Grace

A Lamp Shining in a Dark Place

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” Isaiah 9:2

We have entered into the season of waiting. Advent. It begins not with the eggnog and Mariah Carey but instead a realization of the darkness. That a promise of light came to a people familiar with dark. And that we now await his return, experiencing the very real dark of our own sinful flesh and the brokenness of our world.

We are meant to ache for more. To cry out for light. This year of all years has seasoned us for this very act. We are acquainted with uncertainty, loss, grief, anger, longing.

We have come face to face with our own idolatry. We are beginning to recognize the ways we placed hope in things that are not light. Even our reliance on self above all things has only left us shattered and bitter.

We have lost control. Events of the day are beyond us and our weak attempts at conspiracy to provide answers only leaves us deeper in the dark. We have been brought again to the reminder that there is One sovereign but it is not us.

So we wait. Longing for light.

But we wait with hope. Because in Christ we have been exposed and rescued by light. Each and every day now brings us one closer to his return and eternal reign. The correcting of all that is wrong. The healing of all things. We can trust the promise of Maranatha because a child was born.

And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,” 2 Peter 1:19 (ESV)

The lamp is still shining, the day is dawning. Wait well my friends. Look to Jesus. Feel the encroaching darkness and know there is a better home. Cling to his forgiveness, comfort, and new life. As the light has shone on you, shine it among others. Christmas is coming…

Worthwhile

Worthwhile December 20, 2019

Oh my you can almost taste it. Christmas is so close. The presents round the tree. The warm family time together. The singing. The laughing. May it be so.

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of adding another year under my belt, 42 I shall be. Let’s begin celebrating now shall we?!

A couple of items today since I know your weekend is busy…


First up is the ruckus coming from our friends in Northern California at a little church named Bethel. You may not be aware, but this last week the daughter of a worship-leading couple passed away unexpectedly. In light of this the church has been holding several days of resurrection meetings calling on little Olive to wake up.

Erik Reed, whose son recently passed away, has a pastoral response to the events.

“The pain this family and church feel over the loss of Olive punches you in the stomach and leaves you cleaving for air. The death of a child hurts. It shatters your heart in a million pieces and prompts your mind to replay endless scenes of times with your child. The permanence of it is heavy. Each day is a reminder that their laugh, their smile, their touch, and their smell are gone.”

“My heart aches for this family. I grieve about how badly they are hurting. It’s terrible.”

“But the pain Olive’s death has brought this family and church will soon lead to another one. It is the pain and confusion that bad theology ushers in. Their response is only compounding the pain. Disillusionment awaits those who pray now for something God has not promised.”

God can absolutely resurrect whom he chooses, but the danger is in the demanding of it. Read his whole post here.


Keeping in the light-hearted tone of today’s articles… Sorry I don’t mean to be a downer… We turn to impeachment.

It is historical, it happened, and we should think about it. Sadly, as has always been the case, impeachment of a president is a rancorous, partisan affair. No one looks good through the process and regular folks like you and I just become more entrenched in our party or perspective.

But there is also something else going on here. Those of you who know me have experienced my displeasure with the current political environment and what I think is a significant failure of those professing faith in Christ making decisions in the public sphere that align with that profession. But I won’t convince you, the dragon goes too deep.

Enter Christianity Today. Neither the most influential instrument in the Christian world nor an entity that can be ignored. The magazine’s editorial board, being consistent with the calls they made twenty years ago for Bill Clinton to be removed from office, have called for President Trump to likewise be removed.

Their article is measured, reasoned, and thoroughly Christian. The problem is, those that could benefit from the dialogue simple won’t read it. We will keep getting our news from narrow sources and only listen to influencers that echo what we already believe. That is terribly unChristian.

So I put it before you, be bold, take up and read. Pray and wrestle. What would Jesus have us do?

If you are hesitant to to click the link, maybe just engage with this paragraph from the piece:

“To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?”

May we prayerfully walk out our faith and life before a watching world. Read it here.


That’s it for today. Enough really. I do hope you will come back! And please enjoy the wonderful Christmas holiday. Be reminded that Jesus came for a wretch like you and the light he brings changes everything.

Worthwhile

Worthwhile December 21, 2018

Here are some worthwhile things to read or check out, birthday edition! Today I turned 41. Older and wiser by the day!


Christmas is a joyous time, but for some of us, it can be a difficult and depressing time. David Murray has a letter if that is you, or if you want to be a help to those struggling. Read it here.


As China continues a crackdown on Christian churches, it is a good time to revisit Wang Yi’s letter to his church. He is a pastor under arrest.


Finally, as we head into Christmas weekend, check out this short show of the birth of Jesus. I will be showing it to my family Christmas morning and I think you will be encouraged by it.