Honestly Thinking

Honestly thinking (& rethinking) about God, the universe, and everything in between

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The Political Correctness of being Politically Incorrect

Back in high school, my best friend Mike and I were riding in my oh-so-cool blue 1978 GT Toyota Celica, most likely with Phil Collins music blaring in the background (because that’s pretty much what we always listened to in those days – if not Peter Gabriel, Bryan Adams, or anything from my “Miami Vice” soundtrack).  I don’t remember the exact context of the conversation, but most likely as a wanna-be-filmmaker I had been dreaming up another idea for one of our many VHS camera recorded mini-film adventures, when I proposed,

“And then one of the Japs comes flying down with his plane…”

Mike suddenly turned to me with that wry half-grin of his and said, “Japs?”

“What?” I responded, clueless at what he was getting at.

“Japs, Steve?  Really?”

You see, a little background here: Mike was (or I guess still technically is) half-Japanese – his mother, an immigrant from Japan after marrying Mike’s American military dad.  If anything, Mike somewhat more favors the Japanese side in terms of looks.

But to me, Mike was just…Mike.  My best friend. Continue reading

If You Are a Trump Supporter These Are The 9 Things I Assume About You

AUTHOR’S UPDATE: Please note that the following article was written prior to the actual GOP primaries because I was concerned about people supporting Donald Trump as the Republican candidate.  Since then the definition of “Trump Supporter” has obviously expanded to include a larger segment of the population, including people who readily agreed with my article. Thus my assumptions obviously do not apply to all “Trump Supporters.”

For my most recent thoughts on the election and support for President Trump, please see my latest article: A Trump Protester’s Insider Look Within the Evangelical Trump Supporting World.

Dear Trump Supporter,

Let me start by saying that I get it.  I get the frustration. 

I, too, am tired of all the PC language that has dominated our culture.  I’m tired of having to be careful about everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) I say for fear of accidentally offending someone and dealing with hyped up repercussions.

I, too, am sickened with politics as usual – with a stagnant, do-nothing government.  I’m tired of unmet promises and of wimpy politicians who won’t stand up for what is right and what needs to be done.

I, too, am concerned about our nation’s security, knowing there are people out there who absolutely hate us and will stop at nothing to destroy us – even to the point of trying to disguise themselves amongst us if they can.

I, too, worry about our world’s economy, with other countries engaging in unfair trade practices.  I’m worried about our own nation’s economy, and I’m worried about my next paycheck.

I, too, am frustrated by an ever expanding federal government, continually imposing its rules upon us, forcing us to buy a product we may not want, and telling us what we are allowed to believe…or else.

I, too, am concerned about where our country is headed.  I want to see our nation great again.

So I get it.

I get the allure of a charismatic person who speaks his mind, who appears above the fray, and seems to epitomize success.

Why wouldn’t we want an accomplished businessman to run the “business” of the states?  Why wouldn’t we want a person who could not care less what people think to break through the barriers of our hypersensitive speech.  Why wouldn’t we root for someone radically different than what we’ve seen before in Washington, who promises to get stuff done, while at the same time makes us laugh?

But this is not about Donald Trump.  No, this is about you. Continue reading

Just Not Feelin’ It: An Open Letter to God

Dear God,

I don’t know quite how to say this, we’ve been together so long, but lately over the last several days…I’m just not feelin’ it.

No, this isn’t some kind of break up notice, for we’ve been through too much together for that.  And we’ve had some pretty amazing times.

This isn’t a crisis of faith – though I’ve said I’m “losing my religion,” my belief and trust in you is stronger than ever.

You’ve not done anything recently to offend me.  You’ve not thrown me under the bus.  You’ve not cheated on me nor lied to me nor wreaked any personal major havoc.

It’s not that I have some theological issue with your allowance of suffering and such; you and I have worked our way through that.  It’s not that I’m troubled about seeming contradictions I’ve read; we’ve talked about those, too.

You and I have had knock down fights before and moments where I’ve nearly walked away.  I’ve screamed at you and cursed as well and nearly thrown in the towel.  But it’s not quite like that at all this time.

It’s just that my feelings for you, over really even the last couple weeks, can best be described as…meh. Continue reading

I’m a Christian and I Don’t Believe in Intelligent Design

There’s a classic theorem out there that compares the creation of the universe to putting typewriters in a room full of monkeys. 

On one end of the spectrum are those that contend that given enough time, say billions or even an infinite number of years, the monkeys randomly pecking away at the keys will eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare.

On the other end of the spectrum are those that argue that after even billions (or even infinite) tries of hitting on the typewriter, the monkeys might be able to accidentally type up some words, or maybe even a complete sentence, but the chances of typing up even one actual Shakespearean play are insurmountable Continue reading

I’m a Christian and I Don’t Believe in Miracles

One of my more memorable experiences with the “supernatural” or the “miraculous” occurred early in my Christian walk.  I was struggling with some overwhelming issues late one night when I heard God tell me to “go out to the church and pray.”

This was not just any church; it was a beautiful church that sat up on a hill overlooking Lake Travis in Austin.  Ironically, I had never actually attended this church, but had several times gone out there to pray, sitting in my car in the parking lot.  It was also the very parking lot (as shared in 2 of my previous posts: “Why I Was Kicked Out of Vacation Bible School” and “Losing My Religion”) where for the first time I heard the “voice” of God.

Now God was calling me back to that same place, presumably to hear his voice again.   Continue reading

Losing My Religion: Why I No Longer have Faith in God

So here’s the truth: the god that I have believed in for much of my life does not exist.  Yes, it’s true.  And there’s a good chance that the god you have believed in does not exist either.

But let me explain a little bit about this god I have believed in:

First, this god that I have believed in does not allow suffering…well, maybe he does for others, especially bad people and those who live in other parts of the world, but certainly not for me.  But this god obviously does not exist because I have definitely experienced my share of suffering – maybe not nearly as bad as others, but enough to occasionally make my life miserable and difficult at times…and much of it since I became a believer.  And anything less than the most comfortable existence for me is certainly too much; so my god of “no suffering” does not exist. Continue reading

Not Alone: making it through the messiness of life

This is yet another unplanned post, but as I’ve reflected a lot on my 4 a.m. post (as well as some of the others) I thought I would share.  Many responded through comments on the blog, Facebook or through private messages offering words of support and prayer.  As a result, in the midst of what our family has been going through I felt deeply strengthened and encouraged because the overall message I received was, “You are not alone.” 

Not alone, first, because so many were willing to come alongside my family in a time of struggle.  Being transparent can be a scary thing – so it means a lot when afterwards, instead of receiving the condemnation we often manage to convince ourselves we’re going to get, we receive words more along the lines of “I understand” and “I am with you.”

But not alone also because several responded with their own personal stories of struggle, letting me know that I’m not alone in this mess.  In fact, after receiving several comments and private messages since starting this blog and, after having been throughout the years a part of so many different men’s groups, home groups, and various other relationships where inevitably others begin to confess the mess in their lives, I’ve become convinced of one thing: we all have our stuff.  We all have messes. Continue reading

4 am thoughts…and a need for prayer

I’m writing this just a little after 4 in the morning.  I confess this was not within my plan.  All of my other posts have been meticulously planned out in my head for months, each with a certain timing, a certain purpose – all part of a much greater plan.  But not this one.  I had never planned, or even hoped, to write it at all, and certainly not on a different day of the week.  I don’t even know that I even have anything specific to teach or that there’s a point – just some random, and perhaps desperate, 4 am thoughts.

But I promised I would be honest and real…and so here I am.  You see just after 7am my youngest son, Chase, will be getting up, or perhaps he may not.  For the past week it has been quite a struggle and it’s starting to become routine.  We wake him up to get ready for school, and sometimes he gets going and sometimes he does not – almost always I end up spending anywhere from 30 minutes to hours, encouraging him that he can make it through at least this day.  Welcome to depression. Continue reading

A Sordid Tale of Sex and Sin…and grace

Adam & Eve hide

(Part 3 of 3 of God, the church and LGBT)

In my first post on LGBT I explained how God favors those who are LGBT.  God’s favor is never lost and never has to be earned; he simply likes you – always has and always will.  The church has sadly failed to express that.  In my second post, I explored the question of whether same-sex marriage is sin, saying how it (along with any similar questions related to LGBT and sin) is nearly impossible to answer; for in that one question is actually 1000 other deeper questions being asked.  To try and answer it in a short soundbite without first listening to others is often costly as it ends up hurting people along the way.  With that said, I’m actually going to attempt now to answer the question – or on a broader scale the question of whether being LGBT (or other similar variations) is sin. Continue reading

My Evening With a Prostitute

“What would you like me to do for you?” she asked as she knelt in front of me where I perched nervously on a bench.  “You need me to dance? You want to get touchy, touchy?  Or for even more dollars we can do more than that…

“I have a coupon,” I said.

A coupon.  How did I even get here? Continue reading

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