Posts Tagged ‘Life in the Spirit’

More Confessions of a Lutheran Charismatic

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I wrote last summer, in a post titled Confessions of a Lutheran Charismatic, about how reading Light Your Church on Fire Without Burning it Down by David Housholder was a very meaningful experience. This was because it awakened part of my spirituality that I had kept hidden for a long time–namely my singing in the spirit (aka in tongues).

I was inspired this week to share a bit about how my prayer life has evolved since rediscovering this melodic gift. That post is over at Life & Liberty under the title, Singing in the Spirit. Click the title to read that post.

Note: the artwork above is my attempt at a visual representation of a prayer song that was with me as I wrote about this topic.

Imagination, Reality, and Kindness in the Realm

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One of my earliest areas of interest as a writer was in writing short stories. I often used my study halls in high school to write fanciful stories about imaginary lands. I even had a science teacher who would let me read my stories to the class if she finished her lecture early.

One gem of a story idea was inspired by an odd panel in the family room of the house where I grew up. This one panel was 1/5 the width of all the others and it had a knot-hole toward the bottom.

I imagined a land of little people who lived inside the knot-hole of that panel. And the little people inside there had what I considered a utopian society.

My version of utopia? The little people all lived and worked in harmony and treated one another with kindness.

Brilliant right?

And what laws governed this utopia? None. None at all.

The people weren’t good and kind because laws told them to be, they were good and kind because they wanted to be.

I never quite got around to writing the knot-hole people’s story because somehow this was not like my other stories. It was more of a vision. And it felt too big and too important to reduce to a short story.

But this utopian vision has stayed with me ever since then…

Click the heart in the photo above read the rest of this essay at Life & Liberty and find out what that youthful vision still means to me today.

How I am Fallen, Yet Bold to Stand

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My mind is cluttered today with a burning issue. A clever thought would be to write about what is burning on my mind, right?

Except, no.

You see, I keep putting myself out here online and I try to be honest and vulnerable, but there are still things I hold back.

Dear internet, I don’t tell you everything, but I hope we can still be friends.

Maybe I could trust you with this but I’m not ready yet.

And maybe one day I will tell you more.

Then again, maybe I won’t.

You see, there is this thorn in my side, my besetting sin, my great downfall in life, that I don’t dare bring to the bright lights of the big internet. I don’t dare.

I alluded to it in my The Home of the Brave post at Life & Liberty. And, as noted there, I have people in my life that I can talk to about it. So, I am not alone in facing this demon.

But this is an awfully ugly demon. I would say it is even uglier than my pride, about which, dear internet, you were very gracious when I admitted to it.

But the costs of sharing about this one are too great. I find it wisest and best to keep this one more guarded.

And it all sounds so horrifying to say it like this. Oh internet, there’s this one thing that I won’t tell you because it’s so awful—because I’m so awful.

And I do often feel like if people really knew this about me then I would lose a lot of respect.

But here’s the thing, even this, my greatest failing, this does not define me.

I don’t say that cavalierly, as if, hey, it’s no big deal, I’m not that bad.

Because I am that bad.

It’s just that I know, I trust, I believe that my God is bigger and better than all the bad I am.

One of the times I come back to again and again in my spiritual life as proof that God is bigger than my mess is the time God was with me in the muck. I was waste-deep in my own folly, but God was there when no one else could hear. God got me out of the muck when no one else could help me.

And I know, I trust, I believe that his goodness in and through me is my true destiny.

And so, I talk with my God and those trusted others about this great struggle. And with God’s help, I work through it, sometimes around it, and I hope to grow from it over time.

Meanwhile, I yield to God’s love for me, I receive his goodness, and I live into my belovedness. I come to him, feeling flawed and fallen, and I let him lift me up.

He sets me on my feet, bold to stand, bold to speak and write and serve and show his love to others.

And I pray this for you too, that whatever drags you down in life, makes you feel scared to even mention, I pray that you will experience God’s bigness and goodness and your forgiveness and belovedness in him.