Suffering.

25 Jul

I hope to be the kind of man who suffers with the grace and gratitude of Jesus.

I hope to tell a good story of life with my daily deaths.  Christ have mercy.

Grace & Peace.

2011 in review

31 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Mirrors.

8 Nov

I’ve been wrestling, and it’s been exhausting. 

Wrestling with God, myself, my surroundings, the projections (which may or may not be true) that I put on my surroundings; I’ve been wrestling with theological concepts and how they influence ministry; I’ve been wrestling with my ability (not divorced from the work of the Spirit) as a minister of the gospel.

There was a period of life when I thought that it was my intense period of testing and doubt, and I thought that period had passed.  What I realize today is that you’re not out of the woods until you’re no longer looking in the mirror.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  -1 Corinthians 13.12

 

“Take Up and Read…”

23 Oct

The discipline of Bible reading was, for the vast majority of my Christian walk, my favorite of the disciplines.  I received so much life from the Scriptures, and was refreshed by the soaring poetry, cut by the precise prose, and enamored with the Holy Narrative of God being busy redeeming the cosmos in and through Jesus.

For reasons yet unexamined, I have struggled with this discipline of the Christian life in recent months.  It certainly doesn’t arise from an aversion to the Scriptures, but it has been a labor to immerse myself in the Word of God (and, admittedly, a labor that has been lacking).

I turn 25 today.  It seems unreal to me that I am a quarter of a century old, half-way to 50.  And yet, the reality that I am but as grass, a vapor that is fading away, does not escape me; I am not enchanted by how long I’ve been around.  I realize that one only has so much time to honor the Lord in this life, and so I am endeavoring to do something I have yet to accomplish in seeking to honor him.

I borrowed my mom’s copy of the popular The Bible in 90 Days:  Cover to Cover in 12 Pages a Day.  It’s really only a glorified NIV Bible that’s bound like a regular hardback book that has start and stop markers at the top of every 12th page.  But I’m hoping the novelty (and lack of handwritten notes in the margins) will help me to take in the great volume of Scripture and to capture the Grand Narrative of God’s redeeming love.

This isn’t the same as an endeavor to accomplish something I’ve never done before for it’s own sake (like running a marathon by my 30th birthday, which isn’t a bad thing in and of itself), nor is it an attempt to “gain good standing” with God by accomplishing some sort of religious feat.  It is simply the recognition that each day is a gift from our Father in heaven, and we have the grand privilege of honoring him in and with each of these gifts – and I wish to honor him by growing in grace; growing into what Eugene Peterson has identified as “the unforced rhythms of grace.

Augustine of Hippo heard “tolle, lege” at 32, and it brought conversion… I hear it at 25, praying humbly that it catalyzes sanctification.

Grace & Peace.

Fertilizer.

25 Aug

I mean that in the best way possible.  I have relied so much on pastors, preachers, authors, theologians, songwriters and poets to help me along this path of life and ministry.  Their works have supplied the fertilizer on the soil of my heart, helping the seed of the Word to grow.  I reread a transcription of a lecture given by N.T. Wright in 1989 that was given to me as a reading assignment in my Senior Seminar class in 2008:  blowing my mind all over again.  So thankful for those who have responded to God’s faithfulness with faithfulness to Him.  Here’s the quote that is settling deep in my soul…

“First, we have to let the Bible be the Bible in all its historical oddness and otherness.  We have again and again, not done that.  We have, again and again, allowed ourselves to say—I’ve heard myself say it, over and over again—‘What Paul is really getting at here is . . . What Jesus was really meaning in this passage . . .’—and then, what has happened is a translation of something which is beautiful, and fragile, and unique, into something which is commonplace and boring, and every other Christian in the pew has heard it several sermons before… God forgive us that we have taken the Bible and have made it ordinary—that we have cut it down to our size.  We have reduced it, so that whatever text we preach on it will say basically the same things.  This is particularly a problem for second and third-generation movements of which the rather tired and puzzled evangelicalism in many British churches today is a good example.  What we are seeing in such preaching is not the authority of scripture at work, but the authority of a tradition, or even a mere convention masquerading as the authority of scripture-which is much worse, because it has thereby lost the possibility of a critique or inbuilt self-correction coming to it from scripture itself” (N.T. Wright, published in the Vox Evangelica 1991)

Beautiful.  Grace & Peace.

Thankful.

13 Aug

Today is a special day for me; I am celebrating things that are not.  I am thankful and incredibly happy.  This video fits perfectly with the tone of the day – and, I’m ready for fall.  Enjoy.

Magnolia.

28 Jul

On my run this evening, I saw a Magnolia tree with blossoms still on it.  Normally, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to this, but it caught my eye because Magnolias usually bloom in early spring.

It just made me think – that sometimes – things are trying to get born at the strangest times.

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