“But We Rejoice in Our Sufferings…”

Just keepin' it real, but, the past two years, life has just completely and utterly beat shit out of me. It was like being trapped underneath a seemingly never ending set of waves; one bad thing after another; feeling a sense of panic from the uncertainty that you’re going to make it. But, in the same way you don’t try and stop the waves from coming, it’s fruitless to exert your energy on any attempts at stopping this series of unfortunate events; while it’s even more foolish to become angry dur … [Read more...]

Failing Forward: A Lesson Learned From Repeatedly Learning Nothing

This morning I felt as if I was Tom Hanks character from the Cast Away the morning after being rescued. Obviously, I haven’t been stranded on a remote island bordering dementia while using a bloodstained volleyball for emotional connection. But, I did have the "norovirus" (a.k.a. the stomach flu). Which is basically the same thing. Either way, I’ve noticed a trend, a sort of pattern in my life, if you will, in the last 3-5 years or so. Around the same time Spring is swinging around the corner … [Read more...]

The Weirdest Christian Belief I Still Stand By: Heaven is For Real

So, here’s the thing, as much as my theology over the course of the past few years has changed, I still believe in "eternal life." I know, it’s weird. I can already sense the eyes rolling into the back of my progressive friend’s heads. But, hear me out, then, you may fully judge... The type of eternal life I’m speaking of is more so immortality than it is our elusive and over popularized American evangelical understanding of heaven; you know, the heaven in which exists somewhere in the sky. Wha … [Read more...]

Who Would Jesus Bomb: Is Violence Ever a Means to Effective Justice?

Who Would Jesus Bomb?I’m rarely on Facebook these days, but, recently, I hopped on and did something I rarely if ever do (on my personal feed): I engaged. Irked by a random post, I reacted, I engaged, and then, I reposted. Honestly, it wasn’t anything bad, and, it felt like a healthy engagement. In short, I reacted to a post from a guy I went to high school with; he was feeling joy over the inflicted violence towards a very vocal white supremacist.Know this: I'm just as enraged by … [Read more...]

Identity: Who You Are Is Not Defined By What They Say

I don't know about you, but, I struggle with insecurity. Like, crippling amounts of deeply embedded insecurity. My insecurity, it's this false belief in that I'm one of the very few that which struggles with feelings of embarrassment, insecurity, loneliness, and/or any other self-destructive behavior there is; all while oscillating in and out of various sets of emotions.I think they call this, "The Human Condition." What makes this so incredibly confusing is my simultaneous desire of want … [Read more...]

What the Truman Show Says About Inner Religious Freedom

In the movie The Truman Show, the director of Truman's show, is asked "Why do you think that Truman has never come close to discovering the true nature of his world until now?" Christof responds by saying, "[It's because] we accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented. It's that simple.” In short, Truman, he's settled. If you're familiar with this movie, you know it's basic premise is built around a man (Truman) who was adopted by a corporation, placed into an artificial world, a … [Read more...]

On Lynching Colin Kaepernick

I'm having the hardest time fully understanding why our nation is so incredibly outraged over Colin Kaepernick's decision to not stand during the national anthem. Empty, yet so incredibly fueled, accusations of unpatriotic treason are being hurled at Kaepernick with the intensity of which I feel would be better suited if geared towards our enemies as opposed to each other... ya know?Either way, in attempt to make sense of it, three quick things: 1) I don't think it's really as big of a deal … [Read more...]

When You’re Failing at Life #Adulting

I've been pissed at myself as of late. You see, I'm a grown ass man, and I can’t seem to will myself into waking up when I so choose. For the past several months I’ve been trying to work myself towards getting up and out of bed at 5:00am. I mean, I’ve done it - woken at 5:00am; I just have yet to do it on a consistent basis. Doing this isn't a small change, it's a complete overhaul in one's lifestyle.And, lets be honest, it’s not just waking up when I so choose that I struggle with; it’s eati … [Read more...]

“How do we call people in even as we call them out?”

I recently lost yet another a white friend over “the issue of race.” It was after repeatedly confronting him in regards to his consistent use of the “n-word.” He wasn't the first close friend I've lost, but I'm determined for him to be one of the last, as after these repeated instances, I'm relearning who I should be surrounding myself with.But this situation, it makes me wonder if within our social media day and age, where each and everyone of us has a differing voice and inevitably differi … [Read more...]

6 TIPS ON HOW MARRIED CHRISTIANS CAN EMBRACE SINGLE ADULTS

Written by Christena Cleveland(Note: Since many pastors, church leaders, and readers of this blog are married, these tips are written for that audience. The irony that I’m writing a blog post about singleness for married people is not lost on me. :)) 1. Admit that singleness is complex and that you know little to nothing about it. A lot of people seem to think that singleness is to marriage as junior varsity is to varsity. As a result, married people sometimes mistakenly believe that … [Read more...]