Journeys derive their meaning from arrival at their destination; retrospectively, they appear worthwhile. On the road it is different, especially if there is some uncertainty about reaching the goal. The hope which impels us forward is a hope that cannot yet see its own object (Rom 8:24)– we are traveling blind. We must expect that the length and hardship of the journey will sometimes seem impossible to bear. We will be tempted to be disheartened, to allow ourselves to lose the sharp focus of our discipleship and drift into distracting diversions. Inevitably, given the complex demands discipleship places upon us, there will be failures, misjudgments, and periods of stagnation. In the context of the whole journey and from the standpoint of eternity these are trifling, whatever their magnitude. Locked in time and space, we cannot see this and so we are tempted to lose our nerve and give up our search for God. ”This saying is [too] hard; who can hear it?” (Jn 6:60). It is easy to rationalize such apostasy; but there is danger that something in our own spirits dies when we settle for second best. Those who remain become plodders, perhaps. They no longer trust in their own virtuosity, but let go to allow God brilliantly to bring to perfection the work begun, but in a manner that transcends human assessment or intelligence.
(Casey, Fully Human Fully Divine, 168)
Iranian pastor released from prison. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Released From Prison
World missions making it happen in Bali. Jesus Bucking the Hindu Trend in Bali
The ongoing debate between going to church or staying home. An Open Letter to Stay-at-Home Christians
I like these reasons. 7 Reasons Your Church Needs An Elevator Pitch
Oh the destruction of a prideful heart. (This Lukan story is actually on the docket for this Sunday at CRBC) Three Beliefs of a Proud Heart
Some think this is a perfectly good waste of tomatoes. Not me. La Tomatina 2012
Jesus is more impressed with the cunning of “the people of this world” than he is the naïveté so common to “the people of the light.” And then—back to the doves and snakes analogy—he urges us to be cunning: “I want you to be smart in the same way . . . not complacently just get by on good behavior” (v. 9, The Message). There’s a certain charm to a Forrest Gump naïveté, the kind your grandmother had as she wore her white gloves to church—but is that the kind of person you could trust with your life?
God’s response to the Tower of Babble uprising was cunning—confusing the languages of the earth. It was certainly better than taking away the faculty of speech. Men could make some headway, but they would have a heck of a time uniting the world again in a rebellion against God.
Setting eternity in our hearts was cunning, so that every last one of us would be haunted all our days with unmet longings that would cause us to seek the only Fountain that can quench our thirst. I think the movement of the Spirit in the church is cunning—first here, then there, keeping men from systemizing it, keeping the enemy from squelching it. It’s like a game of rugby.
Jesus is holy and cunning.
(Beautiful Outlaw, 124)
“Some Christians want enough of Christ to be identified with him but not enough to be seriously inconvenienced; they genuinely cling to basic Christian orthodoxy but do not want to engage in serious Bible study; they value moral probity, especially of the public sort, but do not engage in war against inner corruptions; they fret over the quality of the preacher’s sermon but do not worry much over the quality of their own prayer life. Such Christians are content with mediocrity.” (D. A. Carson, A Call To Spiritual Reformation,121)
“I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth “home.” Before you know it, I am calling luxuries “needs” and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don’t think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached people drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. And I thank God for those who have forced me again and again toward a wartime mind-set.” (John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life)
I have heard about cliques in church, but never really thought they were that big a deal. I have never been shunned or sought after in such a way. Maybe they are a bigger deal than I gave much attention. Evidently someone thought they were a big deal and wanted to write about them. Enjoy.