Sometimes the wind will pull up its sleeves
To labor with bees
Pieces of pollen through foreign
To help flowers kiss.
And this…maybe an unusual courtship.
A perfectly simple, satisfying kind of bliss.
Because this intimacy?
Has nothing to do with artificial boundaries;
This is divinely orchestrated
Organized and mandated
By the One who conducts natures symphonies,
in the first place.
Sometimes… Continue reading Sometimes, WIND
You’ve probably come across those passages in the Bible where God changes His mind after a prophet intercedes for the Israelites. Maybe you’ve even been part of discussions about how to reconcile such passages with those other passages that explicitly say God does not repent, or change His mind. Two common solutions have been proposed. Most liberals and open theists have settled for a smaller God, a God whose will conforms to ours. They have settled for a God who reacts to new information. A God whose actions are determined by our “free will”. An Arminian God, if you like. But others have sought to preserve God’s sovereignty in the face of this apparent contradiction. And the most common solution to the puzzle can be summarized in these words by R. C. Sproul:
“I think that what we have here is the mystery of providence whereby God ordains not only the ends of things that come to pass but also the means. God sets forth principles in the Bible where he gives threats of judgment to motivate his people to repentance. Sometimes he spells out specifically, “But if you repent, I will not carry out the threat.” He doesn’t always add that qualifier, but it’s there. I think this is one of those instances. It was tacitly understood that God threatens judgment upon these people, but if somebody pleads for them in a priestly way, he will give grace rather than justice. I think that’s at the heart of that mystery.”
While I do believe that this is the right way to handle the mystery, I was thinking about this issue last night and I noticed something that I’d never noticed before. Continue reading How To Change God’s Mind
‘[Jesus] called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.’ (John 21:5)
Christ the cook. Hardly would one throw this descriptor into a bag full of the popular titles of Jesus: Son of God, Messiah, Healer, Teacher, Redeemer, Savior. We can revere Healers, we do admire Teachers, we long for a Redeemer and we worship Saviors. But a cook? Why would anyone want to worship a cook? Why would I want to write songs and sing praises about a cook? (Unless, of course, that cook is my mother) Well, John did (John 21:7). He shouted over the crackling fire and the sizzling oil and praised a cook.
It was a slow morning. The cross was a fading memory and the disciples were moving on. Some chose to go back to their former professions. Peter went to do what he did best, fishing. Continue reading For the Discouraged Fisherman
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” [Psalm 19:1]
God always glorifies Himself. His glory is not limited to our deliberate and conscious acts of glorifying Him. Even when we do not do anything for His glory, God is still glorified. There’s nothing we can do to diminish God’s intrinsic glory. There’s nothing we can do do increase that glory. This is simply because God is self-existent, perfect and complete in Himself. God’s might and power doesn’t increase when we “lift” Him up or praise Him. neither does His power and might decrease when we fail to praise and worship Him. I will even go to the extent of claiming that God is glorified even in our sin. Remember the famous words of Joseph to his wayward brothers?
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” [Genesis 50:20]
Yes, God is glorified and His eternal purposes come to pass even in our disobedience. God’s glory is constant, just like His being, His power and His presence is constant. However, our experience, apprehension and acknowledgement of God’s glory is not constant. And this makes all the difference in the world. Continue reading Never Criticize What God is Blessing?
Three reads to enrich your week. The first one is lengthy but timely. The second is brief and to the point. And the third one is, well, just read and find out:
- THE IDOL OF ‘OPEN’ OPTIONS: “We worship the god of open options. And he is killing us. He kills our relationships, because he tells us it’s better not to become too involved. He kills our service to others because he tells us it might be better to keep our weekends to ourselves. He kills our giving because he tells us these are uncertain financial times and you never know when you might need that money.”
- In I CHOOSE PEACE, Serah Njambi reminds Kenyans (with the General Elections a week away) that peace is not just a prayer that we make or a dream that we have, it is also a practical choice that we make. “We are a generation that knows our country’s history just as well as we are aware of the LadyBird Series fairy-tales. We often forget the price that was paid for liberty and so we trash it at any opportunity without thinking of the implications.”
- Finally, in LEAVING (CHRIST)IANITY, Michael Patton takes us through the stages that many people go through on their way to apostasy, losing their faith or simply leaving Christianity. “Ignorance. Pity. Shame. These are all word descriptions she associated with Christianity. However, through these superficial word descriptions, it was evident that the best root word to describe her feelings was “betrayal”. She had been betrayed by the Church, because they duped her into a belief not unlike that of the tooth fairy or Santa Claus.”
Overall, may God inspire, comfort and admonish you through the reading of HIS WORD this week, friends.
When we look at other African countries plagued by wars similar to those in Kenya (such as tribal conflicts), those who have attained peace (albeit an imperfect peace) had to pay a great price for that peace. Come to think of it, the fight for peace is really a fight for freedom, and it is only when freedom is attained that peace is consequently realized. All men desire peace, but very few of us ever bother to think about the cost of peace. The price that Kenyans had to pay for freedom is that same price that we have to pay for peace today. Peace walks, placards, graffiti, concerts and conferences are all welcome approaches, but they are often insufficient. In the world we are living in, the reality and effects of sin cannot be denied.
PEACE ISN’T FAIR
The human heart is bent on chaos, and all the places that claim any semblance of peace, only claim so because violence is suppressed, not because people have willingly conceded to be peaceful. We may currently admire Rwanda for its peaceful streets, but we cannot ignore the heightened security, and the high number of security officers at every street corner in the country.
In this world, as long as sin remains, the most effective solution to the peace problem is not dialogue, but the law. Of course, peace that is attained through suppression of violence is not true peace. But it is a visible, external peace, a preliminary peace if you like. Peace does not mean that people have nothing to fight about, peace means that people choose (or are made) not to fight. Peace, like forgiveness, means giving up the right to hurt others for hurting you. It means not repaying evil for evil. It means withholding justice. Yes, peace on this fallen earth isn’t fair. Continue reading The Violence of Peace
Here are three interesting reads to wrap up your week:
- In WHY THE AFTERLIFE BORES US, Russell Moore exhorts us to be a little more hopeful and enthusiastic about how life in heaven is going to be like. “We talk about all the questions we’ll ask about why this or that happened. We never think about whether we’ll be too busy to care about that, just like we’re too busy in the prime of our careers to ask our kindergarten teacher why she had snack time after recess rather than before.”
- THE LAST LAUGH, Are you a scoffer? Know of one? Then this is for you: “Scoffing isn’t new, or Solomon would not have had so much to say about it. But the internet age provides so much more opportunity: Every time a political or religious or entertainment figure does or says something a little out of the ordinary (such as take a sip of water during an important speech), the snarks have a field day.”
- Finally, in PERMISSION TO ACHE, Chelsea Kolz reminds us why it is important for us to never minimize the hurts of others in our attempts to comfort them. “Because my mother refused to diminish my pain, I grew through it. I started to recognize the longings of my heart as longings for God.”
Have a blessed reading time, friends.