Now that August has arrived, I ought to set my face to Jerusalem and end my usual pattern of finishing up syllabi for the coming semester the night before classes begin. One of my classes, in particular, cries out for reorganization after last spring’s more “down-and-dirty” than “clean-and-clear first-time-teaching-it” shakedown cruise.
Jesus is faithful, loving, and kind. He gladly helps everybody and is good to everyone. This is what it means that He’s God and Savior. So, we look to Him for everything good. In this way, we learn to trust Him and depend on Him for every spiritual good too. Jesus feeds our stomach so that we can trust Him to feed and clothe our soul too.
An intriguing video appeared on social media recently entitled, “Last of his tribe, Brazil releases a video of the ‘lonely man.’ The short video contains shaky, handheld footage of a single man cutting down wood in a forest with a narrator whispering in a combination of fear and awe.
What our heart wants our mind justifies. We want what we want when we want it. There's not a whole lot we can do to curb the wanting either. This may not seem like much of a problem until we ask what our wanting does to effect God's relation to us.
The Heidelberg Disputation is one of the earliest reformational writings from Luther with its presentation occurring just six months after the famous posting of the 95 theses. Where the 95 theses is a pointed attack on a handful of misdeeds from the Roman church, Heidelberg is a sweeping offensive meant to restore the foundation of all Christian doctrine.
Both Marys and Marthas abound in the church, and there is often tension between them. Sometimes this tension is expressed by exhausted Marthas spouting off the 80/20 rule: twenty percent of the people are doing eighty percent of the work.
There are a lot of disappointed people right now. There are a lot of disappointed Christians too. People who make a mess of their relationships. People who make a mess of friendships, family relationships, work relationships, even churches. People disappointed about their relationships because they're thrown off-kilter by self-sabotage.
Since I was old enough to form letters, I have been writing. I drew pictures and colored, too, and I even plunked away at a piano every now and again, but mostly I wrote. I wrote pages and pages of stories about anything I wanted, and it was glorious.
Do you ever wake up with the weight of your insufficiencies bearing down on you? You sense the reality that you aren’t good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, or successful enough just as your eyes flutter open.
A young man, new to serving God’s beautiful forgiven and life-given people, expressed his deepest frustration to me a short while ago. He recently had a conversation with a young woman who had just completed two years of learning about Christianity.