Archive for category: Faith

Seized by the Day

I sat alone in the living room, popcorn bowl in hand, and watched as John Keating—the fictitious teacher portrayed by Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society—taught Robert Herrick’s poem, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.” The iconic scene culminated in Keating’s grand soliloquy. Asking the students to face the school trophy case, to gaze into the eyes of those who’d gone before them, Keating said, “[Those] boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you . . . carpe diem, seize the day.”

I was 15, a budding romantic, and this scene became my motivator. I would “gather rosebuds” and suck the marrow from life. I would take every day captive and make the most of it. But as I began to practice this kind of living, I noticed it felt more akin to wrestling tigers.

With age and ever-growing responsibilities…

 

This month, InTouch Ministries’ magazine published my piece, “Seized by the Day.” It’s been cross-published online, and you can read the article in its entirety here.

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The Diagnoses

For my friend John, and my many other friends–namely, you.

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The Diagnoses

Asthmatic, inattentive, shcizotypic, bipolar
Baptist, disruptive, obssive, compulsive
Papist, malignant, maligering, maligned,
narcisistic, nihilistic, arrhythmiatic, benign,
infectious, unregenerate, failure to thrive,
distended, convulsive, collusive, catholic,
cancerious, alcoholic, anorexic, pornoholic,
anemic, allergenic, esophagitic, antisocial,
constipated, religious, autistic, agnostic,
dreamer, believer, night-terrored un-
orthodox, sacramental, mental, reformed.

Sum-certainswhich suffocate should
we think them whole truth.

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The Portland Pinnacle

This weekend, I had the privilege of leading the mini-retreat at the Faith & Culture Writers Conference. There, a wonderful group of writers gathered, and we took a break from the noise, production cycle, and comparison-culture of modern life. During the retreat portion of the conference, we disconnected from social media (for the most part) and took time to explore presence–presence with nature, with each other, and with God.

On Friday afternoon, I hiked a steep climb into the heart of Mt. Tabor Park. I sat in pink blossoms shed from Spring trees. I listened to the wind blowing through the firs, the birds singing in their boughs. Instead of brimming with inspiration, though, I was blind-sided by irrational fear. What if that moment was the pinnacle of my most interesting days? Melancholic though it was, I asked myself “what if it’s all downhill from here?”

In my most recent Tiny Letter, I’m exploring this question, and sharing a little more about my experience at the Faith & Culture Writers Conference. I’m also sharing a book update you won’t want to miss, and announcing the winners of last month’s Chasing Francis giveaway. If you aren’t a subscriber to my monthly Tiny Letter, sign up to read along!

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Thanks to all of you who attended the retreat at the Faith & Culture Writer’s Conference. We had fun didn’t we? And thanks to all of you who consistently read along. This place wouldn’t be the same without you.

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As an aside, and on an unrelated note, please allow me to leave this little Public Service Announcement.

Public Service Announcement…

A photo posted by Seth Haines (@sethhaines) on

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There is no Easter Friday

There are some churches, I have heard, who have opted for Friday and Saturday Easter services. This, I suspect, is to make space for this weekend’s capacity crowds, or to facilitate more convenient Easter brunches. I’ve been thinking about these services, though, and I can’t shake the notion that without commemorating the climax of crucifixion, or the tension of death, the Gospel’s plot is flat. Discounting death and lament neuters the resurrection.

There’s no such day as Easter Friday or Easter Saturday. Without the lament of death, or the stench of the grave, there can be no celebration of resurrected glory.*

*This is not to say that those who regularly meet on Fridays or Saturdays should be ashamed of celebrating the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Nor is this to say that those who celebrate a strict Holy Week should take pride in following rote tradition. Instead, the point is commemorating each facet of the Gospel story with intention.

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And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him,they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him,wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Question: What do you see in the Cross of Christ?

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In the most recent Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the artisanal theology and the Fayetteville Hipster. It’s a little bit snarky, a little bit graceful, a little bit introspective, and a whole lot of fun. If you sign up today, you’ll receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song “Train Wreck.” It’s a song I wrote about pain, loss, and the love of God.

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Tell Me About Your Church

Subscribers to my monthly Tiny Letter know this explicitly, and some of you may have gathered this implicitly, but Amber and I have made a shift in the last six months. I won’t spend too many words discussing it here, but know this–we’ve moved from a larger non-traditional Bible church to a much smaller Anglican church.

It was an organic transition, one not born from angst, disappointment, or bitterness. Instead, it was a change that was a long time coming, one birthed out of sobriety, study, and a the unmistakable Spirit wind. It was a change that was–in no small part–birthed from our family’s need for quieter spaces of communion. Our children love the rhythm of the liturgy, and enjoy worshiping in a smaller congregation. They are learning the power of hearing Scripture and sacramental engagement.

Not to state the obvious, but I recognize this: there are all sorts of churches for all sorts of people. Some enjoy the raucous, loud sort. Others prefer the house church gathering around the communal potluck. Some enjoy the organ-and-hymn Baptist service, while others prefer the metaphors of the liturgical service. No matter your preference, though, I’d like to spend some time today discussing the church–specifically, your church. Would you join me?

Jump over to my Facebook page today and tell me:

1. What kind of church do you currently attend?

2. What do you like about it?

3. What is it about your congregation that makes you sing?

There are all sorts of churches for all sorts of people. Some enjoy the raucous, loud sort. Others prefer the house…

Posted by Seth Haines (Writing) on Wednesday, April 1, 2015

*****TINY LETTER SIGNUP*****

In the most recent Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the artisanal theology and the Fayetteville Hipster. It’s a little bit snarky, a little bit graceful, a little bit introspective, and a whole lot of fun. If you sign up today, you’ll receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song “Train Wreck.” It’s a song I wrote about pain, loss, and the love of God.

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Want to receive my updates in your inbox? Click here. Also, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.