He's a Christian, too? I didn't know that.

A couple of weeks ago I pointed you to an article in Relevant Magazine about Chuck star Zac Levi and his faith.  The cover article of the latest issue is about Bear Grylls, the star of Man vs. Wild.  It’s a great article, in which he talks about his faith and his life.  You can click here to read it.  Be warned, Relevant uses a digital format for their current issue that isn’t very user friendly.  They do it so you can read the entire magazine as it appears in print.  If you want to read the Grylls article, you can just click on his name on the cover.  It will take you directly there. Here some of the quotes I just loved:
What does [faith] mean?  It’s about being strengthened.  It’s about having a backbone run through you from the Person who made you.  It’s about being able to climb the biggest mountains in the world with the Person who made them.
I remember having one moment when some really good friends turned their back on me in a really nasty way…And I remember praying a simple prayer up a tree one evening and saying, “God, if you’re like I knew you as a kid, would you be that friend again?” And it was no more complicated than that.
Jesus never said, “I’ve come so you can feel smart and proper and smiley and religious…[Faith] is about finding life and joy and peace, I am not at church a lot because I’m away a lot, so I kind of cling to the simple things, like, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
It’s worth trying to read the whole article.  He talks about the parachuting accident he had when he was a member of the British SAS that left him with a broken back.  He talks about rehab and his quest to become the youngest Briton to climb Mt. Everest.  He also talks about his family and their domicile of choice (a houseboat on the Thames).  I love the section about how his wife came to faith in Christ. It makes sense the guy’s a Christian.  You’d have to have some crazy faith to eat some of the stuff he eats.  But what do I know?  Is it really that much worse than what they serve at 7-eleven?

He's a Christian? I didn't know that.

I'm a subscriber to Relevant Magazine, even though you can read a lot of their stuff online.  Sometimes I feel a little too old for it.  The same way I feel when I go to a rock show at the Norva.  I realize I've become that old guy who stands in the back and just kind of nods his head to the music. Anyway.  Thought you might be interested in this article about Zac Levi, star of the the NBC comedy ChuckClick here to read it.  I don't watch this show regularly but I'm told by a lot friends that I should.  Check out this description of Levi's house:
“Zac’s home is like a fraternity house,” explains Jeremy Boreing, Levi’s business partner, “home church” pastor and close friend. “You can’t walk in without meeting someone you don’t know. Two of the bedrooms are always used by someone who needs a place to stay while they’re struggling financially. Saturdays are open for barbecues and Sundays are for home church.”
Sounds like someone is living out their faith.  The article goes on to describe the church that gathers in Levi's house and how it provides a helpful anchor as he seeks to live as a Christian in Hollywood.  I hope you're taking the Good News about Jesus wherever you're going today.

God vs. Science?

I was raised in an "either/or" world.  And while that may sometimes be helpful, it often is not.  I’ve found that I’m often better served taking a "both/and" approach.  That is certainly the case when it comes to science and faith. Seems like most of the current dialogue shouting match sees the whole thing as Science vs. Faith.  That’s because of the attitudes of people on both sides of the issue.  There’s a take no prisoners kind of spirit that sees the whole thing as a battlefield. But what if, instead of pitting one against the other, we could let each have its own domain—domains that occasionally overlap?  This week Mike Cope linked to an Op-Ed piece in USA Today that was written by two men who are Scientists and Christians.  It’s a wonderful and inspiring read.  I can’t help but quote from the opening paragraph:
We’re scientists and Christians. Our message to the faithful: Fear not.
A good reminder, since fear seems to be what drives most discussions fracases today over all sorts of topics: religion, politics, etc.  You can find the Op-Ed by clicking here. Have a good weekend.  How about resting some with your families?

Leap of Faith

The following quotes are taken from a series of journal entries written by a man who has recently lost his wife (H.) to bone cancer.  They are just a few of the raw, honest reflections on pain and suffering that are to be found in the memoir.  Read the quotes and see what kind of impression of the author forms in your mind.  Would this be someone you'd like to know?  How strong would you say his faith is?  Check out these quotes:
  • Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly.  Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively.  But don't come talking about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand.
  • They tell me H. is happy now, they tell me she is at peace.  What makes them so sure of this?  ..."Because she is in God's hands."  But if so, she was in God's hands all the time, and I have seen what they did to her here.
  • Sooner or later I must face the question in plain language.  What reason have we, except our own desperate wishes, to believe that God is, by any standard we can conceive "good"?  Doesn't all the...evidence suggest exactly the obvious?
  • What chokes every prayer and every hope is the memory of all the prayers H. and I offered and all the false hopes we had...hopes strange remissions, by one temporary recovery that might have ranked as a miracle...Time after time, when He seemed most gracious He was really preparing the next torture.
The author?  C.S. Lewis-the prolific Christian author known for his incisive defenses and explanations of the Christian faith and for his fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia.  They are part of a personal diary called A Grief Observed.  Would you have imagined these thoughts to be the work of a Christian artist?  For the record, we get to see some healing take place.  In the end, his faith is changed but not obliterated. Also for the record, reading these quotes only makes me want to know Lewis more.  His bravery and honesty are to be admired.  He does not flinch in examining the problem of pain. Neither does the writer Paul.  It is hard to read Romans 7 and 8 while wearing rose-colored glasses.  Today we're going to read a reflection that Paul has on suffering.  But it also leads us to another one of the passages that I'm referring to as "security blankets," because they give us hope even in the most difficult of situations.  These passages remind us of our theme.  They encourage us with the knowledge that "His divine power has given us everything we need" (2 Peter 1:3).

Steven Curtis Chapman Interview

Man. How does 2 months go by without a post? (Not including bulletin articles, that is. Thanks, Ray.) And what could possibly draw me out of my hibernation? This interview with Steven Curtis Chapman, his wife, Mary Beth, and their oldest three children. As you no doubt remember, Steven's and Mary Beth's youngest daughter was killed in an accident back in May. One of their sons, Will Franklin, was pulling into the drive way when five year old Maria ran in front the car. This interview appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday, 08/06. Go get yourself a box of tissues and have a look. I know I have a reputation for making folks cry, but I'm not just trying to get you all worked up here. I am in awe. I am in awe of how this family is courageously grieving this unimaginable loss. I am in awe of a dad who could have the presence of mind to show such Amazing Grace to his son, even in the early moments of this tragedy. I am in awe of these parents and kids who are finding a way to grieve and how yet how their faith remains intact. I don't know if I would be that strong. I don't ever want to find out. When you have ten minutes or so, go watch it by clicking here and then leave a comment below. Astounding.