What would you add?
I’ve never really been a fan of religious verbiage. I especially hate it when people call me Pastor Steve. God doesn’t call me that. But the problem with the word pastor, in the English language, is that it means just about everything. Thus it sometimes doesn’t really mean anything. Anything specific that is. The problem with me is that I tried to do and to be everything associated with the word and it just about killed me. But maybe, in truth, the real problem belongs to all of us who call on the name of Christ. (more…)
Sometimes Boris would drive me nuts. I mean really drive me nuts. Ok, sometimes I suppose he just ticked me off if we’re being honest here. I remember well the afternoons that Boris would come into our office at the college we rented from in Moscow, Russia. We’d play chess and discuss everything from politics, to Christianity, to philosophy. I liked playing chess with Boris because he was just about the only Russian over the age of 12 that I could actually beat. The reason Boris pushed me to the edge sometimes was because he clearly had little interest in discussion for discovery, but rather just for the sake of being argumentative. Boris longed for the Communist to retake the government in the national elections of 96. Boris quoted Paul McCartney with as much reverence as the apostle Paul. Boris referred to both Vladimir Lenin and John Lennon with equal admiration while joking about Jesus. Boris would deny the credibility of the Bible while all the time never acknowledging the proofs I’d give for its inerrancy. Boris just liked to argue and I suppose that’s probably normal for a young man in his late teens and early 20s. I’m sure I’ve got my own history of annoying folks with my arguments as well. So if you’re out there Boris, please know that I really do love you and miss you.
One of the criticisms of Christianity that Boris would level at me periodically was the supposition that Christianity was simply not practical. “It didn’t do much,” he’d say. Maybe he was contrasting me to the Bolsheviks of old or something. But for whatever reason he had that idea, I tried to illustrate to him that Christianity is anything but impractical. (more…)
Are you ready for 2018? I sure am. One funny note about this next year is that it is the 30th anniversary of my High School graduation. Wow, I could not have imagined 30 years ago what the world, and my world, would have looked like today. Time sure does fly. How can we move into 2018 with more purpose? We certainly need to celebrate the glory from 2017. One big victory for me is the accomplishment of purposely setting my heart to writing the book, Confessions of a Preacher, and completing it. The book is now in the hands of a literary agent who is presenting it to publishers this week.
Were there down sides to 2017? There sure were. But with those, the best advice is to simply admit the bad and then bury it. Maybe it’s a mistake or blatant sin on our part. If so, then we need to own it, confess it, and then receive God’s grace on the matter. If the bad was a wrong done to us, then we also need to call it what it was. While doing so, we need to accept God’s healing and at the same time release ourselves from bitterness toward that person or situation. Failing to forgive and release will drag us down in years to come. (more…)