Dirge of the Wretched

courtroom-interior

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I sat in the courtroom for jury duty and thought about the people and situations that featured there. My mind flitted about, thinking of the accounts they told while in the dock. Good and bad folk came to accuse and defend, but only the truth mattered here, although sometimes it must have been hard to confess. Truth reveals. As a juror I was “the system”, a peer to try my peers; yet I concluded how little difference there was between me and them, the ones who really were guilty. The only divergence I could posit was they acted on impulses I denied.

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Book Review: (Un)Qualified by Steven Furtick

Unqualified

“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

God’s Love, Our Security

The Unfailing Love of God Series

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” IN ALL THINGS, God is at work. Often we do not read this scripture correctly with God as the subject of the verse.

CC NC, Kat N.L.M., Flickr

CC NC, Kat N.L.M., Flickr

“All things work together” because God causes them to do so. The family member’s addiction, the boss’s malice, and the devastating illness are incapable of rendering good of their own accord. Evil, sorrow, and the fallen, sinful world do not produce or lead to good things. So we may not be able to thank God for all things, but we can learn to thank him for refining our lives in our trials. Continue reading

God’s Pure Love

The Unfailing Love of God Series

God only loves us. The hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” signals this by saying, “There is no shadow of turning with Thee.” Our Father evinces no hint or trace of dishonesty or grudge.

CC NC, Julie Falk, Flickr

CC NC, Julie Falk, Flickr

He is indeed dissatisfied that a sinner should remain in sin and that a believer should cling to it in some way. But his affection for all of us is our contentment and prosperity in every way. Such personality will force people to wonder, Who is this God? His profile is so different from ours and contrary to the image many hold of “God.” Continue reading

God’s Unrelenting Love

The Unfailing Love of God Series

I’m not a parent and I wonder if parents might possess a fuller understanding of God’s love. Still, the picture gets clearer for me when I consider my relationship toward some in my family.

CC BY-NC-ND, Blanca Lanaspa, Flickr

CC NC-ND, Blanca Lanaspa, Flickr

I have a young nephew who esteems his uncle more than he does any other aunt or uncle in the family. I’m not sure how this happened, but, boy, does it feel great! A photo of us together makes me teary because I know he loves me unconditionally when I know how many unlovable things there are about me. Continue reading