The Trout of Doubt

Over at a blog called “The Undercover Christian” there is a fishing yarn …

The Trout of Doubt

“Let’s blow the lid on this, and suggest a startling idea – all Christians are sitting somewhere on a spectrum of doubt at any one time.  At one end is the conviction that God does not exist and it’s all a load of nonsense, and at the other is a wild-eyed, near-psychotic conviction that God is more real that Burger King.

And nobody is ever at either extreme.  Even self-described atheists have a part of them that thinks “but what if…?” (and they wouldn’t be very good scientists if they didn’t).  Instead, in response to the factors acting on us at any one time, we slide along this spectrum throughout our lives.  We might move in either direction, by an inch or a mile, over several years or in the space of a day.  In essence, all Christians are in a greater or lesser state of worry that they might be wrong, the whole time.  All people are, whether they’re religious or not.”

For some reason the reblog button ain’t there, so this a link to a fab post:

Doubt is okay!

Head over and see what you think – I did!




(comments closed here, please leave any comments at TUC’s place – thanks) 


Superstitions of Christians (Some are really funny)

Tom has a habit of asking questions. He has a way of saying stuff. The stuff that makes you look in the mirror and see yourself more clearly. And most all, Tom does that with affection.

That is a precious gift.



(comments disabled here, please add to Tom’s list of over at his place, thank you)

Hard Times Ministries

I’ve heard many people believe that nothing should sit on top of a Bible.  It had to be laid down with face up and alone in the home.  Of course, no writing of comments in margins or underlining allowed.

Some in prayer believe if you call upon the ‘blood’ of Jesus that He likes those prayers more and thus, is more apt to answer.

Most of us still repeat “God Bless you.” After we sneeze.

You dare not curse inside the building of the House of God (As if God doesn’t hear you outside the building).

Many believe you can meet a good girl or guy at Church when really, the church is a house of sinners the same as in a bar or other secular place.

Many still believe you have to dress up to impress God at church.  Wow.  I could never get over this one as surely…

View original post 67 more words

Stop Volunteering!

“Outside of the Christian faith volunteering is a noble act that is not a part of our normal responsibilities. Volunteering is done to help a cause that cannot function unless someone comes forward to fill certain roles. The volunteer is considered such a blessing that anything they do is applauded even if it is not done well or is not complete. The volunteer has nothing to lose and everything to gain because just showing up is rewarded with praise.”

A thought provoking read!

(please add any thoughts under Live 4 Him – they are closed here, thank you)


Live 4 Him

There isn’t a pastor or church leader out there that has read this title and hasn’t thought to themselves, “how can we stop people at our church from reading this post?” Short of crashing the internet or stealing your fellow Christ follower’s internet enabled devices you can’t guarantee that people won’t come across this post. If you are willing to continue reading you may even find yourself encouraging them to do so.

View original post 815 more words

I am convicted!

“And I am convicted.”

Why do I never hear this word other than in “church speak” … ?

And why does church-speak seem to make that statement its very own evidence?

“I am convicted so I am right/it is right/we are right.  And you should be convicted too.   If you search your heart I know that you too will be convicted.   I have the proof – my proof is that I am convicted.  So just why isn’t that proof enough for you?”

an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence

“And I am conviction-ed.”

an unshakable belief
without need for proof or evidence

Is it just me – this use of “church speak” to make “an unshakable belief without need for proof or evidence” into a good thing simply because it is “church-speak” which means it is “all the proof we need” in holding an unshakeable belief (that requires no proof) –

Or does anyone else find that just a little scary?



Sin no more


Do those who have been saved weigh less than those not?
When I have been knowingly bad do I put on lbs?
Is confession like doing weight watchers?
Is forgiveness having a detox?


I was raised on the spiritual food groups.  Bible.  Church.  Sin.  Seems to me, looking back, that is a very frugal diet for a young man with appetites.


Do those who have been saved look thinner than those not?
When I have been knowingly bad do I get flabby?
Is confession like doing weight watchers?
Is forgiveness having a detox?


I thought love was smiling at everyone.  I thought love was chatting to everyone.  I thought love was something God did to us.  Because I never knew what love was at all.


When I was saved did I look heavier before?
When I have been knowingly good am I thin?


As I journey I have less and less interest in sin.  Sin bores me.  Sin distracts me.  Sin has become a label for something I no longer understand.  For something I am told I must.


Is confession like doing weight watchers?
Is forgiveness having a detox?


Sin no more, Jesus said.  Cured and “sin no more”.  And I wonder … What if he meant it?  What if “sin no more” was: sin “no more”?  What if I … sin “no more”?  What if I am free … “of sin”?


Confession is good for the soul
But confession of what.
Confession for who?


What if we would not let go of sin – just so that we didn’t have to love?
What if:  “You are cured and can only love”, we didn’t get on with?
What if heaven is now, and what if … we chose hell?


We seem to want to see a lifetime of suffering.
We seem to wish it upon ourselves.


You are cured and can sin no more.

Would leave so much more room for love.


Who makes me uncomfortable?

I have learned that when I fear taking on (add your own pet hate) I miss the point:

a) “fear” has no place in love
b) “taking on” is a win and lose scenario
c) “pet hate” is a roadblock to relationship

The God I know is not of fear – nor of winning and losing – nor of placing roadblocks in my way.

I do that.


“taking on the atheists”
“taking on the gays”
“taking on those who do not believe the bible (as they should)”
“the qualified theologians”
“the unchurched”
“the congregation”
“the institution of church”
“the lack of church”
“the homeless”
“the grieving”
“the druggies”
“the prostitutes”
“the criminals”
“the ones who scare me”

The “anyone who makes me uncomfortable (pet hate)”

Because behind every label and category is you and me several choices from now – several choices ago – several choices I couldn’t face – several choices I had to face.

I think that is why I find it easier and easier to follow God Soft Hands Jesus.

He sees me – no matter my label for me (or you).

And THAT is relationship.



A lesson in “why discipling”


There was a Man who provided a service. He was very knowledgeable, very experienced and very connected. He advertised, for how else would anyone know he even existed? He advertised in the places people would look for his services. And one day he received a distressed call. Someone who needed help. Someone let down by another “expert”. Someone who was paying the cost for the expert not being the expert he said he was.

This Man went to see the person in distress. And immediately saw why there was distress. The expert was indeed no expert at all. And the person in distress was right to be distressed. This Man listened to a tale of woe he had heard many times. He advised as he had advised many times. He took photographs as he had many times. But this Man could not make the past different. He could only make the future different. And the person in distress was no longer distressed – he was now angry – the “expert” had been proved to be no expert at all – and to put right the wrong would cost more money. The Man had also heard that anger many times.

The person in ex-distress and now ex-anger thanked the Man, and then set about researching the Man’s credentials – and found them to be good everywhere he looked. The Man indeed seemed to be the expert he claimed. So the job was agreed, and the job was done. By other Men who were indeed skilled at their different jobs. Men who had a pride in doing their different jobs to a very high standard. They were indeed good Men in the image of the Man.

The end.


That is a true story. The firm is a real firm. The job was a real job. And the job (done second time around) was to a very high standard.


It struck me that “the firm” – each person – was as good as the Man (the boss): each person had a job – each person understood their own job – each person knew the jobs of others and how all the different jobs fitted together. And I learned that each was valued by the boss, and each was necessary to the boss (and each other). Each had the skills, experience, tools and right attitude to do “the job” properly. And the pride in doing a good job was not for my benefit , not for their boss – it just “was” in each.

And the boss was absent a lot of the time. And there were no calls to reassure or enquire. He simply popped in on two occasions over one week. On both occasions his visit was not to impress me, it was to talk to his crew. The entire job was done to the very high standard, to the agreed price (including some details not included in the quote (and not charged either), and to the agreed schedule. All was as promised. And those details along the way … each was agreed as it happened. And that left a great impression.

Each of the crew was entrusted with the authority to change/adapt/amend his own bit without reference to the boss. I think it was because each had the same pride in their bit, and – as importantly – of the whole. Each knew they were part of the whole – and each worked their bit to achieve the whole. That was how they did things – it was that simple for each of them.


And – without any of us talking about God or no-God, church or no-church … I was given a fantastic living and real lesson in why disciples and “why discipling”.