The Compass is Spinning

A new episode of the Departied podcast is out, in which I respond to Dennis Prager’s argument that what we say in private is not a reliable standard by which to measure our character.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/532999/2529652-episode-20-the-compass-is-spinning

(To see what I’m responding to, here’s Dennis Prager’s Fireside Chat #117 – start around the one minute thirty mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJrEnoH46nM&t=90s )

When you defend someone without a moral compass, don’t be surprised if your own compass starts spinning.

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Armor of light

Besides this, since you know the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the day is near; so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11‭-‬12 CSB)

I remember waking up as a child, say in the middle of the summer or on a cold winter morning during Christmas break. What I remember is light and hope in a new day. It was . . . Bliss.

The contrast between that and trying to rouse my old, tired self in the darkness of 5:30am is, well, quite a contrast! When days are new and one hasn’t experienced very many, each day holds bright secrets and splendid serendipities.

Days pile upon each other and over time the sharp, bright trumpet of each new day becomes a dull pffft.

This should not be. Each day is a gift and, for the believer, one day closer to glory. Yes, jobs and responsibilities and routines and morning alarms might dull the edge of expectation and turn the morning spring into a desultory roll out of bed, but it ought not be that way.

We are alive. We are now. Each breath is a gift and the promise of the soon coming dawn should enliven us. It’s time to get up and get dressed.

And I’m not talking about khakis and a button down.

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Brave women

I read 1 Samuel 25 and Luke 1 this morning. I read Romans, including chapter 16, yesterday.

I love the Bible’s portrayal of these brave women. Abigail, Mary, Elizabeth, Junia, Prisca, Phoebe, and others.

There is a sense of fullest devotion in the stories of these valiant ones that rivals and often surpasses that of many of the men of the Bible. For instance, Abigail’s intercession for her husband’s men (and her worthless husband himself) saved not only them, but also David.

Beautiful.

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Passages

Today I decided to pass on to others a ministry that I have given a lot of my heart, soul, mental and spiritual energy to over the past 4 years.

It is time.

This ministry has student officers now, they are organized and getting things prepared. I am not truly a student at that community college anymore, even though I still have an ID.

I have my doubts about how effective I have been after these four, almost five years and definitely about how well I have prepared these students. I only have them around two years, tops. Some are brand new. I don’t know what will happen.

“Faithful yet ineffective” may have to be good enough as an epitaph on my time there!

God surprises me all the time. I hope I am very pleasantly surprised by how well things work in this ministry without me (I hope that makes sense). We come and go. We have moments of triumph and regret, deft action and woeful mistakes. He, on the other hand, does all things well and works all things for good.

I am at peace. I have other ministry before me and still so, so much to learn, so much more love, grace and humility to gain, so much decreasing to do while He increases.

A little sad, but at peace. Thank you Lord!

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Hungry and thirsty

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Matthew 5:6 ESV

Satisfaction. It is elusive. Many of us live with a gnawing sense of hunger, a dry thirst that cries out to be sated. But what are we hungry and thirsty for?

There is only one hunger and thirst that Jesus promises satisfaction for: righteousness. Many of us spend our lives hungering and thirsting for money, fame, influence, power, fun, pleasure, food and drink. We are a sad lot, because none of these things ultimately satisfy.

Hungering and thirsting for righteousness can be a hard road in this world that is so devoid of it. But ultimately that is where satisfaction lies, because that is where the golden Kingdom of Christ is. Our righteous King is beckoning us on and running before us, walking beside us, carrying us. Further up and further into the one who will set all things right.

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Pray for peace people everywhere

In 2003 I was online and blogging my support for the Iraqi invasion. I thought it would be a lot easier than it turned out to be, that a lot less people on both sides would die, and I had absolutely zero expectation that America’s various wars on terror would still be going on seventeen years later.

In 2004 one of my friends died in Iraq, in the Battle of Faluja.

We now find ourselves in an escalating situation with Iran.

I don’t have confidence anymore in my ability to predict what is going to happen, and I am far more cynical, world-weary, de-partied, and regretful than I was seventeen years ago.

Lord, have mercy. Bring peace.

Come soon Lord Jesus. We have proven over and over again that we can’t fix our problems or ourselves. The innocent die and the guilty live.

Only You can fix us and fix this.

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This is lovely

I was never a fan of Jimmy Eat World (nothing against them, I’m just a just a few generations too far back to be a fan) but I love this beautiful rendition of The Middle by Audrey Assad.

Everything will be alright.

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Happy New Year

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” – Revelation 19:9 ESV

Happy new year. I have been feasting these past few weeks. Feasting on family time, rest, and, well, feasts.

2019 was a trying year. I pray that those of you who have been lonely will feast on fellowship in 2020. May those of you who are depressed feast upon joy. If you have had a year of strife, may you feast on peace this upcoming year. For those frustrated and haunted by failure at work or ministry, may you feast upon effectiveness.

For those of you far away from God, may you feast on his love and salvation.

If you know him, there is a wedding feast in your future. And it will be the best thing, ever.

Happy new year!

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