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I thought this was pretty funny. I fit some categories and not others. I seem to be a square peg in a round hole pretty much everywhere I go. I felt like that at church today.
I can't remember exactly how I happened on to it, but I recently found the DefCon America website.
I have to say it is pretty sad the way they represent and misrepresent the "religious right." I am not exactly sure whether or not to personalize it. I attend a church that is smack dab in the middle of their definition of the religious right, but I would probably not fit their definition completely. Many of my concerns and views do not precisely align with the religious right. In addition, I do not espouse the eschatology DefCon so vehemently criticizes.
Most of the time when I walk out of church, I speak very little about the sermon from that point forward. I don't think I am alone. Ironically, many at my church think that we have a very good preacher. And, by their measuring stick, I think he is. My stick, however, is how it moves people.
The fact is that he has built a large congregation virtually from scratch. I do not mean to disrespect him by talking so negatively about preaching. One of my favorite preachers, Mike Malone, from St. Paul's PCA in Orlando, had the same problem. Very few people would talk about the sermon after it was over.
Now, Courtney and I are strange, and having noticed this point, try, as much as we can, to discuss the sermon during the remainder of the Sunday. However, we find it very difficult to bring it up with others. It seems that
A week or so ago, I wrote a little on 'Bonfire of the Vanities' It was difficult to write, and I somewhat dreaded the reaction of Courtney. However, knowing her forgiving heart and the forgiving heart of my Father, I went for it.
If you are interested in her reaction, look here http://midnighthour.org/blog/index.php/archives/12.
It pains me to have hurt her so, but I know the path to righteousness leads through confession and repentance. And, I know this is what she truly desires of me.
I had a good lunch with one of my friends today. One of the things we talked about was the spiritual and psychological funk I seem to be in. I feel like I am coming out of the fog, but it seems to be a slow process.
It all started while I was reading Bonfire. As I saw into the minds of the various men portrayed, I began to realize their resemblance to myself. This is particularly true in a few of areas.
One is the way I seek to impress my colleagues. I hate to admit it, but I can see where I am often posturing to make the most favorable impression. I don't usually lie or falsely portray myself, but I do "put my best foot forward" most of the time. It is pure hypocrisy.
The second is the way appearance and sexuality plays into relationships between men and women from spouses to on-the-side girlfriends to attorneys and jurists. It is pervasive. It is the righteous man who this does not afflict. Now this is a sensitive issue. I am a married man, and I am 100% faithful in deed. But I have to admit, that I do commit adultery in my heart. Christ was the first I know of to say that what counts is lust in the heart. Tom Wolfe's insight into this area is disarming: he clearly demonstrates the connection between adultery of the heart and real adultery. It made me realize how shallow my righteousness really is.
Lastly, Wolfe keenly unwinds a story where small steps of deception completely overtake ones life. Secrecy and deception are evil. It is no wonder Satan is called the father of lies. I am a relatively honest man, but I have had my times of deception and dishonesty and they have near torn me apart on the inside. I am thankful for the grace of God and his mercy in sparing me the consequences of this lifestyle.
As I read the book, I wrestled with what to write here. When I started this blog, I wanted to be completely honest. Holding back on how the Spirit was showing me my sin in these areas felt like real deception. How could I write candidly and leave out the stirrings of my heart? No doubt, it would the hight of hypocrisy. Intentionally confessing a little earnestly is worse than not confessing at all. It makes people think you are holier than you really are.
I can't say that I am 100% transparent yet, but I am working on it. I am sure I am a worse sinner than I even know. Thank God for Christ.<!-- technorati tags start -->
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I hate to admit it folks, but I am squeamish. I cannot stand detailed descriptions of medical procedures or conditions or I quickly begin to feel like I will pass out. Now, I would not heed this light-headed "bad buzz" had I not actually fell victim to it on more than one occaision.
The first time, I was reading about vaccinations for our children. The second time was while giving blood. The next occasion I barely fought it off by pounding my fist into the ground while my elder son was getting stitches in his lip. The doctor must have thought it was surely an abuse case.
The latest occasion was brought about by a coworker's description of his appendectomy. I sensed the "bad buzz" as one of my associates accurately labeled, and quickly dismissed my self to sit with my head down to get some blood flowing up there.
Tomorrow is our first small group meeting! While I am really excited, I am also a bit frustrated. It was my intention to send out a couple of emails before we got started to remind everyone, but here it is the night before, and I have not sent one.
Thanks to Autumn for organizing the meal, so most people will probably remember. Maybe I will send an email out after this.
In addition, as I have been preparing this weekend, I realize that I should have set everyone the lesson last week. I knew that, why didn't I do it?
You know, if someone would do everything I know to do, he would be great human being.