“A napless daughter is a bane to your existence. It’s probably better just to put a pen in your own eye.” (I’m sure that’s in Proverbs somewhere.)
I know that sounds weird, but let me explain.
3 or 4 years ago if I would’ve got elbowed in the face in a game, I would’ve jumped back up and gotten in the dude’s face with a vengeance. I wouldn’t have thrown a punch or anything (I’m not much of a fighter…at all), but I would’ve certainly laid into the dude verbally, even if it was an accident.
But the other night I got cole cocked in the face and my first thought, after checking to make sure I still had all my teeth, was, “It was an accident; he didn’t mean to do it.”
So why was getting jacked in the face a blessing?
Because when I thought about it later, it occurred to me that I didn’t even for an instance have a desire to retaliate or give the guy a verbal lashing. And by realizing that, I saw how far God has brought me over the last 3 years. It is a blessing to look back and see that God isn’t done with me – he hasn’t left me unchanged. There’s a story here of grace and redemption, and it reminds me that God isn’t finished with me yet.
Can there be a greater blessing than realizing God’s not done with you? I don’t think so.
Sometimes it’s hard to see how you’re growing from day to day. But moments like this, when it hurts and when it’s intense, show you the work God is doing to conform you to his image.
A Christian response to Tuscon. Fantastic piece of writing right here!
Will Willimon tackles the question of who Christians should consider their “brothers and sisters.”
Your faith is not your own – it’s ours!
JD Walt invites us to pray for Steve Jobs. Good stuff here. I told JD he needs to add this to his Greatest Hits archive.
This Week’s Taste of Insanity: Hospitality at its Finest
Just finished Accompany Them with Singing by Tom Long, one of my favorite preachers/scholars. The book was a fantastic look at the truth of the gospel as communicated or miscommunicated through contemporary funeral liturgy. Great theological reflections on funerals and great practical help for those of us who encounter them regularly as a vocation.
Learning Southern Culture Lesson #56:
Just because someone calls you ‘Sweetheart’ doesn’t mean they’re hitting on you because of your hot-jock bod….even if they’re around your age.
Rather, there are two possibilities:
1) They are just responding to your big goofy smile,
2) They think you’re an idiot. And by calling you sweetheart, they’re really being condescending.
Either way, it can get confusing.
Chad Brooks talks to us about creating a rhythm of scripture.
Ted Haggard is at it again….this time with TLC.
Thom Rainer has written a new book on Millenials (those born between 1980-1991), which includes me. I’m not sure all of his comments adequately reflect me and my generation, but he’s done the research, so he probably knows more than I do on the matter. In any case, take a look at his synopsis and let me know what you think.
On his new blog page, Ben Witherington writes on Rabbit’s Foot Religion.
This Week’s Taste of Insanity:
I’m rarely in agreement with Denny Burk in matters of theology and praxis, but I think he gets this one right regarding a recent MTV show airing a teenager’s decision to have an abortion.
I appreciate this post by my friend, Thomas Irby. He’s lamenting the affects of the Calvinist vs. Arminian debate on the ground. I love the discussion between these two theological sparring partners, but he’s got some great points about how it is conducted.
Derek Webb offers some satirical help for those who wish to hold him accountable via blog posts. Honestly, Derek does make me laugh. And it’s a good reminder to us of the power of relationships in offering rebuke and criticism.
Roger Olson, a fair-minded participant in the Calvinist vs. Arminian discussion has an imaginary conversation between the two. He shows that the twist of language employed by both for rhetorical manipulation fails to further the discussion.
Ben Witherintgon offers some suggestions for MUST READ books for 2011.
Bill Donahue offers brief reflections on 5 Essential Leaders for Group Ministry.
How to do Fundraising in Reverse. Good stuff here for churches.
And for a bit of ridiculousness:
A little Benny Hinn, for This Week’s Taste of Insanity:
The sermon should be near the top of the player’s list, but if not, click on the tab that says, ‘speakers,’ click on my name (Tom Fuerst) and it’s the sermon titled, I Give You My Word.
Nothing gives such offence, and stirs up such bitter feeling among the wicked, as the idea of God making any distinction between man and man, and loving one person more than another.** —J.C. Ryle
I could go into a long theological treatise here on the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism, but I just want to rewrite this from an Arminian perspective.
Nothing gives such delight, and stirs up such gleeful feelings among the wicked, as the idea that God makes distinctions between man and man, and loves one person more than another. – Tom Fuerst
Now, let me be clear – I am NOT calling Calvinists wicked in my rewrite. I’m more just pointing out that it is MY SENTENCE, not Ryle’s, that has the more historical legitimacy in praxis.
More harm has been perpetrated in the name of God’s love for the righteous over the wicked, and God’s choice of this group over that group, than has ever been perpetrated by those who claim God loves everyone without distinction.***
**Admittedly, at least Ryle was willing to admit what many of my Reformed friends won’t – that the Calvinist system logically leads the claim that God loves some people more than others. Other theologians (who I respect, like DA Carson) skirt the issue and just claim ‘different loves.’ But this doesn’t make sense, I don’t think. So I’m appreciative of Ryle’s logical consistency and boldness on this one.
***And, yes, I know the phrase ‘without distinction’ needs explanation. But I’m not writing a theological treatise here, just making a quick observation.
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 7,900 times in 2010. That’s about 19 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 149 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 238 posts. There were 186 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 102mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was June 16th with 178 views. The most popular post that day was Right-Proper American Family….
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Right-Proper American Family… June 2010
Here We Are Now, Entertain us June 2010
Proposition 3-in-1 August 2010
Obituary: Bradyn Thomas Fuerst – Schanuth October 2010
Thy Will Be Done July 2010