Social Media Is Good

socialmedia2

Before I get started, I should be clear: I am just as prone to social media addiction as is the next person. And yeah, let’s call a spade a spade. It’s an addiction. I wanted to use a softer word – attachment? inclination? temporary periods of chronic usage?  – to distance myself from that association, but that would not be fully honest. It’s an addiction. And I’m prone to it. I know this because I go to it mindlessly, whether I’m busy or bored; I choose it over the work I should be doing; I feel the need to keep checking, to stay in the know. Over the years, I’ve deleted my Facebook account more times than I’d like to admit, and sometimes it feels like I delete my apps on a weekly basis. I feel the forceful effects of its pull and the burdensome weight of my response. Continue reading

Speeding Tickets and Other Great Offenses

speedingtickets5

I got a speeding ticket recently. It was late at night, and though I had just exited off a highway, I was still on a long, open, empty strip of road. The momentum from the highway coupled with the apparent solitude of the road were contributing factors in the weight of my foot upon the gas pedal. I was tired and just really wanted to be home. I didn’t notice any speed limit signs; I wasn’t aware of my own speed.

Continue reading

Weed Is Not the Only Weed

smoke2

“What’s so bad about weed?”

The first time I had this conversation was with a new believer. He followed up his question with the observation that the Bible never expressly mentions nor prohibits marijuana. I was a new believer myself, and as such, I didn’t have a thorough understanding of the matter. I (shamefully) remember all I had to answer was an insufficient and unsatisfying recitation of all I had ever heard: “It’s a drug. Drugs are bad.”

Continue reading

“The Heart of the Matter” by Graham Greene

the heart of the matter

“If I could just arrange for her happiness first, he thought, and in the confusing night he forgot what experience had taught him – that no human being can really understand another, and no one can arrange another’s happiness” (p. 85).

There are two things that concern Scobie most: love and faith. Overshadowing both of these things is his ultimate desire for happiness, a desire that consumes and manipulates him. Because no one can arrange another’s happiness, Scobie’s dogged insistence upon making others happy leads only to heartache and destruction.

It is exactly this heartache that brings him to abandon and desecrate the idea of a good God: “that was the mystery, to reconcile [suffering] with the love of God” (p. 121).

Continue reading

"Love Does" by Bob Goff

Love Does NYT.indd

This is a hard review for me to write. On the one hand, I disagreed with a lot of this book and would not recommend it to others. On the other hand, if I were to meet Bob Goff in person, I know for a fact I would love him.

There are almost 2,000 reviews for this book on Amazon. Eighty-six percent of these reviewers have given it a 5/5 rating. That’s a ton of people who have loved and seemingly benefitted from it. This fact, combined with Bob Goff’s laudable character as well as my dissent, are what make this a very difficult review. I’m writing it out of sincere respect for Bob and everyone else who loved it, but also out of honesty.

Continue reading

Struggling with Happiness

unhappiness2

How and why do some Christians always give off the appearance of happiness? How is it possible for a Christian to be so happy? Is that even right?

These are questions with which I’ve been contending recently. Sometimes, it feels like believing in Christ is the cause of more sadness than happiness within me. I know that Jesus brings joy and that God wants us to be truly happy in knowing him. I know this because I feel the joy of my salvation – a personal joy. But I don’t live in a box covered in mirrors; I’m a human interacting with other humans, surrounded and influenced by a world filled with evil.

Continue reading