As I mentioned in the first post in this series, I want to highlight some of the comments that have been left on my blog posts during the past week. Hopefully, this will give more visibility to some of the reasons that I love blogging – dialog and interaction.
First, I want to highlight a dialog that happened last weekend between Hutch and Art (from “Church Task Force“). The dialog began with Hutch’s comment on my post “What surprises me…” Here is part of that comment (use the link to read all three comments):
Back in 2009 when things were toughest for us financially, I went to a local food bank supported by area churches and a ministry that Stacy and I have given to in the past in both financial gifts and clothing donations for their re-sale shop, to ask for some food and they turned me away without giving me any food. I did get a lecture from an old man about the car I drove and the clothing I was wearing and that if I got my financial house in order instead of spending my money on luxuries I would not have to scam local charities for food! My car is paid for, its not financed and its 5 years old, and my clothing is not extravagant and its paid for as well, we did not live above our means to buy these items. The downturn in the economy especially in my industry saw my income all but evaporate within a four month period. Stacy and I lived on our reserves that we had put away for just such an emergency and I did not go to a food pantry until we had depleted that fund near the end of 2009-we were really in need when I finally went to the food pantry.
The Ragamuffin Gospel played a significant role in helping me to understand an event in my life in 1994.
During fall of â€™94 I thought I lost my faith. I was studying and working at the University of Florida in Gainesville. I had been very involved in the Catholic Student Center there, but suddenly I didnâ€™t know if I believed in God anymore. I could not honestly say in the depth of my heart if God even existed. It came as a huge shock to me.
After nearly a month of agonizing struggle with my rudderless, drifting soul I received a special Grace. Jesus touched my heart in an overwhelmingly powerful way. I once again knew He was real and I knew He was my Higher Power.
Last year, 2010, I read the Ragamuffin Gospel and by the end of the year I disovered that my dark night of the soul in 1994 was Godâ€™s way of stripping away all of my silly personal beliefs. It was a run through the desert. When Jesus reached back into my soul, I received a genuine Gift of Faith. I had to lose MY beliefs in order to receive Real Faith and since then, that Faith as reshaped and molded my new personal beliefs. That includes Brennanâ€™s central theme of the radically crazy Love of a God who was willing to die so that sin would not prevent me from living in paradise with Him for eternity once I die.
This particular subject is a very important one that I just blogged on myself. Too many of us do not realize the full extent of what Jesus meant when he said that those who follow him must deny self, take up his cross, and follow him. There is a high price that is usually paid in being obedient to the One who gave his life for us.
Yes, I think a gradual approach is best.
While thousands of Pastors drop out from exhaustion and discouragement, and tens of thousands of Christians give up on church altogether.
Slow. You know, like we use to overcome other addictive practices that harm our (and those around us) ability to be more and more conformed to the image of Christ.
Perhaps start by reducing your porn addiction by 2% a week. Introduce other visual materials (let others begin to participate in their normal role), like a book or magazine or a blog. Maybe one subscription to a newspaper and one rss feed from a blogâ€“they could use the income/traffic. Youâ€™d be off porn in a year! …