Flashback Friday: The Gospel Truth

Read from the beginning… We are all of us the preacher too, in one sense, and we would all do well to reacquaint ourselves with the silence that is, the silence that speaks into the silence that isn’t. One way we do this, Buechner tells us, is by listening to our lives. All of it (34): the tragedy, the comedy, and the fairy tale. Your car that was stolen, your marital affair, your friend who betrayed you, the iPhone you own but can’t afford, the self-righteousness you feel about someone else’s affair, materialism, tax-collecting… that is the tragedy. And the comedy is that part which is both your wedding day and the day you fall in the toilet because he left the seat up, both “a kind of terrible funniness and of a happy end to all that is terrible” (6).Finally, we must listen to our lives within the overarching framework of fairy tale. Because the tragic and the comic isn’t all that’s there. The fairy tale is the spell lifted and the Beast becoming on the outside the handsome prince he had become on the inside; it is the beautiful step-sisters whose feet turned out to be too fat and ugly like the sisters were in their hearts; it is those moments in our lives when we give to the least of these in spite of ourselves because we climbed up the tree a cold opportunist and climbed down a caring, and cared for, philanthropist.

This listening to life—our own lives and the lives of others, the darkness and joyousness and impossible possibility of transformation into newness that we all share—listening to all of it in the silence before we finally but restlessly fall asleep or start our car or pour our coffee; and listening to the rustling of our tossing and turning, the cranking of the engine, the brewing of our coffee… this listening enables us to tell the truth. Read the rest.

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I know we’re sinning, but…

Hi. I am going out with my boyfriend 10 years and we are engaged to be married. I know we are committing a mortal sin by living together but I was hoping I could explain

my situation to see what you think. I would love to have gotten married years ago but my mother was an alcoholic then – she would drink an awful lot of vodka during the day, would drive and come home with car crashed and wouldn’t have a clue what happened to it – how could I get married with this atmosphere? She has had numerous breakdowns and depression so for her, she would get extremely anxious if she thought I was getting married. Her and my dad hate each other. We can’t be in the same room as each other because it is horrendous. And now – my mum has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She is going through chemo and has lost all her hair and is quite physically sick – how can I plan a wedding with this? A few months before her diagnosed, my boyfriends dad battled bowel cancer for a year and died from it. I just don’t know what to do and am very upset over it. Yes I know it’s a mortal sin but how can I organise a wedding where my parents will probably have a huge fight at it and my mum will probably make herself even sicker with worry about it. She will be really upset if she heard that we are getting married as she will look ill on the day etc… I have thought about going abroad – just the 2 of us – but that’s probably wrong too. I really feel like God is punishing me for my mistakes. Please help me and I really would appreciate any advice that you could give me. Thanks.

Hi Mary.

Thanks for writing. There’s nothing wrong with eloping or having a destination wedding. I do believe weddings ought to be communal (because the Christian life is communal), so if you can have a few people in your lives who love you—doesn’t have to be either of your parents—be there to take part in your vows to one another and celebrate with you, that’s great. But that’s not always possible, and that’s okay.

Christ always forgives. Repent of your past and move on. Get married and devote your life and your marriage to Christ.

By Christ’s Grace, I write to you
Renea

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Question Tuesday: Summer Lovin’

As summer draws to a close, what have been some of the most memorable moments from this summer for you?

Mine include:

Dallas Does… a night of really awesome covers

My favorite night was Dallas Does The Eagles (though I missed The Beatles, so…). This is a shot of Christine Hand and band killing it.

The Dark Knight marathon

Probably the best way to see The Dark Knight Rises: several things come full circle that I probably would have missed if I hadn’t watched them back to back to back. Plus, the energy in the theater made the film that much more thrilling.

Camp

Probe Ministries’s student conference. After reading the creation and fall account from the Jesus Storybook Bible, the girls asked me to read a story from the JSB each night before lights out. #purejoy

Any time I got to see family!

Helping my sister-in-law set up her classroom.

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Judgment or (or better yet, and) Redemption

Flashback Friday: Poetry Edition

speak what we feel

To destroy a shadow,
Remove the object. Or
Kill the light. Or
Make, or rather,
Be Light.
Everywhere.
All at once.

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