Saturday, September 12, 2009

Welcome to Aletheia, My Midlife Therapy


The problem with our midlife is that we lie to ourselves, rather convincingly, of when it actually occurs. Average life expectancy in the United States presently sits at 77.5 year of age as of 2006 according to the CDC. So I have bad news for all you 50 year old men and women telling everyone that you are still young and are middle aged; that actually started when you were 38 years old. You are twelve years into your midlife which puts you....I will let you draw that conclusion. You have my sympathy. I turned 42 years old today.

 Since I am happily married to the most sexy woman in the entire world that rules out an affair with an 18 year old Swedish girl (and since I am not wealthy there is no chance of that happening anyway as my wife is quick to remind me). Having a homemaker for a wife and two teenagers also rules out the sports car I have been coveting although if I keep growing my business I hope to be in position to by one when the kids are off to college. Yea, right; let me keep some of my fantasies please.

So I've decided to opine with this blog. I chose the name carefully. My biggest beef with the modern Church (and I mean Church as in the body of Christ, not the four walls and the steeple) is we do extremely well with the big Truth (Jesus) and not so well with little truth (wisdom). Wisdom seems be lacking in the Church at all levels; relationships, money (my personal issue), sex, marriage, raising our children, work, business. We are great at evangelizing the Gospel but terrible at applying it to our daily lives. We have allowed our culture to effect our actions and we seem to be no influence and no use to anyone.

Now before you think I am being harsh let me list my credentials. I have been in the same Church for nearly 20 years. I have been married to same and only woman for 18 years. We married pure. I have taught Sunday School every Sunday at Shoreline for the last year and a half to the 5 - 11 age group. I have a 15 year old boy and a 11 year old girl who love God and each other (most days). I have served in the Shoreline Children's ministry for 12 years, every Sunday for 9 of them.

My personal disclaimer is my finances. They are a mess. I have not been a good steward with the resources God has given me. My wife and I are aggressively reducing our debt and our plan is to be debt free by the end of next year, Lord will it. The one plus is we have no credit card debt. But we still have too much. The other disclaimer is my weight. I simply got obese. No excuses, just ate too much and sat on my butt too long. Good news is I have lost nearly 90 lbs in the last three years, over 30 of it in the last five months. Now you know my weaknesses.

What this blog will not be is a religious overview of what you need to do to be Holy. Christianity is not a set of rules that you must obey. It is a relationship with Jesus. 'For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast.' (Eph 2:8-9) Grace and works are a one way street, grace leads to works but works will never lead to grace.

Having said that, what grace does not do is remove us from the consequences of sin and bad choices here on this Earth. That is why we desperately need wisdom. 'Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?' (Prov 8:1).Wisdom does not lead to salvation. However, wisdom does allow us to avoid pain and allow us to live the highest life possible in a fallen world.

Wisdom is acquired two ways. First, it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of all wisdom.'The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.'. Secondly, wisdom is acquired by discipline. Correction is not a popular subject in the church; it is not well received.

As Christians in a secular culture we have a choice. We can love Jesus and ignore discipline and knowledge resulting in lives that are ineffectual and a mess. Or we can love Jesus and through discipline channeled in Love we can be a light that shines bright in a dark and fallen world.

I have decided to spare my far too friends and my poor family from having to listen to my constant rants and raves and post them here. Nobody may read it. Maybe just a few. But I know my friends and family will appreciate the new outlet :). I will discuss a variety of topics. Politics will only be discussed in the light of the Gospel. You will sometimes agree, you will sometimes not. You will probably think I'm an idiot at one point. You may opine but keep them brief and be prepared to back up what you say. Extreme foul language will not be tolerated. Do not make it personal, that will not be allowed either.

So this is my therapy. You may need some after you read some of my posts. I will promise you the same thing I promised my wife on our wedding day; I will be faithful (to the spirit of this blog) and I will keep it interesting.

Happy birthday to me!