June 4, 2008


Posted in Uncategorized at 5:42 pm by Matt Porter

Tuesday night, our school held our Commencement exercises. Commencement, used in its normal sense, means “beginning.” We mark the end of our graduate’s (yes, just one this year) school years, but we’re really celebrating the beginning of her life. It’s a bittersweet time, with tears and smiles mingling more often than not.

Today, Wednesday, is a commencement of sorts for me. It is the end of my last ever school year as a teacher, and the start of a new stage in my life. It, too is a bittersweet time, which comes as a bit of a surprise to me. I guess in spite of all the things I dislike (despise occasionally might not be over strong a word to use) about teaching, one still builds relationships with the people one is around on a regular basis. While I can definitely say I won’t miss teaching, I will feel the absence of some of my students. While I can celebrate the change in my life (and gladly forget much of the past), there is still that which I will miss. I suppose I’ll only discover which things are which over time.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

May 29, 2008

Another links post, and some other stuff

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:33 am by Matt Porter

Yes, I know it’s not time for another links post yet, but there are some here anyway. You’re free to start your own blog if you’d prefer to do things the correct way. 🙂 And I can’t believe I just used a smiley in a post…

First things first. Thank you to all of you who have responded to my last post one way or another, whether on the phone, through email, or the comment box. I appreciate both the feedback and the opportunity to discuss what I’ve been working through.

I’ve collected a few links that I think might be helpful in obtaining some more perspective on where I’m coming from. They’re written by Christians from a wide range of backgrounds, not just evangelicals; but they express many of the same things I’ve been dealing with. I apologize that so many of these are lengthy; but, like my last post, once it starts coming out, it doesn’t stop easily. More »

May 24, 2008

Why I can’t do church any more

Posted in Bad Christians, Working through Life at 10:23 am by Matt Porter

I’ve been putting off this post for a long time, but it can’t wait any longer. It’s time to get this off my chest, not so I can feel better, but so I can move on in whatever journey this is. The tone of this post is admittedly harsh, for which I don’t apologize. What I have written is the result of what I have experienced of Christianity, and specifically how it has interacted with what I’ve learned in the last two or three years. I am not writing at or about any specific person or group or people; I am writing about the thoroughly broken system which controls access to God for the overwhelming majority of Christians. I don’t want to convert anyone; I’m not attempting to get anyone to agree with me; I’m not trying to provoke a mass-desertion at our next church service. I’m just letting you know where God has me right now. This is an FYI post, not an argumentative essay. Mostly. I think. Not too much arguing, at least. More »

May 16, 2008

Show the difference

Posted in Commentary, Sin and Grace, Theology, Uncategorized at 2:08 pm by Matt Porter

It’s time to wrap up my thoughts on the gospel, at least for the time being. I probably have too much to fit into this post, but I’m going to try to pare it down to something less than novel-length.

So, apparently there are plenty of bad ways to give the gospel. What exactly should we do, then?

Number one: Live honestly. Stop sounding like we totally get this God thing, or like we never have any doubts about it, or like we have the life down pat. Admit that we’re fundamentally broken people, not somehow better people just because we’re saved. Be frank about our failings. And be able, in spite of all that, to express our faith that God is somehow working in us. Because the gospel is less about dramatic outward change than gradual inward change. More »

May 11, 2008

More random stuff I stumbled across

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:45 pm by Matt Porter

Yep, time for all those link thingies…Don’t have much time to write, so let’s get to the goodness. 🙂

First up is the blog Stuff Christians Like (which is only slightly patterned after Stuff White People Like). Funny stuff, usually spot on, and complete with plenty of comments which are as good as or better than the original post. All around fun. 🙂 More »

May 9, 2008

Jesus + A.A. = BFF, howbout u?

Posted in Christian culture, Theology at 1:25 pm by Matt Porter

This post was written just over a week ago, but I’ve been mulling it over ever since, trying to decide how much to say. Originally, it had two sections; but I’ve removed the second half in order to keep this focused on my current theme—how to (or not to) present the gospel. I’ll post what was the second part of this post at some point in the future, never fear.
More »

April 22, 2008

Running, and points, which generally don’t mix well

Posted in Christian culture, Commentary, Theology at 6:54 pm by Matt Porter

My original introduction consisted of some hand-waving and optimistic generalizations about how nice it was to come to the end of this series on presenting the gospel. I should have known that, like all my posts, it would grow into a monster when I attempted to corral it into a text box. I intended to answer two questions about the gospel—What do the lost need? and How do we give it to them?—but I fear I’ve only managed to break the surface of the first one. I think the answers to these questions tell us a lot about not only what we say we believe, but what we actually believe as demonstrated through our actions. I’m going to resist the temptation to stick my toes in to test the water; I’ll just recklessly cannonball in and let the splash go where it may. Rant zone just ahead; you’ve been warned. More »

April 10, 2008

New curriculum for our school

Posted in Humor?, Theology at 3:36 pm by Matt Porter

Teaching school, one often finds that students fail to achieve maximum potential. Whatever the reason, few students actually perform at peak capability. This sub-optimal performance harms the reputation of our school in the community.

After six years of reputation-decreasing mediocrity, I finally broached the subject with my administrator. He was surprisingly open and gave me free rein to explore other curricula which may enhance our school’s reputation by highlighting our educational prowess. More »

April 2, 2008

There and back again

Posted in Family at 1:25 pm by Matt Porter

There. As in where we were. As in the barren arctic tundra formerly known as southern Michigan. As in the land that greeted our arrival with a full twelve inches of snow in the first twelve hours of our sojourn. We spent the better part of a week visiting with my parents, enjoying the weather, but mostly enjoying the fact that we didn’t have to shovel the weather yet.

The other there. As in where we spent fifteen hours driving to, around, and from. As in Indianapolis. We spent a substantial amount of time surveying the northern and (to a lesser extent) western regions of the city and suburbs. There were no lightning bolts, no angelic choirs, no rent in the heavens, no divine messenger sent to direct us (or to bring our donkey, er, minivan, to a halt, sword drawn to take off our heads, as some may have feared). Still, we are more settled that this is where we should go and what we should do, and we are glad to know that we can do so without having to move in between competing suppliers of illicit pharmaceuticals. We did not tour the campus, since daylight was limited and the city was vast and our oft-hungry daughter was in tow. More »

March 19, 2008

The right time to die, and in the eye of the beholder

Posted in Humor?, Points of Interest at 4:30 am by Matt Porter

I’ve always been amused by, shall we say, ethnicity-specific Bibles. The ones complete with pictures of, um, non-Jewish-looking, melanin-enhanced Jesus and Moses and John the Baptist? Well, apparently there may be more basis in fact for those Bibles than I thought!

In other news, apparently this is a bad time to be old and French. Nice to see the mayor is over 70, himself. Wonder if he has a cemetery plot all picked out, or if he’ll have to move out of town. Severely punished……sheesh.

(HT for both to Brother Maynard)

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