I don’t like to do this, but there are lots of things I want to post about, some of which are calling for more lengthy posts and some just needing a bullet-point. So I’m just going to bullet-point a bunch of them, in no particular order. The reason I’m going to do this can be seen in #1.
- When people ask how my semester is going, a lot of times the most honest answer is “busy.” When Cindi answers for me, she says “crazy.” I answer the way I do because I value honesty. I sincerely don’t think that I’ve ever had a more hectic semester overall. But I’m trying to answer this way less, because I hate negativity and I don’t like being seen as the busy guy who doesn’t have time for anything. Plus, one of the most dangerous and self-deceiving lies that busy people tell themselves is that they’re busier than everyone else. I try hard not to think this way because it’s prideful, selfish, self-pitying, condescending, and personally demotivating. I don’t know if I have a clear reason for saying all of this — I’m just thinking out loud and reflecting on the fact that I’ve realized a big downside to telling people you’re busy.
- My good friend Juan Moncayo is promoting a CD for charity through the Christian clothing company he ministers with called One Truth. All the proceeds go to Lifewater International, a ministry that seeks to teach third-world people how to gain access to clean water. For those of us who’ve never once worried about whether or not our water was clean, it’s hard to understand the value of it. Hopefully our sanctified imaginations can produce understanding and compassion in this regard. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to buy the CD, called Friends with Microphones.
- I’m very saddened by the Ted Haggard situation. I shudder to think how many more believers are living in hidden sin. I wonder how many of you reading this are living in hidden sin. If you are, stop believing the lie. Confess your sin to God, trust His forgiveness, repent and turn to the joy of holiness, and tell someone about your sin and get help so that you’re not alone and unsupported and unchallenged.
- There are not many things more valuable than a clear conscience. I’ve lived with both a condemning conscience and a pure one. The one eats at your soul. The other brings perfect peace.
- Almost everyone you encounter on a given day is facing a significant trial in their lives, whether they look like it or not. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I think we would all be more encouraging to those around us if we took this into account. The world and the human race is cursed, and even those who have been redeemed by Christ live with the devastation. Thinking about this when passing people on the sidewalk may make life more weighty and less chipper, but I think it would cause us to be more effective in the redemptive cause for which we exist. By all means laugh and enjoy life, but with a sobriety that befits human suffering.
- One way to make truth look ugly is to pit it against complementary truth. This is especially true when it comes to the character of God. You can emphasize God’s love so much that you end up forcing it into a theological cage match with God’s wrath. Or you can talk about His justice in a way that eviscerates His goodness. But God is both judge and grace-giver, and neither of these takes the edge off the other. Making false antitheses does nothing but mar the face of truth and cause people to recoil when it is presented. Overemphasis and underemphasis do not serve truth; they adulterate it.
- We took another small step in our adoption today, but not one that changes the timetable or makes things more certain. What do you do when something is uncertain? You turn to what is certain — God, His character, and His Word. This is one of God’s main purposes in trials — to shake the ground beneath us so hard that we run ’til we find ground that’s unshakeable.
Thanks for your comments and kind words from time to time. They’re encouraging. My life is as broken and desperate as the next person’s, and an uplifting word is medicine for the soul. May these words be that for you today.