Showing posts from August, 2013

Why Inky Johnson Thanks God for Ruining His Career

Inquoris “Inky” Johnson used to play football for the University of Tennessee. But on September 9, 2006, his lifelong plans for the NFL were shattered. During a game against the Air Force, Inky experienced a life-threatening and, ultimately, debilitating injury on the field. He was left with the inability to pursue an athletic career of any kind. Weaker men would have shaken their fist at God and wallowed in the mire of bitterness. But that’s not how Inky responded to his injury. Even though he wakes up each morning with constant pain and a paralyzed right arm, he smiles and embraces life. That’s the response, not of a weak man, but a meek man. 1 In contrast, I’m the kind of guy who becomes agitated if I get behind a slow driver on the freeway. I can respond poorly when my plans—even my minor plans—aren’t fulfilled. That’s why I asked Inky, whom I have come to call my friend, to share a little with me, and the readers here at Happier Far , about what it looks like to trust

Blog First, Ask Questions Later

By now, you’re probably aware of the controversy surrounding a Presbyterian Church (USA) decision to bar the song In Christ Alone from its upcoming hymnbook. This decision was based on the church’s discomfort with one line from the hymn about the wrath of God. The line espouses what theologians refer to as the penal substitution theory of the atonement. As the story spread through the Internet like a vicious virus, I desired to weigh in on the matter myself. Like numerous bloggers and newspaper writers, I have my own thoughts on the subject. I won’t be writing about the debate, however. Not just yet, anyway. I don’t want to perpetuate a problem that I see everywhere—including in my own heart. That problem is the unhelpful urge to talk without listening. It’s so easy to turn oneself into the Sheriff of Doctrine-ville and shoot down offending parties before they can even open their mouths. I’m all for debate, of course. Having a conversation about issues like the atonement

Being Offensive and Charitable

A “prodigal daughter” rebelled against her parents and ran away from home. Alone and in a different city, she turned to drugs and prostitution. Even after seeing a missing persons report with her face on it, she refused to contact her family. After a couple years, she found herself thrown out on the streets with no one to turn to—except her family. She called her parents and let them know she was taking a bus back home. Rand Alcorn relays this story (originally told by Philip Yancey ) in his book The Grace and Truth Paradox . I’ll let him finish: As she steps off the bus, she finds herself greeted by forty brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, and her parents, all wearing party hats, with a huge banner stretched out saying, “Welcome home.” Before she can finish saying “I’m sorry,” her father murmurs, “Hush, sweetheart, we’ll talk later. We’ve got to get you home to the party; there’s a banquet waiting for you!” This is just one of many stories told

How to Keep from Wasting Your Life

What do you do after coming back from a vacation where you photograph wild eagles, kayak amidst playful seals, hike Mount Rainier with extended family, catch and cook your own seafood, and reunite with siblings who haven’t all been together in 25 years? Well, if you’re me, the answer is get depressed—or, at least, face the temptation to get depressed. Routine, daily life just isn’t as spectacular as an amazing vacation like that. Let’s be honest. If we had our way, all of life would be a vacation. Our time would be just that—“ours,” unclaimed by the demands of anyone’s will but our own. No longer would we need to make a living just so we could spend time doing what we really want. We wouldn’t need to live for the weekend because we’d be in a perpetual weekend. But that’s a dangerous way to think. There’s something amazingly beneficial about the daily grind that is easy to miss—and knowing it can make the difference between wasting your life and enjoying your life. 2 Thessa