Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Speak with Conviction

I thought this was a very interesting presentation of something written by slam poet Taylor Mali. It's entitled Totally Like, Whatever You Know? and it speaks to the degradation of language.

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Knowing the Father's Love

I finished up Keller's Counterfeit Gods last night. Great read for uncovering and understanding the potential idols in your life.

This quote really stood out to me:
“Have you heard God’s blessing in your inmost being? Are the words “You are my beloved child, in whom I delight” an endless source of joy and strength? Have you sensed, through the Holy Spirit, God speaking them to you? That blessing – the blessing through the Spirit that is ours through Christ – is what Jacob received, and it is the only remedy against idolatry. Only that blessing makes idols unneccesary. As with Jacob, we usually discover this only after a life of ‘looking for blessing in all the wrong places.’ It often takes an experience of crippling weakness for us to finally discover it. That is why so many of the most God-blessed people limp as they dance for joy.”
It stood out because it speaks to my idol of choice, loving the approval of men more than the approval of God. Because of this idol, I have dealt with a lot of anxiety and nervousness, trying to get my blessing and validation from the opinions of others. And lately I've recognized that I've even made an idol out of not wanting to experience these anxious feelings.

I have discovered that what I desperately need more than anything else is to know the Father's love for me. I need it to move from my head and penetrate my heart. And I have found that it can only come by the work of the Holy Spirit to awaken me to this truth, while at the same time fixing my eyes upon Jesus as the one who redeemed me from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for me.

The anxiety in my life is my limp, my crippling weakness. And although it is very painful, it is also what continually reminds me that I need Jesus, and that only in Him will my soul find rest.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Bible Isn't Boring

John Piper explaining how we're the problem when we see the Bible as boring:

The Meaning of Misery

“The meaning of all misery in the world is that sin is horrific. All natural evil is a statement about the horror of moral evil. If you see a suffering in the world that is unspeakably horrible, let it make you shudder at how unspeakably horrible sin is against an infinitely holy God. The meaning of futility and the meaning of corruption and the meaning of our groaning is that sin — falling short of the glory of God — is ghastly, hideous, repulsive beyond imagination.

Unless you have some sense of the infinite holiness of God and the unspeakable outrage of sin against this God, you will inevitably see the futility and suffering of the universe as an overreaction. But in fact the point of our miseries, our futility, our corruption, our groaning is to teach us the horror of sin. And the preciousness of redemption and hope.”
- John Piper, “Subjected to Futility in Hope, Part 1” (sermon preached at Bethlehem Baptist Church on April 22, 2002)

(HT:Of First Importance)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

I am Tiger Woods

Sufjan Stevens wrote a song a few years back entitled John Wayne Gacy Jr.. The chilling song tells the story of the serial killer who raped and killed young boys, and buried them underneath his house. After finishing the story, what Sufjan says next is remarkable. He ends the song with this line: "In my best behavior, I am really just like him. Look underneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid."

Read that line again. Do you believe that? With the recent Tiger Woods saga, it's easy to point the finger at others mistakes and become self-righteous. But I happen to agree with Sufjan that I am no different than the most vile of offenders. My heart is sinful and rebellious, and in need of Jesus, same as anyone else.

Mike Wise, with the Washington Post, recently wrote an excellent article saying a very similar thing, though he doesn't explicitly state how Tiger can find redemption and forgiveness in Christ (as Brit Hume did recently). Here's his conclusion:
I am Tiger Woods, and I have poked fun at his travails because I use humor as camouflage, because if I were to deal with the truth, if the world were to know the details of my sad, pathetic electronic communication with other women at one time in my life, the horrific embarrassment would not just send me into seclusion; it would send me off the ledge.

It's easy -- maybe even natural -- to judge his actions and ignore what led to them:

Tiger Woods has an emotional void in his life. This void must be huge. For him to be where he is today, this deep emptiness must have consumed him, must be something he has been living with for a long time. Moreover, he has to live with his emptiness while being fully aware that everyone in the world knows just what a manufactured lie his image has been.

Having stared into this void, having known this hollowness, I can neither excoriate the guy nor exonerate him.

I am Tiger Woods, and because of that, I can only hope that he realizes he's sick and takes steps to get better."
Read the whole thing