Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Shack

You would make fun of me if I you knew how slowly I read.

I've taken to reading more fiction lately and I'm learning to read a little more quickly. Tom Clancy is really fun. I wanna be like Jack Ryan sometimes…

So, I haven't made it to reading the Shack yet.

But in reading about the shack, and its being so popular that I haven't even had to read it myself because I've had others read it to me (thanks Joel), this is the best take I've seen on how to handle its good points and bad points together.

Friday, September 04, 2009

what happened...

Two thousand years ago, God wrote himself into human history in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
He lived a perfect life, yet many people did not recognize him. He was killed by those people.
Three days after his murder, he rose from the dead.

Sin causes death. We're all sinners, and we'll all eventually die. Jesus wasn't a sinner, but he died and then conquered sin. It couldn't hold him down.

We can't interact with God the way we were meant to because of our sin.
Through trust in Jesus' death as the substitute for our sin and impending death, we are connected anew to God and spiritually salvaged from death itself.
This new relationship with God so radically changes everything, its as if you were born all over again and sin can't hold you down. Its a brand new way to live.

Now, imagine that... and hold, keep and maintain that vision in your mind and heart. Trust the beauty and truth of what happened two thousand years ago, follow Jesus, trust him alone to save you, and walk with him in new life.

Men Like Trees Walking

Last night I taught through one of my favorite chapters in the bible.

That sounds weird - a favorite chapter?

You better believe it, just act like you know… this is really cool.

See, the people who wrote books of the bible didn't fall into a trance and pull a "Stairway to Heaven" and mysteriously produce a bunch of stories.

Things are written in the order that they are, to make a point.

So Mark 8; One bread miracle, next to an account of an argument with religious jerks, next to an illustration about multiple forms of "yeast", next to a weird halfway-then-all-the-way-healing of blindness, next to a confession from Peter that Jesus is the Messiah, next to that Messiah referring to Peter as Satan because of his bad yeast.

This whole chapter shines light on God's provision and Jesus identity, the sin of legalism and how it misses that identity, how the disciples can be so blind as to miss the truth and meaning of Jesus identity, next to an illustrative healing of how receiving "sight" itself works, to Peter's correct "sighting", to Peter's blindness to the implications of his newfound sight… to Jesus correcting Peter sight (for a "second time") by telling him that the coming kingdom and following Him involves bearing a cross…