Off Balance in the Stream

One of the timeless enemies of life in Christ is the worldview that Christian life is a recipe of balanced components.  Christian authors define strategies on the rhythm of life. Three-point sermons abound.  Small groups cogitate.  Different recipes prevail in different settings and seasons.  Perhaps the formula is 25% Bible reading, 25% Spirit-leading, 25% cultural engagement, and 25%…

Blessed Assurance

I recently attended my nephew’s wedding.  It was set in a grand cathedral with twin towering spires.  I hadn’t been in a church like that for awhile, and I found the art of the moment encouraging my soul to expand in a sense of worship–pulled toward something greater.  Amidst the marriage of aesthetics and worship, the…

Does God View Suffering Like We Do?

Relational brokenness.  Horrifying news from the doctor.  Vocational rejection.  Violence.  Coercive government.  Sexual exploitation.  Chronic pain.  Unsatisfied, unexplained craving.  The humility of acknowledged sin.  The death sentence of suppressed truth.  To be human is to suffer. Diverse biblical authors consistently claim the rescue of humankind was brought about through the suffering of One.  Jesus Christ…

Private Darkness

Ephesians 4:17-32 (2 Meanings Paraphrase): Don’t live like God-deniers do.  Their understanding darkens as their minds become less and less useful. They lose the ability to understand obvious differences between right and wrong.  Their hardening hearts alienate them from the life that is in God alone.  They pursue sensual impurity and practice to get good…

Fruit-bearing Knowledge of Jesus

Fruit is tasty.  With the exception of my seven-year old, who is riddled by culinary oddities, everyone agrees plump, explode-in-your-face juicy fruit is the best.  No one more so than the Apostle Peter. In 2nd Peter 1, he begins by establishing the grand Christian starting point for the life of faith: all followers of Christ…

Following Jesus (the honest gaze inward)

Life gets hard when a person becomes a follower of Jesus.  It becomes hard in a way that it wasn’t before.  The default float down the river of impulsive desire is interrupted by a flood of transcendent information.  And confessed longing. Intuition might make it plain that living to anesthetize ourselves for decades then die is…