Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday... Is the first day of Lent. The first day of a season of self denial. It’s a day to remind ourselves to take our focus off of self and to refocus on Christ.

It is a day to "Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19)

It is a day to "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel" (Mark 1:15).

It is a day to "Repent, and hear the good news" (Mark 1:15).

The ash is made from the palm fronds of the prior year’s celebration on Palm Sunday. The ash is a symbol of ecstatic praise gone cold over the past year.

Palm Sunday represents praise and adoration, Ash Wednesday represents the knowledge that our adoration has turned to dust.

May the ash remind us that our praises turn too quickly to dust, and spur us to refocus our lives on Christ.


The Selfless Gene

I’ve always been intrigued when I listened in on conversations between Christians when they started talking about creation vs. evolution. I’ve heard impassioned and spirited debates from equally intelligent people on both sides of the argument. And they both seem to have some excellent points.

So, I was looking forward to reading Charles Foster’s book The Selfless Gene, living with God and Darwin. I have to say this was a hard book to get through. For one, I am not a highly educated man and much of the scientific talk was really hard for me to digest. I read through several of the chapters 2 or 3 times to make sure I was understanding what Foster was getting at. It was also hard to read because Foster is kind of belittling to young earth creationists and die hard Darwinians alike. His tone was more than a little off-putting. I was hoping for a more neutral perspective.

Having said that there are some very interesting points in this book and it made me think new, exciting, different thoughts.

CLICK HERE if you'd like to check it out yourself


Sex, Lies and Religion by Randy Elrod

I just finished reading Sex, Lies and Religion, Enjoying the Freedom of Unconditional Sexuality and I highly recommend it. I grew up in the whole church scene and sexuality was not something that was discussed openly.

This book is bringing the discussion out of the closet. Elrod proposes that all longings that we experience (including sexual longings) are deep cries from within reaching out towards God. It’s all interconnected. He also talks about the fallacy of separation of body and soul, how we tend to see the nourishment of the soul as sacred and the nourishment of the body as profane.

This book exposes the sexual politics at play in the church today in relation to women in leadership and points out that men and women are both, and equally, created in the image of God.

This book isn’t a sex manual, and it doesn’t get down the nuts and bolts description of the plumbing, but it does talk in depth about the emotional and spiritual component of sexuality that so many of us miss when we focus solely on the physical.

Elrod talks about the bedroom being a place of surrender and mutual respect, and not a place of control or manipulation. He writes, “In a kingdom where grace is the currency, there is no room for a language of control. The wonderful truth is that when we accept and enjoy what is true and beautiful—we are free. Free to give love, not spend lust. Free to share ourselves, not possess others. God is enthusiastically for all that we are as whole beings as we enjoy the freedom and communion of both soul and body.”

This book is challenging without being crass, and open, honest and direct without being lewd.

Sex, Lies and Religion is a breath of fresh air. God never intended for our sexuality to be a dirty little secret.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of Sex, Lies and Religion


This should be interesting

Bart Ehrman is the author who wrote the most widely used New Testament introductory text book, and now he writes about why he has stepped away from the faith.
This looks like it's going to be a challenge, but I really love books that challenge me, and make me think long and hard about why I believe what I believe.