Tell Me Your Story.

I was nearly an abortion. I was an unplanned accident, born out of wedlock, and the one before me was aborted.

I was born to immigrant parents, who naturalized and met in New York. They started with nothing, working as many as 100 hours per week, slowly and painfully saving money until they could open their own businesses. They believed this was a great country, and still do. My father served alongside the U.S. in the Vietnam War, and he is a proud veteran of this nation.

Many of us have these sorts of stories; they inform who we are, what we believe, and what we fight for, and so we are a myriad of uniquely shaped stories, each giving rise to a different voice in the world.

The really tragic thing is when we superimpose a particular idea on someone without attempting to hear their story first, and their voice is then stamped and smothered. We can too quickly assume a person is only their picket sign, their political party, their social media feed, or a cartoonish, dogmatic, one-dimensional archetype sensationalized by a grab-bag of Hollywood images. We predict what they might or might not believe without asking, without listening, without understanding.

A person’s voice is always built from their stories, their experiences, their very real pains, and it’s this blend of blisters that has brought them to stand on their particular hill. It is a hill, whether rightly or wrongly, that has been reached by a stream of forces that no two individuals can fully comprehend in each other.

So we can only try. Patiently, graciously: to hear their story on the hill.

Continue reading “Tell Me Your Story.”

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Quote: The Truth

Don’t worry, friend. They may lie about you, mock you, hate on you, and drag your name through mud, but you are not built on what they say anyway. The truth always comes to light, and your demeanor through it all says more than words can. Let truth win.


Question: My Friend Turned Atheist, Now What?

Anonymous asked:
Three things, number one: Your blog is great, you have an anointing that not many pastors have today. No. 2: My dad died about a month ago and i am really struggling, i could use prayer. # III: Being a former atheist, how would you say is the best way to witness to them. I have a friend who was raised in the christian church an decided to stop believing.

Thank you so much for that.  And I will certainly pray for you.

I’m not sure there’s an exact science in talking to atheists that would be different than talking to any other human being.  No matter how much you tell people there’s an incredibly awesome party next door, there are always a few who won’t believe you.  They might call themselves atheists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindu, Wiccan, or Jedi, but stubbornness runs through all of us. 

Continue reading “Question: My Friend Turned Atheist, Now What?”