Power perfected in weakness - Part 1?

This may be a multi-part post. It really depends on how far I get in this one or how bored I get of the topic after this is posted. Thinking about my present state of perfection in my God-given position (my past, present, and future salvation) and my imperfection in practice (genuine screw up and far too-often sinner) I find myself a man still in need of a savior. My need for Christ did not cease when I placed all of my trust in him to unite me with God through the forgiveness of my sins. It continues to this day as he perfects me through the struggles I have against my tendency to sin, offend, and even screw up the plumbing. And God would have it no other way. Tucked away in the New Testament are Paul's teachings on boasting about his own weaknesses. Now, when I boast, I call to my mind, and others' minds, certain things that are true about me or that I think are true about me. Usually these are positive things that I think merit my contemplation and I invite others to contemp

Personal peace and prosperity

I chase after personal peace and prosperity to the detriment of my soul. As long as my world is not rocking this way or that and as long as I have enough money in my pocket I hum a happy tune and know that life is good. The peace and affluence of this world is far too cheap a substitute for that which is offered in Christ. I overlook the riches of heaven and am far too easily pleased with the trappings of earth. But why? Because Jesus Christ does violence to the darkness in my soul. The war that rages in my heart is that which God himself commands for he is far too jealous for me, his child, to leave me to my own devices or for me to attach myself to another god and father. His trajectory is ever towards himself and, thus, ever towards me. My vanity leads me deeper into myself and farther from the love that he has shed in my heart. Peace and prosperity will be my lot for he has willed it. The source of it will only be found in him. He would have it no other way for it is for his glory

My post truth world

If there is anything that the last year, and even present circumstances, is showing me is that I live in a post truth world. I may be stepping into it a bit, but I find truth in the following two statements: The current crop of COVID vaccines does not protect me from the virus. The current crop of COVID vaccines protects me from the virus. This is where I find us operating today. These statements are true and we talk past each other when we keep repeating them over and over again and never go beyond them or to the next level of information or data that would lend credibility to both of them. God doesn't want me to live here, but I can't control how others handle the truth. I can only claim responsibility for how I do that and, quite frankly, I don't do it well. I consider a verse like James 5:16 where he writes:  "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."

Just Trust

 We don't know what happens when we die, we only know we die too soon.  The Verdict, Joe Jackson We are going to be wrapping up a sermon series at Northridge Church soon that has focused on trust. Namely, the trust we should have in God given his character and track record. There has been something that has bothered me for a while now. I mean, I have trusted God with my salvation. What I mean is that I believe that there is a heaven and a hell and I am placing my entire trust in Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of my sins that he offers to me for my admission into heaven. This is the most important decision I will ever make (even more important than my marriage!) and my full trust is in Christ. So, the question is, why do I struggle to trust him in less significant things? Like to provide for my daily needs, my job (if I were to ever lose it), or in the relationships that my family has with others? Why have I ceded the reins of my eternal destiny to him, but not the mundane less si

The Edge Effect and the Divine Nature - Part 2

In part one  of this series I noticed something that was true about God and that was expressed in the nature of humanity. It is namely this: when we, as humans, have close relationships with people who are dramatically different from us we have a tendency to be at our creative zenith. We tend to view life in a way that is completely different than what we have fallen into over the near course of our lives. This is also seen in nature in a phenomenon known as the "edge effect". At the point where two ecosystems meet, there is an explosion in the type and variety of flora and fauna. Of course, this should not take us by surprise as the Bible says that nature, and especially man, contains some of the characteristics of God himself. We know, from the Bible, that God is diverse. Now, there is no one or nothing above or beside him, but we find that he is comprised of a singular unity of three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The implications of the Trinity are ab

The Edge Effect and the Divine Nature - Part 1

Yo Yo Ma, the famed cellist, initiated a project no known as Silkroad. The concept is a simple, yet profound expression of the creativity of strangers that share a deep connection with one another as expressed in the music they compose and perform. The question, "What will happen when strangers meet?" is answered time and time again as the collision among people of dissimilar backgrounds is felt and, as a result, their creativity is heightened to dramatic effect. This concept, this collision, expresses itself in nature as well in a concept known as the "edge effect". The edge effect is seen when two distinct ecosystems meet. Within that meeting there is a transition space (for lack of a better term) that houses a plethora of species of flora and fauna that is not seen in either one of the individual ecosystems. In fact, the amount and diversity of species within the edge of the two ecosystems is greater in number and variety than within the single ecosystems that no

God's gifts

"Man, by the Fall, fell at the same time from his state of innocence and from his dominion over nature. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life, be in some part repaired; the former by religion and faith, the latter by the arts and sciences." - Sir Francis Bacon "These are the days of miracle and wonder..." - Paul Simon ----------------------- Yes, there are times that the natural world outflanks us (Covid-19 anyone?). That is our lot this side of heaven. Yet God has given us great gifts through the arts and sciences to, in some part, restore our dominion over nature: My children have never feared getting polio. One of my son's friends has the heart of another person beating inside of them. Drone ships  in the middle of the ocean  catch nosecones of rockets in big nets when returning (!) to the earth, and serve as  landing pads for spent stages of the same. Autonomous robots deliver packages to people. Fossil fuel consumption is not needed to power