Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekly Twitter Update

RT : If you want to move a mountain you must first set up base camp in your prayer closet

 RT : “We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another.” G.K. Chesterton

RT : There is no Broken Heart that God can't fix

RT : Don't be afraid to remind people of what you know they already know. We all leak the gospel.

 RT "Love like a poet. Live like a warrior. Learn like an apprentice. Lead like a servant."

 RT : When you go into a community, ask: what would the Kingdom of God look like if it came here?

 Here's a bad prediction: "After I've been dead five years no one will read anything I have written." - CS Lewis / Glad it didn't come true!

RT : What defines your life is not your imperfect past, but Christ's perfect past.

"We all agreed that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it."-- CSLewis ()

Flying on Instruments

All trainee pilots are taught that when you are flying through a storm or in the dark you should trust your instruments, not your feelings. It is easy for a pilot to get confused and to feel like they is flying level when actually in a climb or dive. However, the plane's instruments do not lie.

Hey spiritual pilot - Hey Christian- when you are in a spiritual storm or going through a dark time, trust your instruments not your feelings! Your instruments are the promises of God recorded in Scripture. Your feelings are not reliable. The instruments (Scriptures) are always reliable. Trust your training and fly by instruments, not by feelings.

Here's a good article at Desiring God on this topic.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Love and Grace Trump Karma

"You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff."

Bono, “Grace Over Karma.” 

Hat Tip: Liberate

When Your Internet is Down

When our internet access is down, our idolatry is revealed. I've felt like doing all of the above!

Hat Tip: Vitamin Z

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Suffering & the Cry of Jesus

Reading this I just said Wow.  Just wow. This is just an excerpt - Read it all at the link. From Tim Keller on "The Cry of Jesus"
Understanding the cry of Jesus Christ on the cross gives us two terrific resources for suffering. This cry on the cross gives us two amazing resources for suffering. If you’re in trouble right now, if you’re in pain right now, take hold of these.
You Can Make It without Answers

The first is the cry of Jesus on the cross (Psalm 22) gives us the greatest possible companion for our suffering. Do you know the thing you mainly need in suffering is not answers? You can make it without answers.

What do I mean by that? I mean that when you suffer, you have questions. You say, “Why? Why is this happening to me? Why does this have to happen? Why at this time?” I mean, when you suffer, you have lots of questions. But, you know, you can make it without questions. But you can’t make it out, you can’t make it, without companionship.

You Can’t Make It Alone

You can’t make it if you have to suffer alone. You can’t make it without friendship. You can’t make it without companionship. And Christianity is the only religion on the face of the earth that says God is your companion in suffering, that God has suffered, that God does suffer.

David Watson, who was a Christian leader some years ago, was dying of cancer when he wrote this. He says:
Someone once said to me, “There cannot be a God of love, because if there was and he looked upon the world, his heart would break.” But the gospel points to the cross and says, “It did break.” Someone once said to me, “It’s God who made the world, it’s he who should bear the load.” The gospel points to the cross and says, “He did bear the load.” God weeps with those who weep. He feels our pain and enters into our sorrows with his compassionate love.

Fighting From Acceptance

More quotes from Gospel-Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson:
"God does not accept us as we are. He accepts us as we are in Christ....As recipients of God's grace, we are compelled to follow Jesus in all of life." (Page 127)

"Fight your sin means a habitual weakening of hte flesh through constant fighting and contending in the Spirit for sweet victory over sin. It should be regular and progressive, not occasional and instant. Fighting is not an end in itself or a way to make us more presentable in Christ. We fight for belief in his gospel, the truest and best news on earth..." (Page 128, italics in original)

"We don't fight for acceptance; we fight from our acceptance. We don't contend against sin to forge an identity but because we have received a new identity in Christ. Perfection is not the goal; persevering faith is." (Page 129)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Prayer for Discernment

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know,
To love what I ought to love,
To praise what delights you most,
To value what is precious in your sight,
To hate what is offensive to you.
Do not allow me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,
Nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant people;
But to discern with a true judgment
between things visible and spiritual,
And above all,
always to inquire what is the good pleasure of your will.

Thomas a Kempis

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tweets of the Week

RT : The world values power, comfort, success, & recognition. Jesus frees us to value grief, sacrifice, weakness, & exclusion.

"We carry an insidious prosperity gospel around in our dark, little, entitled hearts." —Matt Chandler

"Let him who cannot be alone beware of community / Let him who is not in community beware of being alone." -Bonhoeffer

RT : "If Solomon was still around, he'd pretty much dominate Twitter." / Proverbial Truth!

RT : Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.

RT : What would Jesus tweet? 'It is finished.' Every day, every hour. Over and over. And I'd retweet it every time!

"To forgive is to be like God; to withhold forgiveness is to be like the world." - RT 

RT : The best thing you can do for someone who believes they're worthless is treat them like they're not.

RT : There's nothing that screams fear and unbelief like the censorship of grace.

Envy asks “Why them? Why do they get what I don’t have?” Gratitude asks “Why me? Why do I get all that I have?” RT 

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person. - Mignon McLaughlin"

Friday, July 20, 2012

Through Confession to Authenticity

More quotes from Gospel-Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson:
"The religious verbally punish others for failure to keep the rules, while the rebellious are quick to overlook one another's failure. Both are rule centered. The religious person is oriented around keeping rules, and the rebellious person around breaking rules." (Page 64)

"...confession isn't to be viewed as a ritual bargaining chip we cash in to obtain a clear conscience. Our forgiveness has already been bought in Jesus; we simply procure his purchased forgiveness through confession. This may seem abstract. Perhaps it would be helpful to think of confession in terms of authenticity.  Confessions is a verbal way of spiritually recovering our authenticity. Confession rejects an inauthentic image in order to realign with our true image." (Page 68, italics in original)

"The gospel reminds us to live authentically as his children, either through repentance or obedience. In confession, we become authentically Christian, agreeing with God about our judgment-deserving sin and trusting in his sin-forgiving grace. We return to the reality of grace, in Christ, which in turn compels real obedience." (Pages 68-69)

"The gospel coaxes us to run neither away nor past God but straight into his living arms. In the gospel, we get to live authentically as God's forgiven and accepted sons and daughters. Grace brings us to our senses, delivering us from the insanity of sin. (Page 69)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

God Wastes Nothing

Good post at the Resurgence by Casey Cease on the meaning of Romans 8:28 - Nothing is Wasted.
The reality is that God wastes nothing. While God does not do evil, he uses all things to bring glory to himself, to draw people to Jesus, and to bring deeper purpose and meaning to the Christian’s life. As I continue to reflect on this truth, I have realized that Paul’s statement in Romans 8:28 is not only true, but also life-giving. God really is able to use all things for good, for those called according to his purpose....

... This is not a call to forget your past. It is an opportunity to allow Jesus to redeem it and use it for his glory and for your enjoyment. Your life can and should be used as an illustration for those who will believe (1 Tim. 1:15–16). This can be a very slow and hard road, but wherever you are on this journey just know, nothing is wasted.
Read the whole think at the link.

Fight for the Breathtaking Beauty

More great quotes from Jonathan Dodson's Gospel-Centered Discipleship:
"The gospel calls us back to look at Jesus over and over again. A disciple of Jesus is a person who so looks at Jesus that he or she actually begins to reflect his beauty in everyday life." (Page 56)
" the words of J.P. Moreland, 'Grace is opposed to earning, not to effort.' If we are to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Jesus, we must put effort into the noble fight of faith." (Page 57)
"True faith struggles to pry our hands off the old life and keep them on our eternal life. Biblical faith fights to believe the gospel to such a degree that it is reflected in our practice...Believing the gospel is not a one-time decision; it is an active, continual fight for faith in what God says is noble, true and good."  (Page 58)
"Gospel transformation comes through pain, struggle, suffering, and staring your ugly sin right in the face." (Page 59)
"It is heartwarming, mind-renewing truth that the image of the glory of God in the complexion of Jesus is all we truly need to be truly satisfied, complete and accepted." (Page 59)
Have you figured out yet that I like this book?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ambition to Be Windows

A poem by 17th Century English Puritan preacher and poet George Herbert.

Hat Tip: The Gospel Coalition

Radically Jesus Centered

More quotes from Gospel-Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson:
"The word disciple is used more frequently than Christian to refer to believers in the Bible....Disciple is an identity; everything else is a role. Our roles are temporary but our identity will last forever." (Page 29, italics in original)
"Christ-centered repentance and forgiveness is something to be heard and applies, not just once, but for the entirety of a disciple's life. at the risk of oversimplification. we could say that the Great commission commands us to learn the gospel by the gospel. We learn the breadth and depth of the good news by continually situating ourselves in it, through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord." (Page 35, italics in original)
"The gospel is for not-yet disciples and already disciples. The gospel people believe to be baptized is the same gospel people believe to be sanctified (through the work of the Spirit). Followers of Jesus make and mature disciples by going with the gospel, baptizing disciples into gospel community and teaching the gospel....Jesus is the ground of our going, the goal of our baptizing, and the gospel of our teaching. Making disciples is radically Jesus-centered." (Page 35)
"A disciple of Jesus, then,  is someone who learns the gospel, relates the gospel, and communicates the gospel. In short, disciples are gospel centered." (Page 38, italics in original)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Imperfect People, Clinging to a Perfect Savior

I've been reading Gospel-Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson, and would like to recommend the book to you. His thesis is that there should be no wall in our minds and ministries between evangelism and disciple making, because both are grounded and sustained in the Gospel, in the message of grace and acceptance imparted by and through the Cross. Some quotes:
"I began to realize that Jesus is not merely the start and standard for salvation, but that he is the beginning, middle and end of my salvation...the gospel is for disciples, not just for 'sinners;' is saves, and transforms people in relationship, not merely people who go it alone." (Page 17)
"Gospel-centered discipleship is not about how we perform, but who we are - imperfect people, clinging to a perfect Christ, being perfected by the Spirit." (Page 18, italics in original)
More to come throughout this week.

Pursuit of Fleeting Pleasures

Psalm 51 is King David's confession of his sin after his affair with Bathsheba. In verse 4 he says "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight."   The following comments on this passage come from Tony Reinke, quoting Rick Gamache's sermon “Whiter Than Snow
I believe what David is saying in verse 4 [Psalm 51:4] is that all sin is a preference for the fleeting pleasures of the world and the flesh over the everlasting joy of God’s fellowship. This is why the Christian life is a life of repentance (like Martin Luther said), not because every time we sin we lose our status as God’s children and have to get saved all over again. Our status never changes. We are always God’s children, we are still declared to be holy even when we sin, we are still the heirs of his Kingdom.

But our sin affects our relationship with God. Our sin breaks our fellowship with God. David realizes that before he ever committed adultery with Bathsheba, he committed spiritual adultery against God. Why did he need her? Why was he willing to murder his own friend for her? It is because before David ever sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah, he lost the joy of his salvation. That is why he asks for the joy to be restored [Psalm 51:12].

We sin because we forget God’s steadfast love and abundant mercy. When we are not ravished by him, we forget the superior pleasures that there are in God and give ourselves to the inferior pleasures of sin. And this is why David says, “Against you God, you only have I sinned.” He goes deep with his confession because he knows repentance is the way back to fellowship with God.

I think it is absolutely amazing and very telling, given what we know about the situation, that David never mentions sexual sin in Psalm 51. He’s not mainly praying that the Lord would provide him with good accountability. He’s not mainly praying that God would give him self-control and protect his eyes and his mind. Those are all good things. But David does not mention them here because his sexual sin — and every sexual sin — is the symptom of the disease not the disease. Sexual sin is a symptom of lack of fullness of joy and gladness in Jesus. It’s a symptom of a lack of being ravished by the love and kindness and mercy and goodness and beauty and excellence and majesty and glory and honor and power of God.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekly Twitter Update

Weekly Twitter Update:
RT : Sometimes reading God's Word is like pouring alcohol on a wound. It hurts in order to heal.

 RT : The more we see ourselves as needing forgiveness, the more likely we are to forgive others.

RT : 'Pray and let God worry.' Martin Luther

RT : The highest compliment you can pay a Christian: "Jesus is big in you."

RT : You will never have to forgive anybody else more than God has forgiven you.

RT : “Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong." Tim Keller

RT : There is a difference between going through the Bible, like a tourist, and the Bible going through you, like a spear.

 RT : Let your anger fantasies lead you to prayer which will enable you to forgive

 RT : God can use your wounds for the healing of others even when your own wounds are not yet fully healed.

 RT : It is such a relief to know that a perfect God can use imperfect people

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Worship: The Secret to Freedom

From a great post at "Desiring Godon Fighting Sin With Worship, based on  material transcribed and edited from Tim Keller’s sermon “Sin as Slavery” (which can be downloaded for free:
...If you are a Christian and you are dealing with enslaving habits, it's not enough to say, "Bad Christian, stop it." And it is not enough to beat yourself up or merely try harder and harder and harder.
The real reason that you're having a problem with an enslaving habit is because you are not tasting God. I'm not talking about believing God or even obeying God, I'm saying tastingtasting God.
The secret to freedom from enslaving patterns of sin is worship. You need worship. You need great worship. You need weeping worship. You need glorious worship. You need to sense God’s greatness and to be moved by it — moved to tears and moved to laughter — moved by who God is and what he has done for you. And this needs to be happening all the time.
This type of worship is the only thing that can replace the little if only fire burning in your heart. We need a new fire that says, “If only I saw the Lord. If only he was close to my heart. If only I could feel him to be as great as I know him to be. If only I could taste his grace as sweet as I know it to be.”
And when that if only fire is burning in your heart, then you are free.
I highly recommend reading the entire thing at the link or listening to the whole sermon.

Beware Gilderoy Lockhart

Have you read any books by the Christian versions of Gilderoy Lockhart? You Harry Potter fans will catch the reference. He was the teacher at the Hogwarts school who wrote books claiming experiences he had not actually had, and got teaching authority he had not really earned.

Jeff Dunn writes about the Christian versions of Lockhart at Internet Monk. He even names some names.

He's right. I suggest you read it.

10 Commandments for Writers

"The 10 Commandments for Writers" - from Jared Wilson
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before God. Neither publication nor fame nor even writing itself shall be your god, but God alone.
2. Thou shalt not make of your writing an idol, serving it as if it is sovereign. Nor shall you look to your gift or craft for the fulfillment and satisfaction and joy only Christ can give in himself.
3. Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain, but shall write ultimately for the fame of his name, not for your own.
4. Thou shalt take a day off every week.
5. Honor your father and your mother. Even if you’re writing about your troubled childhood, don’t do so in ways that shame your parents or throw them under the bus for cheap laughs or tears.
6. Thou shalt not murder, not even in your heart when another writer writes well or when a critic savages your work or when you think somebody stole your idea.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. If writing is your mistress, it’s still cheating on your spouse. And you’re not fooling everybody by trying to “keep it real” with the sexuality in your book.
8. Thou shalt not steal anybody’s joy or time. Nor shall you steal anybody’s work and pass it off as your own.
9. Thou shalt not tell lies. Even when writing fiction, tell the truth.
10. Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s gifts, praise, success, or livelihood.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is like it: Love your reader as yourself.
 .. and these words apply to Bloggers too!  So let it be written. So let it be done.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pro-Choicers Know the Truth

"Even "Pro-Choice" People Know Abortion Stops a Beating Heart." From Life News: 
Would you be surprised if I told you this quote came from a pro-abortion advocate? Well, it did. Here is the quote in its context from Salon’s recent interview with Choices Women’s Medical Center President Merle Hoffman:
“Interestingly, although the standard pro-choice line is essentially to let the woman define the embryo or fetus for herself, Hoffman has a more controversial stance: ‘In the beginning they were calling it a baby. We were saying it was only blood and tissue. Let’s agree this is a life form, a potential life; you’re terminating it. You don’t have to argue that abortion stops a beating heart. It does.’ She adds, ‘I can’t say it’s just like an appendectomy. It isn’t. It’s a very powerful and loaded decision.’
But it’s a decision that she believes is irrevocably the woman’s, which in turn informs the rabid opposition to it: ‘The act of abortion positions women at their most powerful, and that’s why it is so strongly opposed by so many in society,’ she writes in ‘Intimate Wars.’”
As the Salon article acknowledges, this is not the standard pro-choice stance. Often the abortion debate boils down to a disagreement on the humanity of the unborn child. But here Hoffman agrees with the typical pro-life view that abortion is not like other medical procedures, as it takes a life and stops a beating heart.
I am pro-life because of the humanity of the unborn child. Hoffman is pro-choice despite the humanity of the unborn child. Though more medically honest, this stance on abortion is far more frightening than the average pro-choice stance....
Much more at the link. How very sad to contemplate that people can be so hard-hearted!

Keep On!

How long would you continue to pray for one request without any result? How about 52 years?

J. Lee Grady has posted a challenging story about the power of persevering prayer. Read it here.

... and keep on praying!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thinking Christianly About Election Season

I have a set of considered and firm political convictions, and those who know me know what they are.  I prefer that one political party wins elections more than the other, because I believe their general policies are better for society. However, I hope that I will always put my allegiance to Christ ahead of my political beliefs and put my hope in Him more than my desired political outcomes. Therefore, I was challenged by these words from Brian Zahnd.
...every four years a kind of madness comes upon us in America—a political mania that is becoming increasingly acrimonious and bitter. All of this is damaging to the soul. So with this in mind I would like to share with you a Ten Point Christian Voters’ Guide. (No, not that kind…a much different kind.)
1. The political process, while necessary, has little to do with how God is saving the world.For more on this point go here: The Church as an Alternative Society 
2. The fate of the kingdom of God does not depend upon political contests.Don’t be swept away by apocalyptic political rhetoric. It is what it is. Another election cycle. Jesus is Lord no matter who wins the Big American Idol contest and gets their turn at playing Caesar.
3. Don’t be na├»ve, political parties are more interested in Christian votes than they are in Christianvalues.Do you doubt this? Thought Experiment: Imagine if Jesus went to Washington D.C. Imagine that he is invited to give a speech to a joint session of Congress. (He’s Jesus after all, and I’m sure the senators and congressmen would be delighted to hear a speech from the founder of the world’s largest religion—it would confer great dignity upon the institution.) Imagine that the speech Jesus gave was his most famous sermon—the Sermon on the Mount. Can you imagine that? Jesus is introduced. (Standing ovation.) He stands before Congress and begins to deliver his speech. “Blessed are the poor…the mourners…the meek.” “Love your enemies.” “Turn the other cheek.” After some perfunctory applause early on, I’m pretty sure there would be a lot of squirming senators and congressmen. The room would sink into a tense silence. And when Jesus concluded his speech with a prophecy of the inevitable fall of the house that would not act upon his words (Matthew 7:26–27), what would Congress do? Nothing. They could not act. To act on Jesus’ words would undo their system. In the end, the U.S. Congress would no more adopt the policies Jesus set out in the Sermon on the Mount than they were adopted by the Jewish Sanhedrin or the Roman Senate. The Jesus Way and the Politics of Power don’t mix.
4. The bottom line for political parties is power. The bottom line for a Christian is love. And therein lies the rub.The problem with our “change the world” rhetoric is that it is too often a thinly veiled grasp for power and a quest for dominance—things which are antithetical to the way Jesus calls his disciples to live. A politicized faith feeds on a narrative of perceived injury and lost entitlement leading us to blame, vilify and seek to in some way retaliate against those we imagine responsible for the loss in late modernity of a mythical past. It’s what Friedrich Nietzsche as a critic of Christianity identified as ressentiment and it drives much of the Christian quest for political power.
5. While in pursuit of the Ring of Power, you are not permitted to abandon the Sermon on the Mount.When the world is arranged as an axis of power enforced by violence, the pursuit of power trumps everything. But in the new world created at the cross (an axis of love expressed by forgiveness), love trumps everything. The Sermon on the Mount is our guide to this new kind of love. Among other things, this means you cannot deliberately portray your political opponents in the worst possible light. (Attack ads? Remember the Golden Rule?) Jesus also taught us that if you call someone you disagree with a “fool” you are liable to the “Gehenna of fire.” I might put it this way: When your political rage causes you to hurl epithets like “fool” and “idiot”—you are kindling the fires of hell in your own soul!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Complementarianism for Dummies

For some clarity in the midst of all the fuss, read this brief article entitled  Complementarianism for Dummies by Mary Kassian.
“Complementarity” is a word that doesn’t appear in the Bible, but is used by people to summarize a biblical concept. It’s like the word “Trinity.” The Bible never uses the word “Trinity.” But it’s undeniable that it points to a Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Though the concept of male-female complementarity is present from Genesis through Revelation, the label “complementarian” has only been in use for about 25 years. It was coined by a group of scholars who got together to try and come up with a word to describe someone who ascribes to the historic, biblical idea that male and female are equal, but different. The need for such a label arose in response to the proposition that equality means role-interchangeability (egalitarianism)—a concept that was first forwarded and popularized in Evangelical circles in the 1970s and 80s by “Biblical Feminists.”
I’ve read several posts on the internet lately from people who misunderstand and/or misrepresent the complementarian view.  I was at the meeting, 25 years ago, where the word “complementarian” was chosen.  So I think I have a good grasp on the word’s definition.
In this post I want to boil it down for you. In emulation of the popular “for Dummies” series of instructional books, I’ll give you a “Complementarianism for Dummies” primer on the intended meaning of the word.
Good article. There's a little bit of dummy in all of us, otherwise those books wouldn't sell so many copies.

Hat Tip: Vitamin Z

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Don't Believe Everything You Read on the Internet!

There is a quote supposedly from C.S. Lewis currently circulating on Facebook, Twitter and some blogs that says ”You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”

When I saw the quote, my first thought was that it did not sound like C.S. Lewis at all. My second thought was that it's not Biblically accurate, no matter who said it. The Bible looks at human beings as unified souls and bodies, and to be without the body is to be unclothed (see 2 Corinthians 5:1-5). Hence, God's promise of new resurrection bodies.

Saw today confirmation that this quote is not from Lewis at all, but from George MacDonald. See Mere Orthodoxy and Justin Taylor for more details and proof.

Oh, and Francis of Assisi also never said “Preach the gospel; use words if necessary." Totally apocryphal.

This shows that you can't trust everything that you read on the Internet. As Abraham Lincoln said (and he would know) "The problem with quotes on the Internet is you can never be sure the guy didn't just make it up!" 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Getting the References

In my quest to learn the "Gospel Language," I have often been oblivious to the shared experience assumed by the biblical writers. Jesus and his earliest followers were Jews; they held in their collective memory a particular story of a particular people, loaded with mutually understood points of reference. When I've read the New Testament only dimly aware of the symbolic world of the Old Testament, I've barely skimmed the surface of an ocean of meaning.
Maybe the most significant reference I've missed has to do with Jesus' final words on the cross. That awful cry—My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?—has haunted my struggle to understand exactly what transpired (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). Was Jesus, for a devastating moment, utterly alone and without hope? How that cry is processed has all sorts of implications for theology—not least for the way we conceive of the Atonement and of the relationality of God's triunity. More personally, it shapes the way I perceive my own experiences of abandonment.
Certainly, I've grasped that Jesus' choice of 12 disciples has something to do with Yahweh's calling of the 12 tribes of Israel. But until recently, I remained oblivious to the way his baptism and desert temptation evoke the foundational story of the Israelite Exodus through Red Sea waters and into the wilderness. I've been duly impressed with the Lord's ability to command the stormy waters to be still (Matt. 8:26-27), but I've missed the Israelite shock at this man from Nazareth doing something that, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, only Yahweh can do. And although I've understood some of the significance of Jesus' transfiguration right before the eyes of Peter, James, and John, I've forgotten that the Israelites had been waiting since the Exile for the Shekinah—the visible glory of the Lord—to return.
Most Christians haven't thought enough about Psalm 22. Much more at the link - Good article! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Twitter Update

From my Twitter feed last week:
RT : Greater revelation of the love of God is always correlative to a greater revelation of my own brokenness.
RT : There's nothing more cutting edge than God - always at the forefront of innovation and imagination
Nothing smells worse than pride. Nothing smells better than grace. Good thing there's grace for stinky people like me. RT @JustinBuzzard
RT : Never, ever, ever, ever believe you will amount to nothing. In God you are already a somebody with HUGE potential
"Busyness-the blasphemous anxiety of doing God's work for him" Hilary of Tours RT 
RT : God may choose to showcase His power on the stage of your weakness.
When you mess up badly, God sees it as a good starting point for connecting again...RT @PassionNetworkRT 
: Open frailty attracts the presence of God and brings healing to others. Don't conceal yours.

Worship and Fear

"You cannot scare anyone into heaven. Heaven is not a place for those who are afraid of hell; it's a place for those who love God....

...Even if you could scare people into a semblance of Christian religion, they would not be true worshipers, because their fear of God- which is a good thing- would not be shaped by their love for God."

- Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel, page 51.