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On Commenting

I want this to be a forum for honest discussion, and welcome all comments to that end. Please respect basic norms of civility and respect. Disagreement is welcome, but I will delete comments that I deem malicious or slanderous. Please feel free to provide links to relevant articles and sites if they relate to the discussion, but avoid just a bunch of links.  WordPress’s spam settings are not always 100% reliable—if your comment does not appear, drop me an email and I’ll try to fix the problem.

On a technical level, it’s most helpful if you reply directly to the specific comment that you are addressing (comments can be nested up to three deep).  Just click on “Reply” at the bottom of the comment you are responding to and it will show up as a response to that specific comment.  On long comment threads, this makes it easier to track the conversation than if each new comment just appears at the bottom of the thread.

To sum up: follow the golden rule and I will try to do the same.  Sometimes it can be easy to forget that there are real human beings behind words on a screen—especially if we find those words threatening or they make us angry.  Blog commenting can quite easily degenerate into hurling insults at one other in an accountability-free vacuum.

But not here, right?

27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Paula #

    Hi,

    I thought your comparison to a combover as a last resort (to hang onto) and giving yourself or surrenduring to God was very interesting. I am currently collecting pictures of good combovers for a research project and was wondering if you would be willing to let me use this one, it is quite good. Thanks,

    Paula

    July 21, 2008
  2. No problem at all, Paula. The picture doesn’t actually belong to me – it’s public domain (I found it on a google search). Must be an interesting research project!

    July 21, 2008
  3. “sometimes it can be easy to forget that there are real human beings behind words on a screen—especially if we find those words threatening or they make us angry.”

    Bravo. Well, said. I might quote you in my own comment/etiquette section.

    March 23, 2009
  4. Thanks William.

    March 23, 2009
    • This is war – not normal conditions. The Bible also tells believers to ‘flee persecution’, not to bring persecution to you. Context please! When necessary, even law enforcement helps from a distance until the HAZMAT Unit arrives. In reality our care to foreign countries is usually always from a distance. We go to them, just as Jesus commanded. Go ye into all the Nations and proclaim the Gospel. It’s business as usual – God’s business. The Emergent church’s culturally sensitive propaganda will not prevail in the Body of Christ. You and the politically correct people in this country need to start singing ‘give me that old time religion’ because the tune you’re singing is that of the Pied Piper. The American blond ‘sweet Jesus’ in the movies is not the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus is (the Peacemaker) but not a pacifist in the context of today’s practice of cowardice, nor is He a Universalist. Jesus never excused evil nor partner with it. That includes murder, homosexuality and all things noted in (Galatians 5:19). God commands all men to repent or perish and Jesus is God. It is also the good will of the Father that all men come to repentance and that none should perish, but we know that people will be in Hell because they chose not to repent. You can’t change Biblical doctrine to suit your idea about the love of God. The liberal “New Normal” thinking is above God in politics and religion – they’re more righteous than He is. You don’t invite the devil to dinner. Love God – Hate sin. LuvYuz – EC

      November 19, 2015
  5. Julie Hornoi #

    Hi Ryan –

    I was just cleaning out a magazine stand, and read your article in the MB Herald “Hockey Dad”. I have to say, your words were so inspiring. I am a “Hockey Mom”, who was born and raised in Arizona – married my best friend from Saskatchewan and voila – hockey mom of 3. I actually started skating/playing a couple of years ago due to my love of the game. It is so easy to love this game, but we have struggled with where the committment it takes fits in with our committment to our church and other areas. I have searched for the ways I can reflect Christ to my hockey families and have shared my testimony with a few – but your article has given me a new desire to make my all-time coach, Chirst, proud of my effort. Those are words an athlete can understand. Thank you so much, and keep your head at playoffs.

    Jules

    March 3, 2010
    • Thank you very much for the kind words, Julie. Like you, I find the commitment required to be a challenge—especially when Sunday mornings don’t work very well for me (at least not after 8:30 am!). It takes quite a balancing act some days, and we’re only at the beginning of the journey! I imagine it will get even trickier as my son gets older. We’ve just signed him up for “spring hockey” so the march goes on :).

      March 3, 2010
  6. Al #

    Hello Ryan,

    I like the spirit of your “rules” for commenting. Really, that is the only way to go! Thank you for that. I just — over the last 6 weeks or so — got a blog up and running and would like the exchange to be the same (only have a few comments so far).

    Mine at http://thetanetworker.wordpress.com is spiritual, but quite diverse and freethinking — at least I freely think so 🙂

    Theta Networker’s Open Channel
    Open the theta door to the vibrations of your Higher Self and mindbody reconnection
    {Note: Theta, besides being a letter of the Greek alphabet, refers to brainwaves in a somewhat deep state of meditation…}

    Here’s my “Welcome!”

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away … or maybe it was Brooklyn … I decided upon another earth life … Time for some more life lessons …

    I do not “own” the ideas expressed in this space … I want to share them … This blog is a channel open for expansive communication to flow among those engaged in self-cultivation … evolving and discovering their own truths and paths … without wishing to devalue or eliminate other beings they have decided they don’t like or “don’t want to be like.” It is about rediscovering your innate yearning for spiritualization that may lie dormant … Take a look around … Participate … Reach and withdraw … Discover what is true for you … You are not alone …

    There is a world of difference between support and entanglement … between people who help you expand your choices and your freedom and those who “know best” and would limit your options or your world by promoting their spiritual beliefs or belief systems as the only truth or path to truth. As Jesus said [John 14:2], “In My Father’s house are many mansions,” which may be taken to mean that there are many paths back to perfect union with the Divine Self within each of us. Here are a couple of basic ways to tell if a person or group is expansive and empowering rather than limiting:

    If you’re being told what you should do, or what you must do, or a group or individual claims to stand for freedom, but prohibits or inhibits you from thinking for yourself: That’s not compatible with freedom … That’s a disconnect between what they say and what they do. If individuals, teachers or coaches encourage and help you to discover your own best options, to find your own truth … they know there are many doorways to healing and joy, and are truly interested in your growth and happiness … They’re delighted when you discover the clarity of your own guidance … and they are respecting your innate curiosity … individuality … independence.

    “Many spiritual people anticipate the return of White Light to the planet. They imagine it will come in the form of a unique individual like Buddha, Jesus, or Muhammad. However, from my newly acquired spirituality, I see that White Light will only return to the planet when every human being recognizes every other human being as an individual frequency of the White Light. As long as we keep eliminating or devaluing other human beings we have decided we don’t like, i.e., destroying frequencies of the spectrum, we will not be able to experience the White Light. Our job is to protect and nurture each human frequency so that the White Light can return.” — Bruce Lipton, from the Epilogue to The Biology Of Belief http://www.brucelipton.com/biology-of-belief-overview/ “We must all learn to listen to one another with understanding and compassion, to hear what is being felt by the other.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

    Al

    November 17, 2010
    • Thank you for the kind words, Al.

      November 18, 2010
  7. Rob Rittenberg #

    Pastor Ryan….Thank you Sir for your blog. Denise has told me about it, but it took me far too long to thank you for the work you do. At some point, I would like to invite you to lunch, or chores, or whatever, to talk.

    Respectfully,

    Rob Rittenberg (Denise Wall’s husband)

    August 29, 2013
    • That would be fantastic, Rob—I look forward to it. And thank you for the kind words.

      August 29, 2013
  8. Mike Darby #

    Hi
    I really like the ‘your comments please’ image. Would you object if I could use this for an image montage I am putting together?

    Mike

    August 4, 2014
    • No problem at all, Mike, although the image is public domain… I don’t even remember where I found it, truth be told.

      August 4, 2014
  9. I like your title and the way you get to little hope(s). Thanks for the blog Ryan!

    January 3, 2015
    • Thank you, Abe.

      (I assume this comment was meant to show up on my January 2 post?)

      January 4, 2015
      • Sorry. Not at all. I just really liked what you said about hope and to me at least you ended up saying that our hopes are often just little. Very sorry if i offended. You are a tabulous writer, Ryan. I enjoy all your posts. You write w a lot if energy and vigor.

        January 4, 2015
      • Oh no, no offence whatsoever! I just noticed that your initial comment showed up on my “On Commenting” page rather than under the post (“Little Hope”) that it seems to be in response to! I was just curious, nothing more 🙂

        Again, thank you for your very kind words. I do appreciate them.

        January 4, 2015
      • Yes. Sorry.

        January 4, 2015
      • No problem at all, Abe. Sorry for unnecessarily confusing things.

        January 4, 2015
  10. Laurie Milito #

    Hi Ryan,
    I have just discovered your blog, and so enjoy your insights and honesty and you have a wonderful writing style. I was particularly touched by your most recent blog about the TRC, as you shared Ronnie’s story from the Sault. I am the minister at Central United in the Sault, and I have been considering including more aboriginal references in our services, and ways to connect with our First Nations community. You have given me food for thought.
    At the core, is story-telling- so fundamental both to Christians and First Nation cultures. Thank you for passing on Ron’s story- it will stay with me today.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts- Laurie

    June 2, 2015
    • Thank you so much, Laurie. I appreciate your taking the time to write.

      Yes, it is as you say, stories are so fundamental to how we understand who we are, where we belong, where we’re going. We are storied creatures.

      Peace to you.

      June 2, 2015
  11. ISIS is killing Christians; not the U.S. Armed Forces. This is war – not normal conditions. American Christian Missions are at the forefront of every human crisis and physically present. We are not bound to be ignorant of the schemes of the devil. The Bible also tells believers to ‘flee persecution’, not to bring persecution to you. Context please! When necessary, even law enforcement helps from a distance until the HAZMAT Unit arrives. In reality our care to foreign countries is usually always from a distance. We go to them, just as Jesus commanded. Go ye into all the Nations and proclaim the Gospel. It’s business as usual – God’s business. The Emergent church’s culturally sensitive propaganda will not prevail in the Body of Christ. You and the politically correct people in this country need to start singing ‘give me that old time religion’ because the tune you’re singing is that of the Pied Piper. The American blond ‘sweet Jesus’ in the movies is not the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus is (the Peacemaker) but not a pacifist in the context of today’s practice of cowardice, nor is He a Universalist. Jesus never excused evil nor partnered with it. That includes murder, homosexuality and all things noted in (Galatians 5:19). God commands all men to repent or perish and Jesus is God. It is also the good will of the Father that all men come to repentance and that none should perish, but we know that people will be in Hell because they chose not to repent. You can’t change Biblical doctrine to suit your idea about the love of God. The liberal “New Normal” thinking is above God in politics and religion – they’re more righteous than He is. You don’t invite the devil to dinner and you can’t hold Christians in contempt for the sake of promoting your religious product outside the Pale of orthodoxy. Love God – Hate sin. LuvYuz – EC

    November 19, 2015
  12. Anthony #

    It is a Christian duty to be responsible to the blessings given being they are tangible or intangible. The blessing of freedom is not given without purpose. And as Christians…we are called to be harmless as doves and wise as serpents. Meaning…we need to ask for discernment.
    As to that purpose, I am almost certain that at the microcosm the author locks his doors at night. Asked why…for the safety of his family. That is the microcosm of the macrocosm of the collective security we must have for the nation. We are duty bound by Christian responsibility to protect our families, our community, our nation. Equally…we are called to go and preach the word. Receiving or not receiving the refugees isn’t a reflection on our Christian character. There is more to be considered and casting it as one or the other is wrong. ISIS is honest in their design and statements. They forecasted the immigration/refugee crisis to deliver their army to our shores and they have infiltrated the refugee migration. The first responsibility of government is to secure/protect its people. Not fulfill our Christian duties for us. If anyone reading this thinks that the government is to be the proxy of our Christian effort they are wrong. The law of government is written in its enumerated powers per the Constitution. Expecting the government to act outside of it because we want someone one on our shores especially given the current crisis is a vacating of the rule of law. That is not a Christian standard. By the author’s standard…we should have no borders…Christians should not hire police to keep bad people away or arrest them. We shouldn’t lock our doors. We must be discerning to the darkness of men…not just to light in which we walk. As Nehemiah rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem he established protocols for defense. If the Old Testament was written as an example for us, should we not give pause to consider this. ISIS is interested in tearing down our walls…as Christians we need to be thinking about how we can retain our freedom, defend our nation…all while delivering the Gospel. If we think that we can capitulate to government being the proxy of the our Great Commission, then persecution by enemy in the gates may come upon us and send us abroad to rectify our understanding of scripture and admonish us to Christian responsibility to all the blessings we’ve received.

    November 19, 2015
    • Right -On! Very well stated Anthony. This country still provides aid to refugees and so do Christian Ministries/Organizations. Mr. Ryan and folks like him slide under the Christian banner and attempt to accuse the brethren of being unloving by substituting our nay to refugee immigration as to be indifference. The naive are once again, brain soiled by religio-political rhetoric. Christ does not accuse Himself. Beware of wolves.

      November 19, 2015
  13. Kathy from Oregon, US #

    Saw the CNN article just now on what you and your community are doing to help the Syrian refugees. Your outreach to them is truly heartwarming. Thank God for people like you. We are all citizens of the earth and should help those who need it. Your community’s compassion helps me keep my faith in humanity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    March 7, 2016
    • Thank you, Kathy, for this kind affirmation.

      March 8, 2016
  14. Dorothy #

    Enjoying the read!

    April 11, 2017

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