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Why Witchcraft Makes Sense

By on Mar 9, 2017 in The Scrawl |

I can never be accused of writing boring headlines, can I? Okay, so strap in because this requires some thinking that won’t be sewn up for at least five hundred words. I’m “friends” with people on social media who are not Christians. I’m friends with people in real life who aren’t Christians. I go to church with some too, I’m sure. But through my social media experience I have observed something interesting and, finally, logical. But it doesn’t seem logical at first. The phenomena I speak of is former “Christians” now engaged in full-blown witchcraft. Not, not like 80’s witchcraft where you listened to Ozzy and cried about how hard your teenaged life was while you burned a black candle. No, I mean an actual appeal to a spirit or spirits in pursuit of power for one purpose or another. This isn’t the first time I...

The Big Lie

By on Mar 7, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Western Hemisphere, American, Southern, Cultural Christianity is no Christianity at all. And here’s one of the big reasons why. WHASCC is the spoof, the mockery that all Christianity bears as a burden. It’s both Westboro and $130M church buildings. And the real church suffers for it. But let me tell you where WHASCC wants to get into my heart. And how. And why I sometimes let it when I’m not being vigilant. Universal Healthcare and Immigration are the two big ones that spring to mind, but there are others. Universal healthcare is bad, right? I mean, it means I get less money, right? That I am paying for someone else to have something they haven’t worked for, right? I mean, why should I ever pay for someone to have something and have no benefit from it. This is Jesus up and down, right? The government says it is illegal for a hospital to deny me treatment for any...

An Angry Tree

By on Feb 21, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Since moving to Nashville, I have come to see that there is a peculiar change occurring in me week in and week out. I have never, ever, gone to a church that was as drenched in the gospel and soaked in the overwhelming grace of Jesus, as Immanuel Nashville. Hear me: they/we are far from perfect. I can find problems with anyone, and anything, ever, and can usually complain about something. But this isn’t a nitpicky sort of thing. I cannot in any way do anything but marvel at the power of God to change me that I am experiencing. And it’s not because of Ray Ortlund or any amazingly well-crafted process or program. In fact, it’s the opposite. There is no formula outside of Gospel + Safety + Time. This exposure to a rowdy, nearly ridiculous group of outcasts who have all encountered grace through crippling brokenness is doing something to me. For instance, I have never,...

Where My Soul Thrives

By on Feb 8, 2017 in The Scrawl |

I posted a photo to Twitter this morning and there was a big reason behind it. I have several friends right now that are suffering in what I think of as “Soul Deserts.” So what is a Soul Desert? Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (ESV) People talk about fresh food deserts. Where the only way a person can get fresh, healthy food, is to travel beyond their ability. I understand this concept and think it’s horrible. But worse is the idea of a Soul Desert. I would define a Soul Desert as an area with few if any healthy churches. And by churches I don’t mean buildings. I mean communities of faith that are actively living out said faith for Jesus, in their broader social community, with a mission towards bringing the gospel. The Soul Desert is a...

The End?

By on Feb 6, 2017 in The Scrawl |

Raped. Murdered. Betrayed. Robbed. Cheated. These are past-tense verbs that describe horrific actions. These are also impossible to permanently apply to a Christian. Can a Christian be murdered? No. Raped? No. Robbed? Betrayed? Insert your sin here. Really, it doesn’t matter what it is. And some of you might be sharpening your pitchforks but I need you to see something and really engage this line of thinking for a moment. But first, let’s talk about immigration, because I need more kindling around my feet. I watched the 84 Lumber ad that was so controversial. From a marketing standpoint, it’s absolutely brilliant. 100% got me. It should be required study for those in pursuit of marketing that makes an impact. But what occurred to me in the whole of the immigration debate is a rather unusual set of assumptions. I am against building a wall. I am also against 100% open...

My Problem with “Woke”

By on Feb 2, 2017 in The Scrawl |

This post will hopefully offend you, whichever side of this you fall on. I want it to. I want you to feel uncomfortable and not just pen another sign that says, “Hurray for our side.” I want you to shift in your seat and feel unsettled. I want you to purse your lips and maybe give me a little sneer from the other side of our screens. I want you to to sigh. Why? Because I want you to question your own bias in this. Either way you go. If you’re politically liberal and believe yourself to be “woke” or politically conservative and believe yourself to be “right,” I want you to be unable to find a cozy spot to park yourself beside me. I run in an odd circle of folks. I, myself, am a theologically conservative Christian. I live in a politically liberal city in a politically conservative state. I go to a church that is a mixture of both ends of that...

Give and Take

By on Jan 16, 2017 in The Scrawl |

It has been a decidedly long time since I blogged here. Many reasons for that, not least of which is that I relocated my entire family to another state. There were numerous reasons and some I can’t go into, publicly, and some I just won’t. Suffice it to say, this has been a journey and then some. My life is entirely different now, save for the presence of and pursuit of God. And so I write about that today. In particular, I want to write about a concept that has been maligned or abused, depending on who you ask, within Christian thought. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 Jesus makes a stark contrast between Himself and others. You might contend that the “thief” is any false shepherd or leader. That holds up scripturally. You could also contend that the thief is a spiritual power,...

Monster of the Week

By on Oct 14, 2016 in The Scrawl |

I have been contemplating something recently and wanted to put it down here. There used to be a very simple formula for making television work. And regardless of the subject of the series, it almost always boiled down to the Monster of the Week formula. In other words, the heroes of the show battled a new, fairly generic, monster. Whether this was a literal monster, ala Star Trek, or a figurative monster, ala Murder She Wrote, the idea had about a dozen different iterations and was as predictable as could be. This was different from the sitcom method in that sitcoms held that a monster was the situation the whacky protags found themselves in week to week and it was never too serious. What really made me wonder about this structure, though, was the show Supernatural. It fits in the style I tend to write in(urban fantasy) and my sister is a fan. So I thought, “Why not?” But...