Making the Most of the Time

Discerning the times is a difficult task when one is living in the midst of them. It can be like driving in a big city without a map to orient yourself to your surroundings. Likewise, when we stand in the middle of history as it is happening, we don’t have access to the map which tells us how our present moment fits into the big-picture. Since our present moment is a complicated mess of events it can quickly become disorienting, much like the maze of skyscrapers in the big city. We find ourselves asking questions like: What will our country look like in five years? Is severe persecution in the future for the church in the West? Will our freedoms be stripped in the name of progress?

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Closed Doors, Opened Windows

On the COVID-19 front, not much has changed here. Towards the beginning of June our state moved from Red to Orange which meant restaurants, cafes, hair salons, churches, etc. were able to open at a limited capacity. This was a nice step forward, but the number cases of the virus continue to go up so we worry that some of that forward progress will be lost. If you ask me what I think is going to happen in the next months, I’d say I have no idea. We pray it gets better, but know it could easily get worse.

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Turning the Cheek

Nobody likes being treated unfairly. When we see injustice in the world it can be easy to turn the other way, but when it happens to us, it’s nearly impossible to ignore. The sense of being treated unfairly draws out feelings of anger and outrage otherwise kept at bay. The urge to retaliate against a personal injustice begins already as children. What child enjoys seeing all his friends get a chocolate but not himself? Where is the child who is willing to take the blame for what her brother did wrong?

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Grace in a Graceless World

If anything has become clear in the last while, it is that our society does not understand grace. In an age filled to the brim with violence, injustice, anger, confusion, and the like, grace is needed more than ever. But grace is in short supply. Rummage the pages of the newspaper, flip through the news channels, or take a scroll among the Facebook comments – wherever you look you’ll be hard-pressed to find grace.

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Impossible Faith – Part 3

This is part 3 of a series on the impossible faith of the saints mentioned in Hebrews 11. Find part one here, and part two here.

Daniel

Daniel was given a clear choice – obey the king or obey God. There was no confusion over what King Darius’ decree meant or what God’s will required. There were no fuzzy grey areas or possible loopholes. Either Daniel obeyed the king and ceased praying for the next thirty days or he obeyed God and prayed anyway. To obey the king was clear disobedience to God and to obey God was clear disobedience to the king.

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Still Waiting

Things haven’t changed much since the last time I wrote, about a month ago. We are still waiting at home. We are still waiting to see when things begin to open up and we can resume some of our regular activities. We are still waiting to see what the full impact of COVID-19 will be. We are still waiting to see how this will impact our ministry here.

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Staying Home

I remember back in high school I read one of those books where the bad guys threaten world existence with a deadly virus. I think the book was labeled under science fiction. Well, there is nothing fiction about the current pandemic, even if there is no evil empire behind the whole thing (unless you believe some reports). What has been surprising, and rather concerning, is the global scope of COVID-19. “We’re all in this together” is an apt way of putting it.

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