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Things I Miss About Africa, Pictorially

May 27, 2012

I go through periods where I think about Africa and Uganda more than others. This is one of the periods when I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Here are a few of the things I miss:

The people. The wide open, beautiful skies. The rolling hills of grass and forests everywhere.

The curiosity of the children. How they would grab my arms, pull on my hair and chase the van down the road yelling “mzungu!” at the top of their lungs.

I wouldn’t say I miss the roads, but I miss the experience and adventure that they bring.

The open friendliness of the people. How you can walk into a strangers home and be welcomed and seated. How you can (and should, in order not to be rude) have a conversation with any random person on the street, who has nothing they would rather be doing than spending time with other people. African accents.

Similar to the roads, I don’t miss the van all that much, but it was the catalyst for multiple adventures.

The beauty of the land.

The simple, often destitute, but profoundly thankful way of life.

I’m spiritual, but not religious.

May 26, 2012

You’ve probably heard it before. “Do you go to a church around here?” “Oh, I’m not religious. I am deeply spiritual;  I just can’t really get into a religion.” Here’s what I hear when people say those kind of things: “I don’t want to be associated with some hypocritical church. I acknowledge and appreciate some sort of supernatural power and/or presence, maybe even the same one you do. I don’t need the confines of a hypocritical institution to be in touch with something beyond myself. I can handle my faith alone. I want to do things my way.” This especially bothers me when people are claiming to follow Christ and the teachings of the Bible.

SBNR, as it’s called, fundamentally denies the necessity of community. People exist and thrive in community alone, and you don’t have to look hard to see that this is a universal truth.

God did not design people to do life/religion/Christianity on their own (1 Corinthians 12, Acts 1-2, Romans 12). To claim otherwise is, at least, extraordinarily selfish, and at worst, heresy.

(There are other things wrong with the ‘spiritual but not religious’ idea, but community is a pretty main one)

Funny thing is, there are communities for SBNR folks…weird

The Californians

May 23, 2012

I hope you enjoy this short from SNL:

The Silver Wagon and Getting Broken

May 21, 2012

downloadStory time:

A crazy thing happened the other day on my way home from work. I was driving over “the hill,” coming down into the coastal area, in the fast-lane passing several semi-trucks, and a small silver wagon came up behind me and kinda started tailgating me. As soon as I could, I moved over into the right-hand lane, wondering why this guy needed to go 60 down the hill. He passed me pretty quick, and as we got to the next big turn, rated at 45mph, I noticed his speed got clocked at 65mph by the speed-checking thingy. By the time I got to the same area, he was out of site behind the tight curve in the road. As I rounded the turn I noticed a little wind-whipped dust in the area, which was weird because it wasn’t really windy or particularly dusty. As I finished the turn I saw the same silver wagon with his hood up moving over off the highway. I noticed, as I passed, that his front was smashed and his hood was up as a result of impact. The dust cloud then made sense, as the debris that was stirred up when his tires lost traction and he hit the guard-rail. I drove on thinking, ‘that is what happens when you take a turn that should be taken close to 45mph at 65mph.’ (Side note: unfortunately it looked as though he had just purchased the car, as it had a temporary license number on it.)

Later I got to thinking that this is a picture of how life works, ultimately. God knows how life works best for “human flourishing” (as Tim Keller likes to say) and when people decided that God doesn’t know best and that we know best, they end up in a world of hurt. Because when we break God’s way, it breaks us. God isn’t a cosmic kill-joy who made up a bunch of rules that would trip us up and keep us from having what we want, rather he knows exactly how things work best and has, in His grace, allowed us to see that in His Word and in His character. Sometimes it may take months, years or a lifetime to see this, but I have no doubt that when we break God’s design for life, it will break us.

Gay Marriage: Now What?

May 20, 2012

This first video is from the recent Together for the Gospel conference, and features Al Mohler answering critical questions on the implications of the homosexual revolution. The second video is John Piper addressing homosexuality. Both great videos worth your time, if you haven’t seen them already.


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Stay tuned for a more extended look at homosexual legislation and the Church in the coming week or so.

Be right. (Part II)

May 18, 2012

The first Be Right post was on the idea that you can believe in anything as long as you’re sincere; such that the sincerity automatically validates what you’re believing in.

Bad idea number two: “Just follow your heart.” And similarly, “You just need to believe in yourself!” This could sound like a good sentiment without this wise verse in Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) It rings true. You don’t know yourself. I don’t know myself. Therefore we shouldn’t be trusting ourselves to guide us on our way.

Heaven: not clouds, robes and harps

May 18, 2012

When heaven is perceived as tall gates on puffy white clouds with angels flying around in white robes while plucking harps, the gospel is diminished.

What is the message of the gospel? 1) Man sinned. 2) God sent his Son to earth. 3) Christ died for sinners. 4) Christ rose from the dead and defeated death. 5) Christ will come again and make all wrongs right and create a new heavens and a new earth (Rev. 21, Isaiah 65:17). 6) God’s redeemed will inhabit the new earth with Him. (Granted, some of those are provisions of the gospel, and not the gospel proper.) So to believe that when we die we will get our wings at heaven’s gate and forever float around playing the harp and singing undermines the implications of what Christ has done and will do. It also keeps us from being committed to this planet and these people.