Does the thinning buffer between us and eternity expose virtue or vice? Does aging make us better or worse? Not sure… During this summer break—a writing one—I paused to consider the quality of my offering to others and perceived heightened gratitude and grousing. Filters falter as the years add up; the naked self is less defended (too weary to self-justify), painfully self-aware, less inclined to virtual noise, and more reliant upon Jesus. In the uneasy mix, He is the Master.
God always honors His Word and sacraments even if His servants act dishonorably. For example, I once had a pastor whose stellar preaching (some of his word-pictures still shed light for me on complex truths) coexisted with a trail of confusing seductions he initiated with women in our congregation. God’s Word prevailed (through our efforts and a long wait)–he was finally disciplined–but until then the congregation breathed toxic air. God sustains the faithful but sheep still
‘The Spirit sent Jesus into the desert, and He was there forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended Him.’ (MK 1: 12, 13) Lent exposes us, lays us bare. This year, Jesus prepared our Living Waters group to follow Him into the desert by gathering us for an all-day session on Valentine’s Day. Some wept as they considered the painful state of their stalled single lives or distressing marital ones. We asked ourselves: ‘Is Jesus really eno
‘Do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?’ (Romans 2:4) Sinners’ contempt for holiness can tempt us to disdain. We can close up the ark of our hearts, pronouncing judgment on the rebels. Or we can open our hearts and ask God to have mercy on them. It helps to remember the mercy He had for us in our contemptuous ways. I am reduced to tears whenever I read Luke 18: 9-14, the Parabl