Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz

I can no more understand the totality of God than the pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me. -Donald Miller

Who knew that religious inspiration could come from reading a funny book on a stair master every other day? I just recently finished reading Donald Miller’s book, “Blue Like Jazz.” There were so many times in his book that I felt like I could relate to the feelings or thoughts of different characters, including Don himself.

There was one part that really gave me the heebie-jeebies. Don told a story (and illustrated too) of Don Astronaut who wears a special suit that he can survive in without water, food, or oxygen. He gets stuck in space after an accident, and no one comes to save him. As a result, he orbits the earth for 53 years before he dies, alone and crazy. His helmet is black because his hair has grown so thick that it completely fills the helmet, blinding and suffocating him in the end. Don Astronaut’s experience is apparently what Hell is like….

Yay. Read the full (short) story of Don Astronuat here.

Heaven and Hell

Matt went through a Heaven and Hell series recently at The Austin Stone. He ended his sermon with the most powerful thing I’ve ever heard a pastor say.

“For those of you who have never trusted in Christ as your Lord and Savior, repent. Turn from your sin. Trust in him. Tell the Lord today, Lord I’m a sinner. I’ve offended your infinite holiness and infinite authority, and I deserve infinite punishment, so I need someone to come and take my sin away from me, which is what Jesus said he did on the cross. So trust in him as your lord and savior and you will be saved. Do that, and do that right now because if you don’t…

Enjoy the pleasures of this life. Enjoy the warmth of the sunshine. Enjoy the cool of the wind on your face. Leave this place today, and enjoy good friends, food, community, fellowship, and love. Because if you don’t trust in Jesus, this earth is as close to Heaven as you’re ever going to get.

But for those of you who are in Christ today, Jesus Christ has overcome sin and when he overcame sin, he overcame death. And when he overcame death, he overcame Hell. And because Jesus overcame sin and death and Hell, you who are in Christ Jesus have overcome.

Christian, endure this world. Endure its suffering. Endure its pain. Endure its loneliness. Endure its sickness. Endure its troughs  because for those of you who are in Christ Jesus, this world is as close to Hell as you’ll ever get.