Monthly Archives: February 2011

Web Zen…

Do not covet your ideas…



To the Excellencies and officials of Europe…

‘To the Excellencies and officials of Europe: We suffer enormously in Africa. Help us. We have problems in Africa. We lack rights as children. We have war and illness, we lack food…We want to study, and we ask you to help us to study so we can be like you, in Africa.”

-Message found on the bodies of Guinean teenagers Yaguine Koita and Fode Tounkara, stowaways who died attempting to reach Europe in the landing gear of an airliner

The God-breathed Book…

 

“If God has inspired a Book as the foundation of the Christian faith, there is a massive impulse unleashed in the world to teach people how to read. And if God ordained for some of that precious, God-breathed Book to be hard to understand, then God also unleashed an impulse to teach people how to think about what they read—how to read hard things and understand them, and how to use the mind in a rigorous way. Therefore, we endeavor in all of our intellectual inquiry to love God with our minds by thinking deeply and humbly about his word and his works.”

-From the Bethlehem College and Seminary Mission Statement

Red as crimson…

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:18)

 

 

Christian consciousness…

“Christian consciousness begins in the painful realization that what we had assumed was the truth is in fact a lie. Prayer is immediate: “Deliver me from the liars, God! They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth” (Ps 120). Rescue me from the lies of advertisers who claim to know what I need and what I desire, from the lies of entertainers who promise a cheap way to joy, from the lies of politicians who pretend to instruct me in power and morality, from the lies of psychologists who offer to shape my behavior and my morals so that I will live long, happily and successfully, from the lies of religionists who ‘heal the wounds of this people lightly,’ from the lies of moralists who pretend to promote me to the office of captain of my fate, from the lies of pastors who ‘get rid of God’s command so you won’t be inconvenienced in following the religious fashions” (Mt 7:8). Rescue me from the person who tells me of life and omits Christ, who is wise in the ways of the world and ignores the movement of the Spirit.

The lies are impeccably factual. They contain no errors. There are no distortions or falsified data. But they are lies all the same, because they claim to tell us who we are and omit everything about our origin in God and our destiny in God. They talk about the world without telling us that God made it. They tell us about our bodies without telling us that they are temples of the Holy Spirit. They instruct us in love without telling us about the God who loves us and gave himself for us” – Eugene Peterson P28 in ‘A Long Obedience in the Same Direction’

I am currently reading this book by Eugene Peterson who is an author pretty much in a league of his own. He resonates a wisdom and clarity that only comes from decades in the ministry, decades reading (and in his case translating) the Bible and decades praying and communing with God. I respect what he says and always have time to listen to his take on any issue. I’m reading ‘A Long Obedience in the Same Direction’ because I know consistency  is something I lack and it is something I want. On second thought, it’s something I need.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the lies I’m fed and the lies I feed myself. Every day I have the choice to dwell on my own insecurities or to see them for what they are and move on (however hard and seemingly unsuccessful that process may be). I can choose to see the best in people instead of doubting their motives and intentions. I can choose to keep stepping forward even though it feels like I’m going nowhere. In short, we all choose to lead the lives that we do. We can choose to fester in the lies of the world and try to make sense of everything around us amidst that haze. Or we can acknowledge that a weltanschauung that excludes God and His workings in our world and in our lives is necessarily incomplete.

I must say that i think these things are always much easier said than done…the motif of consistency seems to be the shadow of my life at the moment.

A counselor…a man or women of the Bible

“A counsellor is not simply an encourager or an amateur psychologist, he is a man or women of the Bible who knows when or how to guide others into what he or she knows from the Scriptures” – Michael Eaton