Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The IN of Being IN Love



What does it mean to "be in love?" Now, I think it is obvious that most of us have an innate knowledge as to what this state of being generally entails. We may think of it as rapturous pleasure, noble gallantry, tender affection, or any combination of these and more. Certainly it is different than any other sort of love. We are not ever, I hope, in love with something like Pizza—"I am in love with that new pizza!" And certainly we ought not fall in love with a family member or even member of the same sex. To be clear, I am talking about the love between a man and woman that is romantic and uniquely so.

But I think very few of us examine it any further than that. Or worse yet, we create a sort of flimsy, sappy version of what we think it means to be in love. We make it to reek of soft, fluffy things that are nice to daydream about but clash with reality. We cripple its beauty, dim its glory. This has, at the very least, this has been what I have seen in my experience. 

So, to the matter at hand. What does it mean to be IN love? Why is IN used? I find that to be of especial curiosity. Why not say I "I have love for So-and-so," or "We love OF each other?" Well, I will say that the accepted linguistic convention does have a nice simplicity to it. But I digress.

"Being in love" seems to, by its own nature, require that two persons are engaged in a similar state of the  being. By this I mean that it seems to require two people—"I am in love WITH So-and-so."  Furthermore, it describes a state of being—"I AM in love with..." 

And this is the curious part: to be IN love seems to require that they be IN the midst of some state or action. But, while this clarifies things a bit, this still does not answer our question. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

But God





BUT GOD.


This is probably my favorite phrase in the english language. In the moments of and after that interjection lie all my hopes, dreams, comforts, and quieted fears. 



[4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, [5] even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—[6] and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, [7] so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. [8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

(Ephesians 2:4-9 ESV)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trust: The Great(er) Adventure




There's a lot of people who admire an adventurous disposition in another person. I get that and I get why. But I think that willingness to go out and take a risk has a superior, rival quality.

That quality is, namely, trust in God.

That trust enables a person to do far more for and by God than any sort of daring disposition ever would or could. Think about this:

Trust inherently does not require a change in situation to be manifested. You can trust God—when that trust is pure—sitting in the safest place on earth, when going through something easy, when blessed, when encountering no trial at all.

No daredevil, no explorer, no adrenaline junkie, no risk-taker can claim to adventure in such a time or place. They must venture out on a limb, whether that be physically or situationally, in order for their adventurousness to become evident.

Trust makes itself clear in times of ease and in times of hardship. Therefore it seems that trust, and trust in God, is really the greatest adventure of all.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Thread

For my CS Lewis class I was assigned a paper over two days in which I was to say what all Christians at all times have held in common and believed. You know, your average easy paper. Right.

Well I tried my best. We weren't allowed to use any text sources of any kind, so I am sure that I missed quite a bit. But nonetheless here it is.




Christianity: Beliefs Commonly Held
The Christian faith has always been inherently characterized by degrees of diverse belief. Not only has it always been this way, but it will continue to be a reality in the future. Many factors play a part in creating this diversity. They include, but are not limited to, interpretive variability, the nature of  studying ancient documents, discrepancies over translations, cultural differences, hermeneutic and paradigmatic differences, political leanings, views about the nature of God, soteriological differences, canonical spectra; the list goes on and on. Christians have minor, and sometimes major, disagreements about as many topics as one can imagine. And yet there remains despite and beneath all those disagreements and differences a commonality of belief. This common thread is woven into the belief of every truly Christian worldview. It is the very foundation. It must presuppose all other beliefs. Without that foundation, the tapestry comes apart and is altogether unraveled. The building cannot be built. Apart from that unique integrating commonality, all other beliefs remain superfluous and are for nought. What, then, is the nature of this thread, of this common set of beliefs? In other words, the question we must ask is ‘what have all Christians at all times held to be true?’

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Is APU a Church? The problematic, ecclesial mixup


This is a repost of the original article from the clause. I will be expanding on this and using it to segue into the series on the church that I will be beginning shortly. 

Mark


Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The Big Question

Is APU a church?

This is a question that I have been pondering recently. The longer I have been at APU, the more often I have thought about it.

If you see APU as a church, then that means that certain spiritual standards apply to the school. It also means that, given those standards, you will need to think and behave differently. If you do not see APU as a church, however, then there are implications that stem from that conclusion as well.

In either case, I think this is a prevalent issue that is worth thinking about and coming to grips with.

Over the course of the past week, I had the chance to talk with 10 students and a professor about their thoughts on the matter. I was surprised to find that many students had at least given a little bit of thought to the issue — I honestly was expecting a less vibrant response overall.

Students’ responses were varied in content and mechanism, and they each had their own unique way of addressing the question. I tried to best synthesize and represent what the major sentiments were, although they are by no means an exhaustive representation of student thought.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Love, Christ: One and The Same

Have you thought about love recently? With Valentine's day having just happened, I know that you've at least seen the word in the last few weeks. But have you really thought about love? I don't mean that sappy, worldly love that is temperamental and fueled by emotionalism and sentimentality. I am talking about love that God has shown to us in Christ. Love that is more costly, more profound, more powerful than anything you've ever felt on Valentine's day. This is the sort of love that moves mountains, that wipes away our sin.

That love, namely, is Christ. He is love. In dying for us and in our place, He showed us real, tangible, and perfect love.

Kevin DeYoung has some similar things to say, and since I was encouraged by them this morning I wanted to share them with you as well.


More Love To, From, and In Thee

Love is the most excellent way.  But it is also an impossible way.
None of us loves like 1 Corinthians 13, at least not fully and constantly.  Only One has ever lived in this more excellent way.  Only one  man has ever loved like this.  Only one person will love you like this.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:7-10).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reflexiones desde México

This last weekend I was privileged to spend my time as a part of APU's Mexico Outreach leadership team. We went on a combined retreat-brigade this year, which is different than what we have done in years past. Brigades with MO are monthly trips down to Mexico wherein we minister to the people there for a few days before heading home. Last year the retreat took place in the US, but I am glad that they changed that around this year. We were able to not only get a feel for what we will be doing come Spring, but were taken out of our comfort zones. Also, I was able to practice my spanish, which is something that I am always thankful for.

We had times of worship, time to bond, and time to serve others. What a great combination of activities, even in such short amount of time. A great quantity of blessing was experienced in a short period of time. This is something that God seems to be doing more and more in my life. I am so thankful for His expediency, although I know that there will be times when He tests me and withholds blessing.

I can feel that God is already working in the group of leaders that He has raised up to lead this Spring. I had many moving conversations with my fellow leaders and know that the Holy Spirit will be working profoundly in the next few months. We will be embarking on a journey that will hopefully culminate in the saving of souls.

I am excited.

And I am scared.

But in any case I am resting in His profound and perfect grace.

Just a few thoughts as I still process and work through my expereinces this weekend.

Mark

Ranitfestos Guest Post: Matthew 11:28-30 and the Paradoxical Yoke


By Bobby Blanken

Edited by Mark Thomas



“Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and my load is light.”

—Matthew 11:28-30



Cultural ideas of leadership come in many forms.  One form I regularly encounter is the individual with a strong wit, appealing countenance, and a contagious, almost infectious, personality that captures their followers’ attention. They demand their allegiance.  If I’m being honest, I’ve followed some of those leaders in the past. I had my specific reasons, but I’ve discovered that leadership requires more substance than just a charismatic front. And if I’m brutally honest, I’ve tried to be that leader and failed miserably.  I’m not sure our culture gets it right, leadership.  To be fair, there certainly is nothing wrong with being a charismatic and compelling leader. But as followers of Jesus, I think our leadership ought to most mimic His.  In essence, Christian leadership is the experience of we apprentices as learning how to best imitate and follow in the footsteps of the Master.

In Matthew 11, Jesus makes a statement about leadership and calls the weary to take on His yoke in order to find rest.  The apparent paradox seems glaring: how does one find rest in a yoke? While we might not easily connect with the term, any farmer would be the first to tell you that a yoke symbolizes anything but rest.  Two large arches connected to both ends of an even larger wooden beam created this horticultural tool that was then placed around the necks of two oxen. The oxen, guided by the farmer, would then trudge forward dragging a heavy wedge through the hard ground in order to turn the soil.  So why should we be encouraged to step into the yoke? If Jesus was trying to gain followers, surely he thought out this metaphor before suggesting it to the crowds, right??

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Brushing Your Teeth: Spiritual Efficacy



We've all (I hope) brushed our teeth before. About a year ago I had a realization while brushing my teeth that I had a lot to learn from this menial and everyday task. Sometimes I find that the simplest things that I do throughout the day can contain profound analogous truths. This might speak to how strange I am, that I see a toothbrush and think...well, that's what I was getting to, wasn't it?

I would guess that most of us, especially since we live in a culture and time where we are more and more easily distracted, have had the "chewing on your toothbrush experience'." You know, the time when you stop to talk to your roommate or family member and leave your toothbrush hanging in your mouth while you mindlessly sort of chew it. Or it might have been when you (and by you I really mean I) have had your phone with you while brushing your teeth, probably texting someone or checking Facebook. Or perhaps you stopped to ponder the wonder and meaning of life and were left distracted.

Distracted enough to let the toothbrush sit there in your mouth while a lovely mixture of white-foam-drool runs down your chin. It's a very profound experience, wouldn't you know it, and I know that we all look very philosophical whilst we drip  and grind our poor toothbrushes.

But I really do think there is something to be learned here. Something spiritual, something about efficacy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jeremy Lin: the Underdog Under God

I found this on the Gospel coalition site today and wanted to share it with you. I haven't been following the news surrounding Jeremy Lin very carefully, but after reading this I just might. Enjoy!


The Basketball Star No One Wanted: Jeremy Lin's Unlikely Triumph

by Owen Strachan
The sports world has a historically fraught relationship with complexity. Like caramel on ice cream, opinions of athletes are often formed quickly and harden fast. "Look at his stride---he's got a hitch." "She's too slight---won't be able to get anywhere on the field." "With that wingspan, he'll be able to impose his will on defense." Whether you're torpedoed all the way to the bench from opening tryouts or you make the varsity as a freshman (high school's highest status, just under "Olympian demi-god"), coaches often chart the general course of your fate in a few practices, a swatch of sessions, and that's that.
At least that was the case for many of us. Call it athletic election, the determinative council taken by underpaid youth coaches in Applebee's restaurants around the country. This was true of my experience in basketball, the game that captured me in the 1990s as it did so many others. I was very short and slight, and what was worse, I wore Rec-Specs, basketball goggles. I was like the world's shortest and whitest version of Horace Grant. Nevertheless, growing up in rural Maine, I hustled, dribbled with my left hand until my fingertips bled, and generally tried to become a good player. Each summer, my parents paid for me to go to one of those ridiculously overpriced basketball camps. I heard the rousing speeches, the motivational oratory that promised greatness to anyone who would just work for it, and I bought it. I was all in. Maybe you were like me.
But it wasn't to be. Though I practiced constantly, my stint with the game did not pay off. As sports have been for so many youngsters, basketball taught me some things about the world. It left me cynical, rendered me a romantic for the life I couldn't have, and showed me that in this world, underdogs may get a standing ovation if they're lucky, but it never lasts.
After all, Rudy made the vaunted Notre Dame football team, but he only played for a minute.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Going Postal: Our Lives As Testimonies


Today I went to the post office in Azusa to ship some things to my girlfriend in Spain for her birthday (this is some amusing grammar that I should clarify the meaning of: I do not mean to say that I have a girlfriend in Spain and one here, but rather that my girlfriend is in Spain). After I finished picking out the packaging and making sure that what I was sending would fit nicely, I walked to the counter to get help from the now free attendant.

As it happened, there were two workers available to help me. I almost went with the other one, but had a distinct feeling about the fellow that I chose to help me. He seemed to be an honest man who was trying to do his job well. That intrigued me and I naturally wanted his help. This is not to say that the other employee was not a good worker (although she was a woman), but only that I had a particular feeling about the one chap. And so I walked over to his side of the counter.

Tim Challies: Never Waste a Good Crisis


In times of change or upheaval, we need to be careful to watch for those who would use the catalyzed religiopolitical atmosphere to further their own agenda. Tim Challies has some good things to say about times like these.

Never Waste a Good Crisis


You never want to waste a good crisis. That is true in politics and religion and any other field that values ideology, that values one thing over another or one thing in place of another. As Christians we know that the Lord often uses times of crisis to call people to himself, that when people are weak, he remains strong and reveals himself as strong. Of course if God uses crisis, so must Satan. In those times of intense difficulty we may be more aware than ever of the cosmic battle that wages around and inside us.
I have been thinking of the value of crisis as I have watched Americans grapple with President Obama’s recent mandate that demands that almost all employers and health insurance companies provide free contraceptives, up to and including contraceptives that cause (or can cause) abortions. The outrage to this mandate is multi-faceted. On the one hand it forces employers and insurance companies to violate conscience in providing contraceptives for those who are opposed to all forms of birth control, or abortifacient birth control for those who have no objection to preventive contraceptives. In either case, it ignores the separation of church and state that is so integral to America; with this mandate government forces violation of religious conscience.

Rainy Days Reflections: Ebb and Flow


As I sit here in Starbucks sipping my Verona-blend regular coffee (that's right—actual coffee), I am struck by something. Well, before I get to that I must be honest and say that there is a couple sitting to my left staring into each others eyes in what looks to be a very intense situation. They're quite distracting because they are so silent, which is interesting in of itself. I don't know what's going through their minds or what they're dealing with. But I do know that I too often fail to remember that other people are very likely going through at least several hardships that I am unaware of. I cannot arrive at what they are just by looking or even by listening (in this case), but nonetheless my heart goes out to them.

(If you would rather not read some random but, I daresay, interesting thoughts of mine and get straight to the point, then scroll to the paragraph with a bolded So)


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

God Is Not Fooled

I found this article through several friends on Facebook and found it fascinating. Metaxas spoke at my school one time last semester, and although I missed it—much to my annoyance—I heard nothing but good things from my friends who went. Mark Jospeh's comments and recounting of the speeches that unfolded during the national prayer breakfast seem to be spot-on and incisively so.

Remember, fellow Christian, that God is not fooled. Not by a president, not by a priest, and not by you or me.


So give your heart wholly to Jesus and spare no expense in making sure that it is truly no longer yours. 





If the organizers of the national prayer breakfast ever want a sitting president to attend their event again, they need to expect that any leader in his right mind is going to ask — no, demand — that he be allowed to see a copy of the keynote address that is traditionally given immediately before the president’s.
That’s how devastating was the speech given by a little known historical biographer named Eric Metaxas, whose clever wit and punchy humor barely disguised a series of heat-seeking missiles that were sent, intentionally or not, in the commander-in-chief’s direction.
Although Obama began his address directly after Metaxas by saying, “I’m not going to be as funny as Eric but I’m grateful that he shared his message with us,” both his tone and speech itself were flat, and he looked as though he wished he could either crawl into a hole or have a different speech in front of him.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rantifestos Guest Post: In the Fourth Watch of the Night


Hello all! This is another guest post from a friend and former teacher of mine. Enjoy!

Ryan M Blanck is a writer and teacher living in Southern California.  He is interested at exploring how his faith intersects with the postmodern world he inhabits.
He is the author of Letters to DFW, an attempt to blog through the collected works of David Foster Wallace.
You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/RyanMBlanck and like his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RyanMBlanck.




Nothing good ever happens at 3 a.m.

If you’re awake at that hour, it’s almost always for the wrong reasons.  Perhaps there is the off chance that some cable channel is showing an all-night marathon of your favorite show, but with TiVo now there is no reason to actually stay up and watch it.  Most often, though, you’re staring at the clock on the nightstand thinking about how many (or more likely, how few) hours until the alarm will sound to start the day, a day that is sure to be long and difficult after a night of very little sleep.  When the phone rings at that hour of the night, it can never be good news.  I’ve only gotten a handful of late night calls, and rarely are they ever from a friend who just wants to say, “hey.”

The stretch of time between about one o’clock and four o’clock is sort of a no-man’s land, a time when only cashiers at gas stations and swing-shift nurses and insomniacs are awake.  Those who have spent time awake at that hour know that it can seem as if the earth actually slows on its axis and the hours actually creep by at a slower pace than during the rest of the day.  The hours just drag on and on until that glimmer of sunlight begins to appear on the horizon, and life can finally return to normal and the clock can resume its normal pace.

Chemistry and The Bible

What would you get if you took a periodic table of the elements approach to the bible? Something like this:

full size jpeg here

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday: A Reminder


The Super Bowl is today. I expect to have a fun time watching it and eating food that I can only eat once a year in order to keep my heart beating. I also fully expect Tom Brady to fail. Maybe I should say "want." I couldn't help but think of the parallels between a huge gathering of people that the world is involved in and our future in eternity. Let me explain.

Regardless of the outcome, the Super Bowl is one of the most watched events in the world and certainly one of the most watched events on television in America (for a fun list of the most watched television events in the world and in every country with TV click here). And the Super Bowl is just that, Super. It is huge. Grandiose. High-profile. World-famous. Renowned. Lucrative.

Tim Challies: More Than a Few Tears

I have followed Tim Challies blog for  a number of years now and it has always been a good source of insight and wisdom for me. This post is no exception. In this post has brought to us an elegant section from AW Pink. I think it is one that elucidates the true nature of what conversion into and by Christ means. It is more than regret. More than reform. Is is soul-transcendent transformation that leaves no corner of our lives untouched! Enjoy and be fed by this quote.



More Than a Few Tears

I love this quote from A.W. Pink’s The Sovereignty of God. Employing some wonderful prose, particularly near the end of the quote, he does battle with those who claim to be Christians but who show very little evidence in their lives. He describes the sweeping nature of what Christ accomplishes in giving new life.
The new birth is very, very much more than simply shedding a few tears due to a temporary remorse over sin. It is far more than changing our course of life, the leaving off of bad habits and the substituting of good ones. It is something different from the mere cherishing and practising of noble ideals. It goes infinitely deeper than coming forward to take some popular evangelist by the hand, signing a pledge-card, or “joining the church.” The new birth is no mere turning over a new leaf but is the inception and reception of a new life. It is no mere reformation but a complete transformation. In short, the new birth is a miracle, the result of the supernatural operation of God. It is radical, revolutionary, lasting.

As He Was Tempted

This past week I have been studying through the historical arguments and evidences for the authorship of the books of Luke and Acts in my (surprise surprise) Luke/Acts class. I wanted to share some thoughts I had after we studied synoptic accounts of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. I think there is much to be thankful for and apply in these passages about our Great King Jesus. 



[The Temptation of Jesus]
[4:1] And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness [2] for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. [3] The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” [4] And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” [5] And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, [6] and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. [7] If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” [8] And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Preaching Psalm 103:1-4 To Yourself

I have been memorizing Psalm 103:1-4 with my girlfriend for the past week and it has been an incredible encouragement to me. More to come on that from myself, but in the meantime I found this piece from Stephen Johnson on the Fighter Verses page. Enjoy!


Preach to Your Soul

Stephen Johnson | Jan 30, 2012
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.
We all talk to ourselves every now and then, but have you ever preached to yourself? Or, perhaps even odder to the imagination, have you ever sang to yourself?

Rantifestos Guest Post: Golden Rule 2.0


Hello all! This is a guest post from a friend and former teacher of mine. Enjoy!

Ryan M Blanck is a writer and teacher living in Southern California.  He is interested at exploring how his faith intersects with the postmodern world he inhabits.
He is the author of Letters to DFW, an attempt to blog through the collected works of David Foster Wallace.
You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/RyanMBlanck and like his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RyanMBlanck.


It started with a conversation I overheard between two of my students.  During the last few minutes of a double period of AP English, I heard one of my students – a Caucasian, teenage girl – accuse another student – a Caucasian, teenage boy – of being racist.  Such an accusation piqued my interest, so I continued to pretend not to be listening as I focused on this conversation that was sure to last beyond the ring of the bell at the end of the period.[1]  I kept my head down, but tuned out the ambient noise to listen more intently on what would follow that initial allegation.  What did follow forced me to break my stoic aloofness and break out in nearly hysterical laughter.[2]

The charge of racism came because the teenage boy had told the teenage girl that he thought interspecies dating and marriage was wrong.  Now this was in the context of discussing Star Trek characters, and the boy meant specifically that humans and Vulcans should not engage in conjugal relations.  In this girl’s mind there was no apparent difference between interracial relationships and interspecies ones, therefore the accusations of prejudice. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Idolatry

 I found this video through the twitter post from my pastor and was, like him, astounded. I have included the information on the event that that was posted originally on the Gospel Coalition here. This video is profoundly offensive on many, many levels. It is 'churches' like this with 'pastors' like Eddie Long that in part give such a terrible reputation to Christians. I know that we aren't seeking a good reputation, per se, as Christians, but what we are seeking (namely, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ) is diametrically opposed to whatever idolatrous blasphemy this is. There is no king but Jesus!



The Story: In a video that has gone viral on the Internet, Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta was crowned a "king" by guest speaker Rabbi Ralph Messer.
"He is a king, God's blessed him. He is a humble man. But in him is kingship. In him is royalty," said Messer during the "ceremony."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Good For You, Tim Tebow


original post here

Tim Tebow Cancels Speech at Event Organized by Prosperity Gospel Preacher



The Story: Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is canceling an appearance at a revival organized by prosperity gospel preacher Rod Parsley.
The Background: The year's most talked about Christian athlete was scheduled to speak at a three-day Columbus event in March led by televangelist Parsley. In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Tebow's brother Robbie said his brother's speakers' bureau hadn't researched the event before saying yes to the invitation.
"I know for a fact that Tim is not going to be a part of it," Robbie Tebow said. "That's being resolved."

Google, Facebook, Wiki—wait, what was I saying?


Well said, Tim. Original post here. Follow his blog at http://www.challies.com/

Empty Minds, Empty Hearts, Empty Lives


Do you remember when you used to have a memory? Do you remember when you could actually remember stuff and when you actually needed to remember stuff? You know, stuff like phone numbers or recipes or Bible verses. Those days seem to be nearing an end. An interesting new study from psychology professors at Columbia University, the University Of Wisconsin-Madison, and Harvard University comes to this rather startling conclusion: “We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools.” It’s not just that we are no longer remembering things, but we are entrusting to our tools the things we used to entrust to ourselves. In this way we are becoming symbiotic with our tools, with our machines, forming an interdependent kind of relationship.

Through Smoke



I love this song, and have found it to be a good reminder and comfort in times where trials come my way. Even through the burning smoke of a trial that blurs our perception and tries to smother us, God is still real, present, and powerful. Those will never change, even if the whole world seems to be burning.


Before the truth will come to fill our eyes 
The wool comes down in the form of fire 


And when the answers and the truth have cut their ties
Will you still find me

Will you still see me through smoke

I was born in a house in a town just like your own
I was raised to believe in the power of the unknown


When the answers and the truth have cut their ties
Will you still find me


Will you still see me through smoke
Who do you believe when you can’t get through
When everything you know seems so untrue When I’m lost in a place that I thought I knew Give me some way that I might find you 



Needtobreathe is a great band! Probably my favorite. Check them out here 

Time-Taking Tech.

This post is going to be rather ironic, at least at some level. I read this post on Kevin DeYoung's blog this morning  and found it worth sharing with you all. The irony, however, lies in the fact that I am using technology to share it with you and that today I will go out and about my life using my iPhone for many things. Regardless, the reminder still hit home and was good to hear. How do you use your technology? And, after answering that question, you need to reckon with not just in what ways but how much you use it?
     The example in the post of a pastor interrupting a prayer on someone's deathbed to answer their phone scared me too. I don't know his motives, but whatever it was that needed to be answered surely did not take precedence over comforting someone as they enter into eternity. We need to be careful, neigh, painstakingly diligent to be sure that our technology is not what rules us or our hearts. It needs to always be subservient to us, a tool that we might use to glorify God but never one that would prevent us from doing so. Strive for technological purity! I will.

blessings,

Mark