The Rise of the “New Normal,” Christianity Explained

It’s no surprise to us that our parents grew up in a very religious time. There were practices that were followed, traditions that were kept, and certain things you did or didn’t do. For some Christians, your parents weren’t allowed to dance, gamble, or play cards. For some Christians, your parents went to church every Sunday morning growing up. For others, your parents might have had a less strict, but still religious upbringing. Continue reading “The Rise of the “New Normal,” Christianity Explained”

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An Old Flame

Sometimes in life, you stumble on something that makes you stop, think, and change. Those “things” in life can be HUGE, or they can be surprisingly small. This morning, after my exceptionally loud alarm reminded me to go for a run, I, for some reason, was drawn to the bottom of my desk drawer. There, underneath my pens, books, and other miscellaneous things, rested a very old notebook. This notebook was originally a notebook I used the first year at Aurora University, the year after I transferred out of Calvin College. Most of my Michigan friends know how hard that was for me. In this notebook, I wrote notes for a class I was taking; the subject of which has escaped my mind. Anyway, the notebook was faded, torn, and wrinkled. The back cardboard had been torn off, leaving the back page exposed to the elements. As I picked it up, I noticed something written on the back page. This is what was written:

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All of a sudden, I remember where I was when I wrote this. I was on my bed, and I remember the feeling in my chest now, even as I write this sentence. The feeling was filled with new-found passion and joy. I wrote this 4 years ago, because of something I started to do inside this photo1notebook. I started a project. I began to sift through the Bible thatphoto2 I had owned since coming to know Christ when I was 13 (some of you know this as the Duck-tape Bible), and I searched for all the verses I highlighted over the years that spoke specifically to our relationship with God. This was a challenge of sorts because it meant combing through everything I have read, and reading new pieces that I had yet to discover.

The process awoke something in me that I didn’t know existed. Page after page, I transcribed the verses into my notebook. There was a rush in my heart, I felt SO alive, that I had to document it. And this is when I wrote the little note in the back of the notebook. This is when I immortalized the deep, living, transformative experience that was going onphoto4 inside of me at that very moment. The most helpful by-product of this project has been returning to the notebook whenever I need to be lifted up. Many times I have felt less than amazing and have opened up this notebook to pour over the truth, and beauty within Christ’s promises for us, and afterward…I feel his peace, and joy, and provision for me. It feels awesome.

I have never shared this with anyone in full, but I hope that it can reassure and maybe even give hope to others, and I know there are others, who feel as if there is something missing, or lost. Our fire is never lost, I just think we need reminding once and a while.

So thank you 21 year old, past self. You saw the value and wisdom in trying to reach out to an older, future self, that would one day need a proper reminder of how truly amazing it is when we chase Him with all we are.

[I uploaded a few pictures from the notebook. They are small in the post, but if you click on them, they will open up in a larger size.]

International Developments

Well, I apologize for my last post. Sometimes you just need to do things that are weird and stupid. “Why? That’s retarded Eric.” Okay reading audience, first off, don’t use “retarded,”…ever…for anything. If I catch you using that…in any of your sentences again, you’ll get a pretty bad lecture from me. And second, doing something stupid and weird shows vulnerability and shows that you’re human unlike everyone else trying to act perfect. It also colors up life, so do something stupid today. Cause I said so.

NEXT: So the other day, this guy, skyped me and asked if I wanted to do a blog for his church in New Zealand. Naturally, I said yes without a second thought. Writing internationally? Awesome. So now I am writing some sample sections for their sermon series on LOVE and the different kinds of Love that the Bible shows us.

It is kindof a daily thing that I have to keep up with, so it’s a little intimidating, but it also forces me to be a little more organized and Type A. Hahaha, which if you know me, is just not how I get things done around here. STILLLLL, this is a fun project, that at the same time is helping me get into the word ALOT more. WIN/WIN.

Also, in my Program Evaluation course at AU, I am trying to get an International Social Work Course implemented. Not the easiest thing to do, but that is why I am trying to help them recognize the need for one through research and survey analysis. It is important, that if we are sending out social workers into the field, whether that is domestically, or internationally, that they are trained and capable to represent the name of social work in a positive regard. If students travel overseas, who represent Aurora University School of Social Work, and they are not well prepared for social work on an international level–I feel that is wrong. This is why I take the stand I do. Hopefully it will pan out.