The Bighorns

A hike up a mountain is full of disappointments; the way is marked by false, unmet expectations, some obvious and maddening, most insignificant, unnoticed, never rising to the level of conscious awareness. But together they conspire in a liturgy of despair; a training of head, heart, will, body, soul, and imagination in a reality in which disappointment is at the bottom of things; a kind of anti-discipleship whose master asks, “Is it really worth it?” It’s this pedagogy of futility that most threatens my desire and intention to go on; it’s the barrage of disappointments, of expectations unmet.

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Reflections on Lamentation

We recently encountered David’s lamentation on the deaths of Jonathan and Saul right in the center of our study on 1 & 2 Samuel. Not only is this a reminder of the God-honoring act of lamentation, and a model of how to do it well, but it is a reminder that heartfelt lament is not contrary to a life of faith and trust in our sovereign and powerful God.

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The Reformation: Why a Five-Hundred-Year-Old Event Still Matters

Often when I’m interacting with unbelievers about the Bible, they will ask, “Why should I trust a 2,000-year-old book?”, as if truth had some sort of expiration date.  Which brings us to the Reformation, an event that happened 500 years ago during the Renaissance (age of rebirth) in Europe.  Why should we care about the Reformation?

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Blind Men Everywhere: Thoughts on Mark 8

As he winds his way through these regions, he is surrounded by blind men.  They are everywhere! His disciples only can see their need for bread. The Pharisees only see their mousetrap set for Jesus and long to bait it with a “sign.” The crowds on a hillside are eager only to be fed with the bread of this world. Finally, in the midst of the tour, a physically blind man is brought to him in Bethsaida and Jesus stops the train.

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Superfluous Prayer and the Spirit Who Enables It

On the other hand, a healthy Father-child relationship is marked by trust and confidence in the Father. As we pray, and as we see (even seemingly superfluous) prayers answered again and again, our trust and confidence in God’s fatherly care for us matures. By regularly turning to him at all times in all our need, by regularly and knowingly receiving from him all our needs, we live more deeply into our filial relationship to him.

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The Christian Life as Discipleship

The Christian life is marked by a life of discipleship, both in being a disciple of Jesus and in discipling others.  On this retreat weekend with special guest Ryan Griffith, we looked at what exactly discipleship means, the cost and joy of our own discipleship and discipling others, the practical example that Paul gives us to follow, and the power we have in Jesus' name to disciple.

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2017 Annual Report

This letter to our Grace Church (GCD) Body will do double-duty: it is my contribution to our January Graceful Living and also our 2017 Annual Report. In Graceful Living it will introduce a new format you’ll see in our printed Annual Report, and in that document it will introduce similar letters from other ministry leaders that give praise to God for all He accomplished here in 2016.

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God Will Clothe Your Weakness with Power

If you want to experience the power of God at work in you, and watch the power of God move through you, and witness the power of God rescuing dead and dying people because of you, boldly tell the world that Jesus is your Lord, Savior, and greatest Treasure. Bear the name of Christ in what you do and what you say. There is nothing the Holy Spirit is happier to do through you than to make much of Jesus.

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