One of the most important posts on this blog is entitled A Faith Forged in Relationship. There I write, “God doesn’t ask us to trust him blindly. In Scripture and in our lives, he has always revealed himself…revealed his character and made sure that we never have to trust in One we don’t know or understand.”
Each day I opened my apartment door to a breathtaking close-up of Mount Fuji. Often I’d stand for minutes gazing at it, studying it: the timberline, the crevasses, the snow capped peak, when it wasn’t shrouded in clouds. The volcano towered over the coastal region, the land rising from sea level to over 12,300 feet in less than 40 miles.
From Fujinomiya where I lived, the mountain stood about 22 miles away, but it appeared to be “in the backyard,” affirming to me the scale of colossal things. Our Sun is 93 million miles away and still appears as a sizeable disk in the sky. Yet the Sun’s actual diameter is nearly 110 times the Earth’s diameter, like comparing the height of a nickel to a door. Beside it we would see nothing else but it.
The culture can be a real drag on spiritual growth. I’m not naïve enough to believe that the earliest Christians didn’t have their struggles drawing close to God; otherwise, Paul would not have advised, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it even without thinking” (Rom. 12:2, MSG). But modern-day Christians must constantly recalibrate relative to technology and invention, things without conscience but powerful enough to dictate it, which raises serious concerns.
In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being consumed or affected. A catalyst can also be a person whose energy causes others to become enthusiastic or lively. We like those people. We usually use the word to mean a person or thing that hastens an event or a change.
These definitions kinda describe God, wouldn’t you say? He is the cause of everything: the universe, life, beauty, goodness. Yet he is not depleted. Creation is suffused with his glory, but that wonder remains constant. Continue reading
I was ambushed in college by a group of peers who sought to repay me for teasing one of their own. In fact, they kidnapped me. I was rushed upon in my own room and, as I tell it in The Day I Got Checkmated, “I fought as I had never done before, amazing myself as I beat back two at a time, wildly slinging some away and knocking others to the ground.” It was the most momentous fight I’ve ever had, even if only a friendly one.
“God called me. God equipped me. God empowered me. God opened doors for me. So my qualifications, or lack thereof, were relatively irrelevant.”
Unqualified is the fourth book by Steven Furtick, the hip, 30’s year-old lead pastor of the thriving Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. The book is subtitled “How God uses broken people to do big things”.
According to Furtick, the subject has always been one that troubled him. But he finally wrote the book after discovering a YouTube video of a favorite Christian pastor and theologian commenting on him, which he discusses at the outset. Continue reading
“We are a church culture that ranks sins.”
from Leave None Behind