Mission Statement

Hate Christians? You'll love me.

"If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness."

Friday, November 26, 2010


Should we seek to be the least likely to offend as Christians?

Read what Mark Galli has to say about it in his article, Blessed are the Unoffended. You might be surprised what he has to say.

And until the link decides to start functioning, just copy and paste: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/novemberweb-only/55-41.0.html?start=1

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Boston Terrier Christian

I do not know how many of you are familiar with the wonderful breed known as the boston terrier. Our family owns two, and they are the greatest dogs. One trait we picked up on quickly and found written in many a book about the breed was that the dog, which is small but just breaks the barrier into qualifying as a "medium" breed, has no sense of its own size. Which is something to be aware of when say, meeting other breeds of dogs on the street.
The family dog, Daisy, deceptively hops happily up to greet other dogs, be they yorkshire terriers or great danes. One of us will then follow her, having learned that inevitably, this interaction will not be all that it appears...the other owner just looks at the grinning face of our sweet puppy and says, "Oh, it's okay, my dog won't hurt her." Usually on this occasion, the other dog is bigger than Daisy. However, upon reaching the other dog, Daisy's happy face twists into a snarling mess, and she begins to bark what I can only imagine if were close captioned, would be censored for extreme vulgarity.
Then the owner gives us a dirty look and drags their dog away, offended. We always try to warn them - it's not you we're really worried about. It's us.
I truly feel this way about myself. I remember hearing in church that you plus God is a winning team. And feeling like a loner most of my life, I took this to heart. But perhaps in a sense I have skewed the positive nature of this message into something beyond what was intended.
Because my personality is also somewhat of a know it all. So truthfully I have trouble learning from other people. I feel like Daisy where I forget that my size is not truly greater than that of my peers. Because I have felt trapped so often in church, I feel so often like I have to fight my fellow Christians, and I forget, that it is not God plus one against the rest of the Church.
The psalmist wrote, "I am just a worm." And that psalm was foreshadowing Christ, so I am probably lower.
But every day, I tug on the leash and I feel like I am bigger. I think about the knowledge I have, the books I have read. I climb on the backs of the people who went before me, and I think I can do even better.
But so far my bark has been more deadly than my bite.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just (Can't) Do It All

This one goes out to all you ladies.

If you have been a Christian for any amount of time, you have experienced it. The Proverbs 31 challenge. The drive to "be all you can be." The feeling that perhaps the problem lies within you, and that if you just pulled it together, you too could have it all, my friends. The perfect husband, the kids, the clean house, the car, the job, the life.


All of it is lies.

No matter who in your church it is you think of when you hear this, I am telling you (and I can think of more than one lady,) the truth is, she is not as together as you think. No matter how cute her outfits are, she too has days when she is not so cute, and she is super glad that no one sees it.

So what is the point of all this?

It's sooo not about anyone else. Our faith is not about comparing ourselves to the guy sitting next to us at church. It's not about making ourselves feel better or worse than them. It is totally about relating to Jesus in a more personal way. (I feel a story coming on...)

So I feel a kindred with my man, Peter, the disciple. He tends to get confused or nervous, and when he does, he tends to do or say inappropriate things. And I for one, can totally relate to this.
So in the beginning of Mark 9, Jesus takes his closest friends (his entourage, if you will allow,) and he takes them up on the mountain. Here, in my opinion, is one of the most awkward parties one could be invited to in their time.
The next thing you know, Jesus' clothes become really really white. Way whiter than Clorox can ever hope to make clothes clean. What was happening? Jesus was revealing His holiness. His "God" was showing and He brings Moses and the prophet Elijah down to the mountain. Now, just reading this, I am uncomfortable. I do not know why, maybe it is the whole grand-ness of the action, but I shift awkwardly. And then there is my friend Peter.
Oh, how truly awkward. Your friend, Jesus has just done this awesome thing. What do you say? Do you pat him on the back and say, well done? What is the appropriate response? Peter chooses to suggest they build a tent for everyone so the people can come visit everyone here. My friend Kristin pointed out that this means that Peter saw Jesus as equals with the other two. I also think this makes all three into a circus attraction. Either way, Peter has flubbed.
But does Jesus smack the fire out of Peter? Does He look at Moses and Elijah and say, "I don't know how this guy got here, he's not with me?" No. Jesus totally claimed Peter as one of his closest friends, even when Peter said or did stupid things. It is interesting to me that the Peter we see in the Gospels is almost nothing like the Peter we see in the book of Acts. He grows a great deal into a man who spends less time on one leg (because he has his foot in his mouth,) and more time serving Jesus and building up the church the way he promised.

Jesus wants to do that with us, too. No matter what you are struggling with, Jesus wants to work with you. If you'll let Him, He can take you places just like He did with Peter. And while I still feel like I am a work in process and I am still more of a mess than a (wo)man of God, I know that God has a plan to bless my mess.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Work in Progress

So the next question that one might come to after "what does the title of your blog mean?" is "what does the whole sub-title about, "If you hate Christians, you'll love me"?
Well, it goes a little something like this.
I am not a Christian whose testimony begins later in life, meaning I grew up in the church. So when I run into people who hardcore hate the church and its members, the first thing they try to do is shock me with their tales of how terrible Christians are and what terrible hypocrites we all are, and on and on and on.
Please people. Get in line. I have been in church for over twenty years. Don't you think I have seen all this? I have been through my own church hopping phase of searching for that "perfect" church where those "perfect" Christians attend, and guess what, it ain't gonna happen.
I have the same love/hate relationship that many atheists/agnostics have with the church. I hate the same things that we (oh, I myself am so not excluded from doing them,) as Christians do to make ourselves unattractive to the world as a whole. And I am here to confess to them. I am not sweeping them under the rug.
So that is why you will love me.
But what makes me different from the atheist/agnostic community? The disgust I have for myself and other brethren when we misbehave has only deepened my love for God. If God could love a fallen race of people like us, not only love, but send His Son to willfully die for us, how incredibly awesome is He?
Truthfully, much of the time, I contemplate becoming a monk and just spending time with God because He is way cooler than all of you.
But since God loves everyone, I am making an effort as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This is not your average Christian blog.

The title for one. I am not going to call myself a saint. I am not going to even attempt to be cute. At this point I want to strip down the titles to what I feel like much of the time - a failure.

In truth, most days I do not feel inspirational. I do not feel like the cute posters with nice platitudes on the bottom. I appreciate that this works for some people. For me though the truth is that I feel like a crappy Christian.

I think it's important to know a few things in this moment.
1. I'm not alone.
2. It is okay to feel this way.

What Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:18-33 is the expansion of our mission statement:
"Let me come back to where I started—and don't hold it against me if I continue to sound a little foolish. Or if you'd rather, just accept that I am a fool and let me rant on a little. I didn't learn this kind of talk from Christ. Oh, no, it's a bad habit I picked up from the three-ring preachers that are so popular these days. Since you sit there in the judgment seat observing all these shenanigans, you can afford to humor an occasional fool who happens along. You have such admirable tolerance for impostors who rob your freedom, rip you off, steal you blind, put you down—even slap your face! I shouldn't admit it to you, but our stomachs aren't strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff.
Since you admire the egomaniacs of the pulpit so much (remember, this is your old friend, the fool, talking), let me try my hand at it. Do they brag of being Hebrews, Israelites, the pure race of Abraham? I'm their match. Are they servants of Christ? I can go them one better. (I can't believe I'm saying these things. It's crazy to talk this way! But I started, and I'm going to finish.)

I've worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death's door time after time. I've been flogged five times with the Jews' thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I've been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I've had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I've been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I've known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.

And that's not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut.

If I have to "brag" about myself, I'll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus. The eternal and blessed God and Father of our Master Jesus knows I'm not lying."

The other part of being a Christian, is struggling with Christian life. Struggling with the issues of faith, doubt, church, and such. So this blog will document my life, my failures and my love/hate relationship with the church as well. (It's hard to have people as representatives of God, right?)

Feel free to interact with me as I crash through this obstacle course. But keep in mind that respect is expected, and our mission is stated under the title of the blog. We are a Christian blog, and while debate is encouraged, I reserve the right to remove anything hateful or profane.