Tending the Seedlings

SeedlingsJacques, a Karang man in Cameroon, is blind, yet he weeds his soy field with confidence and skill. Amazingly, even without his sight, he is able to find the little soy seedlings among the many overgrown weeds. He gently and patiently pulls out the killer weeds that surround each plant, rarely hurting the precious seedling. Sometimes the plant suffers damage, but because the soil is now ready to produce growth, the seedling will recover. Continue reading

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Salt and light

Dallas and I saw this sign last week on a beautiful hike at Wallace Falls just outside Seattle. It struck me as a statement made by an honest seeker but someone who is rather confused, looking to creation rather than the author of creation for answers to life’s most perplexing questions. Continue reading

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God’s word is no longer at a distance

 Jean is a Karang man living in Cameroon. Translation advisor Bob Ulfers met Jean while testing translated Karang Scripture in his village. A frail old blind man, Jean would sit at a distance and listen as the Scripture passages were read and discussed.

Bob decided to start greeting him. “Soko ngernzuk! (Hello, Elder!)” he’d say to him. Soon Jean started sitting closer and even began contributing to the discussions, helping to provide feedback to the Karang translation team as they finalized the translation. Continue reading

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A seat at the table

Building on the teaching of Jesus, (John 3:3, 16-17 NLT) the writers of the New Testament continually refer to their message (the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus) as Good News because believing the message results in a new start—being born again—(1 Peter 1:23, 25 NLT) reconciliation, (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT) and a transformation of the way we think about ourselves and God…(Romans 12:2 NLT) Continue reading

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A life (continually) examined

After a friend sent me this link to a Cal Thomas op-ed, a couple of things came together for me this week.

Combining thoughts from four books: A Thicker Jesus, Vanishing Grace, Jouful Exiles and Faitful Presence I have no changed perspectives, just new/fresh words and reminders—here are a few reflections.

Two of these books point to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and what I think Thomas is encouraging…it’s what Dietrich Bonhoeffer promoted—it is the idea that by living completely in this secular world that we learn to love God…to have faith in Him…abandoning attempts to make something of ourselves and “living unreservedly in life’s duties, challenges, problems, successes, failures, experiences and perplexities.”

Developing a mindset of continual self-examination of my ideas and worldview that may be holding me captive, is important, looking for whatever is holding me back from bringing God pleasure. If I find something is not consistent with his Word, I repent. Continue reading

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Blind Spots

thanksgivingRecently, a friend of mine took his family out to the theater. While they were waiting for the movie to begin, they saw this trailer for the new Peanuts movie. If you haven’t seen it, take three minutes and watch it.

Like me, you’ll probably chuckle. My friend said that they, too, were tickled. Somewhere in the middle of the trailer, the whole gang is mentioned…

…with one exception: Franklin, the one kid of color in the gang. Continue reading

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There is evil in the world

q-8-t-emanuel-a.m.e.-church-700x525We humans are great problem solvers: we overcome distance with phone calls, emails, satellites and airplanes; we overcome summer heat with air-conditioning and winter cold with forced-air heating; we overcome illnesses with vaccinations; the mundane tasks of life like vacuuming the house with robots—and the list goes on.

But after all our resourcefulness, two challenges remain for which solutions are evasive: evil and death. After all our resourcefulness, the solutions to overcoming evil and death remain universal questions with no easy solutions. Can Christians offer comfort and perhaps a unique perspective?

I believe Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, along with the families of those killed, did that two weeks ago.

Continue reading

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