If you have been around me long enough, you have heard me comment that a significant number of our heroes in American evangelicalism are multi-millionaires, whether it’s an Osteen, Warren, or whoever. They are getting very rich by being “in the ministry.” (This is an observation of fact and not an interpretation of motive). I am all for successful best-sellers, but we are fooling ourselves if we think that money is not an issue we have to face. Continue reading
Being watched makes us nervous. It makes us feel like an object and not a person. This was often a theme of the French existentialists when they observed that hell is other people. When they look, we can feel “less than.” We are no longer a subject but an object. And as an object we do not feel free. This is why they rejected God. If we are watched, then we are not free. But we must be free to be fully human. Therefore, to be fully human, God has to go. I think that is how a lot of us live. Continue reading
Keep one thing in view forever — the truth; and if you do this, though it may seem to lead you away from the opinion of men, it will assuredly conduct you to the throne of God. — Horace Mann
Here’s the advice I try to follow: Resist the temptations of daily pleasure, and I’ll be happier in the long run. My life verse: “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepates her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you life there, O sluggard: When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding fo the hands to rest, and poveryt will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” (Prov 6:6-10) I didn’t say this was my favorite verse. In fact, I think it sometimes caters to my worst instincts – work until you drop. (I have never found Proverbs on my must read list of Bible books; I get too busy after reading it). But what if my philosophy of life is wrong? Continue reading
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Bertrand Russell
Yes, we have two heroes at the Bryants – Jesus Christ and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Like I have said, we aren’t the perfect family). Since I have a lot of Bibles and books about the first, my sons thought I needed another kind of bible. So they got me Arnold’s “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding” for Christmas along with all the supplements needed to sculpt that perfect body. What’s a 57 year old doing with a Schwarzenegger body building book? Sharon just goes around the house shaking her head and mumbling things to herself. I can’t prove it, but I think the hear the word “idiot” from time to time… Continue reading
I’ve been tagged to list five things people couldn’t guess about me but might help them get to know me. Actually I have 100+ things that are unique about me in a page below the header for my blog. But here goes for a few more:
1. I actually had to sign a model release once. Yes, I was a model for a day. A friend of mine was a graphic artist and had to do a rush job on a book for a major publishing firm. He wanted me on the cover. So I did. No money but it was a rush being a bonifide model. Everything esle has been downhill since then!!!
2. I broke my arm twice in the 10th grade; my son, Jon, broke his arm twice in the 10th grade; and my son, Ben, broke his arm twice, in the 9th and 10th grades. We are a broken family.
3. I have the worse GPA from my undergraduate days in my family. It was a 3.0, but I am by far the dumbest one here at home. And everybody in the family knows it. (My wife, Sharon, has the highest, but it’s clear in her case that a high GPA doesn’t help you pick out the perfect spouse).
4. I went 12 years with a semi-dislocated shoulder and lots of pain, but no doctor could find out what was wrong with my shoulder or where the pain was coming from. A doctor friend of mine sent me to an athletic trainer for a local college football team to see what he could find. He figured it out in one minute. (Reminds me of the quip, “What do you call a person who graduated last in his/her class in medical school? Doctor.”)
5. I have had four kidney stones, and found that the pain medication at the hospitals not only relieved the pain but made me really happy. I remember the happiness more than the pain. By the third or fourth visit to the hospital I was actually looking forward to the joy. This could make me a bad person. I don’t know. But I always take ALL my pain medication.
The great danger facing all of us… is not that we shall make an absolute failure of life, nor that we shall fall into outright viciousness, nor that we shall be terribly unhappy, nor that we shall feel [that] life has no meaning at all–not these things. The danger is that we may fail to perceive life’s greatest meaning, fall short of its highest good, miss its deepest and most abiding happiness, be unable to tender the most needed service, be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God–and be content to have it so–that is the danger: that some day we may wake up and find that always we have been busy with husks and trappings of life and have really missed life itself. For life without God, to one who has known the richness and joy of life with Him, is unthinkable, impossible. That is what one prays one’s friends may be spared–satisfaction with a life that falls short of the best, that has in it no tingle or thrill that comes from a friendship with the Father.
Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free… If we understand our first and sole duty to consist of loving God supremely and loving everyone, even our enemies, for God’s dear sake, then we can enjoy spiritual tranquility under every circumstance. … A. W. Tozer
Pardon me if I sound irreverent, but I’m not sure I need just another Bible study. The immediate answer given to a lot of our spiritual malaise is to study the Bible more. Anyone who knows me knows I am all for studying the Bible more. It’s what I do. Let’s call studying the Bible spiritual mountain climbing. It gives me the big view and takes me to the heights. But I also have to do spiritual spelunking. And that’s what most people don’t want to do… Continue reading