I hope to blog on my impressions of New York, after an absence of 13 years. Much adventuring with lovely wife and teenage daughters!
"Why should one insist on the exclusiveness of Christianity if all it is is one more cultural form? But let the reality of Christian spiritual formation come to its fullness, and exclusiveness will
take care of itself. If the witch and the warlock, the Buddhist and the Muslim, can truly walk in a holiness and power equal to that of Jesus Christ and his devoted followers, there is nothing more to say. But Christ himself, and not Christianity as of form of human culture, is the standard by which "we"
as well as "they" are to be measured (Acts 17:31).
Are we seriously and realistically about the business of Christian spiritual formation as measured by the unqualified love of Jesus Christ, and as specified by our "job description" in the Great Commission?....How much of what goes on in ourselves, our local assemblies, our denominations, and our (Christian) schools, is dictated only by 'futile ways inherited from our ancestors" (I Peter1:18)?
Suppose we were to engage in ground-zero planning, planning which, armed with the best theological and psychological understanding, considers only the aim without attempting to salvage or justify what is already in placethrough previous efforts. How much of what we do would be omitted? And how much of what we now omit would be done, if all we were trying to do was to bring ourselves and others "to do all things whatsoever I have commanded you"?
The strange man in the shades in this undated photo is planning on running a marathon for a very good cause.
Although in dire need of recognition, and at the same time, dealing with lack of affection issues, he is basically a good fellow.
Support him here. I am.
Just the other day, I found something that struck me, and made me think of being a Dad, and of needing to apologize:
"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."
Jesus said this, in Luke. I know now, after thinking about it, he was talking to me, as a Dad of a 16 year old. I need to "be easy on people", and there is one person in our family that I am the least easy on. You and I both know who that is.
It seems I have spent most of my adult life trying to be less like my Dad. We both also know that he is not exactly the world's warmest fellow; he was not exactly "easy on people", nor easy on me. And now, after all this time of telling myself I would not replicate his behavior, I find myself being often too critical, and far less loving to you - my "first". For these things, I ask your forgiveness. I am going to try harder in year 16, I promise. I won't stop being the Dad, but maybe I can bring less stress.
For me, the good news is we aren't done yet. You and I are not finished growing up. With God's grace, we have lots more miles to go before we are done. I am so completely excited about your future, whatever the heck it may be. There's a world out there, Kelly, and you can do and be whatever your heart desires. I can't wait to see what happens!
So now, as you turn 16, know that as always, I love you more than I can tell, I am sorry for the ways I have judged, or not listened, or not understood. Its not easy being 16. I can remember vaguely, in the fog of the past, what it was like. Trust me, I was not the picture of grace, handsomeness, poise, and generally having my stuff together. No way. And so, I hope this next year, and many years in the future find me out to be a fairly tolerable guy. Someone who listens better than he talks, who cares, and laughs often and loud. You sure can make me laugh!
Happy Birthday, girl - I love you!