What We Will Do Together on Substack
Jesus loved to capture people’s imaginations. He created fantastical stories featuring farmers and fishermen, doing everyday things with astounding results. The story of a tiny seed that, like Jack’s beanstalk, grows to incredible size. The tale of a nondescript businessman expecting a day like any other, but, instead discovering hidden gold and jewels like something out of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” Again and again, Jesus surprises us, captures our attention, and sets us free to live in a world more amazing than we ever imagined.
In one of his anthologies, Jesus concludes with an invitation to share his passion: “Therefore, every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” I am excited to accept this invitation. RandyLovejoy.com seeks to follow in Jesus’ footsteps by creating a digital platform that, well, by creating a platform that is a lot like my Mama and Papa’s attic.
When I was a child, I loved visiting my grandmother and grandfather’s home in Texas City, Texas. “Mama” and “Papa,” as we used to call them, made certain that our stay was always fun and exciting. It began when we walked up to the house and were greeted by “Troubles”, the endearingly ugly boxer, who would bark his welcome from his sentry point under the porch of their home. On top of the porch, just past the stairs and to the right side, was a swinging chair we would visit many times during our stay as a resting place between games and the place where we would plan and organize our next adventure. Through the front door was the living room; a wide open space with tight weave carpet that was perfect for matchbox cars, Legos, and board games. Against one of the walls of that room was the couch where my older sister and grandmother would sit together each evening while we were playing on the floor. They would laugh and laugh at Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show until they both jumped up and raced each other to the bathroom. And then, in the kitchen, was a counter space just next to the toaster oven which Mama always filled with a bag of Hershey’s Kisses. Those Hershey’s Kisses would magically replenish themselves again and again during our stay.
But my favorite place at Mama and Papa’s was the attic. Their attic wasn’t like others I had seen. You didn’t access it through some bizarre door in the hallway ceiling. There was no sound of coils complaining and no fear of a ladder unfolding before you were ready for it. Once inside you didn’t have to jump from one thin beam to another across exposed pink insulation which you stepped on at your peril. There was no danger in this attic, only adventure. Simply walk up the permanent staircase, turn the knob, open the door, flip on the light switch, and take in all of the riches scattered across the finished floor spanning the length of the entire house. It was just like I imagine Jesus’ storehouse, filled with “new treasures as well as old.”
From front to back and left to right were racks of vintage clothing. Next to them were family photo albums on top of magazines and newspapers which themselves were stacked on top of closed boxes filled of mystery and surprise. We would spend hours up there playing hide and seek, trying on different outfits for our imaginary adventures, and ransacking boxes for items that captured our imagination. We would even bring some of those items downstairs to play with on the living room floor. Inevitably these trinkets from the past would encourage Mama and Papa to tell us about the trials and travails of family members who had gone through life before us; a series of stories that encouraged and equipped us for our own adventures through life.
RandyLovejoy.com seeks to emulate Mama and Papa’s attic through three types of content.
(1) The Compendium is our “rack of clothing,” a growing collection of stories of faith from 2,000 years of Christianity. You’re invited to look through this encyclopedic hodgepodge for entries that capture your imagination. Mix and match them, try them on, and see how they help you to take the next step in your adventure with Jesus.
(2) Radix is our scrapbook featuring Bible passages; passages you may be familiar with, but are approached from a surprising angle that will capture your attention, inspire your imagination, and set you free to live in a world more amazing than you ever imagined.
(3) A Fresh Translation, like Mama and Papa’s stories, is part of a “serial novel” of my own spiritual journey through life. I share stories of my own trials and tribulations in the hopes of inspiring and equipping you for the adventures ahead in your own spiritual journey.
There were times at my grandparent’s house when we were tired, or bored, or just needed a nap. But once we got up again there was a call to reveille that filled us with anticipation and joy: “Let’s go play in the attic!”
The goal of RandyLovejoy.com, as Jesus’ parables, is joy; the joy of living in a world that is much more mysterious, adventurous, and exciting than we ever imagined. That world is waiting for you and for me, no matter what kind of life we find ourselves living today. Let’s make it a habit to check out the attic together!