Why Is Faith So Hard?

Why is faith so hard? Sure, there are mountaintop moments and golden summers where we feel God’s presence as real as anything. But more often than not, especially in the muck and madness of the world, God appears distant and faith seems a scandal. Both skeptic and saint have wondered how there can be both a good, all-powerful God in heaven and a world full of death and decay down below. And that is just the beginning of a landslide of questions which threaten to smother our faith and leave it for dead.

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Oh the Irony

Young boy trapped in a prison of pain
Success is money; it's talent and fame
He hates himself cause he's not the same
His worth is defined by his guilt and shame
And nothing will wash the deepest stain
So one cold night in the dark and rain
He points a gun to blow his brain.

And everyone cries tragedy
Why does this have to be?
Tears flow because it's sad to see
A precious life turn into vanity

Young girl now, with a rare disease
It hurts to fight, it hurts to speak
The body breaks, the spirit's weak
Cause death is a relentless beast
Better to give in, than burden these
So a doctor hands her pills of ease
She slips away on a summer breeze

And everyone applauds bravery
Why should she suffer needlessly?
Sweet tears flow merrily
For a girl who broke the chains of slavery

Oh the irony
Oh the irony
One life is tough, tearful tragedy
The other is bold, beautiful bravery
And woe are we
Woe are we
If we fail to see the inconsistency

- circa 2013
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What It Means To Live

When your world gets turned upside down it can leave you disoriented and afraid. You suddenly find yourself in a place you have never been, nor imagined, and everything you thought you knew gets called into question. That’s kind of what has happened with the sudden emergence of COVID-19 as a world threat. Our lives have either already been turned upside down by this new reality, or they are at the tipping point and it doesn’t take much for us to imagine what it might be like. We start asking the big “what if” question and it’s not hard to think it could come to fruition.

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New Life, New Update

Two weeks ago I (Scott) was on a video chat with my mom when Annemarie got home from her doctor’s appointment and said, “well, the baby might be born tonight.” I said goodbye to mom, ended the call, and quickly asked Annemarie for more details. According to the doctor, the level of amniotic fluid in the womb had dropped significantly and waiting another two weeks until the due date could put the baby at risk. She would need to be induced that night, or the next morning. After recovering from the suddenness of the news, we both decided that we would wait until the morning. This would give us time to arrange care for the other kids and to get everything ready.

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Boasting in Our Faith

Those who have grown up within the walls of a Reformed church know well that good works do not save and are nothing to boast about. All glory to God! We hear this truth repeatedly from the pulpit, the catechism classroom and around the supper table. And so it should be. If God compares our good works to something worse than filthy rags, then what folly it is to boast in them.

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Ixmilquilpan.

Ixmil…what?

About three hours away from our place is a place called Tolontongo, where you can enjoy a volcanically-heated river along with a falls, cave, and tunnel. It’s an incredible display of the Creator’s artistry and if you have the time, it’s worth a visit. To get there, you pass through the town of Ixmilquilpan. The name is a bit of a mouthful, but compared to other places in Mexico, it’s not too bad. For example: Nezahualcóyotl or Azcapotzalco. These names are a reminder of the way Nahuatl has shaped the Spanish language.

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What Does Arabia Have To Do With Mexico?

You might not think the Arab world has much to do with México, but it’s true. The architecture, cuisine, and especially the language of México have all been shaped by the Arab world. The reason? The Moors (Muslim people group of Arab descent) invaded Spain back in the 8th century. Their stay in that country for several centuries impacted the Spanish culture, which in turn impacted the Mexican culture when the Spaniards sailed across the Atlantic and landed in México.

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