The Man born Blind

The book of Job says, “For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground, but man is born to trouble as (sure as) the sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:6-7) Evil, pain, and suffering are nothing new to any of us. 

Sometimes we’re tempted to look at it as a philosophical issue but a few years back I was struck by the truth of the matter: the problem of pain is an issue of the heart. Take C.S. Lewis as an example. Lewis wrote one of the greatest philosophical treatise on pain ever penned; The Problem of Pain. However, the content of his book brought little comfort in the midst of losing his wife, Joy, as any one having read A Grief Observed will attest. It is so harsh that it was originally published under a pseudonym so as to not ruin Lewis’ public persona. Those troubling pages document Lewis’s deep doubt, anger, fear, and bitterness – emotions most anyone in the same position would feel. Why? Didn’t he understand the issue? Was what he wrote in The Problem of Pain all wrong?  [Read more…]

Hope in Troubling Times

AdventChapter 24 of Luke’s Gospel shares a compelling story. Beginning in verse 13 we learn of two men walking to the village of Emmaus, a seven mile journey, & they were discussing the current buzz on the street, during which the resurrected Jesus joined them, & entered into the conversation. Read Luke 24:13-27 yourself for the full story, but the tale is a peculiar one. [Read more…]

Resolutions for the “Dark Night”: Worship in the Valley

Everyone faces times of trouble – their own “Dark Night of the Soul”, while walking through the valley. It seems the whole world is there presently. How do we continue to serve others & walk with God when walking through the valley of the shadow of death?

One of my spiritual heroes, Jonathan Edwards, was keen on making ‘resolutions.’ Much like Edwards, I have made a list of resolutions to strengthen my walk during the hard times: [Read more…]

Worship IS about Singing

In part 1, I AM NOT THE WORSHIP LEADER, we saw that it’s Christ who’s opened a way into God’s presence, so we merely point to Him.  In part 2, WORSHIP IS NOT ABOUT SINGING we saw that worship was about a whole life – heart, mind, soul, and strength – given over to God to proclaim and display His glory.  If someone doesn’t live under this Lordship – which is Kingdom living – it doesn’t matter what they confess as some incantation: NO AMOUNT OF PASSIONATE SINGING CAN CHANGE WHAT KINGDOM YOU ARE A PART OF! [Read more…]

Worship is NOT about Singing

Most recently we saw that we are unable to actually lead anyone into the presence of God in any ultimate sense, for that is Christ’s job – it was accomplished by his work on the cross, and is applied in the present by the Father’s call, and the Spirit’s work in our hearts. However, there is a sense in which we do fulfill an important roll in the Body of Christ as a “Worship Leader”, but without a Biblical understanding of what worship is, we’ll never fulfill that roll.

What makes you feel valued? Gifts? A phone call? Has anyone ever sung – or better yet, written – a song for you? Speaking to the fellows – Guys, if you know that you aren’t the most attractive pup in the litter and you want to get married one day, buy an instrument NOW, and START WRITING! It can be a very effective dating tool! [Read more…]