Heroes & Heretics: Flannery O'Connor

Heroes & Heretics: Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O’Connor had a lot of the acerbic wit of Twain, and certainly wrestled with some of the same fears about the future. Being a devout Catholic, this writer wouldn’t abide me calling her a saint, and being humble and self-aware she wouldn’t abide me calling her a hero. But she offered something to me and many others that most great American authors couldn’t offer, something that repositioned her whole view of humanity and existence.

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Out of Egypt: The Narrow Straits

Out of Egypt: The Narrow Straits

The Hebrew word for "Egypt" in Exodus is Mitzrayim, meaning narrow straights. The same place known to the ancient world as verdant, majestic, a center of culture and progress, this place was remembered by Israel as a place of suffocating limitations, a place of oppression.

Egypt had been a place of great promise for the Israelites, when Joseph rose to power long ago. And it served them well as a home for generations, and became a place of growth and fruitfulness. But in time, it became Mitzrayim, narrow and constricting.

How often is this pattern seen in our lives? The very land of promise, the fledgling relationship, the acceptance to that prestigious school, that perfect home: at first, it felt like freedom, like promise. It felt like a joy and calling so substantial that you could unpack your bags and live forever in it, burn the ships, make a home in that new opportunity, that new life. And then that verdant delta, that source of new life, starts ever so slightly closing in on you. With every new disagreement, with every new impossible assignment, with every new spike in property taxes and every new unexpected repair, the broad acreage of your joy becomes your Mitzrayim, narrower and narrower with each added demand, and what gave you hope and happy thoughts now steals your sleep and takes up far too much square footage in your daily thoughts.

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Stalemate

Stalemate

We’re in a series called the Christian Atheist, and we’re considering today the Christian who doesn’t show change - progress from their former life outside of Christ, and outside the church. This is the Christian in stalemate. On one hand it seems clear that this Christian has been claimed; won over by Christ. They declare it in word. They go to church. They mind plenty of the manners of the Christian life. But in one way or another, the patterns of the world still live unchallenged in pockets of their lives.

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Art Sunday

Brian James preaches during Art Sunday

Aaron Engler

Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Aaron studied finance at the University of Minnesota and then worked as a banker before attending Gordon-Conwell. Prior to planting Highrock North Shore in 2012, Aaron served on staff at Highrock Arlington since 2007, where he served as the Pastor to Young Adults.

In addition to planting Highrock North Shore, Aaron helped launch Open Door Immigration Services in 2017, and serves as the Chairman of the Board. He has gone through extensive immigration law training and is a partially accredited representative with the Board of Immigration Appeals.