Saturday, July 28, 2007

God in History

"Most of us have a difficult time understanding history with God as the major and definitive presence. We have grown up getting our sense of history from so-called historians, scholars, and journalists for whom God is not germane or present in what they study and write. We are thoroughly trained by our schools, daily papers, and telecasts to read history solely in terms of politics and economics, human interest and environmental conditions, military operations and diplomatic intrigue. If we have a mind for it, we can go ahead and fit God in somewhere or other. But the biblical writers do it the other way around; they fit us into the history in which God is the primary reality."- Eugene Peterson
Been reading a brilliant book by Eugene Peterson over the past weeks reassuring myself of God's wonderful work in this world (most perfectly displayed in the life, death and resurrection of Christ). One of the things most 'reassuring' about Peterson's marvelous insight is the reminder he gives that God is fully at work in our every-day run of the mill lives. God does not need to work distinct from our reality He loves to be fully alive in us as we do whatever we do for most of the day.
The powerful words I have quoted above are a poignant challenge to not only secular society, but to Christians who are being won over by the views of said secular society.
Here is the call folks: If we are immersed in the information overload offered by those who will not include God (and I assure you He is not awaiting an invitation He is everywhere present) we will lose sight of God for ourselves.
Peterson calls believers to return the notion of sabbath, to rest in awe and wonder at the person of God and His work in creation. We must remove ourselves from 'history' sometimes and look fully and humbly at all that God is and has done. When we do not do this, when we do not stop and wonder, we will lose our connection to God, we will forget Him and be defined by secularity.
His word, silent meditation, and getting away to a place where we are confronted by the naked beauty of God's creation shouting forth the glory of God are all means of seeing God again, feeling Him, loving Him, dreaming Him, knowing Him and above all worshiping Him.
Please let us not be defined by those who for now have removed God from 'history' because at the end of this section of 'history' they too will bow the knee and confess that "Jesus is King!"

Monday, July 23, 2007


Watched Babel ( last night. This is the latest movie by Alejandro Gonzalez who brought us 21 Grams & Amores Perros among others. He is certainly a man who thinks hard as a he formulates a plot that will take us on a global journey as well as on a soul journey. As one watches the drama unfold one is taken not only to the four corners of our world but also deep into the core of who we are as persons. A tag line for this movie is that pain is universal. After watching the movie my wife asked what was it that connected the four ongoing stories that make the whole and it is just that pain! Whether one is part of a destitute Morrocan farming family, an immensely wealthy Japanese businessman or a Mexican immigrant working illegally in the USA one thing that is capable of connecting us is pain.

Pain obviously can be encountered in a plethora of ways. Where there is absolute financial security for one there can be a chasm of despair due to the loss of a loved one; where there is freedom from all the cares of the Western rat-race there can be the consuming struggle of poverty. Yet the reality of pain is certain, there is not a people group, race, financial bracket that will escape this reality. In the movie Babel, an incident in Morrocco starts a chain that not only amazes you due to the connectedness of those thousands of miles apart, but a chain of revelation, revelation that aside from the physical connectedness there is this 'soul' connectedness- each personal-narrative is connected by this meta-narrative of pain being part of our human existence.

There are not enough blogs in the world that could transfer the information necessary for us to understand and accept pain. Mainly because an information transfer is not what is needed. Redemption is what is needed, a restoration to an existence where pain is not 'part of the norm.' That existence is not part of this world though. C.S. Lewis (an Irish Christian who taught at Oxford university) touched briefly on this in his book The Problem of Pain as he speaks of one of the major factors of pain. Breathe these words in
The possibility of pain is inherent in the very existence of a world where souls can meet. When souls become wicked they will certainly use this possibility to hurt one another. (Pg. 70)
Lewis seems to speak into the overarching plot of Babel in this brief comment and he brings it down to a matter of the need for a change in the human make-up, a soul-change. None of the pain in the storyline of Babel is outside of man and his propensity to hurt another. From a 10 year old Morroccan to an aged Mexican, all appear to have this default setting. There is a need for a 'redemption' of this default setting within each individual before there can be hope of the redemption of our world. Christ claimed this power stating to many, "Go away your sins are forgiven." He makes souls new, redeems individuals and certainly, I believe, is in the process of bringing about the thorough renewal of this world.
Babel reminds me that I, as one who knows this great story of redemption, have much work to do to tell a pain-filled 'global village' about this wonderful redeemer! And you?

Saturday, July 21, 2007


'His love is made complete in us' These words are found in the 4th chapter of the Apostle John's epistle within the Holy Bible. There is an astounding truth that these words encapsulate. A truth that strikes me at the core of my being and causes me to linger on the immensity of what is declared in these 7 words.
As someone who does not believe that there is a loving creator God who extends His love to us through the joy of daily life, our relationships, and most spectacularly through the in-flesh God- Jesus- who displayed the true intensity of God's love for us through sacrificial death these words may mean little. But for me, one who has been arrested by an overtaking 'knowledge' of this loving creator God these words are startling.
Here, very briefly, my thoughts:
There is a God, and if He is the essence of those three letters then He is all loving, all knowing, all powerful, everywhere present, eternal (or else He cannot be God), who in His very nature has love for us and wants us to know this love. Yet in His outworking of things He knows that the most obvious, should I say most real way of being loved as a person is to be loved by another person. (For if God did just show up and say, "I love You," the shock would overwhelm the sense of hearing, and all other senses I reckon) Therefore, we are told that we, those who have encountered this most pure of loves, this most excellent of loves- the particular life-changing love of God for man- are the conduits of divine love to a world living mostly without any knowledge of such love.
Any manner of person who is unloved, from the widow and orphan to the cocaine-addicted super-celebrity- is unloved because we are not fulfilling our role. James another apostle says it real well when he notes that for someone to say they love someone and yet do nothing about it is pretty much absurd. We are the means of bringing the love of God to others. There is this Tsunami wave of divine love enough to affect all of us on this planet but often hold back by me, or you!
What a thought. All can know His love, He says He desires that all will, but in His mighty way of organising reality it is us who are to show that love.
So where are we on this? How much are we restraining the love of God?
Are we making complete the love of God or are we a break in the circuit. Maybe we are a 'love rebel' who is too self-loving, consumed in fulfilling personal ambition, busy climbing the career ladder, doing all sorts of Christian activity without any love for those who are unloved. Completion of the love of God! It's our call!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Life seems to be all about beginnings. This is a beginning for me- the beginning of presenting my thoughts to a world that really may not want to know. This seems to be a risk that very few fear today. It may be that they think a lot of their musings, a kind of 'Of course the world wants to know' attitude. There are thoughts that count, thoughts that really count and then there are the thoughts of the one who really counts.
These are the thoughts of the one who thought before the word thought came into existence. In fact it was the speaking out of His thoughts that was Genesis- The Beginning. This is the one who possesses being within His very essence, unlike all of us who throw our thoughts on to this internet thingy who are all created, all with our own beginnings and ends while Him who lives without a Genesis of His own will have no end.
Anyway, there has been another beginning for me and this one of the most glorious ones I could ever be a part of. The beginning of fatherhood. Unto me a son was born some 6 Weeks ago- Malachi Jude a little 'Warrior prophet.'
This is something that I want to blog on often. For now the brith itself...
This may be one of the only remaining truly sublime experiences left to us as mankind. There are a lot of false ones, those presented by our modern consumeristic world, but they all fall short of this one that stands with purity in a category known as miraculous.
What a wonderful thing, a range of emotions that virtually leave you shattered, without anything 'left in the tank' so to speak. The joy, sorrow, pain, anger, frustration, wonder, excitement, love, concern, desire, expectation, and so much more. There is a thorough immersing in the event but also a radical disconnect as you do not get to be fully involved until that moment that the little one appears. Fragility, life, weakness, need, beauty, person appears and the heart is extended so to speak it gives birth itself to a whole new realm of love, an overpowering one as you and your beloved have a whole new avenue of expression as a couple extended towards this life that is from you. What a truly marvelous Genesis. Beginnings, rooted in Him who has no beginning. What a joy to participate and live life within His glorious reality and have beginnings of our own submitted to His glory and given by His startling grace!