Not only do we know God by Jesus Christ alone, but we know ourselves only by Jesus Christ.  We know life and death only through Jesus Christ.  Apart from Jesus Christ, we do not know what is life, nor our death, nor God, nor ourselves.     
      
-Blaise Pascal
           
               
I launched a new blog yesterday where I can do a little more venting and reflecting of my own—a place where I can let some of my free flowing thoughts roam.  It kind of sounds dangerous now that I think about it.  And the name I selected is not much safer—Unpackaged Me: some of my selected thoughts on culture, politics, truth and faith—unpolished, unrehearsed and unfiltered.  I have a hunch that those who may be reading this and know me are thinking the same thing—dangerous.  It’s too late now—I already put up the first post.  In putting the blog together I wanted to add something to the author section rather than just merely paste and stick my previous bio that I use on some other blogs.  If you have attempted to do so—you know it’s always work to write about yourself.  Knowing ourselves, even though we spend every waking moment with ourselves, is no minuscule task.  
 
Anyways, I decided I’d list my favorite meal in the section—less the green beans—My favorite meal would consist of a juicy rib-eye served with a lobster tail drenched in butter, a tasty salad drowning in blue cheese dressing, a baked potato smothered with sour cream, a pint of Guinness, and some kind of devilish dessert made with dark chocolate to top it off.  Enough to kill me an hour after consumption with my elevated cholesterol levels.  
       
Peter Rollins writes;
               
It’s an almost impossible task to describe oneself with any degree of accuracy or honesty. Who we are changes over time and also in relation to our context. On top of that we rarely have enough insight into ourselves to know what really drives us.
                      
It’s easy and spiritual sounding to say that we only desire God or that we never disrespect authority (as mega-church pastor  Joel Osteen was silly enough to say last week at his wife Victoria’s trial)—and on and on about what wonderful Christians we are, which gets me thinking—teeth whitening procedures don’t strengthen or make your teeth any healthier—they only hide stains and mask deficiencies.  We do that with our stories I am afraid.  The trap we fall into is glorifying ourselves while minimizing God’s grace.  It’s the coffee stains on our teeth that regular people need to know we have—a real life has a cavity or two.  Crest Whitening Strips might make for a nice television smile, but masking the mess that Jesus is redeeming only lessens the impact we can have.      
        
We are the culture fixated with cosmetic alteration all the while we ignore our internal affairs. 
                  
To be transparent is an altogether different story than a story that pats ourselves on the back—no disrespect to Osteen, but last I checked, God was the Authority and every time we sin we are disrespecting him.  Guys like Osteen need to get real and stop promoting such nonsense.  Honestly knowing oursleves—is much more painful than merely admitting we can be passive
                     
When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.   (Colossians 3:4, The Message Bible)   
                               
Who are you?                         
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