Self-Imposed Limits

Immediately prior to the new millennium, American rock band Lit released “My Own Worst Enemy.” A teenager at the time, I found the song to be catchy and meaningful, because I was regularly engaging in new experiences and too often learning the hard way—by screwing up.

The driving element of the song’s chorus is:

It’s no surprise to me, I am my own worst enemy

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The Narrow Path

Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America. Just as the prophets in the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label ‘Christian’ or because some people persist in calling us a ‘Christian nation.’ ~Francis Chan

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I’ve come to believe that how we respond to our circumstances—whatever they may be—is highly correlated with our identity. Continue reading

Identity (In Christ)

“In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity” ~ Erik Erickson, Psychologist

“[Socialization] is an interactive process through which we make decisions about our relationships, our interpretation of information that comes to us through interaction, and what we will say and do. It is through these decisions that we influence our own lives and the social worlds in which we participate.” ~ Jay Coakley, Professor

“Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are the beloved daughters and sons of God.” ~ Henri Nouwen, Clergyman

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Introduction
As a Christian, I find myself frustrated with the world at times—the frequency of which seems to increase as I get older. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I’d like to believe that the increasing frequency of my frustration is a sign of a growing spiritual maturity—questionable, I know. Often, that frustration revolves around hypocritical action, though it’s not isolated to secular society. Regularly, my observation of such behavior also includes those professing religious affiliations; including Christians. Sometimes, however, I find myself to be one of those hypocritical Christians who frustrate me… Continue reading

Worth

It is a question that I believe all people must ask themselves at one point: “What is my worth?” Well, I know that I have asked myself that question many times, at different points in my life.  Most times the question is not phrased aloud, but festering subconsciously—only able to be recognized once the answer to the question is made visible in my actions; occurring at a later date.

A more frequently noted self-reflection question would be “what is my purpose?” When speaking with others philosophically, one’s purpose is the question that typically arises; maybe, because it is a safer question on which to dwell. While there may be some correlation between one’s purpose and one’s worth, it is possible to have little purpose and great worth. So too, is it possible for one to have little worth, and great purpose. It is far more unlikely, however, for one to prefer that they have little worth, regardless of whether or not they possess great purpose. I would suggest that most people believe that they can find purpose later, as long as they have worth.

Or, maybe people speak of purpose more frequently because they believe it is a determinant of worth. I think that, at times, this has been my mindset. And maybe, the better question is “WHERE do I find my worth?” Yes, I think that this is the more accurate question. Continue reading

Pain Full Paralysis

Originally posted on Facebook–January, 2011

When I was very young, I viewed God as a child would.  I think it was a good thing.  The problem was that as I grew older, I started to create my own visions of what God should be based on my perspectives; not the reality provided to me through His own Word.  My world was very black-and-white, right-and-wrong.  God was a strong Father figure in my life, and I wanted to be a strong figure too. Continue reading