Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekend Wanderings

They say that April showers bring May flowers. If that is true, this little corner of the world is going to be covered with blooms next month! It's playoff time in the NBA, so I'm trying to watch a few games. I enjoy pro basketball much more diurimg the playoffs. Pray for the folks in Nepal after the devastating earthquake. It's hard for me to imagine going through something like that.

On to the links:

Expectations.
Boy with a broken heart.
Good post from Zach Hunt.
5 practices from Paul Perkins.
Interview with Sandra McCracken.

Law, grace, and the phone store.
Shocking truth.
Some of us are getting close to this.
Pistachios!
Ideas for family portraits.

Nope. Nope. Nope.
Kansas City Bob on justice.
Being countercultural.
Scot McKnight on grace.
Going to God.

Religious despair.
A letter to ISIS.
Good news indeed!
Michael Spencer on lament.
John Frye on vain repetitions.

Have a blessed week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

World Vision Wednesday

Fragile states are considered ground zero in the fight against extreme poverty. Here are some frequently asked questions about what fragile states are and the impact they can have on the poorest of the poor.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekend Wanderings

Everybody's favorite blog post is back! After far too much time away, Weekend Wanderings has returned. Things have slowed down a bit here in the sunny South. Of course, that means that other changes will be coming about soon. Life just gets more and more interesting.

Oh well. On to the important stuff.

Kellie McGann confesses.
Failing well.
Bonhoeffer on the church.
Good article on the benefits of nature.
Jessica Thompson on the gospel and relationships.

Bad news for bookkeepers.
N. T. Wright on the resurrection.
John Frye on Jesus' deepest pain.
Yeah, I'm not too sure about this.
Zach Hunt on the church's witness.

Frank Viola interviews Brant Hansen.
Scot McKnight has a test question for your church.
A lesson from Andy Gill.
No. Just, no.
Good question.

The 100 best children's books.
Alan Bevere says, "You can't make me!"
From ritual to relationship.
Good article from Chad Bird.
Andy Zehner on communitarianism.

That's all for now. I hope your week is a blessed one!



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Becoming

Here is another attempt at poetry.

I see it when I look in the mirror
When I notice the hair disappearing

I see it in the way I walk
And how I stand

In the way I talk, how I laugh
My accent, the words I use

In my slightly odd sense of humor
And the way I like to tease

I see it in my stubbornness
My sometimes quick flashes of temper

In my attempts to fix things
Even though they're not always successful

In so many things
Especially when I bump my head, I see

That I am becoming my father






Tuesday, April 14, 2015

C'mon People...

A few years ago, The Youngbloods finished the phrase with, "Smile on your brother / Everybody get together / Try to love one another / Right now." It wouldn't be a bad idea for those of us who follow Jesus to take a closer look at this song and see if we can glean any wisdom.

The song begins with the words, "Love is but a song we sing / And fear's the way we die / You can make the mountains ring / Or make the angels cry." When you look at the very basis of Christianity, you find love. God loves us and he calls us to love others. All of God's law is summed up in the commands to love God and to love others. Love is the song we sing. Why don't we love like we should? Fear. We fear the other. We fear loss of face. We fear being taken advantage of. We fear any number of things that may happen if we love. So, we don't love. And, we die. As C. S. Lewis said, "But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." If we love, God is glorified. The mountains sing. If we don't love, God is dishonored. The angels cry.

As the song goes on, we are told  that we are just "a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass." Our time here in this life is short, yet we tend to waste it on things instead of spending it on, and for others. We only get a limited amount of time to love those whom God has placed in our lives, yet we spend that time focusing on our interests and desires, building our kingdoms rather than building for the kingdom of heaven. As the song continues, we see that we "hold the key to love and fear / All in your trembling hand / Just one key unlocks them both / It's there at your command." We are the ones who are called to cast off fear and love. We are the ones who can love because we have the Spirit of the resurrected Christ in us.

Loving others is not an easy thing to do. It will be messy. You will get hurt. Nietzsche said that Christian love looks like weakness, and it opens us up to manipulation and abuse. He's right. Look at Jesus' command to forgive over and over again. Look at Jesus' statement that the greatest love was laying down one's life for our brothers and sisters. Look at Jesus asking the Father to forgive those who were murdering him in the worst manner possible. It does look like weakness. It does leave us open to abuse. But it is the way of the King and his kingdom.

Let us love as we are loved.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter: Hope and Challenge

Easter is a time of great celebration. It is the pinnacle of the Church year, a day when we remember the resurrection of our Savior. Why do we celebrate? Why do we make such a big deal of this day? I would suggest that we celebrate for two reasons. The Resurrection gives us hope for the future, and it gives us hope and a challenge for today.

We have a hope for the future. Jesus said that he is the resurrection and the life, and that those who believe in him will never die. The apostle Paul tells us that Jesus' resurrection means that we too shall be raised. When the kingdom of heaven comes in its fulfillment, we will be raised to never die. The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of our future hope.

We also have a challenge and a hope for our day-to-day. When you look at the gospel accounts of the Resurrection, what you don't see are mentions of the future hope. The followers of Jesus don't say, "Jesus has been raised, so we will be raised from the dead and live with him forever." That is in the rest of the New Testament, but the sense of the first disciples was more about now. Jesus is raised, so he is the Messiah. Jesus is raised, so new creation has begun. Jesus is raised, so we have a job to do. We are called to be heralds of this new kingdom.

Easter changes everything! The restoration has begun! We are subjects of a new kingdom, a kingdom of love, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation. It is a kingdom in which we lay down our lives for our King and for others. It is a kingdom that puts loving God and loving others ahead of everything else. That is the challenge. There is hope along with the challenge.

The cross calls us to come and die. The empty tomb calls us to find that we can truly live. Because Jesus is raised, his Spirit is now in us, so we can die daily. We can give up our wishes, our desires, our comfort, our need to be right, our self-righteousness. We can show the world the truth, beauty, and goodness of Jesus by the way we love.

While we may live in the in-between time before the restoration is complete, we can live as Easter people because Jesus is raised. Let us begin to live in the power of the Resurrection today.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sometimes Life Happens

You may have noticed that I haven't done a whole lot of posting on here lately. I'm not giving up the blog. It's just that there is a lot of stuff going on that takes energy away from blogging, mental energy in particular.

Hopefully, I will be paying enough attention so I will be able to share anything that I might learn. So, don't lose hope loyal reader(s). I intend to be back. In the meantime I'll post some previous writing and some other things that don't take as much mental energy.