There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for October, 2007

spooks, spoofs, and the Spirit

Tis the season of the spook and the spoofing of what is spiritual.  And though this will be no harangue on the domesticated celebration of  ghosts, goblins, and other things transcendent, maybe it will do to at least make reference to taking what is unseen more seriously.  Here’s what we considered about an element of spirituality around this time last year.

        There is a reason that whenever you set out to live in a holy way, you immediately encounter obstacles.  In addition to our flesh being so antagonistic to the things above, there is at work in the universe forces intent on making that pursuit of holiness difficult.  It’s because someone is watching over your heart and taking measures to keep it confused, preoccupied, and misled.

ii)      And with the passing of another Halloween we run the risk of allowing more confusion or more indifference to seep into how we thing about this thing called spiritual warfare.

b)      Two reasons why an exploration of spiritual warfare might be in order Read the rest of this entry »

Justification by faith makes you want to dance

As we near the All Saints Day–that day after the SugarFest we tend to put so much emphasis on–it’s worth recycling a little ditty we showcased last year at this time. Think of it as a clever recap of Reformation history.

Meanwhile, if you’d like just a bit more substantive background on All Hallow’s Eve, have a gander at this.

sex in the Spirit

this from a little ditty on Galatians 5:16-26 a couple years ago

Moulin Rouge Say “desires of the flesh” in mixed company and you’re likely to get what? Smirks, chuckles, and people moving quietly away from you. Why? Because it seems an outdated phrase, or that those desires are, instead of reviled, now championed, exalted. What am I getting at? These desires are what many people would reason: “those are good things; they’re what make life worth living. Any proscription of them is just an outdated attempt at keeping people in line; or they’re overreactions to otherwise harmless expressions of pathos.”

But Paul puts these out here. And we’d be wise to consider what they’re really expressions of. Most people would see them for the most part as essentially harmless. But Paul means not only to clarify what is in opposition to the life guided and led by the Spirit, but to expose what those kind of expressions reveal about those who engage in them. For every single one of them—every single of these fleshly desires—is a good desire gone bad. A perfectly natural and holy desire twisted into something destructive, and in the end, pleasure-killing rather than pleasure-finding. They are desires divorced from their intended ends.

Consider fornication: Read the rest of this entry »

Jacob’s ladder and the corporate ladder

sgtsanta.jpgso we spent a couple days last weekend thinking, discussing, and praying about how our faith and our occupation ought interact. (Along the way we encountered serendipitous insight–but unrelated to the topic at hand–into ‘why they hate us.’ Picture at right taken at the entrance to Joe Pool Lake, where we rested from our consideration of a work for a while. The state park was gearing up for their holiday Christmas light extravaganza. Santa has apparently traded in his sleigh for an F-1 Abrams.)

The question is, now what? What shall we now do with the essence of Chuck’s commentary on how: Read the rest of this entry »

laugh at your work

in honor of our little getaway this weekend on His Will and Our Work, we pay homage to that hapless office of men and women who all dream for something. . .more.

slightly early arrival

Kathryn Aldas has just been induced for labor. A few days short of her due-date, but it’s time for their daughter to meet the world. Would you pray? Will keep you all informed.

Update (10/17, 9:22am): baby still refusing to disembark, but all are well.

Update (10/18, 9:06am): Kyrie Grace Aldas saw fit to enter the world around an hour ago. Mother and child are doing well. Pictures forthcoming.  If you’d like to send them a congratulatory email, click here.

calling and some dramatic distortions of it

callingchart.pnghere’s my attempt at summarizing the definition and the dimensions of calling I tried to get across last Sunday. To have a calling is to have multiple callings, since life is a multi-faceted thing–a range of responsibilities in a variety of domains, a series of seasons and changing circumstances. Special thanks to Charles Drew and the early manuscript of his book, A Journey Worth Taking, for the substance here.

This week, I’d like us to look at three film clips–films Read the rest of this entry »

one last thing before we transition

For the next two Sundays we’ll set up the retreat by dwelling on the notion of Calling. Before we do, there’s at least onesiimage002.jpg loose end from our series on Tripp’s book I have to tie up here in these pages.

We’ve discussed for a couple months now about what’s within our realm of responsibility for pursuing change and for involving ourselves in one another’s pursuit of change. One thing I’ve intended to include each week but didn’t leave myself time for is how one moves into a community in such a way that 1) you come to benefit from the kind of loving involvement that leads to change and 2) that you come to contribute to that pursuit of change in others thusly involved. In other words, if we were to write a story of how someone came to benefit from (1) and contribute to (2) this community of change and maturity, the basic plot line, roughly outlined, might go something like this: Read the rest of this entry »