Nov 302012
 

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.””

(Mark 10:26–27 ESV)

So…this is how I write.

I pray the night before about what, if anything, the Lord would have me to say and I pray that prayer through the night.

When I wake up I often have story or a concept  so I type it out in a couple of minutes, I press send and I go to work, trusting that I heard the Lord and not the spirit of whatever I was consuming the night before.

This morning I woke up wondering what in hell was wrong with me.

I’ve lost my mind.

I’ve become the online patron saint of lost causes and impossible projects.

We spent years trying to bring reformation to a certain part of the Body and now we’ve added a multi national drug war to the campaign.

Good luck with that.

Life offline isn’t much better.

Things were precarious before I got sick and that trial pushed everything over the edge.

Many of my friends are free falling with me, seeing the ground approaching at a frightening rate of speed.

Here’s where the insanity comes in.

I believe God is going to snatch us out of the air before impact.

I believe that if we as a peculiar people, a holy nation, and a royal priesthood give up our affection and idolatry of things other than God, He will move.

I believe with God alone…all things are possible, even those things which appear impossible.

I believe one person can make a difference.

I believe that my child and yours can be made well.

I believe that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He loves to share His wealth.

I believe He can make a way when there is no way.

I believe He can create something from nothing and beauty from ashes.

I believe we matter to God.

I believe I can die old and full of years having seen the goodness of God in the land of the living.

I believe, Lord…help my unbelief.

Make your own application.

Nov 292012
 

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”

(2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV)

I posted an article about the life and horrific death of Maria Santos on Tuesday.

The only thing that surprised me about her execution was that it took so long to happen…I told you she was a dead woman walking back when the insipid, cowardly American press was hailing her a a new Mexican heroine.

The ground in Mexico is full of heros and heroines.

The surprise about the story for me was that I didn’t see it first on one of the numerous feeds I have set up for such information…I saw it first on a close friends Facebook page.

Somebody had been listening and there was some consolation among the tears.

Many of you here then took the story and posted it as well…and I thank you.

You see, in my opinion…we’re the only ones that can change this situation.

We…meaning Christians.

I believe that a first century Christian observing the carnage in the south would instantly recognize that all hell had literally broken loose in Mexico, that there was a supernatural, demonic component to this tragedy that transcends politics and economics.

The first century Christian would also understand that politics and economics inevitably become tools in the hand of the beast to carry on his work.

The twenty first century American Christian can no longer see such things as our spiritual vision has been blinded by politics, power, and prosperity.

We no longer recognize either the work of the enemy or the power of God and thus we are impotent salt without savor.

We want pragmatic, political answers to spiritual problems and have not noticed that Dagon has fallen and can’t get up.

These only come out by prayer and fasting…not an act of Congress.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but the weapons have grown dull and rusted from lack of use.

Our neighbors find themselves torn between two beasts…the one that governs them and the one that governs us.

The common persons death in Mexico is collateral damage to those who profit from the horror on both sides of the border.

The church is the only institution that can both recognize and combat what is happening.

It will require the taking up of our weapons again…prayer, fasting, and above all else love.

It will require sacrificial amounts of them all.

Many of you today will dismiss me as a superstitious crank or just a bleeding heart liberal.

You do so to all of our peril.

You see I’m smelling the acrid smoke of hellfire here in this country…this state…and my home.

You, as always, should make your own application.

 

Nov 272012
 
  1. Tomb of Jonah discovered? (HT: AV)
  2. This invitation to deception is not true or right or good. But it is very popular among evangelical Christians desperate for some way to at least briefly feel like they are heroic, good and godly.
  3. Many people conclude, as Alexander did, that their experiences revealed Ultimate Reality, God, whatever. The problem is that different people discover radically different Absolute Truths.
  4. No self-respecting dietitian or health organization would ever claim that encouraging eating out in restaurants, drinking juices containing 10.5 teaspoons of sugar per glass, and eating faux-fruit candies that contain more sugar than actual candy could possibly be good for living healthy lives. And yet that’s exactly what the Heart and Stroke Foundation is actively teaching Canadians with their disgraceful, and nutritionally unethical, Health Check program.
  5. Wright has said that his translation above is the fruit of good, solid scholarship. Well, then, it seems that we have stronger reasons every day for walking away from good, solid scholarship. If this is serious scholarship, why on earth are we taking it seriously?” (HT)
  6. It was always my contention, living with a special needs daughter who could be called home at any time, that it was not her health issues that determined when should go, but my spiritual health issues.
  7. When progressive Christians try to put an egalitarian spin on the Bible, it’s the same unconvincing argument made by corporations that claim to not be sexist because their board of directors has nineteen white men and one woman.
 Posted by at 11:01 pm
Nov 272012
 

The Salvation Army is under fire from gay activists.

I must have missed the gay activist organization that devotes all of it’s energies to the poor and homeless.

I must also have missed the throngs of gay, bisexual, and transgender people who want to work for a historical, theologically conservative charity.

Tolerance is a one way street now…

I’m an old, straight, white guy with a set of deep theological convictions sitting next to equally deeply ingrained cultural prejudices.

It’s often hard to separate one from the other…

Still, I have wrestled with this issue to try to come to a place of civil tolerance, understanding, and compassion, leaving behind the prejudices while holding to my religious convictions.

It isn’t easy.

When this sort of petty assault against an important part of our societal safety net happens, when it’s demanded that I give up my faith as well as my prejudices…it becomes almost impossible.

Perhaps we’re reaping what we’ve sown…in any case it appears that the “war” we’ve written and spoken of is now reality.

One again, everybody loses.

 

Nov 262012
 

If you want to know a true hero and the cost of heroism, I ask that you read about the life and death of this woman…and pray for her survivors and her country.

“The woman mayor who was kidnapped and murdered by a Mexican drug gang pleaded with her attackers for her young daughter’s life, it emerged today.

Maria Santos Gorrostieta, who had already survived two assassination attempts, was driving the child to school at around 8.30am when she was ambushed by a car in the city of Morelia.

The 36-year-old was hauled from her vehicle and physically assaulted as horrified witnesses watched, according to newspaper El Universal.
They described how she begged for her child to be left alone and then appeared to get into her abductors’ car willingly. 

The little girl was left wailing as her mother was driven away on Monday November 12.

For the next week, her frantic family waited by the phone for a ransom call that never came. 
Gorrostieta’s body – stabbed, burned, battered and bound at wrist and ankle – would finally be found eight days on dumped by a roadside in San Juan Tararameo, Cuitzeo Township.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2238577/Maria-Santos-Gorrostieta-executed-surviving-assassination-attempts.html#ixzz2DM7EYsid

Nov 262012
 

1.  As I end yet another year of blogging , I’m amazed and discouraged at how right I was years ago and how little difference it makes. I knew the internet would become the new Wittenburg door, but I thought minor “reformations” would follow. Didn’t happen…if anything, things are worse in terms of ecclesiastical accountability.

 

2. I’m teaching through the book of Hosea in our church. The amount of scholarly dispute over interpretation and words have made doing so a daunting task…if you really think that all there is to preaching is “simply teaching the Bible simply” you are a theological simpleton.

3. “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6 ESV). My meditation for the week…Jesus referred to this verse twice. The interpretation has huge implications.

4. That verse is also a very good reminder that the First Testament was the Bible Jesus read…and affirmed.

5. Next week begins Advent, or so I’m told. It’s not included on most evangelical calendars…not like Black Friday and Super Bowl Sunday.

6. When God pronounces judgment on a people, it’s almost always followed with a plea to repent and receive His unfathomable forgiveness and love. When the church pronounces judgment, too often it smiles and closes the book…

7. Today is “Cyber Monday” in case you’ve sinned against the economy and left some space on your credit cards.

8. I’m so thankful Jerry Lee never recorded a Christmas album so I can still say I love all his work.

9. It’s a damn shame that peace broke out in the Middle East and cut 45 minutes of material out of the year end prophecy conferences.

10.Yes, I’m cranky. When you work in retail, the “holidays” are all about survival. Ho ho this. I’ll repent in January.

Nov 252012
 

Thank you Brian for all the years of creative, invaluable, faithful service to all of us.

Your work and your heart have impacted not only this blog, but all the Christian community online that has made the Linkathon a regular stop on the cyber superhighway.

We wouldn’t have survived this long without you and we still lean hard on you.

Thank you, my friend…may this be the best of many more to come.

Nov 242012
 

We make a pause
amid many voices –
some innocent and some seductive,
some violent and some coercive,
some forgiven and genuine,
some not.

 

Amid this cacophony that pulls us
in many directions,
we have these old voices of your prophets;
these voices attest to
your fierce self,
your severe summons,
your generous promise,
your abiding presence.

Give us good ears,
perchance you have a word for us tonight;
Give us grace and courage to listen,
to answer,
to care,
and to rejoice,
that we may be more fully your people.

Walter Brueggemann

Nov 242012
 

Another in a line of great traditions…a big Thanksgiving meal, followed by the National Day of Pillage, then Open Blogging.

It’s all yours today.

Nov 232012
 

I’m about to slip into the night to go do my part in facilitating those who are participating in our annual national orgy.

The very thought of that has given me writers block, so this will be brief.

 

First, let me remind those of you who (like me) work in retail that God loves you despite where He put you and this too will pass.

My friend Dave Rolph reminded me years ago that many of these barbarians are actually trying to do something for someone they love and we can be a part of helping that process along.

That’s a good thing, right?

Second, let me remind those of you who are shopping that the person behind the counter is really tired and stressed already, they probably cut off part of their holiday to be there for you, they have no control over inventory or pricing, and they probably don’t make enough money to be on the other side of the counter.

In other words, please be nice to the towel holders in the temples of consumerism.

Finally, I get through Black Friday by remembering Good Friday…which provided the real riches of life at no cost to us, the store’s always open, and the deal never changes with time.

I’m off to work…make your own application.

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