God is a Practical Idealist

When I think about spiritually unhealthiness, it always boils down to one simple thing. We are not allowing God to bring about the reality he wants to bring about in our life, our work, or our church.

An unhealthy church is one that doesn't have life in the Spirit at the center of its being. When we start to make purely human decisions without God's direction, we begin to morph what should be a redeemed entity into a human institution. This is most easily evident in leadership. Some churches do not have the spiritual leaders as the physical leaders of the church. This causes an unhealthy situation in which the spiritual reality is in all-out conflict with the physical reality of what should be the redeemed and beautiful bride of Christ.

In our lives, the spiritual reality is always in conflict with the physical reality. And vice-versa. A healthy spiritual person faces a constant barrage of temptations to taint the physical reality they are beautifying. We, as Christians, crate a healthy physical reality that can help combat the dark spiritual reality of our own and other's souls. Both spiritual and physical can be corrupted. And both spiritual and physical can be redeemed.

To relegate the redeeming power of Christ to just the spiritual or the physical has always been a constant battle in the history of the church. We need to always keep both in perspective. God is always at work trying to redeem everything.

He is an idealist. We just need to get a glimpse of that ideal and allow Him to use us to help bring it about. He doesn't want us to just participate in mental exercises. He wants the spiritual processes to change our physical reality.

Watch out for the potholes.

Back to Blogging

I wanted to wait a week before I actually said that I am back to blogging regularly. I originally stopped blogging as frequently as I once did to spend more time on GLCCalumni. I thought it would be better to post my thoughts and questions in a forum that would be conducive to conversation rather than posting a monologue on here with people then responding.

I didn't really find the change all that beneficial. Things always seemed to devolve into a debate rather than a constructive conversation, so I decided to go back to blogging. God willing, I plan on being here for a while again.

Watch out for the potholes.

Scared of Community

Many people like to proclaim that we live in a fast-paced world. It seems like people make themselves too busy to enjoy the simple and important things in life; by making themselves so busy, they are missing out on some of the greatest blessings God has for them. Why do people make themselves too busy to be in relationships with their family, a church community, or their neighbors around them? Too often we just say people are too busy, but I've been wondering how to tackle the problem of busyness and that starts with asking, "Why do people make themselves so busy as to avoid the blessings God intends for us to enjoy?"

We usually accept busyness as a valid excuse for people to avoid community, so are churhes are filled with many busy people who don't intimately know anyone. Again, I ask, "Why do we make ourselves too busy for community?"

Busyness keeps us safe from the sins in our life that would be revealed if we were to experience community. Community is dangerous. It's similar to marriage in that we must lay down our life and put others first. Community involves a commitment to one another and a relinquishment of some of our freedom for the sake of those around us. When someone else is in need, we stop what we are doing to meet their need. When someone needs to talk, we stop what we are doing to listen.

But community is even more scary than just giving up our time. If we are to be in genuine community we will have to be in relationships with people. Our sinful heart cannot be hidden if we interact with other people in authentic community. Our true nature will shine through, or we will find the community to be too stressful to belong in and find ourselves fleeing from it.

We cannot be in community because we are busy. And it appears that we busy ourselves because we are selfish and don't want to deal with who we really are. We have to deal with those issues if we are ever to experience community the way God intended it.

Watch out for the potholes.

An Experimental Idea to foster Community

Sam had a recent post on the monastic life and ended with the question, "Who has practical ways to put the above in the practice?" I don't know if I would throw this idea into the "practical" category, but I think it would work if a group of people had their mind set on doing it.

Here is an illustration of an idea Lindsay and I have come up with to balance the commune life where a group would all live in a shared building with shared possessions with the common desire to have our own place and possessions. Many people would love to have the friendship a commune fosters without the sacrifices a commune requires. Can that friendship be done without the sacrifice? We think so.

I think it would work best if all of the people were from the same church. If they have a church building, it would be nice to have this be near the building. If they have a paid pastor, I think it would be important for him to live in one of the houses.

The idea is to have this be the center of community for the whole church and the people that might not be part of the church yet who live right down the road or across the street. It is not meant to be in isolation (the problem with the modern commune), but in the center of the town or city that the church is in. It is a place for people to hang out when they are lonely and just want people to hang out with, and they can do it without having to buy a coffee or a beer. The side facing the road needs to be open in order to be welcoming. The backyard would be an open community that would welcome anyone.

The people living in the houses would have to be the type of people who love company and love to be around people. When they get burnt out, they also have to be the type of people that would be comfortable going into their house while people are still playing in their yard.

Also, it allows people who might not normally be able to afford a pool or a nice playground to have one in their backyard because they are sharing their resources with the other houses around them.

Any other ideas would be welcomed.

edited to add: It was pointed out to me that this design might not fit to zoning codes in a community. Like the communes of the time of the Celtic reevangelization of Europe, these communities might have to built right on the outskirts of the town or city then.

Watch out for the potholes.

World Without Cancer, the plight of Starchild Abraham Cherrix, and Vitamin B17 Therapy

I decided to make a links page for vitamin B17 and a couple of the scary stories of cancer treatment, children, and the state.

First comes the book that is important to the discussion. In it "G. Edware Griffin marshals the evidence that cancer is a deficiency disease - like scurvy or pellagra - aggravated by the lack of an essential food compound in modern man's diet. That substance is vitamin B17. In its purified form developed for cancer therapy, it is known as Laetrile."

Here is the author's website where you can find a lot of useful information for cancer treatment.

Vitamin B17 has been banned in the United States, but it is not illegal for individual purchase and use. The government will remove funding from medical establishments that use the vitamin, but we are free to use it ourselves. However, it is not included in any multi-vitamin, so we have to go out of our way to get it in our bodies.

Here is the cheapest place (after shipping) that I found to buy apricot seeds, the best source of vitamin b17.

I am not an expert on Laetrile, the concentrated vitamin version of b17, so I will not give a link on where to buy it. It is availabe in different forms and from different sites, so just use my handy little google search bar.


The story of Starchild Abraham Cherrix:

For those who don't know the story. Starchild has reoccurring Hodgkins. The first time through, the family treated it the way the doctor's always treat cancer, with chemotherapy. The second time, the family doesn't want to go through chemo again since it didn't work the first time. They have chosen to treat their child through alternative methods. The government then took partial custody of Starchild away from his parents due to that decision. This whole case scares me to death because we would not let our children undergo chemotherapy or radiation to fight cancer. If the government can take our children away because of that, it terrifies me.

Virginia Teen Fights for Right to Choose Hodgkins Treatment.

July 21 - Judge orders teen to Cancer Treatement.

July 25 - Judge lifts order.

However, the story isn't done. The parents have received custody back and are awaiting the next trial date.


Reading through the web on this story, I found another story that terrifies me just as much. It happened last year and I never even heard about it. A 12 year old, Katie Wernecke, was taken from her family and put in foster care because the parent's refused to give her the care the state wanted to give her.

12 year old with cancer taken away from her parents.

Here is the Katie's family blog. Katie was treated the way the government wanted, yet still has cancer.

Just like the Wernecke family has to do now, I fear that if any of my children would develop cancer, we would have to flee and hide so the state wouldn't know where we are. This is a crazy country. I never thought I would have to say that I would have to hide from the government.

Watch out for the potholes.

Lost at the Children's Zoo

Isaac, Eli, and I were waiting in line for the boat ride at the Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo when Isaac saw some zoo maps. At some point prior to this, Isaac had missplaced his previous map. He loves carrying around the zoo map and was extremely disappointed when he lost his map earlier. So I let him go pick up two - one to carry and one to keep in the stroller for a replacement when he lost the one he was carrying again.

Despite just getting the maps, I didn't want Isaac to carry the maps onto the boat ride which might result in it getting wet. But I also didn't want to lose our place in line. We had already waited there ten minutes. So I decided to have Isaac go by himself to give the map to Lindsay who was standing just twenty feet away. I could see her and the path all the way leading to her. It seemed relatively safe.

I watched Isaac all of the way. He was now less than 4 feet away from Lindsay; however, Lindsay nor Isaac saw one another. Isaac was still looking around aimlessly. I should've held him up and showed him where Lindsay was standing. And Lindsay was just daydreaming. I should've attracted her attention to the fact that Isaac was going to be walking up the path alone.

Then it happened.

With Isaac only being 4 feet away from Lindsay a group of around twenty people just appeared out of nowhere. I lost my view of Isaac. Then the group was gone. And so was Isaac.

I yelled, "Lindsay, do you see Isaac!?"

For some stupid reason, I still didn't want to lose my place in line. The woman behind me said, "I will hold your place in line if you need to go."

And go I did. I ran to Lindsay. I looked down both trails that he could've gone. Still no Isaac. We could hear him yelling, "Mama! Mama!" But I couldn't tell which direction it was coming from. So I took off running in the direction that would lead to the exit of the zoo. And prayed. I ran across a little bridge that went over the waterway the boats would go through into a giant courtyard where over 200 people were playing and sitting. I peered through the crowd quickly. Still no Isaac. If he had wandered there and was playing, I would have to find him later because my main concern was somebody getting out of the zoo with him. So I went down the path that would lead to the exit. After running about a football field, I decided he wasn't this way. I turned around and sprinted back.

I peered through the courtyard again to see if I could see him. Still no Isaac. Back over the bridge and down the other path, I continued to run. Lindsay was up at the ticket booth beginning to report our missing child. My imagination was running wild. The zoo is definitely not the place you want to lose your child in. So many dangerous options. Besides my worries that he could've been snatched up by some sexual predator, I was also worried that he would climb into some animal cage that he shouldn't go into. I prayed some more.

I ran down the path, past the Australian dogs, past the Australian pigs, and into the kangaroos. There he was. He was no longer yelling. He was just walking peacefully down the path. I said, "What are you doing?" He replied, "Looking for mama like you told me." And that is how it ended. Isaac was safe. We were relieved to find him. He enjoyed the boat ride. I let him carry his map on.


The weird thing is that about twenty minutes later we found a lost kid. He was wandering around aimlessly without any parents. We helped him find his.

Watch out for the potholes.

Arbitrary Tests of Fellowship

Sadly, it is common for churches to make some unbiblical teaching a test of fellowship. You have to adhere to some manual with extra-biblical (and sometimes non-biblical) teachings in it in order to be a member of such and such church.

This whole journey of trying to find a church has led me to be much more non-denominational than I was in the beginning. It seems like every church has some teaching or practice that is contrary to Scripture that must be believed or adhered to in order to become a member.

But even non-denominational churches sometimes are just as guilty as denominations when it comes to making some arbitrary test of fellowship a requirement for membership. They sometimes become an institution unto themselves.

If it isn't a teaching or practice defined in Scripture, then it isn't something that people should have to state they believe in or adhere to if they want to be a member of the church. The key word in that sentence is "church". If you just want to be a parachurch orgainization, go right ahead; however, once you label yourself "church" then the expectations on you are much greater than the expecation on a parachurch ministry. You are stating you are the bride of Christ and should act like His bride. And as such, you shouldn't place requirements on fellowship that aren't in Scripture. Because if the local "church" isn't going to be the "Church", then what group of believers will?

But then I struggle with saying "sola scriptura". I would like to think that we would all be able to use common sense and open up any translation of the Scriptures and come up with the same conclusions on what are the essentials of the Christian faith and what a life of complete discipleship looks like. This has been true for me in the past, but it has only been true with people that are taught to interpret the Scriptures the same as I was. When I cross into areas of different methods of interpreting Scripture, I conclusion struggle to be the same. Our church history (or lack thereof) is what teaches us to interpret the Scriptures the way we do. It is almost like the most unifying doctrine of the church is an unwritten doctrine of how to interpret Scripture. It is a doctrine that Scripture itself does not teach.

But I'm confused. It's either we entrust the church, which is the body of believers, to discerning what is proper doctrine or we believe in the individualization of the faith and come up with our own personal doctrines based upon our own readings of Scripture. Is there a middle ground? If so, how do we decide what doctrines reside in that middle ground?

The Church has been entrusted since the time of Christ of transferring Jesus' teachings to our time. And we, as the Church of this time, are entrusted to be a bridge to the people around us and the future generations that will follow us. But what message do we send if we can't even agree on what that message is? And how do we come up with a unity of teaching even in a small group as big as a local church?

How can we be a church that is focused on making no arbitrary tests of fellowship but still have the truth and live the life of Christ in this world without individualizing the whole church experience and making it devoid of community?

Watch out for the potholes.