Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Stop. You have already decided what this note is about. I dare you to tell me otherwise. You have, and you know it. You are not different or unique in this conclusion jumping; everyone does it. We assume immediately that we are somehow in-the-know, that we have the answers and that we can instantly understand. Ha! Wrong. You are wrong. It’s all about context.

You thought that this was a note about chicken. Dear reader, I have misled you. Do you feel betrayed? Are you frustrated, confused, amused, bewildered? Are you mildly uncomfortable, sitting there in the awareness of your psychological exposure? I know you, because you are like me... I know how you think. I can read your actions... I can anticipate your thoughts. That's how I caught you. Yes, you have been caught in my trap.

This has been a lesson in assumption.

Be careful what conclusions you jump to. Be careful what you assume, what you expect, what you are looking for. Sometimes reality can take you by surprise.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

A Racing Mind

Suddenly you can feel the adrenalin whooshing through your veins as your mind races and your work takes shape. The clock is counting down with an impossible acceleration, and you hear someone shouting out the remaining time, from some distant place.

Twenty minutes… Thirteen minutes… One minute.

Your brain is screaming, trying to output as much information as physically possible as your body is desperately fighting to keep up. One final thought, one final line, and…


Time is up. Time is out. Time is gone. At last.

There is no turning back and there’s no way to redo, repeat or revise.

You are finished.

If you’re looking for a thrill, forget roller-coasters or high speed racing… just try to write a fifty-minute essay on a story you’ve never read. It can really get your heart going! Oh, the thrilling, adventurous life of an English major. There’s nothing else quite like it.

Statement of Belief and Contract of Faith

I have recently been challenged to define my faith in a concrete and tangible way, and to articulate exactly what it is that I believe. This is what I have formulated. It does not completely explain every element or aspect of what I believe as a Christian; it does, however, provide an official and formal summary of my personal faith. (I’m sure it will also start a few conversations this week.) So, world, here it is; my faith in a nutshell.

I believe that God is the ultimate, exclusive, triune God of everything known and unknown. I believe that the Father, Son and Spirit work together in perfect and independent unison to accomplish God’s mysterious will, which is only understandable through his divine revelation. I believe that God created everything, both seen and unseen, as recorded in Genesis. I believe that He creates every person individually and with specific purpose – not only what we are, but also who we are. I believe that every human being, every culture and race and religion, came from Adam and Eve, who came from God. I believe that through Adam and Eve, and through the choices that we have made by our own free will, have chosen to live in disobedience and rebellion of God’s laws; furthermore, I believe that even a single violation of this law bears the heavy and divinely just consequence of eternal separation from God, and the sentence of eternal death, to be served out in hell. I believe that God holds people to a standard of absolute perfection that we cannot meet because of our decisions to sin, and that the only way to restore our perfection in the eyes of God is through the physical sacrifice of life, ultimately our own. I believe that God, through Christ and because of His incomprehensible mercy, created a single alternative to this physical and spiritual capital punishment for sin. I believe that God, taking on human form, came to earth to settle our debts. I believe that the blood of Jesus Christ replaced our blood once and for all, and that God accepted his sacrifice as an all-encompassing payment for all of the sins of every person, throughout history, past, present and future. I believe that Jesus lived a sinless, radical life for God, that he was murdered by crucifixion and that he was physically dead for three days. I believe that this death was temporary, and that he rose from death after those three days. I believe that he remained on earth, completely alive, for 40 days after his resurrection, appearing to many people and teaching and training his disciples before his ascension into heaven where he has ruled with the Father ever since. I believe that the Spirit was sent to us as a comforter and spiritual support after Christ left earth, and that God in all three forms is still very active in our world. I believe that the free gift of Christ’s sacrifice does not mean that following his footsteps to heaven is a cost-free journey: Christ calls us to take up our cross and follow, to be living sacrifices, and to serve in a variety of ways. I believe that being a Christian means more than simply identifying ourselves with his life; it means putting ourselves – our lives, our goals and our families – our everything second to His anything. I believe that being a Christian means a life of permanent and willing service to God. I believe that being a Christian means living like Jesus did, striving to imitate how he acted and who he was; it means believing what he said was true, and then taking that belief into reality, transforming thought into action and actively following his example. I believe that God created the church as a family, designed to support, encourage, defend, convict, correct and hold each other accountable to the hope and truth we profess. I believe that the responsibilities of the church as a whole and all Christians individually are to first: love God, second: love each other and third: share the good news and ultimate truth with the world. I believe that the Bible is the word of God, preserved as the divinely inspired written word of God’s people. I believe that it is historically accurate and that it should be interpreted literally and taken seriously.

I am defined by my faith. I have found who I am in my relationship with God. Here, before the world and God Himself as my witness, I confess that I believe these statements to be true, and that I will live my life by them. I ask you to hold me to them. I ask you to keep me accountable. This is a contract of faith, one that I have signed before, at various points throughout my journey and relationship with God. I sign it again, renewing my vow: I am a Christian, and I will follow.