Hi. My name is Josh. And I'm a Christian (and as I type that, it sounds a lot like an Alcoholics Anonymous intro). I write a couple of other blogs - the main one being about board games. Occasionally, after a particularly meaningful sermon, or after certain things happen in life, I think I should reflect on these things. That's really what I figure this blog will be for. I have no idea how often I will update it (or if I will ever update it). I put off writing this introduction for about a month, so that's probably not very promising. To be fair, however, that was also the same month after my house was destroyed by a tornado (I wrote about that on my other blog here if you're interested in reading about that).
Who am I, and what are my "credentials"? Well, I grew up in the church - having attended for as long as I can remember. Eventually, I even went to graduate school (seminary) and received a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM). I have also been hurt by the church a lot. Starting in high school, I started thinking outside of the bounds of the denomination that I grew up in. Though many of my beliefs are still the same as what I was taught in it, many others are nowhere near it (and the beliefs that stuck around are much more researched than they used to be). I must honestly say that my set of beliefs doesn't really mesh completely with any denomination that I've ever learned anything about (and I've learned about quite a few of them). One of my Christian passions is ecumenical services. Another way of saying the same thing is that I hate denominational barriers (and don't kid yourself, "non-denominational" is a denomination just as much as any other). I think that it is silly to have everyone claim to love Jesus, and yet not even associate with each other because they have some different beliefs - differences ranging from silly to fairly important.
And while we're on the topic of me (oh, right, that's what this whole post is about... I'm not off to a good start to write about being a Christian but to actually be writing all about me... hmmm...) One of my prayers is that God's grace be infinitely larger than we can imagine. I know that most people claim that God's grace is huge. But, when you come down to it, how big is that grace, really, in your mind? Is there a chance that men and women of the Muslim faith are saved under his grace? What about those that practice Hindu beliefs? Mormon beliefs? I pray that God's grace is this big and bigger! I'm by no means in charge of this, but when I even start to think about how many people do not know the gospel and would be condemned to hell if His grace isn't this big, it breaks my heart. And I cannot even fathom how many people are included in this. And if it begins to break my calloused heart, I'm certain that God's is shattered over this topic. This gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, His grace really is ridiculously unfathomable and that somehow by this gigantic grace, all truly can be saved.
One last thing to mention in this "little" intro. Church. Yeah. What to say. The church has hurt me often. I don't know that I can truly think of times in my life that I have felt as much pain as from churches. Through this, God has always found a way for me to grow, but it has still, let's say, "colored" my way of looking at church. Many of you may attend church and enjoy it. To an extent I envy you. Now, with that said, since I often don't find myself very comfortable in the church, I feel like I am better able to relate to others that aren't comfortable there. Also, because of it, I spend a lot of time outside of the church. Don't get me wrong, I think it is awesome to have Christian friends that can help uplift you, and encourage you through life. However, I also think that far too many Christians have given up on ever socializing in places that non-Christians hang out. Whether out of necessity for company, or whatever, I have found myself in these types of places often. (I spent about 10 months on a project with work going to bars with my co-workers and watching them drink. I've never really been a drinker.)
So, that's me and part of why I may (or may not) continue writing here. If it helps you, then great! Follow along. My only request is that you not judge me or "oh, honey" me based on what I say here. ("Oh, honey" for those of you that don't know is a common Southern lead in that often ends with large amounts of pity dumped in your lap.)