🖊 Journaling through Colossians 2:11-22 today.
God is indeed a God of righteous order, not only organization in itself.
God does not stand for any law for law’s sake, even laws that are just.
For instance, it is just (and thus necessary) that I should die for my sin. My sin naturally leads me to death and necessarily condemns me to die. Nevertheless God finds a way through that law in Christ to bring a deeper justice, and deeper righteousness, in making me right.
The just law stands–my sinful self will die–but somehow something else mysterious and profound also happens because of Jesus: I nevertheless live on, a new creation no longer tainted by sin, healed and whole.
God will always pursue the highest good, and people getting what they deserve is–according to God’s work in Christ–not the highest good. Rather, reconciliation, and restoration are what he is after.
This is Love, and Love is the highest and deepest law!
Any law that stands in the way of that deep justice, that deep righteousness, that deep love that makes me right–God has no problem nailing it to a cross.
I find that the way to right-ness, true righteousness, is not so much a matter of what I do but who I love. The only way to overcome the indulgences of the sinful nature is cultivate a desire than runs deeper, a desire for Christ, a willingness to let go of all other things and take hold of nothing but him.
More and more I am finding that believing in Christ and his healing work of mercy in me is the only way to rest.
I do not have to fight to have Christ.
He has already been blessed, broken, given. His Spirit has been poured out in me. I already have him, and he’s all there is to life.
I already have him.
Oh God, thank you.
Got this Topical Memory System to begin working through Bible memorization with my kids. Surprisingly they are pretty excited about it!
Really beautiful morning at church today.
Fr. Esau McCaulley, writing for the Washington post: ‘Jesus Is King’ and Kanye West is a tax collector
🎵 Fave track so far on the new Kanye album: “Use This Gospel,” cause lyrics…and the Kenny G sax solo.
🎵 JESUS IS KING by Kanye West
🎵 New original music: SYNTHS // GRIDS // SUNSETS ON IPHONE 🏎🌴🌇
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” - Pablo Picasso
Image: The Old Guitarist
A moment of harmony. From my time at The Casa last week.
From Kenneth Robertson’s Facebook this morning:
I’ve always dreaded the repetitiveness of Psalm 119, and recently the daily lectionary readings I follow brought me to it again. I braced myself for the slog: but then I remembered when a seminary professor counseled us to substitute “Christ” or “way of Christ” for every reference to the law/testimonies/statutes etc, since Christ is the fulfillment of the law that the psalmist was praising. So I tried it.
New favorite psalm.
What a wonderful insight. It strikes me this could be useful throughout the Old Testament.
🍻 Deschutes Black Butte Porter 💨 Country Squire Parson’s Blend
Absolute match made in heaven.
Apple removes app used in Hong Kong protests after pressure from China - The Verge Massive tech companies like Google and Apple aren’t just influential…they are powerful.
🍿 Joker (2019) micro-review:
An aesthetically beautiful film that’s difficult viewing at the same time; Joker is unsettling, sad, and shocking. There’s no apologetic for violence here. Rather, the narrative suggests partial explanations. Destined to be a comic book film classic.
Rwanda’s Mara X, Z are the first smartphones made fully in Africa
This is awesome! Would love to see these available to purchase in the USA!
🍿 Joker (2019). Highly anticipating this film.
Nothing is more perilous than to be weary of the Word of God. Thinking he knows enough, a person begins little by little to despise the Word until he has lost Christ and the gospel altogether.
—Martin Luther, Galatians Commentary (on 2:14–16)
Craig Brian Larson and Phyllis Ten Elshof, 1001 Illustrations That Connect, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2008), 24.
Seen on reddit
Median home value in 1950: ~$7,500
Median household income in 1950: ~$3,300
1950 median yearly earnings to purchase a home: ~2.3
Median home value in 2018: ~$325,000
Median household income in 2018: ~$63,200
2018 median yearly earnings to purchase a home: ~5.14
Average amount paid to CEOs over worker in 1950: 20x
Average amount paid to CEOs over worker in 2018: 360x
Would like to see sources.
There are journeys for which we not only do not have a map, but we have no resources for drawing one, either. We must allow God to lead us on the right path.
Note: this was originally published for The Anglican Mission in America blog.
Shortly after I began speaking with my pastor about the possibility of pursuing ordination with The Anglican Mission, he passed a copy of Michael Ramsey’s classic The Christian Priest Today my way.
Of course, I had no idea that this little book was by a former Archbishop of Canterbury, or that it was originally a set of addresses to candidates for ordination in the ’70s. As I’ve continued to digest the simple, yet profound wisdom in Michael Ramsey’s The Christian Priest Today, it’s become apparent to me why it’s remained pertinent for over four decades. I suspect it will endure many more.
In today’s world of marketing-speak and leadership-culture-infused ministry books, The Christian Priest Today is a breath of fresh air. Ramsey delves deep into what it means to be a pastor, a shepherd of souls. Discussions about developing your “personal brand,” and “leadership strategy” are blessedly absent. Not that there’s anything inherently or necessarily wrong with understanding how to apply those ideas to ministry, but something feels right about the simple way Ramsey speaks of preaching Jesus, living a life of prayer and cultivating a humble heart.
Although The Christian Priest Today is approaching the half-century mark from its first publication, Ramsey’s simple and direct style reinforce the underlying timelessness of his observations regarding the pastoral roles of deacon and priest and bishop. It remains fresh because Ramsey wasn’t seeking to be “cutting edge” (though he didn’t avoid contemporary issues) about a practice and vocation that itself is fundamentally timeless.
I was reminded that shepherding souls will always transcend leadership trends, business strategies, and academic accomplishments. Ramsey’s book gently re-taught me that pastoring has always been and will always be about bringing people to Jesus, pointing people to Jesus, telling people about Jesus.
A few nuggets of wisdom that were impressed on my heart and mind as I read:
“We are called, near to Jesus and with Jesus and in Jesus, to be with God with the people on our heart. That is what you will be promising [in your ordination vows]” (p. 14).
“Let those who are glad to be Catholics or Evangelicals or Liberals set themselves to learn all they can from one another, for the partisan can soon become a person who loves his own apprehension of the truth more than Christ who is the truth, and himself more than either” (p. 72).
“Be ready to accept humiliations. They can hurt terribly, but they help you to be humble…these can be so many changes to be a little nearer to our humble and crucified Lord. There is nothing to fear if you are in his hands.” (p. 80)
“Jesus Christ is himself the gospel we preach…He is himself the essence of the good news” (p. 27)
The Christian Priest Today is the sort of book I can imagine re-reading every year or two, just to help re-center on why I do what I do. It is the sort of book I can imagine giving other young pastors (because if you could only give one book on the pastoral ministry, this would be a strong candidate). It is the sort of book that remains in your thoughts and on your heart long after you’ve finished.
The Christian Priest Today by Michael Ramsey invites you to be refreshed by what God is doing in and through the ordained ministry, by calling you to re-focus on the heart of the Christian faith: the person of Jesus.
In a perfect world, I might be iOS all the way due to the overall polish and security focus.
Yet, the reality is that Android allows me to have certain hardware (like a simple, yet quite functional 10” tablet) that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.
And the experience is often just as delightful to me, albeit in a different way.
It may have been 88 degrees today but I got into the Fall spirit with some Oktoberfest and Autumn Evening pipe tobacco before dinner
Today I was preaching at a local soup kitchen’s outdoor area, from John 11 (the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead).
Toward the end, I dramatically recounted Jesus commanding Lazarus to come out of the tomb. “LAZARUS, COME OUT!” I practically yelled, at which point someone listening interjected, “Are you even allowed to preach like that?
Idk if it was because of my admittedly high volume level, or what, but I ignored the comment and finished my sermon.
I know I got animated and kinda loud today, but man, I was excited to proclaim the power of Jesus over death. I felt on fire because Jesus is the only shred of hope I have that means anything, and he means so much.
He is the love of God, the way of life, the truth that sets us free, the ground of the only hope that’s truly certain.
The people I was preaching to desperately need that hope—I desperately need that hope—and I felt desperate to communicate it.
I pray I’m allowed to preach like that, because sometimes it’s the only way I can.