Bachelor’s Degrees and Bobs


Having been at Criswell for over five years now, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many unique and interesting people. Many of the middle-aged men are just the kind of good, old fashioned, slacks and polo wearing conservatives we’d expect them to be. But that’s not the end of the story. I’ve met people with bigger gauges than me. I’ve also met people who wear Chukka’s and carry around those hipster leather briefcases that herald MacBooks as each of us ought herald the gospel – with a class that says, “backpacks are just too mainstream.” I’ve met calvinists, molinists, fundamentalists, arminians, and of course, plenty of evangelicals. There’s a wide variety of men and women who are going or have gone to Criswell, but all have went pursuing the same thing: to earn that ever-so questionably important “college degree.”

There was once a middle-aged man who used to go to Criswell and was the slacks and polo wearing type. We’ll call him Bob. I remember Bob quite well. He had this charismatic way in which he talked about God, ministry, and life in general. And it was peculiar, even at a conservative Christian college like Criswell. I’d like to think this is because the “everything is always good” Christian charade is slipping off into oblivion. But behold, while this well-meaning Christian creature is an endangered species, he still exists in church circles and bible colleges today. Bob was one of the enduring survivors – a faithful remnant, one might say – from that group.

I remember his excitement on his last day of class before graduation. As one might expect from a man of his caliber of godliness, an appropriately reserved and composed amount of happiness was in order. Yet, since Bob tended to act this way, I wasn’t all that surprised or intrigued by his bliss. I was happy for him, but I wasn’t at the same level of modest enthusiasm. Until, that is, he told me how long he had been at Criswell:

Sixteen years.

At hearing this, my face lit up and my voice became much more animated: “Wow, brother! Sixteen years? Congratulations! That really is something to be proud of!” He smiled at me and said he appreciated it. As we continued talking, I came to find out that the reason for Bob’s elongated period of study at Criswell was that he had been taking one or two classes a semester while working full time in ministry. I was impressed by his determination. Having persevered to the end of a sixteen year endeavor was a formidable accomplishment, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Bob. So I told him I was very happy for him. And looking back, I genuinely hope he sensed my sincerity.

However, after departing from our conversation and moving past how incredible this man’s endurance was, I began to have other thoughts about Bob and his degree. They related to his ability to communicate his thoughts.

Truth is, Bob wasn’t all that good at communicating his thoughts. I know this because I once had him in a class not long before and had read some of his work. It seemed jumbled and without substance, lacking the succession of coherent thoughts that writing is supposed to entail. No doubt Bob was a busy man who had on multiple occasions made it clear that his ministry was more important than his studies. But I still found myself wondering: how could a man who had been studying for almost two decades still lack the ability to form and articulate his thoughts? That’s a big deal. Moreover, what does this imply about the value of both my college degree and college degrees in general?

I’ve seen statistics showing that while college is more expensive than it has ever been (even accounting for inflation), it is also probably still worth it from a purely economic perspective. This is good to know, especially considering that college is not cheap and that most would like a return on such a large financial investment. But I’m not as concerned with economic value as I am with personal, spiritual, and intellectual growth. I may be getting older, but alas, my youth has gotten the best of me. I’m going to college, not because I want to make more money, but because I want, in the words of John Green, to “become a better and more informed observer of the universe.” Now, I understand that becoming “a better and more informed observer of the universe” doesn’t always pay the bills. But allow me to be completely honest with you, my dear reader, for just a second.

As I continue slipping evermore into the sleepless night that is adulthood, I am trying my best to maintain the conviction that life is about more than simply making money, having a nice house, or driving a new car. More than any of those things, I want to be present in my own life. And for me, being present means being able to take the vague electro-chemical reactions occurring within my brain and mold them into coherent thoughts and speech. College isn’t the only thing that has helped me become more efficient at doing that, but it is one major thing that has.

Even more than that, Criswell helped me to retain my faith during a time in my life when it was most challenged. One might not expect this to be true for someone who attended a Bible college for his undergrad, but challenges to faith are not partial to secular universities. I may be in a Christian college surrounded by Christian classmates, Christian professors, and a Christian curriculum, but there is no place on earth where immunity from life’s hardships and doubts can be obtained. The serpent can infiltrate a bible study just as easily as he can enter a pub, and he has no affinity for non-Christians. So, Christian colleges and churches are not impenetrable safe havens from serious challenges to faith. They should, however, be places that help you get through those challenges, and that is exactly what Criswell was for me.

Finally, my education also helped me to discover within myself a love for reading and writing which I had not previously recognized. I’ve found a joy in reading and writing that satisfies my soul. It is truly wonderful. And although it is certainly secondary to the human contact intrinsic to these two practices, when I am reading or writing, I feel I am doing something that I’ve been called by God to do. I have Criswell to thank for that.

So, I cannot speak for Bob, that good natured Christian soldier who spent sixteen years earning his stripes. But I can speak for myself. And what I would say is that, up to this point, my time at Criswell has been worth every Red Bull chugging, mind crushing  moment of study I’ve had to endure. And I’m proud of the experiences and growth that the 11” x 8.5” piece of paper hanging on the wall in my living room represents.




What do you think makes a college degree worthwhile? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below!


Hey 20-Year-Old Chris, This is 23-Year-Old Chris

I bought this little notebook as a gift to myself about three or four years ago. After watching a certain movie (which I shall allow to remain a mystery for man-card preservation purposes), I developed the urge to begin journaling.

And of course, just any old notebook wouldn’t do. I needed a notebook worthy of the task. I needed something classy, something enviable, something… hipster, I guess. And the best I could tell, that meant I needed some type of Moleskine. So that’s what I got.

It was a simple and relatively inexpensive notebook, just mat black with my college’s logo pressed into the cover. But it had that essential, humble quality antiquity could not escape: it was made of paper. No glass, no keyboard, no circuitboard – just pages. Blank pages that had to be altered by the pen and pencil. It was worthy of the task.

So, on October 14, 2014, I altered the first page of my new Moleskine notebook. In that first entry, I talked about how I had previously thought of journaling as a waste of time, but was experiencing a change of heart (once again, the precise cause of this change of heart shall remain a mystery). I related how I was starting to believe that I might actually benefit from writing my thoughts down and attempting to analyze them from a different perspective.

And if I do say so myself, that’s a pretty solid thought. I still believe that writing down thoughts, forcing them to line up in an orderly fashion like they used to make us do in elementary school, and trying to take stock of them is a worthy endeavor. If I didn’t, then you probably wouldn’t be reading a blog post on The Meek Seat right now. So, I feel like that first entry was a good first entry. But what I really want to draw attention to is the third entry in that ol’ Moleskine. Allow me to begin with some context.

In 2014, I had a dream – not the kind that you wake up from, the kind that keeps you awake. I wanted to be what virtually everyone who has ever listened to (and enjoyed) rap music has wanted to be: the person speaking on the other side of the mic. And by the fall of 2014, I had been trying to inch my way into the rap industry for roughly two years.

Considering the time and devotion it takes to become a successful artist, that’s not very long. But it felt long. And in this third entry of my journal, I expressed some of the inner struggles with which I was dealing.

In an attempt to save you from a lengthy tune played by the worlds smallest violin, I won’t share everything I wrote in that entry. But let me just say that I was working through some genuine struggles. And no matter how small they were in view of the big picture, which I can now see, at the time they were sincere. I asked my small group of listeners in one of my later lyrics, “you ever had a dream that you felt like you could reach, but every time you turn there’s a haunting disbelief?” But what my audience could not see in that brief lyric was that I didn’t just want to reach my music goals. I didn’t want to just “make it.” In fact, that was one of the main problems. I felt like I was “making” it, like I was fabricating it, and that if I did finally succeed it would have been something that was contrived and not genuine. What I really wanted was to have been made – created – to be “it.” But my career in the music industry was beginning to feel forced, and I didn’t quite know how to process this.

Now, if you go all the way down to the final sentence in that entry, you find a real jewel. In that last sentence, it says, and I quote,

“Maybe one day twenty-three year old label-signed Chris will read this and smile because he didn’t give up and never stopped working.” 

*brief pause for dramatic affect*

Well 20-year-old Chris, here we are. This is 23-year-old Chris. Or should I say, this is 23-year-old, non-label-signed Chris, and I just read what you wrote. I’m not smiling.

Just kidding. I am smiling, and in fact, I’m actually laughing. But it’s not because I didn’t give up, never stopped working, and am now signed to a label, as you had hoped. It’s because I know what you were thinking. I know what you were doing. You were giving your best effort to be able to predict the future. But, to no one’s surprise (not even your 23 year old self), you fell short. It seems that you’re just not the prophet you hoped you’d be.

And here’s why I believe that’s true. It seems that you thought your hard work could solidify the future you desired for yourself. You thought that your determination and grit were unilaterally related to your future. Yeah, if you just “worked hard enough” and “never gave up,” then surely you’d be living your dream by 23.

But I think I’ve discovered something in the three years since you penned that third entry.

Self-will, self-determination, or any other type of self-whatever will not secure the future you desire for yourself. They alone do not determine what you will become or what you will do. I know this is hard to hear, but my experiences in skateboarding, music, school, and life in general have taught me this. You cannot force your way into whatever you believe your future should be. And I can’t believe I’m just now thinking to tell you this. You have to get the green light.

God has to give the green light. The Scriptures say that He rules the cosmos, commands the sea, and is able to direct the hearts of kings like a stream in His hand. So here’s a simple question: is your self-will stronger than the ocean or your hard work mightier than the labors of the cosmos? No? Then how shall you escape the will of Him who commands both with a simple word? He says, “Stay,” and they stay. He says, “Go,” and they go. I believe it is the same with the realization of your hopes and dreams. They will not come to fruition unless God gives the signal.

But I want you to know something else. I believe He also has control over those hopes and dreams before they enter into your mind. I imagine the hope to be in the music industry was beside Him, saying, “let me go, he will listen to me.” And in His wisdom He responded, “Go.” I imagine the same for your dream to be a professional skateboarder, and for every other dream or hope you’ve had. In the perfect moment and at the perfect time in your life, He told them, “Go to him,” and they went to you. So I don’t want you to be all absorbed with regret or confusion or disappointment. If He, in His good will, decides to call to some of them and say, “depart from him, unfulfilled,” remember that His wisdom is unsearchable, and His purposes are good.

As we grow older, I think it is inevitable that, for most of us, many of the hopes and dreams we’ve had as young people will depart from us, unfulfilled. But I believe that there is a sovereign God who loves His children and is able even to use disappointment for their good.


What do you think? Am I giving good advice to my 20-year-old self? Drop your opinion in the comments section below!



Stepping on Graves


Over the summer, I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of my good friends, Timmy, doing various jobs for his lawn care and landscaping business. Most of the jobs are everyday, non-commercial projects like mowing people’s lawns or planting flowers and bushes, but he also has some commercial clientele. One example of this is Olive Garden.

When I work with Timmy, Olive Garden is usually the place we begin. It has to be mowed weekly, and since most of the non-commercial clients don’t like to hear a lawnmower at 7 o’clock in the morning, it’s a good place to start. We have other weekly jobs that we do consistently, but since we also do random projects, I don’t always know where we are going.

On the way to one of our jobs, Timmy told me that we would be mowing an old church’s graveyard. “Easy enough,” I thought. “It’s a large field with large stones. Can’t ask for much easier of an area to mow or obstacles to weed-eat around.” It seemed like it would be just another simple, thoughtless hour or two of work. But that’s not what it turned out to be.

As I walked through the chainlink gate of the cemetery with my weed-eater in hand, I began to become aware of this sinking feeling inside of me. If you’ve ever been to a cemetery, maybe you know what I’m talking about. It wasn’t really sadness; I think it was more of a seriousness – but it was, as one might describe, sinking. I looked around with this feeling in the pit of my chest, lifted the weed-eater out away from my body, and yanked the pull-string. The weed-eater came to life, and I began doing the work Timmy was paying me to do.

But sure enough, the first headstone that I began weed-eating around caught my attenIMG_6864tion. It was the headstone of a man born and deceased in the 19th century. His name was Greenberry Mounger, and what caught my eye about his grave was an inscription below his headstone that looked like it had been added after the fact. The rectangular protrusion stuck out from the ground like a button on a remote control, and inscribed upon it were the words, “Confederate States Army.”

“This dude fought in the freaking civil war,” I said to myself, “to be a part of such a historic event is pretty cool!” Unfortunately, not too shortly after that, I realized that the designation “confederate” also meant this dude thought owning slaves was ok and even worth fighting for, which is definitely not so cool. But, irrespective of what he believed or thought, there he was, laid to rest some 100 years before I stumbled across his headstone.

I kept working and walking around many more headstones. Some were inscribed to infants, some to mothers and fathers, but at some point I looked down and was overtaken by a simple and yet gripping thought:

I was stepping on graves, and there were people under me.

Very abruptly, in an “all-of-the-sudden” type of fashion, I realized that there were legitimate people under me. Obviously not legitimate in the sense that they were alive and breathing, but legitimate in the sense that they were, at one time, someone who had been alive, and taken breaths, like I was right then as I stood over them.

I felt this odd connection with these people whose headstones I was weed-eating around, and I also felt a strange sorrow. I thought about how some of them might have went to college or gotten married young like I did. I thought about how at some point there were probably people around each of these graves, weeping for the recently deceased person. And finally, I thought about how I would eventually be in a grave, and how some kid would be weed-eating around my headstone, completely oblivious to the type of life I lived or the things I did.

The rest of the my time at that graveyard was spent reflecting on those truths, and it made the work I was doing seem dignified and worth more to me than just the dollar amount I was being paid. In a way, it felt like I was honoring these people by trimming the grass around their headstones, like I was remembering them. Sure, it wasn’t much. I was just cutting grass that would grow back in a very short time, but in that moment it felt good to be doing what I was doing.

Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I believe there are two things that I have taken away from that experience at the old church’s graveyard. The first is a simple reminder: that’s where I am headed. No matter if or how many books I might write in my life, that’s where I am headed. No matter how many degrees I might end up achieving in my lifetime, that’s where I’m headed. And that’s a good reminder. Because it’s far too easy to get lost chasing after things that won’t matter 100 years from now, when the only remembrance of me will be in the brief thoughts of those who mow around my headstone.

The second thing I took away from this experience was a newfound appreciation for cemeteries and the thoughts they force us to think about. Oddly enough, I kind of went away thinking that I should be spending more time at cemeteries. And I have, a few different times, went to a cemetery or two to reflect. So I want to encourage you to go. Go to a random cemetery, sit and read the people’s names, look at the dates that mark their births and deaths, and ponder how they might have spent the time they walked as tourists on this floating sphere of dust. And think. What is your life’s purpose? What are you going to do with your life? What are you doing with your life? These are all things that are important to think about, but that life’s busyness usually keeps from entering our frames of mind. So I encourage you – go. Go step on (or preferably over and around) some graves, my friend.


The Same Destiny

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You will die. That is pretty much an undisputed fact. Like, science proves it and stuff. In fact, it may very well be that this is the one fact that you won’t ever have to question in your life. Yes, rest assured, every human that has ever lived, has died (except Elijah and Enoch), and it will be the same for you and I.

I have thought about this a lot. Not more than the average person, but perhaps at least more than the average young person. I actually have a few memories about coming to the realization of the reality of death. I can recall a time when I was younger, looking out the window of a moving vehicle, wondering if I would die on a specific car ride. And I can remember on a separate occasion coming to the understanding that I could not and would not ever know exactly how or when I would die.

I also remember realizing the same about my mother – how she would eventually die and there was no way I could prevent or otherwise know anything about it. The thoughts that wrecked my mind the most were things like, “What if she never gets to hold her grandkids and see me become a good parent?” “What if she dies before my wedding day, and I don’t get to see her there when I’m devoting my life to the woman I love?” And these questions would usually be followed by, “Do you think God will preserve her life, so that she will be able to be there in these moments? Do you think He will listen to you?”

Well, I know that God chose to protect my mother long enough to at least see my wedding day. I know that because that day has already happened, and praise God, she was there. But what about her being there for Bailey and I’s first child together? Well, I don’t know. But I do know that my mother has been appointed a day, just like I have, and just like Bailey has, and just like our child one day will have. Yet, still none of us has any insight as to which day the silver cord will snap, or the golden pot will break.

Which brings me to the reason I began writing this post in the first place.

Assuming you are not a Bible student, it might be helpful to know that the “silver cord” and “golden bowl” imagery is courtesy of Ecclesiastes (a book in the Old Testament). Immediately prior to writing this post, I read through Ecclesiastes twice. That is not to brag; I say this simply because, if you had read Ecclesiastes, you would know that it is a real spirit-lifter (that’s a joke). And you might better understand why the beginning of this post has such a gloomy tone. **Spoiler Alert** If you were wondering what Solomon (the guy who wrote Ecclesiastes) had to say about life, I’ll give you the jist: vanity – it’s just all friggin vanity.

Truthfully, as I was reading through Ecclesiastes I found my self wondering if Solomon was a Christian because the book seemed so hopeless. Then I remembered that he wasn’t a Christian (he was a Jew), and I began trying to process the weirdness of that realization. Could it be that Solomon spoke of life the way he did because he did not know the hope of Christians, that is, resurrection through Jesus Christ? Could be. Could it be that Solomon was simply writing Ecclesiastes to explain life through the eyes of non-believers? I think that option is also plausible.

But this much of what Solomon said I know is true regardless: “the same destiny overtakes all.” As you may have heard it said, death is the great equalizer of humanity. For, from dust we were all made, and to dust we shall all return. This is true both for the Christian and the Non-Christian, the evil man and the good man, the rich and the poor, the hard worker and the sluggard. Our inheritance from Adam is inescapable. We, along with all of our loved ones, friends, and family will be overtaken by the power of death.

But, if you are a Christian, might I encourage you? Might I speak something to you that scores of men and women from the beginning of the foundations of the earth have not had the privilege of hearing or understanding?

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty God, has altered the destiny of many. Not so that they might not die, for we all must die; but so that, in dying, they might not die again. There has only been one man who has had the power to grab death by the throat and deliver it to its own cruel end. Yes, death has died, for in the hands of our Resurrected King lay forgiveness and eternal life for all those who believe. And one day he will call forth all of the dust who are called His, back into form, and they will never be overtaken by death again. Most truly, their destiny has been altered for all of eternity.

If your hope is in Christ, you do face the “same destiny” that Solomon spoke of regarding all of humanity in Ecclesiastes. It’s not so great of a destiny. However, you will also share in the same destiny that Jesus spoke of regarding all believers in the Gospel of John. And it is beautiful. Thus are the words of our King: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

So take that, Ecclesiastes.








Photo by klauskornelius

Ill Mind 7: A Response

ill-mind-coverThe seventh addition to the Ill Mind of Hopsin saga series was a difficult piece to process. It was an emotional presentation, filled with confronting, unfiltered honesty and the oh-so expected coarseness that someone familiar with Hopsin’s work might anticipate. But I think, more than anything, Ill Mind 7 was a challenge for me. It was a challenge because it tells the tale of a young man who lost his faith, specifically in the Christian God. I have the inclination to believe that many who heard Hopsin’s song went away discouraged, dejected, or simply confused. But I am not so naive to believe that some didn’t also go away strengthened, feeling that they related and agreed very sharply with Hopsin’s lyrics.

I aim to analyze Hopsin’s lyrics from a Christian worldview, and in doing so, I hope to encourage conversation around some of the main points found within. Because I know that most would not be willing to read a six page analysis, I have sought to keep each point concise. So don’t expect my analysis to be exhaustive. I could have said much more in each section. Rather, simply expect some meaty thoughts to chew on (or, for all my vegetarians out there, expect some bulky tree trunks to naw on).

Lyrical Analysis 

The first point I would like to look at comes fairly early on in Hopsin’s song. He says,

“There’s way too many different religions with vivid descriptions, 

begging all #$@%&! men and women to listen.”  

This is a statement that I believe many people would and do agree with. They just don’t have the platform Hopsin does and have never attempted to make it rhyme. But let’s look at this protestive grievance. Hopsin seems to be claiming that, because there are so many religions in the world, this negates his obligation to choose or at least negates the plausibility of one religion being true. It seems that he is claiming God is unjust to allow there to be so many options. And granted, having so many different religions to choose from does add a significant amount of weight to an already heavy decision. But never should we completely drop or think ourselves released from the duty to search, evaluate, and decide, just because there is a diversity of options. We don’t do that when we are trying to choose a life partner, a job, or even a car, so why would we do it with perhaps the greatest question humanity has ever asked?

Another set of lyrics that struck my attention were these:

“I’m frustrated and you provoked it,

I’m not reading that @#$% @#$%&! book because a human wrote it… 

It was a mission that I had to abort,

‘cause humans be lying, we’re such an inaccurate source…”

Notice here that Hopsin expresses his dissatisfaction with the fact that humans played a part in the writing of Scripture. In doing so, he implies that he believes it should have been different. Humans are too untrustworthy, too inaccurate of a source, to have played a role in the writing of the Bible. He puts out his chest toward God and says he refuses to read the Bible because it was written by humans. First, I would like to ask, why is it shocking (or even offending) to Hopsin that God likes to use human beings to accomplish His plans on earth? With the exception of a few major events in time, God (the Christian God) has been pleased to use His creation to will and to work for His kingdom, to attain His desires. 

Second, if humans are untrustworthy, why should we trust Hopsin? Forget that! If humans are untrustworthy, how can Hopsin even trust himself? Now, one might interject, “he wasn’t talking about humans in today’s era. He was talking about humans in ancient times.” Really? Donald Trump is our president, man. C’mon. Humans are no more trustworthy today than they were yesterday.

Perhaps one might then say, “well, it’s not that they were less trustworthy back then, they just didn’t have the means to verify things like we do today.” Ok. I will admit that they didn’t have video cameras or photography. But I do not feel it invalid to believe that they would have been able to call “BS” (bullspit) on a man who claimed to walk on water, restore sight to the blind, and enable paralytics to walk again after they met him once or twice in person.

The simple truth of the matter is this: not all humans are trustworthy, but not all humans are untrustworthy. This is why Hopsin himself can say anything at all and expect to be heard, and this is why he (and we) should hesitate to discredit the men and women of ancient times. The issue is not that there is no-one on earth that can be trusted; the issue, it seems, is that Hopsin refuses to trust any individual who claims to have had a direct experience with God. And indeed, if Hopsin refuses to trust any of those individuals, he probably won’t make much progress in his pursuit of God.

In another spot, and a number of others, Hopsin states or strongly implies that he wants a sign from God. In fact, the various emotional climaxes throughout the song seem to indicate that this issue is paramount in Hopsin’s denunciation of the faith. He states specifically in one section:

“And I ain’t trying to take your legacy and torch it down,

I’m just saying: I ain’t heard @#$% from the horse’s mouth.

Just sheep always telling stories of older guys,

who were notarized by you when you finally vocalized.

Now I’m supposed to bow my head and close my eyes

and somehow let the Holy Ghost arise?

Sounds like a @#$%&?! poltergeist.

Show yourself! And then boom it’s done.

Every rumors gone, I’ll no longer doubt this @#$%, you’re the One.”

As one can see, Hopsin wants a supernatural sign from God. More truly, he demands it. He doesn’t want to hear other people tell him about God; he doesn’t want to rely on the Scriptures. He wants to speak to or see God directly.  But perhaps more at the root of this obsession to see God directly is an issue of faith. Perhaps the bigger issue is that Hopsin dislikes how belief in God entails faith. Unfortunately, the problem with this in relation to the Christian God is that, “without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Yet even regardless of what Yahweh has said about faith, to my knowledge, there is no belief system in the world that involves the complete absence of faith. Therefore, if Hopsin desires to have faith in nothing, he will have belief in nothing.


Ultimately, it seems evident to me that Hopsin has simply turned from the worship of God to the worship of himself. And while Ill Mind 7 was an emotional and very moving piece that I don’t mean to dispute the sincerity of, I have found and humbly assert that the issues proposed within do not have justifiable grounds upon which to stand.

All lyrics taken from

Photo from

Hello Friends


Hello friends, it is good to see you again. The fall semester is just around the bend, and with it papers and reading assignments and energy drinks – lots of energy drinks. This said, I feel obliged to inform you that I must unfortunately cease from writing my blogs for a time in order to focus on finishing my season at Criswell triumphantly. But don’t be fooled, my absence is not desertion. I plan on and look forward to returning to the pen and paper (or, the keyboard and screen).

But, before I depart, I wanted to add something else. The response I have received to my blogs has been more than I anticipated and such a joy. Not expecting a response save one or two readers, I began writing blogs in a hopeful attempt to culture myself and sharpen my mind. Now, having people read and sometimes even respond to my writing, I have found it to be a truly delightful experience. So thank you to the handful of people who take time out of their busy schedules to read my posts. I know most of you are those of my friends and family who simply love me and want to support me, and my hope is that, when I resume writing, you will still be there to read. I kept a routine of one post per month over the summer, and my plan is to continue this pattern after I finish at Criswell and once again have time for personal composition. Until then, stay strong, and stay read. I guess I will talk to you then.




photo by Daniel Foster

When God Picks a Stick


At one time in my life, I was considered a fairly athletic and gifted individual. I was the quarterback, kicker, kick returner, safety, and sometimes running back on my football team; the pitcher, shortstop, and cleanup hitter on my baseball team; and I was the person who was always double-teamed by the defense in basketball. One might say that I was thought of as a prodigy in the little hometown I grew up in. Or, at least it felt that way to me.

I remember school being not much different. I never struggled in class and made A’s with minimal effort. In high school, popularity was the norm, and it seemed like everyone had something positive to say about me. I received “Class Favorite” four years in a row and “Mr. RHS” (Mr. Rains High School) my junior and senior year. Looking back I can see that my life was absolutely filled to the brim with praise and acceptance. But isn’t it unfortunate that, in life, so many times we twist the beautiful things our Creator gives us into selfish things He never intended them to be.

Perhaps needless to say, all of the affirmation and success I experienced early in my life led me to have a, well, lets just say, charitably high view of myself, which stuck with me throughout my high school career. That is not to say that I was boastful or arrogant, or that I treated people as if they were less important because of the thoughts I had concerning myself. On the contrary, I believe I had a regular practice of acting kindly toward others, which is a personality trait that seems to run deep in my family. But this did not change the condition of my heart, nor did it lessen the dependency that I had developed for the comforts of popularity and the deception of self-praise. I found myself delighting in my small town celebrity, basking in the thoughts of my self-worth. I might have even thought I deserved it all. Then, something happened.

God picked a stick.

As I got older, people began to surpass my athletic abilities, and, upon enrolling in college, I found that I was not as competent in my studies as I had once believed. As an athlete, I was average; as a student: unimpressively ordinary. People at school didn’t know me anymore, and the athletic abilities that I had when I was younger did nothing to higher my status as a significant individual. No longer receiving the applauses of approval, the person I believed myself to be slowly diminished into a lowly figure whose existence was less than noteworthy. These years of my life became the means by which God would teach me what true, Jesus-honoring, 24-carat humility and meekness looked like.

Sometimes we all need a good knock over the head with a stick of some sort. For high school Chris, it was the humble stick. I imagine that the stick God had to use on me was more like a branch or a log, but regardless of how He got it done, praise His name, for He did not allow me to continue in my faulty and dangerous ways. He has helped me to discover the exact measure of my stature before Him, and there He has taught me to say, “mold me,” instead of “behold me.” For, even when our abilities surpass those around us and multitudes admire us, we are still only children who have received their good from above, and we are as nothing before His throne. Therefore, let us not give Him reason to remind us that He meant it when He said, “…everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.” Let us not give Him reason to pick a stick.




Photo taken by maren_photography