Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Missing the Jets

I have always been sad that the Winnipeg Jets (1972-1996) folded as an NHL franchise. Though they were never very successful, but like many other Manitobans I supported and loved them. Garry Bettman, commissioner of the NHL recently made some comments about the NHL returning to Winnipeg in his yearly "state of the union address." Could it really happen? I am almost afraid to hope.

May Light increase!

Monday, May 28, 2007


Today I was thinking about the power of secrets, especially family secrets. I think they are present in both sides of my family (and most likely in yours too). What is a family secret? It is some sort of information that a family either explicitly ("don't ever talk about that") or implicitly ("it's never said, but we know we can't ever talk about that") defines as not being acceptable to talk about (or share with those outside the family). Often there are unspoken rules about the secret(s) and everyone knows what they are. Some examples of family secrets might include:

1. addictions
2. abortion
3. violence
4. abuse
5. financial problems
6. death/suicide of loved ones
7. divorce
8. adultery, sexual sins
9. mental illness
10. any past unsettling event(s)

Usually someone in a power position in the family (often a parent) communicates to everyone directly or indirectly that discussion about a certain topic is not acceptable. Why do they do this? Lots of reasons. Sometimes the reason is shame, shame that a certain event happened. They may also want to protect the family from falling apart. Or they may not know how to deal with something so it easier to just not talk about it. Whether the motives are good or bad, secrets are incredibly destructive to the health of a family. Many people come into counseling with problems related to family secrets and don't feel free to talk about (and process) difficult things that have happened. When a family has a rule that they can't talk about something, it often translates as not being acceptable to feel either. Not feeling the freedom to talk about/feel something can cause major psychological and emotional damage to someone. I have seen this too many times!

I believe the antidote for health-destroying family secrets is authenticity (painful or scary as that may be to imagine) . This can be traumatic to a family because it is essentially breaking the family rules and often creates panic. If the secrets have been held for a long time, I think that individuals should work through the ramifications of challenging those rules with a counselor or wise friend. Someone challenging the status quo in their family needs a lot of support from others before doing so.

Churches have their secrets too. I think that the most unhealthy churches are usually the ones that have the most secrets (and thus the most inauthenticity). May God somehow help us to bring ourselves, our families, and our church's secrets into the light so we can deal with them. May he begin such courage with me.

May Light increase.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

German Prank

I wasn't going to post another video for awhile (sorry dial up readers!), but this prank is the best I've seen in a long time. It brings up the question though; is it OK to laugh at someone else's expense? And even further, is God OK with it? And really further, does God have a sense of humor and does He laugh at us when we suffer misfortune (like we laugh at others)?

May Light increase!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reflecting Christ in What I Watch: Part Deux

Maximus: [after swiftly dispatching another gladiator] Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?
Crowd: Spaniard, Spaniard, Spaniard...

The above quote (from Gladiator) kind of reflects a little of what I was talking about in my last post. The scene is an arena where the captive gladiator Marcus Aurelius has just slain several gladiators for the entertainment of the crowd. He angrily addresses the onlookers (who are cheering him) and asks them if they are satisfied with his performance. To me, this is the most memorable quote in the movie. The Romans had the "games," are the movies the same thing for us? Do we substitute fiction/fantasy for the reality and convince ourselves it is completely different?

Imagine the shock we would feel if during a particularly violent movie, the guy doing the butchering turned to the camera/audience and angrily said "Are you entertained yet?" Or a woman being ravished by her lover turned to the camera and asked the same thing? I'm not suggesting a ban on any movie that has R rated elements (I'm sure if the Bible was made into a movie it would be rated above R). When it comes to movies I kind of think of a continuum somewhere between two polar opposites; legalistic purity and anything-goes debauchery. Somewhere in the middle is something I call "Spirit sensitive discernment." I'm just wondering if those of us who are Christ followers have the courage to step back and honestly look at what we watch and consider its effects on us.

I've noticed that nobody responded to my last post. I'm sure many of you as fellow bloggers have experienced this before; you write what you think is an engaging, thought provoking post and then nobody comments on it! Most of the time I don't care (much), but this time I was a tad disappointed. Why didn't people comment, I wonder? Here are my theories:

1. Nobody is reading this blog. This might be possible, however sitemeter doesn't lie . . . there are at least few people stopping by (thanks Mom!).
2. Nobody cares about this subject. Also possible.
3. I'm a really poor writer and the post was boring, mixed up, difficult to read, or just plain unengaging.
4. People are really lazy (yes, this must be it!)
5. I was too open about a personal subject. Sometimes I read other people's blogs and shocked at their authenticity but just have no idea how to respond to it.
6. The post hit too close to home.
7. People have no consciences or mine is waaay too sensitive.
8. I am so out to lunch that my post doesn't even warrant a response!

Whatever the reason(s) might be, I have to admit that I've enjoyed the process of wrestling with the topic. Blogging is as much a conversation with the self as it is with others.

May Light increase!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Reflecting Christ in What I Watch

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." - Paul

Sometimes I wonder about how being a Christ follower should affect what movies I watch. It should affect it right? I have read polls that show that the lifestyle/media choices of the average Christian aren't any different than the average non-Christian. My first reaction to these polls is that something is wrong, "My brothers, this should not be!" But if we are to be different, what should that look like? I find this to be a difficult question.

In choosing what one should watch, should one go by the ratings? G (shudder), PG, and PG-13 are OK and anything else is not? The problem with this is that some movies rated R are more uplifting (at least to me) then some PG or PG-13 movies. Should one base the movie's acceptability based on the storyline or theme? Or how about the final message that the movie leaves with us? If the final message is inspiring does that mean that "contextual" elements such as sex, violence, profanity, coarse joking, occult/witchcraft, etc are OK? Or do these elements (or some of them) automatically make them unacceptable?

One of my favorite professors at Bible College (Carl Hinderager) was a very wise and holy man. One day in Spiritual Formation class he asked us a very difficult question "Is it OK to be entertained by sin?" Oh, how that question has haunted me! I remember putting it to my youth group in Mennville and watching them squirm. How would you answer this question?

I think that this is a question we need to ask ourselves every so often. Our consciences are malable, that is they can become more sensitive or densensitized over time. As North American Christians, we believe that we can watch whatever we want (as long as we don't do anything bad). The problem is that what we watch does affect us. Most insidious are the subtle things that we don't pick up on. For instance, over time, prolonged watching of sin (ex sexual sin) has the effect of "normalizing" it for us. So although we believe in our minds that it is still wrong, we lose some (or all) of our negative reaction to it . . .

Another problem with watching movies is that by choosing to watch something we are (at the least) passively endorsing it. Endorse means "to give approval of or support to." Try explaining to an 11 year old that you chose to watch American Pie or Sin City but that you don't endorse what happens in it. They won't buy it.

I don't want to come across as holier-than-thou. The reason I'm asking these questions though is that recently I have caught myself thinking "why am I watching this?" or "maybe I shouldn't be watching this." Something within me was stirred. I worry that in my desire to be entertained I have hardened my conscience to some things. And I worry that contrary to what I want to believe, it is indeed affecting me. My desire is to enjoy the arts (and to be inspired by them) yet balance this with discernment.

May Light increase!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Solid State Aircraft

If you can get past the urge to punch the nerdy narrator (trust me, this urge will be strong), take a look at this interesting concept for solid state solar powered aircraft. To me, solar energy is really the only energy solution that is really "green." Lately as gas prices have been rising I've been more and more conscious of my environmental footprint. Does anyone else out there experience energy consumption guilt?
May Light increase!

Monday, May 21, 2007


How balanced is your life? Try this test over at Embody to find out and get a prescription if it isn't. . .

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I'm Going Backpacking!

Time for an escape! My friend Dawson invited me to go backpacking with him for three days in Riding Mountain National Park (at the end of May). I'm very excited! I've never tried backpacking before; that combined with the fact that I'm completely out of shape and don't have decent boots should make the trip deliciously eventful. I've never quite understood backpackers with their ounce-counting zeal but I look forward to experiencing this slow-moving way of the wilderness. FYI, reserved backcountry campsites are $9 a night per person in the park, not a bad deal really. Stay tuned for a review of the trail (beginning of June) and if you have any backpacking advice, it would be much appreciated!

May Light increase!

Friday, May 18, 2007


"Misery loves company." - Old Proverb

Today I was thinking about Schadenfreude. It is a German word that means "pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune." Obviously this is a rather sick part of human nature, but I think most of us experience it every now and then. Usually (unless you are a really sick person) other's serious pain won't make us smile, but their moderate pain might. For instance, at Olive Garden, when a server starts telling his fellow servers about how a table was horrible to him and then stiffed him, I notice all the other servers crowd in and hang on every word. I think they enjoy these stories because it makes them feel better about their own tables. Also, sometimes as a student I am feeling bad about being a little bit behind in some of my assignments, a friend will come up and complain that they are much further behind then I am. Suddenly, I feel much better!

I can't even begin to tell you about all the times I have laughed at others misfortune and truly enjoyed hearing/seeing every detail of whatever painful thing happened to them. I'm not sure how this fits in with being a Christ follower. Did Jesus laugh if say Peter got a rake in the face? Is it OK to laugh (or even just smile inwardly) at other's misfortune? If I'm honest I have to say that a lot of my humor is based on this. Is this just how we are conditioned? Can we (and ought we) learn a higher way of being?

May Light increase!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Conquering Fear: Part 2

"Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is." - H. Jackson Browne

Fear is a funny thing. I know this because I remember seeing a list of the most typical fears people have and number one was public speaking. Amazingly, it was more common then the fear of death! It seems everyone has their phobias. Some of the more uncommon ones include the fear of:

Atomic Explosions- Atomosophobia.
Bowel movements: painful- Defecaloesiophobia.
Chopsticks- Consecotaleophobia.
Dust- Amathophobia.
Friday the 13th- Paraskavedekatriaphobia.
Kissing- Philemaphobia or Philematophobia.
Mother-in-law- Pentheraphobia.
Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth- Arachibutyrophobia.
Tickled by feathers or feathers- Pteronophobia.

What are you afraid of? It seems to me that sometimes we have rational fears (like say of death) and irrational ones (like say of bunnies). The trick to overcoming fear is of course to face it. Understanding our fear is good, deciding to act on it is great, but it is all for naught if we don't face it. Whether we expose ourselves to what we far slowly, building up our courage (as I am taught to do in counseling) or in confronting it head on, it is the only way to master our fears. Whenever someone tells me they are afraid of something I wonder what function that fear serves. It is helping you not to commit to something? Is it helping you stay in your comfort zone and not risk rejection, fear, or challenge? When we are afraid of something we are choosing to give it power over us (and then make ourselves miserable by doing so). Facing our fear often seems impossible because we assign catastrophic results to doing so. "What is the worst that can happen?" and "If my worst fears come true, could I survive?" are good questions to ask when confronting our fears. Most of the time, we can survive just fine. Confront your fears, you'll thank yourself later for it. And if you see me cowering in the corner sometime, please remind me of my sage-like advice!

May Light increase!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Conquering Fear: Part 1

"If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been." - Robert H. Schuller

"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I was inspired my by wife. A few weeks ago she was taking her new bike for a ride and crashed really bad. I mean she was really hurt, both emotionally and physically and was quite traumatized. Since the accident she hadn't been back on the bike for more then a minute. Today we went out to the farm for a better-late-than-never Mother's Day celebration with my parents and I thought it would be fun to take our bikes. So I loaded them all up. I could see that this caused Jobina a little bit of angst and she told me that she was scared to drive on gravel. Truthfully, I think she was scared of riding at all. But low and behold she let me bring them. Later on in the day my mother wanted to ride her own new bike and so Riker and I said we'd go along. Jobina stayed in the house. As we were getting the bikes ready, Jobina surprised us by getting out her bike and joining us. "I'm just going to bike around the yard," she said.

After we had done this for awhile the rest of us got ready to head out on one of the nearby gravel roads. Before we left, I challenged Jobina to go to the nearest intersection and then go back (it wasn't very far, but it was on the road). She got to the intersection and then I casually mentioned that the side roads were quite a bit less "gravelly" then the main road and then she decided to go try the side road. Amazingly she faced her fear and we all went for a nice 2 mile bike ride.

As I was thinking about it later, I realized that the person who showed the most courage that day in riding was Jobina because she was truly scared and yet chose to face her fear and do the thing she was afraid of. When we think of doing daring things we forget that how courageous someone is depends totally on how scared of doing it they are. I had this cool guy named Warren in my youth group a few years ago. He did all kind of crazy things on a mountain bike. He was nearly fearless, rarely having a fear response - stuff like that just didn't scare him (I daresay it should have!) and it used to bug me because I often was. Now I realize that though he may have been more adept on a bike, I was more courageous because I had much more fear to overcome. Every time we decide to face our fears and do something that causes us fear, we take a step in conquering it. Not only that, but we display something that God desires for us; courage. Do not be ashamed of your fear; instead thank God that you can have courage in the face of it.

May Light increase!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Things Are Not Always As They Seem

I'm always amazed at how easy is it to trick the brain. For example, check out this cool optical illusion. Any guesses on how it's done?

May Light increase!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ode to My Children's Mom

I know a Girl who when she was young was asked a question by her mother. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "That's easy said said the Girl, I want to be a Mom." Years later, the Girl grew up, married me, and realized her dream. And everyday she lives a little more of it.

I love watching her with our children. She is so affectionate, so patient, so loving. She sacrifices herself, her time, her resources; everything, for those children. She worries about them, feeds them, clothes them, encourages them and most importantly takes great joy in them. When she's away from them, she misses them deeply and she loves to tell me all of the funny and great things they did during the day.

Not every day with her children are great ones. They test her. Sometimes hey misbehave, whine, cry, and do things that defy comprehension. Essentially they cause her great grief and make her mad. But she is always willing to forgive and when her reactions aren't great, she apologizes to them. Oh, they test her, but her love for them is never in question.

Sometimes, when she isn't looking I'll just watch her "mothering" them. She is truly amazing and I think about how lucky I am that she is both my wife and my kid's mother. Thank you honey for bearing my children; the day they were born, every day, and into the uncertain future. I am overwhelmed by you unending love and wisdom with them. Thank you.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Since It Worked For Me . . .

Have you ever noticed that if something has "worked" for someone that they will naturally hype it as "the solution" for everyone? I'll give you an example. Doing sit-ups helped someone I know cure their backpains. They are absolutely sure of this, so that when they hear of someone else experiencing back pain, they assume that it will work for them as well. "Have you tried sit-ups?"

In my counseling training I am learning that what works well for one counselor may not work well for the next one. Different theories, approaches, and techniques "work" for different people. Sometimes if I am watching a counseling video I think "Ah, you should try this because I did and it worked for me." Then I am shocked when they instead use something completely different and the person is really helped.

I call this principle "universalizing our experience." Whatever our experience is, we tend to project it onto others as being the best choice for them. Jobina and I planned our wedding and honeymoon a certain way. Since we thought that it was great, we highly recommend our way to everyone. Actually, to be honest I have caught us silently disproving of alternate ways of planning these events when engaged couples tell us about them. We kind of look at each other like "hopefully they'll come around." Or we get concerned and try to get them to consider some of the things that we considered. Getting people to emulate our experiences and approaches to things feels good to us. I will honestly admit that I am a sucker for that feeling.

The problem is that there are often more then one way to do something and sometimes our way which worked for us isn't going to work for someone else. Also, when we expect others to emulate us, we are subtly taking away their freedom to have even better experiences then us and in ways that suit them better. No where is this better illustrated then how we approach God. However it was that we felt that we have successfully connected with God, that is how everyone should approach God. If a quiet time in the morning is the best way for you to experience God, you will assume that it is the best for others. Or if going on solo retreats has been the best way for you to connect with God, you will try to "help" others do the same kind of thing. I think this universalizing our experience is natural, but it can often be destructive. I connect to God by being outdoors and by having long baths with just me, God, and my Bible. If I tell others that this is the way to connect with God (giving a universal prescription) but that approach doesn't fit the way God made them, they will be unsuccessful. This can lead to apathy, grief, despair, and disconnect from Christ. A great book which talks about this is Sacred Pathways.

So what ways do you push your experiences on others? Are they reacting negatively to it? I'm not saying that for everything anything goes (especially when it comes to medicine, theology, etc) but it is true that there is more then one way to skin a cat. Somehow we need to maintain our convictions and yet be open to other experiences then just our own. Good luck!

May Light increase!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

How food illusions trick us into overeating

I thought this article discussed at Clive Thompson's blog was pretty interesting. Apparently we are tricked into eating too much by the optical illusions of how food is presented to us. For instance if the container of food is really large, the amount of food seems smaller and one inadvertantly binges. Now imagine that in almost every food industry, the servings are getting larger but so is the packaging and you can see why this does not help in overeating. In the study the article is based on, devious experiments were done on unsuspecting individuals which makes the research even more fun. Hmmm . . . food for thought.

May Light Increase!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Flirting With Servers

Every job has certain ethical challenges. I find being a waiter has several; one is serving alcohol. Another is honesty when describing (and endorsing food). A third one is my topic for today; flirting.

A couple of months ago I was at work and talking to a fellow waiter (oh, lets call him “Tim”) about the ethics of flirtation. He was serving a table of young and attractive girls and I joked that he should unbutton his shirt to increase his tip. This got us talking about flirting. Is it ethical for a server to flirt with guests? Tim is a married Christian so we were able to talk about it on several levels. It's a good question because many guests come in either hoping or expecting you to flirt with them. It’s not all younger people either. Jobina’s grandfather often flirts with servers (he’s quite smooth, I must say). There is also the undeniable fact that flirting with some guests will increase your tip (for others flirting will harm it).

How exactly do you define flirting? And what does it look like? Some things that people define as flirting as making jokes, complimenting, suggestive talk, touching, smiling, winking, standing close to/leaning over, giggling, brushing up against, making suggestive/flirty statements, etc. The tone of the voice can be important as any verbal innuendo. Dictionary.com defines flirting as “To make playfully romantic or sexual overtures.” Usually, there is no emotional attachment implied. I think there has to be some overtone (however minor) of a romantic or sexual nature - if there isn’t either of these overtones, there isn’t flirting going on.

Tim thinks that a little bit of flirting is OK and wouldn’t mind if his wife (who is also a waitress) flirted a little with a table if it would increase her tip. For myself, I’ve decided that flirting with my guests is just something I won’t do. However, I have noticed that I will lower my voice occasionally (is it to a “flirty” voice?) with some tables so I’m not sure if I am unconsciously flirting or if I just don't want to sound prepubescent.

The other question is, if one flirts (not because one is romantically interested with someone) because one wants a bigger tip, is one guilty of a type of prostitution? This might seem extreme, but a prostitute is one who provides sexual favors/fantasy for money. Isn’t this what a server does who flirts to get a bigger tip?

I’d be interested to see what other people think about flirting with their servers (or other people as well). Is it harmless? Ethical impropriety? Unfaithfulness to your partner? A slippery slope? Or just plain fun? Perhaps you are a server. Do you flirt with guests? And if you are a patron, do you flirt with the server?

May Light increase!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Change At The Speed of Light

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." - Daniel 12:4

My good friend Jason forwarded this to me. The video is all about change and if you are like me, you may find it a bit overwhelming. Enjoy!

"Shift Happens"
(By the way, I believe the title is is reference to paradigms shifting!)

May Light increase!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Notes From The Farm

Today we had a family day and went and visited my parents on the farm. I'm always amazed at how much I enjoy going back there. I'm not sure if it is because it is where I grew up or because it is out in the country or both. But something about being there is extremely medicinal. Even the drive up improves my mood. When we get there, I always just stand outside for a moment and enjoy the sights, sounds, (and yes) even the smells of the farm. The open space, the quietness, the trees, the remoteness, the animals, everything. I feel extremely luck to have grown up in the country and I truly miss it alot. It fills my heart with joy to see my kids running around a farm and exploring to their hearts content. I also enjoy hanging out with my parents and thinking about how they bought this piece of land with an old dilapidated house and turned it into a home and sheep farm. My Dad and I commented on how the trees had grown since we last remembered them and Riker found an old "clubhouse" fort that my Dad built for us. It was full of memories (for myself) and hours of discovery (for Riker). Trinity had a good time as usual torturing the cats and jumping in puddles. All in all, I find the farm is good for what ails me. I thank God that he saw fit to let me grow up a farm boy. I'm not sure if I'll ever live in the country again, but I know that my heart will never leave it.

May Light increase!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Living Within One's Means

One of the bartenders who I work with actually lives within her means. She pays cash for her vehicles, owns a house and a just bought a cottage which she intends to pay off in 2 or 3 years. I have no doubt she'll do it sooner then that. In a trade (the hospitality industry) where most people live in debt and spend their tips almost as fast they spend them, I have recently met a few people at the Olive Garden who appear to live within their means. They save money, have RRSP's, and aren't saddled with credit card debt. Another stereotype broken!

I wish I was one of them. I'm almost there. I have no debt (I don't consider properties as "bad debt" as they appreciate in value), and we maintain a mostly balanced budget but we are behind on having enough money to afford to maintain what we have (cars, houses, our teeth, etc). A great and readable book on living within you means is the The Wealthy Barber (coincidentally available in the Random Enlightenment Bookstore)!

Living within one's = spending less than you make. Very simple formula, yet so difficult to apply!

For me, living within one's means also involves being able to save something for emergencies, invest for the future, and giving to worthy causes. So my question is, how many people do this? I can blame being a student right now, but what happens after that? In our society, we are continually tempted to buy more then we need. Do you know anyone out there who lives within one's means? What is their secret? Are they likeable people? I want to understand this strange breed of people.

May Light increase,

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Addiction is A Choice?

One of my textbooks for a summer class I'm taking (Addiction and Codependency) is called Addiction Is A Choice by Jeffrey Schaler. I just finished reading it and it was very interesting. Schaler makes several points:

1. The dominant conception is that it addiction is a disease that needs to be treated. However, there is no proof that alcoholism/chemical addiction has any biological causes. Neither can they be classified as a mental illness.
2. No known treatment of addictions shows any significant gains over control groups who are not given any treatment. Translation: addiction treatment doesn't work.
3. Alcoholics Anonymous (the most well known and "successful" anti addiction program) actually makes it more difficult for people to choose not to change by requiring the addict to believe that they have lost control and that once addicted, they will always be an addict. Schaler sees this as a most devious form of self fulfilling prophecy. Tell someone they don't have control and they won't have it!
4. The concept that alcoholics/substance abusers experience "lack of control" is false. Though it may be very difficult, millions of people become addicted to substances and eventually grow out of the addiction or choose not to overindulge. No studies have ever proven that a substance has caused someone to experience total "loss of control" of their ability to choose.
5. Total abstinence as a cure for alcoholism/substance abuse is not beneficial to addicts because it reinforces their powerlessness and robs them of the ability to determine their own destiny.
6. Contrary to the idea of abstinence as a necessity to grow out of alcoholism, many alcoholics (and other substance abusers) manage to practice moderation and that moderation can be both positive and healthy for past addicts.

I'm not sure if I swallow all of this, but the premise is certainly fascinating; addicts have free will and can (and do) choose to stop feeding their addictions (if they want to). Instead of telling addicts they are powerless to fight their addictions (A.A. and most other treatment programs) we should instead teach them that they can control themselves and help them to work on their "problems in living"/interpersonal problems/environmental problems that are influencing them to overindulge. I like the idea of empowered moderation (for legal addictive substances) as opposed to an incredibly difficult to achieve total abstinence.

Alcohol and drug addictions are a huge source of misery for many individuals and families and I realize this is a touchy subject (painful to many) but I think that we need to see the truth; current treatment isn't working. Maybe we need to change how we look at these things. . .

May Light increase!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Faith and Doubt

"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted." - Matthew 28:16-17

I read these words recently and was for the most part encouraged by them. The passage talks about how some of the disciples who had now seen and spoken with the resurrected Christ (a man they had seen die) . . . doubted. It's extraordinary really. If anyone should be bursting at the seams with faith, it should have been the disciples. And yet, seconds before receiving the Great Commission, Matthew includes in his account "but some doubted."

Whey did he include this less then inspiring phrase? I know, I know, only God knows for sure. But I wonder if he wanted us to see how even in one of the greatest religious experiences of their lives, some doubted. These men chosen by Christ were weak! And yet all of these men went on and spread the Gospel, becoming great evangelists, leaders, and men of God. Their doubt did not kill their faith.

I figure that if God could still use those men, he can still use me, even if I doubt sometimes.

May Light increase!