Showing posts from February, 2013

Pain as my servant

A couple of Sundays ago I was playing basketball, if you could call it that, and when I really started to hustle I twisted my ankle very badly. It was looking grim for a long while (lots of swelling and bruising) and I was wondering if I had to go to the doctor to get some X-rays to have them deduce what was going on down there. I kept it wrapped and iced the best I could and it was, easily, the worst injury that I have had outside of breaking bones in my toes and fingers. I am doing much better know and am looking forward to taking the wrap off of my ankle next week sometime. We'll see if that materializes. At any rate, I was in a lot of pain through the whole process and have been thinking about the role of pain in my life. This is not an original thought by any means, but the pain that I felt in my ankle has been gift, servant, and friend to me. It has alerted me that something is desperately wrong with my ankle and it has set me on a course of action to treat it quite a bit dif

Miracles, C.S. Lewis

I am preparing a message that I will be preaching this Sunday at the Monroe County jail (thanks, God!) and I got to thinking about death again. There is a passage in C.S. Lewis' book Miracles that has shaken me and continues to unto this day: "But to convert this penal death into the means of eternal life - to add to its negative and preventive function a positive and saving function-it was further necessary that death should be accepted. Humanity must embrace death freely, submit to it with total humility, drink it to the dregs, and so convert it into that mystical death which is the secret of life." He then goes onto say that Christ himself was the one who defeated and redeemed death and that his death can be our own. He is the one that, on the cross, made death my friend. He is the one who lives so that penal death may die and that I can partake of death so that I can know life. The only way I can know life that is truly Life is to continually, with all humility and by

God brings similarity

My wife and I were closing a meeting that we had with a man who has known the Lord for a long time and, as he prayed, he thanked God for the times that He "brings similarity". The context that framed this was one where he gave a devotional to a group of individuals and God used that teaching in his life that very day. The similarity between the Bible passage that he focused his attention on and the circumstances that God brought to him that day struck him (as it has with me sometimes) and it overflowed into praise to God. I told him that I was going to think about God and how He brings similarity to me and this post is a first effort on that. I have been listening to a series of lectures on the history of Christian apologetics given by Dr. John Frame from Reformed Theological Seminary. An important apologist that he mentioned in his course is Joseph Butler who did battle with the deists of his day. Butler deduced that there was a large amount of that which is revealed in th

Prayer as participation in the divine nature

This thought just occurred to me and I am not even sure if it is worth articulating, but here it goes: when I pray I am imitating God. I am not sure if that is actually the case or not...I need to think about it a bit more, but I think that it bears serious consideration. I know that I acknowledge my "creatureliness" to the universe when I converse with God. There is not greater trumpet of my contingency and lack of control over anything than my prayer life. Yet I can't help but think that I am acting, more than a little bit, like God did in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22 when I converse with the Father in the name of the Son and in the power and direct supervision of the Holy Spirit. I can't help but think that the conversations that the members of the Trinity had and continue to have with each other are, in the most meager way imaginable. something like the conversations that I have with Him. In fact, it seems to me that I can, with little effort, extrapolate this participat

Things change when I approach Him

Sitting with the church yesterday I heard a phrase from the pastor that staggered me with its implications: "things change when we approach Him." In my note taking I gave it eight stars and a double underline to make sure that I remembered it. Through the closing songs of the service and even into my preparation for an upcoming teaching time I have with the Junior Highers with Northridge Church I meditated on it as it shaped me and what I wanted to share. It seems simple, really, but there are so many times that I have shouldered a burden here that I was not required to bear alone, or suffered an injustice there (whether it was done to me or to a loved one) that I needed to lift up to Him and entrust Him with. Yes - things do change when I approach Him. But then I got to thinking that, well, things change when I don't approach Him too. I mean, eventually, the circumstance that I am dealing with loosens its grip on me or just goes away. Eventually the acute feelings I ha