Short: The Path

One of the reasons I began this blog was to become more proficient at writing.  So far its been book reviews, thoughts on famiy, etc.  Today I am launching out in a new direction.  I have found that writing fiction has sometimes help me solidify my thoughts or even bring new insights.  I will sporatically be including short fictional naratives in blog posts.  I have no desire to actually write any kind of fictional work, but to grow as a writer and a thinker.  Your feedback and comments are especially welcome.  This area is new for me and I can always improve.

This is the beginning of a thought on Indwelling sin and Sanctification.

The Path

Her feet raced down the way, her mind ahead of her body tracing every step she would take along the path.  Steps she once took lightly, steps that were once quiet and silent now pounded out a loud rythm through the forest.  The once unfamilar path through the forest was now a well worn trail.  She had been this way many times before.  The undergrowth that had once impeaded her journey was now dead under the continued wear of her feet.  The journey was once tread with fear and trepidation over hours.  Now she easily covered the distance in a few minutes with boldness and practiced agility.

She hated this path. She hated the place that it took her.  She hated herself for running this way again.  She had wished in vain that the path would be forgotten and grow over, yet now she found herself on the path again.  She knew the despair that this path would bring.  Never the less she pressed on, a victum held hostage by her own behavior and choice.  She was a slave running back to a master.

The tragedy is that she had been set free.  Yet, she had figured out a way to create a path back to the bonds she once wore.  It is true that her former master had no legal hold over her, she felt at times a longing to be back under his yoke of slavery.  She had never known freedom before and it frightened her.  So she formed this path through the woods to be in a place that she hated because somehow the comfort of the familiar was more important to her than her freedom or the one who had freed her.

To be continued…

Book Review: “Dug Down Deep,” By Joshua Harris

Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters by Joshua Harris is a great book  for anyone interested in knowing God.  Harris brings the reader along on his own personal journey through the world of evangelicalism to the places and times in his life when he learned the most about God.  He humbly presents theology and doctrine where they meet at the cross-road of life.  Harris shares his struggles to not only to know God, but to live the faith that he professes providing a very vivid and practical edge to the book.

I appreciated the author’s writing style.  When reading Dug Down Deep I couldn’t help but come away feeling as though we had met several times over coffee and he was just sharing about his life.  I got a glimpse not only into theology and doctrine, but into how he practically seeks to walk with God.  The chapters were very readable and put complex issues on a simple and easy to understand level.

This is one of the most practical books on theology and doctrine I have ever read.  I really liked this book and would highly recommend it to anyone.   Dug Down Deep is an excellent resource. The retail price is $19.99 (Hardcover), and is available at places like Amazon.com for $13.49. I gave it five stars.

Disclaimer:  This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  There was no requirement to give the book a good review.  Just to review it and tell you what I really think.

Theology is Important for a Relationship With God

Theology.  A brief defanition is, “The Study of God.”  A simple explanation is that theology answers the question, “What is God like?”

The key to any relationship is knowing something about the other person.  Fathers try to spend time with their children. Spouses try to find time away from the children. Young couples go on a series of dates before they settle into a marriage.

Usually at the beginning of a relationship we tell ourselves all kind of lies about what the other one is like.  To put it milder, you may say we have differing expectations.  We paint a picture of what the other one is like, but we don’t really know what they are like until we get to know them.    Sometimes our expectations are exceeded by the character of another, sometimes we are let down.  That is why we need to spend time getting to know people.

New dad’s dream about what their kids will be.  However, they soon realize that children have a will of their own.  It is the same way with the young couple that have fallen deeply in love.  They don’t really know anything about each other, but they “love” each other.  Then months or years down the road they realize the real nature of the other person (for good or for bad) and accept that for months they were in “love” with their version of this person and now they must decide if they truly do “love” this other person. That’s why it is a good idea to take the whole courting thing a little slow and know what you are getting into. (You can check out how I dated my wife and married the most wonderful woman in the world… here).

The point is that at the beginning of relationships we fill in missing information about the other person with what we want to put there.  I think many people have false ideas about God simply because they don’t know Him and have filled in false information about Him.  Many of us have created a picture of God based upon what we want Him to be rather than what He is really like.

Some of us picture God like a Santa Claus type figure.  Others have pictured him as an angry judge.  To be honest, some people don’t think He exists at all.  Still others think of him as a passive grandfather who lets everything go.

The challenge is to really know God.  To put all of our preconceived notions on the table and read what God has revealed about Himself in the Bible.  Feeling are a good thing, but I’ve been mislead by feelings.  Isn’t it better to know God?  That happens by learning about Him.  The way you learn about God is by spending time reading the Bible and talking to him.

Theology is answering the question, “What is God like?”  Do your answers come from the Bible, where God had revealed things about Himself or do they come from how you picture Him in your mind based mostly off your feelings?

What tools have helped you dig into the Bible and learn more about who God really is?  Here are a few that have helped me along the way.