newthingsold

The wise man is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things both new and old.

Month: February, 2017

#GreatSongs: “It Doesn’t Make It True” by Bayside

Sometimes I just feel frustrated. I try and try to make changes but they don’t stick. I deal with depression from time to time and sometimes it feels like I just can’t get past it. I want to be a better husband and father and then I lose my temper. But as long as I don’t just lay down and accept things the way they are, or make excuses for my actions, the battle is never lost. This song has become a sort of rally cry.

We can wait for the perfect moment
But I say we’re in it
And I’ll take all the punches I’m thrown
If it’s what I should do, do, do
I want to be good
But saying I do doesn’t make it true

As if repeating my questions
And shrugging off suggestions
Ever got me far

Boys to the back and men to the front of the room
And if you think that you’ve got something missing
You probably do
I know that acceptance comes first
And if I want to change then I’ve got to work
Just cause I say I do, doesn’t make it true

Courage is an acquired trait
So we’ve got to admit that
We appreciate gained strengths
But now we’re not nice to look at
I’ve always though that I do
But saying I do, doesn’t make it true

As if excusing my actions
And well-timed nervous laughing
Ever got me far

Boys to the back and men to the front of the room
And if you think that you’ve got something missing
You probably do
I know that acceptance comes first
And if I want to change then I’ve got to work
Just cause I say I do, doesn’t make it true

My problem: sinned enough for a lifetime
Take him to the lake it’ll drown him
Like I never found him
So I can’t apologize
Especially not when I know that it’s alright
I can trust myself
To be playin’ em carefully
Why do I think I’m always right?

As if excusing my actions
And well-timed nervous laughing
Ever got me far
No it never got me far

Boys to the back and men to the front of the room
And if you think that you’ve got something missing
You probably do
I know that acceptance comes first
And if I want to change then I’ve got to work
Just cause I say I do, doesn’t make it true.

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Review: “Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower”

This is a review of the book Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower by Tom Krattenmaker.

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To start, I had high hopes for this book. The one sentence description from Amazon depicts this as the answer for what American needs by a Jesus freed from the baggage of religion and politics. As a millenial and Christian, based on the idea, I am sold. And then I read Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower by Tom Krattenmaker and was let down.

Spoiler alert: this book can be boiled down to a few ideas. Hang out with people you don’t normally hang out with. Advocate for the various weak and powerless under-represented people groups of society. Visit and love the lonely and imprisoned. Radical love can change the heart. None of these should come as a shock.

What I found interesting about this book was a chapter towards the end called “Found in Translation” which might be the closest to any sort of truly theological construct provided by USA Today’s religion columnist. Early in that chapter he presents the reader with what is known as the trillema: Jesus is either Lord, liar, or lunatic. He then claims that there are alternate choices (instead of picking A, B, or C; a person could pick an option D, E, etc.). I was almost able to track Krattenmaker’s project for the duration of the book, but when I reached this point, I couldn’t stop thinking about this part and how it doesn’t work the way he makes it seem like it should.

Without spoiling the whole chapter, two of the alternate ways one could view Jesus is as legend (Jesus’s works have been aggrandized over millenia) or a model. These don’t work because in either case, the pull out one of the suppositional points that leads one to have to agree with the trillema. If the stories about Jesus have become legend or that he is a model for us, then what is one supposed to make about the other things that have been recorded he said. I realize this is not the place for theological debate; I mention this only to say that if the potential reader has a theology background, prepare to be frustrated with this book.

Overall, Secular Confessions is okay. It is a good introduction to the idea of following Jesus, and a good reminder about parts of it that long-time followers may sometimes forget. This book does not rate highly for me, but perhaps others might enjoy it.

I received my copy of this book for free through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for writing a review of it. I was (obviously) not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.

A preview of an upcoming post this weekend.

Expect the review this weekend. If the hits are anything like the post for the original, this will be fun.img_1593

Lessons learned on the road to 1,000 miles: Part one.

I have set a fitness goal for 2017 to run (and keep track of) 1,000 miles. To make this as beneficial as possible, for each 100 miles my aim is to have a shareable idea I have learned from “the road.” Some of the lessons -I am hoping- will be practical. Some -I know- will be abstract. But still…welcome to the road to 1,000 miles.

January 10, 2017, Rome City was hit with a windstorm with gusts topping out at 45 miles per hour. I, ten days into my 2017 challenge and not wanting to break my routine, decided to go out running in the windstorm. While I was out (I should mention this was after 9:00 P.M.), the power went out and the streets became dark.

Half a week later, temperatures were in the mid 20s and snow was falling. And I was out running in it again. I was well-bundled, and my hood of my sweatshirt was tied so tight that all one could see of my beard was the mustache- making me look like that was all the facial hair I had (the mustache is not a good look on me).

These two moments have something in common. They were both uncomfortable for me. They were both difficult for me. And they both made me feel alive in a primal, man vs. nature type of way.

The easiest way to lose out on living is to avoid difficult tasks and remain inside a comfort zone.

Routine leads to boredom way too frequently. Many times, we skip out on hard because it’s…well…difficult. But embracing struggles and looking for a challenge are two things that make life full.

My challenge to you is to try leaving your comfort zone just once this month and see where it leads you.

A different way to use a journaling Bible.

This is a review of the KJV Journaling Bible.

Journaling Bibles seem to be a hot product right now in the “devotional materials” category. My wife bought me an ESV one for Christmas the year before last. This year I am using one published by Thomas Nelson. It is a hardback, King James Version, with wide margins. As I am reading through it this year, I am using it in a slightly different way than intended.

The KJV uses rich language, and some of the words are ones I am unfamiliar with. Others are ones I know, but I am unfamiliar with their original context. Using this Journaling Bible for me is a handy way to word-study the KJV. I recommend using this in conjunction with a good concordance to help break down language and its original contexts. The wide margins are useful for notes on all sorts of things related to the the text.

Journaling Bibles have a wide range of uses. From personal devotional time, to academic uses like word study, they can be a valuable edition to the Bible scholar’s bookshelf. I recommend this one as a tool to consider adding.

I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for writing a review on it. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.