extended families, are our dearest friends. The live right in Tornado Alley lately. Their area is now under water and without power after the latest storms. They are safe, thank God, but not all are safe. In the midst of all the storm we are also reminded how death can come in the plain old ways, while massive death descends from the skies.

Rick’s words would certainly fall under the category complimentary. And then there was this,

Richard Dawkin’s calls altruism the “selfishness gene,” but he is a Brit, after all, and his soul lacks empathy the same way British food lacks proper flavor. If altruism were actually selfishness, we would see it more often and there would be no mourning at the sudden end of its object. There are plenty of others who need a home, like puppies at the shelter. One is gone, run over down on the road? No matter, pick another, bring them home to the porch and so supply your own greedy need to feel good.

If there is grief, and if grief lasts, then selfishness cannot be the cause of altruism, or personal need the seed of kindness. In fact, one doubts the genetic coding of compassion. I, for one, suspect it is imparted with grace, by means of faith, and ruled by the law writ large on the heart.

You will find the entire piece here. Consider checking out Rick’s series on Grace while there.

The Lights Are Flickering – What’s A Church to Do?

Power went out at our house Friday night. We were not alone. Thousands lost power. Some are still waiting on electric companies to turn the lights back on.

Friday afternoon we suffered another loss. The power went out. There is no more waiting for her. The power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in her.

CatherineDDallas Willard remarked before his death that, according to his understanding of human consciousness and Resurrection, it might be some time before he realized he had died. If that is true, the accident that took Catherine’s life did not interrupt her awareness of the love of God. The Apostle Paul concluded such a conviction about the love of God and the notion of separation. “Nor death,” he wrote.

The blog has been quiet for a few days. And, it may for a several more. We will share in a Memorial Service this Friday. This is not the first time our church family has lost a young person. Five times in 19 years I have stood to grieve with families, friends, and this community. Each young person was unique because each life presented us with particularities of personality and relationship.

Tragedies often force us to defend the notion of a personal God that participates in the events of life. My skeptic friends deny magic but then accuse God of not performing such in times like these. I care not to get into a protracted defense at this point. What I am concerned with is that we take more time to hone our skills than our arguments.

Books abound on apologetics. I think we need to apologize. What matters more, and seemed so to Jesus, is the learned practice and participation in Divine Love. Were we more adept at loving the unloved, the hard to love, and those that do not want love we may offer a stiffer defense of both the Incarnation and the Resurrection. For us at Snow Hill, I am hoping that is the path we take when answering the question, “What’s a Church To Do?”

I offered some thoughts on the life of Jesus as we faced that question this past Sunday. I generally do not link to my own sermonic endeavors. But, as odd as it sounds, I may need to listen again a time or two as I need Jesus mediated to me early and often. If you are inclined, here is the link.