Thursday, November 17, 2005

Checking In

No, it's not December 1st, but I'm stopping by. The past couple of weeks have been pretty good. I've been diving into the Bible, and doing a lot more praying than I've done in a long time; my wife and I are getting along great, and I've been spending a lot more time playing with my kids. Life has been good.

I've been thinking a lot about what's been bothering me about blogging. I really do enjoy writing. Quite frankly, I think I'm actually good at it. I've been going over old entries in an attempt to put together a spiritual autobiography of sorts, and I've enjoyed reading what I've written. So what's the problem? The problem is that I like to read other blogs. And the majority of other blogs I've read take a snide, sarcastic, nasty tone to the subject at hand, and then ridicule those who disagree with them. They play to the crowd. They're taking on a persona instead of being real. And they get all the hits, all the readers. It's like watching the football player in high school who behaves like a real bast... err... "illegitimate child", but still gets all the girls. Meanwhile, behaving like a gentleman gets you nowhere.

I don't want to do that. I just can't. That's not me.

Another problem I've had is my topics. For the past several months I've recounted a journey which has led me right back where I started- the Roman Catholic Church. And I am not sorry that I made that choice. But the problem is that I felt like I could only write about Catholic things, as if nothing good could come out of Protestantism.

Again, that's just not me.

This morning I read two messages from the Life Study of Genesis by Witness Lee. Yesterday it was the Life Study of Philippians. The day before I poured over the Recovery Version of the Bible (quickly becoming my favorite), specifically the book of Galatians, with copious footnotes. It is changing my whole approach to reading the Bible. I want to encounter the living Lord of Whom the Book speaks.

I want to read Catholic apologetics works. I want to read the documents of Vatican II, and I will. What do I not want to do? I don't want to spend all my time amassing loads of facts. I've done that. I want to show starving people where they can find the bread. Heck, I want to find the bread. I don't want to win an argument anymore. I don't want notches on my spiritual belt.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:1-5)

Friday, November 04, 2005


I spent some time today reading over a lot of old posts. Forgive me for this shameless act of self-promotion, but I think I write pretty good :) At least I used to.

I started this blog to map out the journey. I didn't have any idea whether people would actually read what I wrote and I didn't care. I shot from the hip, I was brutally honest about what I liked and didn't like about churches I went to and people I encountered, and quite frankly I really knew how to turn a phrase.

Then came the Chronicle-Telegram article. Quite frankly I kind of dug seeing my picture in the paper. I got a few hits after the article appeared, mostly local. I kept plugging along. What really brought people to the blog was a post I wrote entitled "What Would Jesus Flood?", written after Hurricane Katrina hit. An evangelical blogger named Carla Rolfe posted a link, and then the flood came (pardon the pun). Got me a lot of hits after her link; even had one Monday Morning theologian reprint my essay in its entirety and then proceed to pick me apart. Hey, that's cool; nothing wrong with dialogue. But dialogue wasn't what he wanted; he just wanted to show everyone how much he knew and how many ten-dollar words he could throw around.

When I reached the end of the story, I realized that the journey was about to take a familiar turn. I decided to "revert" to the Catholic Church. Immediately I lost every regular evangelical blogger who had ever come to read my meandering ramblings, but I gained a new group of loyal followers, ones who cheered me on in the comments section and through private e-mails. "You go, guy!" Michael Dubruiel posted a link to another post of mine entitled "More Catholic Than The Pope" and another crowd joined me for the ride.

And this is where I hit the wall. All of a sudden I felt like I needed to gear what I wrote to the audience instead of writing from my heart. I started playing to the crowd. I certainly couldn't publish any political opinions, because one group of people would tune me out; if I admitted that I attended Mass in English instead of the Tridentine Mass exclusively, another group would have my hide; and God help me if I admitted that Mike Bickle means as much to me spiritually as Marcel LeFebvre. And I certainly wasn't going to adopt the style of three-fourths of the blogs out there and ridicule those with whom I disagreed.

I don't have anything to say right now. I spend too much time on the computer anyway, and I think that I need to take a step back and re-evaluate where I'm going with this. I've had fun doing it, and I've enjoyed revisiting certain segments of my spiritual past. I've enjoyed hearing from regular readers, although I'm still waiting to hear from Winnisquam, New Hampshire and find out exactly who you are :)

I just think it's time to stop writing about God for a spell and try getting to know Him.

I plan on taking the rest of November off, and then we'll see what happens. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you!

Peace! I'm out.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Broken by Your mercy, I am crushed beneath Your grace
Death to self comes sweetly as I rest in Your embrace
Broken by Your mercy, I am crushed beneath Your grace
Death to self comes sweetly as I rest in Your embrace

By Your blood washing over me, I am clean, my shame is gone
By Your love ever changing me, I am free, I’m where I belong

Beauty for ashes, oil of gladness on my head
Mourning to dancing, as I learn to trust again

By Your blood washing over me, I am clean, my shame is gone
By Your love ever changing me, I am free, I’m where I belong

I’m clean, I am clean, You’re forever washing me
I’m free, I am free, You’re forever changing me

---David Ruis, "By Your Blood"
available for download here .