I started RedLetterLiving twelve years ago yesterday to try to answer the basic question of how strongly Christian churches follow the teachings of Jesus. That part of my spiritual journey lasted six years. It was during that period that I went from a passive Sunday morning observer to actively growing my spirituality. I grew a lot during those years and since. What I found during … Continue reading In Celebration of Twelve Years
If you blog long enough, someone will eventually call you a heretic. Self-appointed orthodoxy watchdogs plague the internet almost as much as porn. Say something outside their particular theological tradition and they’ll damn your soul to an eternity in hell as fast as you can click “publish” on your blog post. My latest accusation of heresy came last week on Twitter. My theological crime? I … Continue reading Being Called a Heretic…..
In 1997 Richard Carlson wrote a very popular book entitled Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…. and it’s all small stuff. In that book he listed one hundred things to make our lives more peaceful. Some of those topics that I took to heart included: Let Others Be “Right” Most of the Time Learn to Live in the Present Moment Surrender to the Fact that Life Isn’t … Continue reading And Its All Small Stuff…..
At the bottom of this post is a link to a heartfelt post by a convinced Quaker. A convinced Quaker is one who has come from outside the sect. In this person’s case it evidently was from Catholicism. This post struck me deeply as I saw myself in much of Laura’s writing. For those not going to the original post here are a couple of quotes that … Continue reading Should this be harder? – Thoughts from a Convinced Quaker
Sometimes a burst of questions comes into my mind. They usually come and go before I have time to even put them on a Post-It for further study. This time I was at my keyboard. Here is what I have been thinking of this afternoon. In the past I have been a member of different Christian denominations who say we must go out and save … Continue reading The Rambling Questions of a Past Jesus Freak
I don’t believe that the collection of documents put together in the fourth century by Emperor Constantine’s council which is known today as the Bible was one hundred percent dictated by God. Because I believe there is a human element to it some say that I surely must therefore deem it all worthless. No! No! No! I really tire of saying this but I must … Continue reading What about the Bible???
I want to bring some comments from a previous post entitled The Right of Passage to the forefront so that the issue is clear. It has to do with my leaving my church home of the last eight years. As pointed out below I did short circuit the formal process at it’s beginning stages by volunteering to leave. I chose to take immediate action rather than to … Continue reading For Clarification….
Some people probably think that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy applies only in the military. In reality it applies in several places in our lives. One of those is our local church. That is if you are a member of one of the churches that demand a high level of compliance to their beliefs. I was up until recently a member of one of … Continue reading Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell
Here I am a senior citizen so I thought I had completed all of life’s rights-of-passage. But I was recently proven wrong. Because of my stand, here and elsewhere, that I believe that the earth is more than 6,000 years old I have been asked to refrain from some worship activities at my current church! It seems I am not allowed to believe the age … Continue reading A Right of Passage….
Do I come to Jesus because I am a sinner or because he is Lord and has agape love for me? That question is central to me at this point in my life. Another way of saying this is should I cling to Jesus because of all the bad things I have done in my life or because Jesus, being Lord, has much … Continue reading A Look at Sin (Part 4). My Personal Testimony on Sin.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————— The two groups mentioned in the title of this post are indeed on the very opposite ends of world views. But I also believe that they have much more in common than either group would like to imagine. Let’s discuss some of their commonalities. Both groups are very rigid in their beliefs; some would say closed-minded to any other possibilities. The atheist … Continue reading The Atheist Scientist and the Puritan Evangelical…..
This post will be the last and the most difficult post for me in this series on personal reflections in my walk with Christ. Justification is an issue that I personally have troubles with. What is the theological definition of justification: a forensic term, opposed to condemnation. As regards its nature, it is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins … Continue reading Justification?…
This is a continuation of my personal reflections on how I am doing at “being” a disciple of Jesus Christ. During his three year ministry on the earth Jesus judged no one except the religious establishment. Judging is a major idol in that Its purpose is usually to make us superior to others and that takes away our focus on God who is the ultimate … Continue reading Judging—
In the next few posts I am going to do some personal reflections. Will they be objective; of course not, after all they are personal to me and where I am in my life right now. If I am nothing else I am compassionate about things I truly believe in! I don’t pretend to have answers to the questions I have but I am constantly … Continue reading Two Types of Worldviews…
God put this unrelenting urge to find the meaning of life into us for a reason. He wants us to constantly seek him of our own free will of course. He loves us so much that he had his son become a human to die for us. His love is an all encompassing love (agape) for us. When Jesus said “I have come that they … Continue reading What is the meaning of life? – Part 3 The Real source.
All humans seem to innately seek the meaning of life. It is built into the core of our existence. It is one of the crucial things that make us human. My Basset Hound Beulah is quite intent just to get her ears rubbed on a regular basis and to make our daily trek out to the mailbox. (All of you who might have a Basset … Continue reading What is the meaning of Life??
I have been volunteering at a cafeteria/soup kitchen in a Christian homeless shelter for over four years now. This was part of my progression from a hectic life to the slow lane. It was doing dishes and helping to fix the meals that I learned one of the places the Lord truly intended me to be. Over these years I have progressed to doing solo … Continue reading Opportunities to share the Lord’s Love in our lives
I saw the title quote for this post form a story about Wintley Phipps who is a very popular singer/pastor. As soon as I heard it I was struck to the heart. If you really think about the words in the hymn “Amazing Grace” you come to the realization that the hymn is about reaching past our arrogance and past our pride and into the … Continue reading Amazing Grace – Reaching Past Ourselves
These next couple of posts are very personal in nature. I will be revealing some of my soul in them. Please bear with me or if you want just skip over them. I talk a lot about how we shape our futures by the God given free will choices we make. But, it was also very important for me to understand that God has a … Continue reading God has a dream for my life
One of the many conflicts in churches today is whether to offer a “contemporary” service. There as very strong advocates on both sides of this issue. But even if a church decides to take the contemporary themed service off the table there are still many other outreach tools that can be used. Let’s not limit ourselves to just the old arguments against doing something. Let’s … Continue reading Some Personal Views on Outreach – Contemporary Services
I know I promised another book review for this post but I want to slip in a personal lesson I recently learned. At the Ash Wednesday service at my church our pastor’s sermon was about some of the things we Christians do during the Lenten season. He mentioned that a common sacrifice for Catholics, he was one as a child, was to not eat meat. … Continue reading Sacrifices for Lent?