The Knowledge Gap

I’m amazed at how much information there is in our world in relationship to how little I know. 

Does anyone remember the website Stumble Upon?

In thinking about this topic, I did a quick Google search and it turns out they’re still around! 

Back in my college days, one of my many procrastination tools was to check out cool new websites via Stumble Upon. It was possible to be on that website for at least an hour…

There are websites that I still enjoy today that I found using Stumble Upon. There’s no way that I could’ve found them on my own, either. Think about the amount of new content that we have access to everyday:  

  • Websites
  • YouTube videos.
  • Pictures
  • Music
  • Apps
  • Movies
  • TV shows
  • Games
  • Books

I’m reminded of the words of King Solomon: 

 But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.

I think it’s safe to say that there’s no end to the releasing of new content.As one of my English professors put it:

The only thing that makes your writing original is that you wrote it. The various devices of storytelling and poetry have been around way before you were around and will continue way after you’re gone.

This is a topic that keeps me humble and also shows me just how big God is. Imagine what He thinks! He created everything and knows everything and sees everything.

My brain started smoking just by thinking about all of this….

While my goal is to learn as much as I can, it’s safe to say that there will always be a large gap between what I know and how much more there is to know. 

 

 

Book talk is the best

IMG_1632I love book people.

My waitress at lunch today was a book person. She came into work with a book in her hand. She saw me reading after I ordered and struck up a conversation.

What are you reading?

What’s the book about?

What’s your favorite genre?

Talk about a great time of discussion. My book obsession is not shared by many! Statistics say that the number of readers is shrinking with each generation.

Literacy is such a precious gift. Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, once said:

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Our society puts a lot of emphasis on education, yet it does not stress the importance of reading enough. I can’t count the number of articles I’ve read in the past couple of years dealing with “screen time” and “how technology is reshaping education.”

Technology is wonderful. Making education fun is fine. What’s not fine is that the majority of children I meet hate reading.

The notion that blogs and magazines, tutorials and games can replace the knowledge found in a book baffles me.

I’m not going to debate the virtues of e-readers vs. paper books in this post either.

Let me just go ahead and define what I consider “reading”:

  • Printed books
  • E-books
  • Audio books

I value all the forms of reading available to us today. This debate of what does and does not constitute reading is silly in light of the bigger problem at hand.

I don’t care about your preferred method of reading. I’m just happy you are reading at all! This is no time for us to start hating on methods.

So, don’t be afraid to interrupt my reading at a restaurant. After I dance a jig, I will happily discuss books with you.

My good friend Hermeneutics

What if I told you that I wanted to start a Christian nudist colony? What if I told you that I had found a Scripture that said it was okay?

Mark 14:51-52

51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, 52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

From this Scripture I could defend not only my nudist colony but also streaking as completely biblical.

My prayer is that you are not shouting amen because this whole supposition is insane…..

Yet, this how many of us talk about the Bible. We base the totality of our beliefs on a handful of verses that wouldn’t survive a light spring breeze.

Did you know that’s why Christians are encouraged to go to church? To be an active member of the body of Christ?

Here’s a link to Ephesians 4: 11-16, Hebrews 10:19-25 , and Hebrews 13:7-17.

In these passages, the Apostle Paul talks about spiritual gifts, the body of Christ, the importance of good Bible interpretation, and the role of Christian leaders.

Listen, my dear friends, there are a lot of crazy beliefs in this world. Unfortunately, the Church at large has a lot of crazy beliefs too.

Without good Bible interpretation, how can we effectively communicate the gospel message?

The rate of Biblical illiteracy is absolutely ridiculous, especially in a country where most people own 4-5 Bibles. Find a translation you like and start reading. If you don’t know where to start, I recommend the book of John.

We’re going to talk more about the importance of discipleship and such in the weeks to come.

For now, I want you to think about what you believe.

Are your beliefs truly backed up by the Word of God?

No longer a victim

Sometimes I miss the walls around my heart.

This statement might shock you, but it’s true.

Many years ago, I watched a documentary about Patty Hearst. She was kidnapped at age 19 and a few months later was helping her captors commit crimes.

Seems kind of crazy, right?

Instead of being freed from her captors and returned home, she was thrown in jail. The case led to a long discussion about Stockholm Syndrome, which is when a victim begins to have positive feelings toward his or her captors.

The consensus was that Patty Hearst deserved her punishment, but President Jimmy Carter eventually pardoned her.

This brings me back to the walls around my heart. It’s easier for me to disengage than to risk pain. My dad and stepmom call me out on it all the time.

“Audra, you know what to do. You always have a choice.”

The gap between knowledge and action trips us up all the time.

  • You’re a diabetic who refuses to cut back on dessert.
  • You’re a procrastinator who refuses to turn off the TV or computer.
  • You’re an alcoholic who refuses to leave the party lifestyle.

It’s easier to give in than it is to put up a fight.

The hardest part in my own journey is knowing that personal responsibility still knocks at my door.

IMG_1563If I hide behind walls, I am choosing to hurt someone else.

Even if I didn’t mean to.

Even if I did.

I can’t blame psychology either. Stockholm Syndrome is real, no doubt, but it can’t negate the power of choice.

You and I are not victims anymore.

Those tired, old excuses for poor behavior won’t get us far.