Category Archives: erratic

Sometimes there’s not a category for anything. It get thrown in this pot!

Back to the dance floor

I’m back.

I was absent from the blog due to a storm of life-change, and have missed this yarn for a while! I do miss posting thoughts on the intersection of theology with our lives, and the exchange and conversation that many of you brought to the surface. After a bit of  break, it’s time to open it up again. But first, a word for fellow readers. Blogging is like taking dancing lessons, but never going to the ballroom. Even if you never end up dancing, you’ll always wish you did. Well…

The ballroom is open.

But there’s nothing worse than a ballroom full of wallflowers. I remember this from when I used to live in Santa Cruz county. My friends and I would spend too many hours exegeting plausible East Coast swing combinations at the Palomar ballroom to any music with a back-beat, even hip-hop. And you’d always see them—three or four guys from out-of-town that came to “check things out,” yet, remained unaffected by the fervor, and having been there for hours already, would leave early simply because they couldn’t work up the nerve to ask a gal to dance.

There are “blog” wallflowers too!

When I post, and a few of the outspoken will interact on occasion, some of you relegate yourselves to a distance, hoping only to scan a written post anonymously. That is fine, of course. I am so thankful to blog, and to know that you are reading it. But I want you to know that you’re welcome to get on the dance floor and discuss, converse, chip in. Most of the reasons the “out-of-towners” were so hesitant was because 1) they didn’t know anyone 2) they just started dancing, or 3) the show-offs intimidated them. I will say to you what I might say to them in retrospect: you don’t have to be a theological professional to engage this blog–I’m certainly no pro—I just love talking about God, and how knowledge of God (theology) intersects with life. There is no offense if you see things differently, have a voice, or add to the conversation, as long as we can do this respectfully, humbly, and in love for the other person. If we follow Jesus together, the dancing will come naturally. And I will try to filter out any trolls who ruin our ballroom. :-)

The point is, I hope you will join me as I start this blog back up again. Talking to oneself can get boring quickly. But I would love to talk with you about God.

I’m not keeping a rigid schedule just to take up space–sometimes there is a constant pressure to bust out a blog post every other day. I hope I can get there, but I’m sure you would agree–better blogging is better than frequent blogging. You can still expect me to post fairly regularly–I’ll try to stick to two or three times a week as the content allows. (and as my newborn daughter allows!)

What kind of posts?

I want to wrestle with the practical implications of theology. I’ll also want to blog about theological musings and opinions that would never make it into a sermon because they are not imperative, but are fun to think about. The non-essentials, you could call them. Look for some mild book reviews, some round-ups of other people’s content, and a few sermon links. This list may grow. But whatever is in the list, the golden thread weaving through everything will be the intersection of faith in Christ with our life and culture. The Prophet Jeremiah once said that the Word of God is like a hammer that shatters the rock (Jeremiah 23:29), which asserts that every worldview be filtered through the Scriptures. I want to do that here.

 A few minor changes…

I am no longer the college pastor at Reality, but am serving at the interim pastor for preaching. That matters a lot because this blog was known as “Millennials on Mission,” with the primary emphasis of equipping and dispersing young-adults on mission for Christ in Santa Barbara, CA. My heart beats harder than ever for young adults, and they will still be addressed here, but I will also be widening the scope of this blog to consider other demographics and people groups in the body of Christ on the coastland. So instead of addressing only with Millennials, I will include those of an older “flavor” too. Heh heh.

Basically, I’m speaking about the same things but to more people. I hope it blesses you, and stirs you up. I would be blessed by, and look forward to being stirred up by your interactions and contributions, as would the rest of us.

Dancing just isn’t fun with one person.

Pastor G and Al versus Piñata

Pastor G and Pastor Al versus Piñata

The Power of Introverts

As many of you know, I am an introvert. I have written about the beauty of introversion, and the flaws of introversion. What you may not know, is that introverts take up around half of this readership. (Maybe more than half, since you are–ahem–reading a blog). In a world that seems largely biased towards extroverts, may the rest of this post serve as a breath of fresh air to my contemplative friends reading. Below is a 20 minute TED talk given by Susan Cain on the beauty of introversion, and the profound need the world has for more of us to simply “be”. We need extroverts and introverts. I hope this encourages you.

E.V. Hill ~ “Making the Enemy Run”

In liu of our One-Year Bible readings, here is a short excerpt from the late Reverend, E.V. Hill in 1993.

How the read the Bible, by N.T. Wright

Last weekend, I taught on the importance of obeying God’s word, then posted a follow-up on the devotional beauty of reading through Scripture for fun. But we should also remember that the Scriptures are more than fun. They are alive (Heb. 4:12). They are inspired (2 Tim. 3:16). They sanctify (Jn. 17:17). They renew (Rom. 12:2). They transform (2 Tim. 3:17). So we want more than mere pleasure; we want the power of God revealed through them.

But where do we start? And what do we do with it?

Below is a brilliant, six-minute explanation by N.T. Wright on how to read the Bible.

How do you know if someone is saved?

Catch yourself listening to people in different spiritual settings.

Do you ever unknowingly ponder the salvation of others based on what they say in conversation? I think we have an engrained filter that causes us to do this. Sometimes it’s awful because we end up attributing worth or disdain to people based on how they handle themselves in simple conversations, but perhaps with care….this tendency can be siphoned for edification, not comparison. Of course, all of this begs the question…

How do we know if someone is saved?

Do we just ask them? Consider some of these time-worn methods…

Do you think someone is saved because they said so?

Do you think someone is saved because you personally led them through the sinner’s prayer, and they said all the important elements, i.e., confessed their sin, confessed Jesus as Lord, asked God into their heart, and sealed it with Jesus’ name?

Do you think someone is saved because they’re members of a church roster, having been baptized, entered into the rolls, and confirmed?

Do you think someone is saved because you heard them pray at a prayer meeting, and were deeply impressed with their ability to articulate prayers?

Do you think someone is saved because they don’t live like they used to live?

Do you think someone is saved because they haven’t missed a corporate worship gathering in a while?

Do you think someone is saved, because they are able to articulate all the important doctrines about justification through faith?

Do you think someone is saved because they ran weeping to the altar to receive salvation during that outdoor festival you saw them at?

Do you consider someone to be saved because they sound just like John Piper, with everything they speak about lacquered in superlatives concerning God’s glorious, sovereign, eternal worth?

We size people up all the time.

I’m not tripping out over this yet. But I have a better question… Read the rest of this entry

Is the New Testament reliable?

This podcast is the backstory behind today’s blog post:

How can we trust the Bible when we don’t have the original copies??

We can work from what we do we have: Manuscript copies (MSS)

In order to do so… Read the rest of this entry

My Top 10 Pet Peeves

Behold, the list of eternal annoyance…

  1. When the chips left over in the bag aren’t big enough to hold salsa
  2. All the email notifications that Facebook sends when someone “does” anything.
  3. When I buy a book on Kindle Amazon only to find a nicer, cheaper version on iBooks, seconds later
  4. Tripping on stairs and knowing someone probably saw
  5. When I have all the ingredients to make killer tacos except beans
  6. Getting stuck in traffic, but in a stroke of true genius, navigating my way to the frontage road like a true local, only to get stuck in worse traffic like a true idiot
  7. When an avocado is almost ripe enough to eat…but not quite
  8. Getting a blog comment notification in the mail (yes I do), only to see that it is an automatic spammer trying to sell me a super-vitamin.
  9. Having the tip of my Ugg boots catch in a sidewalk crack
  10. When my iPhone camera doesn’t load fast enough to take that photo that could’ve won me an award

I know, these aren’t the pet peeves that REALLY aggravate me. It’s a pseudo-list. I guess I could post my real pet-peeves, and demonize the culprits behind them, but what good would that do either for them or my situation? I think the internet needs less critics and more restorers who will go beyond pointing fingers, and actually beautifying broken things. In the method of Isaiah 6, I am my own “biggest pet peeve,” and in the words of Jesus, sometimes just “need to chill.”

Just kidding, those weren’t the words of Jesus. This is just to show you that fine print is also my pet peeve.

Legalism is fun

I thought it would be fun to start a new secret-society for legalists called…

“Leviticus 614”

See, in the Old Testament, if anyone sought God’s approval, there were 613 laws they had to keep—kind of the sine qua non of religious piety.

Not only is it impossible to keep all the commands of God, but for some reason, we also have this sense of self-validation (legalism) hard-wired in us that wants to do even more than what we already can’t do! Oh, the irony.

Hence, Leviticus 614 – Adding burdens since 4000 B.C.

Any enrollments?

Sick Day

I normally post something on Saturday mornings, but I’m taking a sick day. I hope you understand.

I won’t leave you empty-handed. Below is a video proving why Shark Week just got upstaged: A Killer Whale manhandling a Great White shark.

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