Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I sit down every day with the intent to write a blog. Then I decide to get a cup of coffee and things come up. Phone calls, visitors, things that need to be taken care of, questions to answer and before long, my day is over and I haven't blogged at all. I feel like there are thousands of things I want to write about, but never get it done. I have 2 books in my head waiting to be put down on paper, but they never seem to make it. I have some Bible Studies for The Revolution Inversion that I need to write, but things always seem to come up in front of them. There are lots and lots of things I want to discuss and discover, but it seems life gets in the way.

You ever feel like that? You ever feel like life is in the way of really living? Books to be read, things to get done, quality time to spend, things to do or say that never seem to get done? I wonder if it's our ego that makes the list, or just the reality of the world that keeps us from them. Seems like for every thing we get done, there are 3 more waiting in the wings. Are you there with me? Having things to do that never seem to get done? Well, hang in there, you are not alone. Hopefully, we will get there together. . . someday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Know Thyself

This is an issue that I tend to harp on quite a bit. The reason is because I don't think very many people actually know who they really are. I think there are several reasons for that, first, because we live in darkness. I'm not talking about the lack of light type of darkness, but spiritual darkness. Even Christians I believe often come out of the darkness but stay in the shadows. We view ourselves under false pretenses, either what we do, who we are, how much we make, how we dress, how much we attend church, the list goes on and on. We may accept that we are saved by grace, but often we live by our own works, and in our own power. We don't see ourselves in light of who we really are, who we were created to be, how God made us, loves us.

The second part is I think we are ignorant. We have ideas, thoughts and theories about God, life, the past and the future and we have no interest in letting go of our false ideals. We hold to our ideologies that are often like a carnival mirror. These false ideals of how we view the world distort the world and distort how we see ourselves. Sometimes we flatter ourselves, but I think more often than that, we condemn ourselves. We compare ourselves to the ideal, people who don't really exist. Often time to escape, we begin to idealize ourselves, and begin to think more of ourselves. In either case, we think too little or too much of ourselves, we don't really know ourselves.

I think all of this culminates in society where we are expected to be like other people. I have noticed in the trend of the giant sunglasses that girls wear, I have a theory about why they are so popular (cause they are so ugly). They cover up so much of your face, that you look like everyone else when you wear them. It doesn't matter that they are hideous, it matters that you look like you are suppose to look in society. We are expected to conform, to blend, to dress the same, talk the same and act the same as the group we are with, and often we are not even truthful enough with ourselves to admit to it.

It happens most of all in the church. Simple things like what version of the Bible we use can be influenced by where we go to church. What we sing, and how we worship. Do you stand, sit, raise your hands, fall down, roll around, vibrate, laugh, cry or handle snakes? It depends on what sort of church (or strange cult group) you are in. If affects the way we do lots of things, but when we understand who we are, we can begin to act in and through the way God made us. In the next few weeks, months, years (sometimes I am slow on the blog) I want to talk about some avenues where we need to learn who we are. This, as well as some more woven theology and the rest of my big deal. Hope you keep reading and commenting with me.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Christian Hackers?

So I wanted a documentary last night (yes on purpose) about Linux. It was called Revolution OS and if you are into nerdy stuff like that, you would enjoy it. You see, Linux is an operating system, like Microsoft Windows, but with a major difference. It's part of 2 movements that have sprung off each other. The first is called the Free Software Movement, started by a guy who worked on some software called gnu. The goal of the Free Software Movement was to be able to share, to give the needed tools away along with the source code so that others can improve upon it and then share it with others. When Linux hit the scene, it helped spawn the Open Source Movement. Open Source is similar to Free Software, only if I take the source code of a Linux OS, like Ubuntu and I change the source code and rewrite some of it, I can then rename it to like jdanlinux and distribute it, I just need to give credit to Ubuntu for their work. Some of the linux systems are for purchase, most are free.

So, what you are asking yourself is, what does that have to do with Christianity? You see, the individuals who are anti-open source are companies like Microsoft who have a corner on the market, have closed source and proprietary software (Microsoft stuff only works in Windows). You have to play by Window's rules, and the code is closed, so if you want to change the software to meet certain needs, you are out of luck. You just have to hope Microsoft will. On the other hand, in the Open Source and Free Software camps, you are free to change and adapt. For example, there was a program called Bison that ran in C. A guy needed it to run in C++, so he re-wrote some code and created Bison++. They gain advantage by sharing ideas, by helping, supporting and sharing, while Microsoft lacks this advantage.

For the better part of the last century, the Church has been Microsoft. It has been run from the inside, many have a very top down structure and it's closed. The end users (people in the pews) had very little ability to make changes, only to choose to attend or not attend a church. This has hit a climax now in the 21st century when we have created a generation of church hoppers, shoppers and many who would rather just stay home and watch church on tv. They have been fed up with the closed system, coming to a room with a bunch of people they never connect with.

The church is beginning to see it, they are moving closer. The Small Group/cell group movement is pushing closer to the community aspect, but what I have noticed is that these hackers have the idea of community down better than the church. The software community works better than the Christian community. This community truly wants to connect, share, interact and help and support one another. It's based on giving and sharing and helping others. That is what Jesus taught for us to do, to give and share and help, but so often we are shamed by these other communities.

Perhaps it's because the tech industry in better at change than the church. Maybe it's because the tech movement is moving so much faster than the church. I think when it really comes down to it, Free Software and Open Source work so much better because they are less paranoid than the church, they are not as concerned with control, with manipulation and who the "leader" is. As we see the small church/organic church model begin to take off, we will see the church and the tech market begin to look more and more alike. The focus will be on the community, on the body and not so much on the individual.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

1 A.M.

Do you ever have the greatest thoughts at like 1 am and then lose it by the time you are ready to blog? That is totally my life. I sat around last night and thought about all the stuff I wanted to blog about, and I almost came down to blog it, but I didn't. Now I am sitting here in the couch and I can't remember for the life of me what it was I was going to say.

I am trying to adjust to my life with a neurological disorder. For those of you who read my blog and don't know (which I know is many of you), I have dystemic disorder. Dystemic disorder is related to bi-polar, but it only goes one direction. It's also called mono-polor, people who are dystemic either go manic or depressive. I get depressed. I have struggled with depression my whole life. I remember being depressed at 17 and 18 and not even understanding that I was depressed. I was depressed at 24 but in total denial. I was depressed at 28 and 29, but by that time I admitted it.

I struggle with the diagnoses and the idea of being flawed, of having nothing I can do about it is not the problem. It's the stigma of depression. It's like the Christian community believes that if you have Jesus, you should never be depressed. Anti-depressants are seen as little pills of no-faith, and I struggle with that. I guess it comes down that I worry too much what people think of me.

So the issue became pride and self centered-ness. I care too much what people thing, want to please people and do all the things that get me kudos. If God gave me this burden to carry, I should share it with the community, but I don't. It makes me wonder how large my Christian community really is. Perhaps it's not as big as I would like to think it is. As you read this, I hope it grows a little (knowing the community of folks who reads my blog is pretty small). I hope this confession helps you and inspires you a little in your own struggle with whatever your burden is.