Monday, September 27, 2010

church and the city

I'm teaching a class on 1 Corinthians this fall @ Island ECC. I love this letter to the church because it reminds me how much we need God, more than anything else -- God's presence in our lives is the point. The church at Corinth got sidetracked by the myriad of distractions around them and within them. It's great to plant churches in cities, but it's critical to know how to live redemptive lives within the city. On a lot of days, that's easier said than done - especially when Christ-followers take their eyes off of Christ.

The moment from yesterday that stands out most clearly to me is this: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than mans' wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength... God chose the foolish things... the weak things... the lowly things... and the despised things so that no one may boast before him. It is BECAUSE OF HIM that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us the wisdom of God -- that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: " Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:25-31

My thoughts on "the weakness of God" stop at the cross. The power of the cross stands alone. It doesn't need words of human wisdom. For those who believe - it is the power of God.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We travelers, walking towards the sun, can’t see
Ahead, but looking back the very light
That blinded us shows us the way we came,
Along which blessings now appear, risen
As if from sightlessness to sight, and we,
By blessings brightly lit, keep going toward
That blessed light that yet to us is dark.
-Wendell Berry

Friday, September 10, 2010

what doesn't belong here?

This is Luke watching his brothers play soccer.

This is Luke no longer watching his brothers play soccer.

This is Luke wondering why there are cows in the middle of the road.

This is Luke taking a closer look.

This is me putting the camera away and chasing Luke.

back on the pitch.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

remembering how.

Some people use rocks for ebenezers. We use massive post-it notes.

remembering why.

There's a map in our flat that is a steady reminder of the big picture. In many ways, what we see on the map is at the heart of why we left Auburn and now live in Hong Kong. As we adjust to a new year, a new job, and school with the boys, it can be very easy to lose heart and lose perspective. Funny thing is that's the first sermon I preached at Island ECC. Now - it seems I'm being tested in that very idea. God is redeeming people from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people. Will we participate? Will we give our lives? Will we love people and serve people well?

The other night, we had friends over for dinner and Caleb (5) prayed before dinner. In his prayer, he prayed for the people around the world (including those people groups in the photos above) who don't have access to a bible in their language. Caleb prayed God would make a way and encourage their hearts. Pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the room.

We are NOT perfect parents. So when I hear our children having a heart for Jesus and his fame throughout the earth that brings real joy to our hearts. The other night on the phone, a trusted friend and mentor challenged us with this thought: The true test of faith is what happens when there is no emotion to accompany your belief.