Saturday, May 25, 2013


The Greek word used most commonly for sin in the Bible's New Testament (Matthew through Revelation) is "hamartia," which means "a missing of the mark," but what mark is in view when we are talking about sin? I believe the bull’s eye of this target is the perfect righteousness of God's character. All that is described as sinful in the Bible flies wide of or falls short of God's character. Thus I think it can be fairly said that sin is a sort of negative reflection of God. For example, adultery is a sin because God is faithful. Lying is a sin because God is truth. Fornication is a sin because God is covenantal. We would be wrong if we concluded that sin and virtue were arbitrarily assigned as though they were simply pulled from a hat. God's character is the anchor point to which these classifications are attached. Sin is sin because of who God is, and I have found it a rich and helpful area of study to meditate on sin in its inverse. So this brings me to a question that I have been pondering in light of recent headlines- Why is homosexuality a sin? or to put it another way- What is it in God’s character that homosexual conduct runs contrary to?*

I have some thoughts on the matter, but I am curious to hear what you think.

*As I write I am sensitive to the fact there may be some among my readership who do not accept my presupposition that homosexual conduct is inherently sinful. There are likely others who do not believe that such a thing as sin even exists; at least not as it has been traditionally defined. I suspect that some of my readers probably experience same-sex attraction, and there are others who think there’s nothing wrong with it. If you are such a person I am eager for you to understand that although we may not agree I would like to have an honest, respectful dialogue about these things. My intent is not to heap judgment on you or anyone else. Nor is it my intent to single out homosexuality to the exclusion of other sexual sins such as fornication or divorce, but rather to pose a question about which I am genuinely curious-  What is it in God's character that homosexuality represents a departure from? We were all born with a latent sex drive and, according to the Bible, a sin-nature also. This lethal cocktail means that most of us will eventually stray into some form of sexual sin, but I am grateful that God has made a way for sinners such as me to be forgiven and to know salvation. You too can know salvation. I hope you don’t sense a harsh, critical self-righteous spirit behind my words. I am a fellow struggler.

I am just hanging my shingle in the marketplace of ideas, but I want to be neighborly about it.


I have never once encountered a robin's egg, whether partial on the sidewalk or whole in a nest, and not thought of God.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I wanted to make the keyboard chuckle tonight, but my fingers are like soldiers without orders. They wait, and so must I.

Saturday, May 4, 2013



To check out my previous installment of spam poetry click HERE.

Every line of spam poems are a complete and separate subject line from spam e-mails I have received and deleted. Enjoy.

If you would like to submit your own spam poetry to be posted on the BFZ send them to me at

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What's hot in Idyllwild?
I'm in Idyllwild
Do you think I'm hot?
Are you in Idyllwild?
You're so hot
You should see a doctor
Diagnosis isn't good
Too hot!

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Thursday, May 2, 2013


This morning when I ventured into town on an errand I noticed that the people were being unusually friendly toward me. Perfect strangers were smiling at me, staring at me, holding doors open for me, and asking me how I was doing as though they were sincerely concerned about my well-being. It was confusing. Then I bumped into a friend of mine who said that he almost didn't recognize me with my hat on, "I thought at first you were a thru-hiker," he added. Oh! So that was it. Earlier that morning I had put on wide-brimmed hat (photo above) before heading out the door to work, and it does resemble the sort of hat commonly worn by thru-hikers.

Every year, around this time, thru-hikers begin to trickle into town on their annual migration from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. They arrive looking trail-weary and bearded. They eagerly drop their packs outside of coffee shops, restaurants, the post office, library and along the front porch of the Idyllwild Inn before reuniting with the comforts of civilization- beds, beer, pizza, and wireless internet. They also seem to have knowing, introspective eyes, as though their intellectual palate had been washed clean in the lonely quiet of the back country, and their reemergence into society allows them to see things differently. I suspect they see things that I am blind to.   

Being confronted by thru-hikers causes me to feel a wide array of emotions. They seem drunk with the novelty of their existence and, in their presence, I feel somewhat dissatisfied with my own. I know it's not fair to them, and also probably wildly inaccurate, but I always feel vaguely judged by them. They always make me feel especially fat.  To be honest, I do envy them a little as well. In some ways I think I was built by my Creator to thrive in solitude, and I would enjoy the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts, putting one foot in front of another for days at a stretch, and then limp into town with new eyes for the place. Plus I know that their vanilla latte will taste far better than mine because it was earned and anticipated over miles of sun-drenched trail. I also wonder at the expense and, frankly, the frivolity of their pursuit. It doesn't benefit anyone. It's not profitable. It seems to be primarily born of catharsis. I think I would enjoy being a thru-hiker, but in order to enjoy it fully I would need to be guided in my endeavor by an ethos larger than personal fulfillment. I've never asked them for their reasons, but such are the sum of my suspicions. I clearly do more judging than them.

Still, in a mysterious way, I am drawn to them. Their experience is magnetic to me, and judging by the reaction of my fellow townspeople to my hat this morning, others feel the same. Folks want to share vicariously in their experience. They excite in me a desire to help them along their way, and this even as I privately judge the merit of their undertaking. Their arrival coincides with a general outpouring of good-will from the people of Idyllwild. Folks who would never think of offering a ride to a neighbor walking along the road will stop and inquire if they can be of service to thru-hikers, and even agree spontaneously to drive them as far as Big Bear. Folks who would never help the needy from within their own community will pay for the meals and groceries of thru-hikers. They offer them hospitality in their homes and consider it no hardship to put themselves out for them. Judging by the way people help thru-hikers you would think they were on a quest to cast a ring into Mordor or taking much needed medicine to a remote village or something, but as best I can discern the long walk is not a means to such a noble end. It is an end all its own. It's strange to me, this desire to help them. Why do we not treat our neighbors with the same concern and generosity as these transients?