The Tension--An Ostrich, A Mystery & The Wail of Contentment

Over the last few months, I have had the privilege of getting to know Timothy Willard. Willard is a deep thinker and wonderful writer. Today, he continues the discussion of the creeping prosperity gospel by discussing the tension between what God promises and what he doesn't.

I have been tasked with discussing the tension between suffering and blessing as it relates to life on planet earth and God's so-called control over both. I say so-called because many of us look at the atrocities in the world and wonder, "How can a loving God allow this?"

I don't pretend to know the answer to this question. I am, however, at ease with the lingering mystery of it. A haunting mystery really.

I will not repeat the discussion around suffering and blessing. You and I know the questions and the lack of answers and the debates. I want to look at how God built a transcendental framework around an ostrich.


Continue reading at A Deeper Church.

The Saturdaily: On the Church

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"The Saturdaily" is a weekly roundup of good writing, reading, and listening. Check out this week's list.

On Wednesday night, David prayed over Amber and me, prayed that we'd be "ironic champions for the church." Maybe we're headed that way, but that's a heavy mantel. And of the irony, perhaps I'll write about that one day. But for now, I'll just leave it at celebrating some good folks who are writing about Jesus and his body--the church.

1.  Amber writes about the church, how it taught her to party, how to celebrate in a way that points heavenward. Of the grand future feast she writes:

They’ll be feasting in glory, but I’m certain it’ll be organic food (with maybe a tiny side of that awesome casserole), and I’m betting, too, the table won’t feel full of a bunch of strangers sitting on secrets, asking “How bout them Hogs.”

I love the way Amber writes (and not just because we're hitched up). Read her word pictures in Made for the Party.

2.  Winn Collier darn near undid me this week with his piece about Jesus' interaction with adulterous woman in the Gospel of John. He writes:

Reams have been written on what Jesus scribbled on that street, but I’m more intrigued by the fact that Jesus bent low. This posture of humble tenderness was entirely at odds with the highly charged moment.

This is the posture of our servant-God, the bend low, how he did not count equality with God something to be grasped but counted himself as nothing. (See Philippians 2).

3. Using Winn's piece as a prompt, and this week's news regarding the possibility that Jesus had a wife, John Blase wrote a short piece of fiction, an apocryphal tale if you will. He doesn't claim it to be fact, but it is a moving narrative. Of the words Jesus wrote in the ground, John writes:

One of the older men came back that evening to fetch a cloak he’d left behind. He paused at the scene to read two words etched in dust: my friend.

4.  Timothy Willard is quickly becoming one of my favorite reads on the internet. Weekly, or thereabouts, Tim writes what he calls the "Prayer Series," a short devotional to jump-start the weekend. This week he writes about groping for God. He asks, "how will you, today, grope for God—straining for Him and his goodness with every ounce of your will and every fiber of your intellect?" Click here to subscribe to the Prayer Series.

5.  And speaking of A Deeper Church, I hope you'll stop by the Facebook page today and give it a like. Also, consider subscribing to the RSS feed. There is good stuff happening there.

Finally, I stumbled across this song by HoneyHoney, speaking to depravity, loyalty, and love. This might be my new favorite song... at least for today.

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