I’ve never competed at a high level. I felt the weight of spelling competitions in elementary school. And the pressure of going 14 and 0 on our middle school softball team. And the strain of getting sermons ready week in and week out for many years. But I’ve never felt anything like the Olympic pressure of putting everything on the line after years of preparation for that one chance. For the swimming events, the difference between gold and bronze is often just a few tenths of a second. And then there are the women gymnasts on the balance beam.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's work the "Cost of Discipleship" was the most significant book I read in the decade of my twenties. It was a book given to me from a pastor in Alton, Iowa who was retiring and dispersing his library. Bonhoeffer's reflections on what it means to follow Jesus changed my life. It was the first time I came to realize the meaning of God's grace. After reading the book I was motivated to become a serious student seeking to bring all of my life under the Lordship of Christ. I came to understand in the economy of God their was "no
Jeremiah 20:7 (ESV) 7 O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me. This is not what the prophet Jeremiah signed up for. He was doing everything he thought he was supposed to be doing. He was following God. He was getting pounded in the process. I love Jeremiah’s unabashedly bold and emotional words of honesty. It is one thing to feel that Satan has deceived you but God? Wow. This is
God created us to be a complex mix of biology and experience. We are embodied souls who have minds that inevitably draw us into relationships. Gregory Boyd calls this complex interface a matrix (Escaping the Matrix). He explains what he means by saying, biologically, we are given billions of neurons that connect via trillions of neuro synapsis. We are also given the manner by which the brain is constructed to function (e.g. neurons firing together wire together). God created us this way and it is “very good” (and incredibly complex!). Now what gets registered in our God-given neuro
A recent discussion with a pastor led to us considering the question, what do the gospel writers emphasize as the message of Jesus? Did the gospel writers emphasize that Jesus brought a message about life or was it about sin. Our perspective at CrossPoint is that the gospel writers believed that Jesus in inaugurating and establishing the new creation through his life, death, resurrection and ascension was bringing a message of life. Perhaps John is most explicit when he records these words of Jesus, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die,
“What do you want me to do for you?” This was Jesus’ question to the blind man. Why ask that question. Isn’t it obvious what the man would want? It is. But Jesus asks about his desire because he knows it is critical for us to own and name and take responsibility for our desires. We must pay attention to our desires because they tell us something VERY important in the Christian life. Desire, more than our cognition, volition, or conscience, define what we believe is true, good, and beautiful. Last week a community of devoted souls met for
A couple months ago I wrote a post about the importance our bodies in spiritual formation. I’m coming back to the same topic because I just can’t get it out of my mind (and my body!). What Your Body Knows about God (Rob Moll ...If you are interested in more on the body and its impact on formation I strongly encourage you to read it) is also at work in my reflections on the body. As I have read it (and pay attention to my own experience) I am more and more convinced that our bodies REALLY influence the
This past Sunday was the second Sunday of Eastertide. The church calendar has shocked my evangelical sentiments into seeing that the season of Easter is not just one Sunday but a tidal surge of weeks leading through Pentecost and then the Ascension. Part of the Scripture reading was from the gospel of John chapter 20… 19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this,
Seasons of life come to us whether we want them to or not. It’s interesting that this is the way God organized and planned the rhythm of life from the beginning. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8;11 states: There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal A time to tear down and a time to rebuild. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a
Have you ever wondered what God is “up to” in your life? Have you been discouraged thinking that you were alone in making decisions? Have you felt as though you were disjointed or scattered in your process of discerning what direction to take in your life’s journey? If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then I (Joy) encourage you to consider participating in the spiritual discipline of “spiritual direction” (also known as “spiritual life coaching” or “spiritual mentoring”).