Relationship, Not Routine

From the Oxford dictionary, a routine is “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.” We use the phrase in computer programming to describe a method or function that performs a particular job, so every time I need that job done, I call the function to do it for me, saving me time and effort. You may relate if you are a parent and have to say the same things to your kids over and over: “Stop hitting your sibling!”, “Do your chores!”, etc. We have joked that we could just record these sound snippets and play them back when needed, instead of repeating ourselves ad nauseum. Imagine if prayer were programmable this way.
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By What Standard?

Having written about what I can do right now, I want to look ahead and evaluate the issues with a more long-term view. The question is not necessarily “should I dedicate my life to fighting racism?”, but close. Maybe it is: “Should I spend a significant amount of my time and money for the foreseeable future to engage the issue of racism?” Decisions like these should not be done flippantly, so I need a standard by which to evaluate them, especially in light of competing issues.
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First Thoughts

Following the death of George Floyd, the country has been figuratively and literally ablaze. From the video, his death looked unjustified, the force excessive. I condemn that categorically, and am glad to see the police officer charged. Conversations with friends and brothers have had my mind racing on topics like racism, protests, action, and the gospel. In this article, I would like to offer first thoughts on how to react biblically.
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What to do with Boredom?

If you’re a parent, you probably deal with bored kids on occasion. Or maybe you experience boredom yourself, despite the myriad entertainment options available. But what exactly is boredom? One writer defined it as “time without life.” 1 The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest”. And Steve Jobs famously said: “I’m a big believer in boredom. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity and out of curiosity comes everything."2 These definitions seem to be at odds. Which is it? Time without life, or great catalyst for creativity?
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Our Light in Darkness

I wrote this post for my local church newsletter. Our theme for 2020 is “Your Favorite Bible Verse”, with a special focus on encouragement during the COVID-19 quarantine. Psalm 90 During much of the global shutdown related to COVID-19, I’ve been camped out in Psalms 90-100 to go along with our sermon series. Psalm 90 in particular is striking in its stark contrast between God and man. The one, infinite, without beginning or end; the other, fleeting like a dream.
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The Gospel is for You

For a while now I’ve been following Evangelium21, a network of German churches united by biblical inerrancy and reformed theology. I am continually encouraged that this kind of teaching even exists and seems to be spreading in Germany (oh the irony!). In a recent talk, one of the E21 pastors shared an interesting observation. Though intentional about preaching the gospel in every message, his listeners were overwhelmed by the heavy demands of good works. How can that be?
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Sense in Suffering

Over the years, probably the most common objection to the existence of God I’ve heard is the existence of evil and suffering. The question is this: “Why, if God is omnipotent and good, doesn’t he dispense with evil?” Since he surely would, he must not exist. (He could also not be omnipotent, not be good, or be neither, but the conversation rarely goes there.) Maybe you have been asked the same question.
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Sovereignty Is Not Enough

How are you comforted in difficult times? Preaching the gospel to ourselves is a good way. Rehearsing all the blessings God has showered on us is another. Remembering the countless deliverances from the past, yet another. Maybe we can summarize these as remembering “God’s truth” and “God’s faithfulness”. They look to the present and the past. But what about the future? To consider the future, we must grapple with God’s sovereignty. Isn’t it comforting to know that God controls the most minute details of everything? By itself, I must say no, it is not.
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Missed Opportunity

Derek Kidner writes in his commentary on Psalm 93:1-2: “True to Israel’s faith, the psalm reaches back to the Creator himself for what is everlasting, not to the seeming eternity of the earth."1 This reminded me of a lab session in my Physics class in college, and a missed opportunity.
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Deep Thoughts

Speaking of God, Psalm 92:5b says “Your thoughts are very deep!” Something about the wording made it stick out to me. I think my first reaction was “well duh, of course they are deep.” The sentence seems simplistic, but I like it! It piqued my curiosity: What does “deep” mean in the Bible? I expect it to mean what the English phrase suggests, but maybe there’s more to it, so let’s do a word search and see what comes up.
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