Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Putting the "Awe" back in "God"

Despite regular practice of spiritual disciplines, I frequently get into a rut in my relationship with God.  It's dangerous when God becomes routine and the Bible becomes boring and we hunker down to try to simply remember what we already know.  The "o" in God begins to be pronounced "oh" instead of "awe".

A friend recommended a Bible study.  Behold Your God is a 12 week curriculum consisting of daily workbook exercises and a weekly DVD lecture.  It was produced by a guy I never heard of.   After looking at the web site I decided it was probably yet another case of someone taking a few great doctrines, pre-digesting them to remove most of the flavor, putting them in a slick media package, and charging way too much.

Fortunately my parents are not as "discerning" as I am.  They bought a set.  We started the study as a family.  Within a few days, I began realizing that this "guy I never heard of" was actually presenting meaty truths about God in a very penetrating, insightful way -- as if he did not merely know the truths, but had experienced them.  He navigated through precarious theological concepts, where many another teacher has wandered into error, with remarkable precision and fidelity to Scripture.
The study left me with a new level of wonder about and joy in God.  I have discovered more facets of His character that I have not yet explored.  And it is clearer than ever how His character should affect mine.

Buy a set, find a few Christian friends, and dig in together.  If you can't afford it, sell something!  Seriously!

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Best $1.50 I Ever Spent

I may lose some heavenly rewards for telling you about this, but hopefully it will result in you getting a few of your own.

Recently I was in Safeway, checking out.  The bedraggled-looking guy in line behind me was holding only a bag of chips.  I remembered reading a Mark Cahill* newsletter four months ago about using random acts of generosity to honor Jesus.  As the cashier finished scanning my items, I told her, "I'll buy his chips."  She was stunned.  So was the man.  I told him, "Jesus said, "It's more blessed to give than to receive.  I've found that to be true."  (I wish I had said, "He's been so generous to me by dying to take the punishment for my sins."  Hopefully next time.)  He looked me square in the face and said, "Thank you for living out the gospel."

I only regret that I took so long to try Mark's idea.  Don't be so slow!

* I recommend reading the newsletter I linked to, but this does not mean I endorse everything else Mark Cahill has written or said.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Samsung, Muharrem, and Jesus

This video is well worth your three minutes.

If non-Christians can do something so wonderful simply to promote Samsung, why can't Christians do stuff like that to promote the glory of Jesus?  I mean that.  It would be wonderful for Jesus-followers to conspire together and go to great trouble to bless specific people who haven't earned a blessing. 

In fact, Jesus Himself is already doing that.  He plans intricate timings, complicated sequences of causes and effects to bless specific people, and not just for a month in advance like this one.  Some of Jesus' plots take hundreds or thousands of years to come together.  And while Samsung showed kindness to a gentle man unable to hear, Jesus shows mercy to His enemies -- rebels unwilling to hear His voice!

Let us go and do likewise.