Have you ever stopped to ask WHY? Why am I here? What is the point? We want to know the reason for anything that might take more than 5 minutes of our time. If we want to know the reason behind everyday circumstances, how come it is so rare to sit down and ponder the reason for life? Because it is a scary thing to do, that’s why! We will either discover that 1) there is no purpose to life and therefore no reason to check off all the boxes I am checking (go to school, get a job, get married, have kids…) or 2) that there is a purpose and living in line with that purpose would require me to change the way I’m living. Neither of which seem to be very desirable. So we turn the music a little louder trying drown out that nagging little word, why..
**This is a guest post by my brother, Kevin Carden
For somebody that makes $1M per year, how much of that salary do they deserve to keep? Or how much of it can they take credit for? If they didn’t have the parents they have, would they be earning that much? What about their teachers or their coaches or their friends? What if they had been born in a different country or state or school system? What about their first employer or business mentor? What about their genetic makeup or natural intelligence or their looks or their personality? How much of those variables do they “own”? Can they legitimately take credit for them?
Over the past four years my expectations for life, how it should be lived and what should be it’s outcome, have radically changed and continue to change as they crash into reality. I am thankful for this painful process only because I see a good God who is in control of my life and who is picking up the pieces of pottery (which represent my hopes and dreams for the future) and putting them together in the way they were intended.
Jesus often astounded religious experts with answers that they did not expect.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
** This is a guest post by my brother, Chris Carden
At last in the 21st century we have finally erected a new colossus. The colossus is the ideal or quintessential human persuasion articulated and evaluated by the highly educated political, social, and philosophical theorists of our time. Unfortunately the colossus of our century is not a massive warrior, sculpted of rock, who stands guard at the entrance to our cities and universities ready to repel any attack against our preciously held convictions.
I don’t want to brush over the topic of Demas because I think analyzing his story and comparing it to our own can reveal important truths about what it truly means to be saved.
We have the luxury of looking back at Demas at a time when it is comfortable and “easy” to be a Christian and say “he just didn’t have enough faith.” I wonder how we would have done in his shoes? Somebody once said “we are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals, others, by their acts.”
Some of you might have seen this letter before at artofmanliness.com but for those who haven’t, here is one of the greatest letters ever penned.
The following letter was written a week before the battle of Bull Run by an officer in the Union army, Sullivan Ballou. At the start of the Civil War, Ballou, gave up his career as a practicing lawyer, said goodbye to his wife and children, and enlisted in the Union army. He believed so strongly in the cause for which he fought that he sacrificed all that he held dear. It is hard to imagine a greater sacrifice.
**Continuing the series on salvation, I would like to share a passage from the book Called by Kary Oberbrunner, which in my opinion is one of the best books I’ve found on describing what it truly means to be a Christian and how to find our role in the larger story.
In my experience, the extent of discipleship I’ve been presented with goes something like this:
- Accept Jesus and ask him into your heart.
- Don’t do bad things now.
- Withdraw from culture.
- Hang out with Christians.
- Go to church.
- Read your Bible and pray.