He’s My Dad… and I fear him

Several years ago while teaching at the first church plant I was involved with in the San Diego area, I found myself trying to explain the concept of fearing God. The usual struggle that Christians have with the idea of fearing God is that they have also learned from Scripture that God is their father who loves them. So why on earth would I fear him?!

That’s a great question, and one that’s very valid. Why would God give us His word and through it teach that we are His beloved children, and then tell us that we are supposed to fear Him? Read the rest of this entry »



What is sojournal? It’s living a life of faith knowing that our physical existence on this earth is but a vapor. The advantage of being sojournal is the freeing effect it has in ministry and life. My life here is just temporary. As with the album title of the great musical theologian of the 70s — Larry Norman — I’m “only visiting this planet”. This is not a call to be unconcerned or detached, but just the opposite! I know my mission as mandated by Scripture, and because I am sojournal I’m now free to fulfill that mission with passion and thoughtfulness and dedication because my energies and concerns are not tied up with and bogged down by the temporary things of this life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hard and Purposeful Things

“Do hard things.” That’s the title of a book sitting on the floor by my bed. It’s a book I’ve never read. And yet the title itself speaks volumes to me.

I’ve been doing easy things. Some may argue. They’ll say, “But you live in Africa! You’re a missionary. That’s not easy. You do hard things.” But that which is hard for us is relative to our experience in hard things and our maturity in faith.

Only those who have lived in a similar way can truly and wholly relate to what I’m about to say, and that is this: it is possible to do what seems so unbelievably hard to so many, and yet fail miserably to do what is truly hard for yourself. I have days when I wish I was back in the U.S. for the sake of spending time with family and enjoying certain conveniences or cultural comforts. But the majority of the time I find that being in Africa (or theoretically any other country apart from my home country) is not a hard thing for me. And yet daily I awake to hard things that I am too frightened to recognize as my hard things. Daily I awake to hard things undone, procrastinated, unrecognized, and purposely ignored. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deciphering Sorrow through the Din

(Originally posted on thelangleyclan.blogspot.com on 14-Sep-2008)

4:20 pm – It’s Sunday. The power went off around 9 or 10 PM last night and it’s been off ever since. I wasn’t feeling well this morning and have been home all day, with the exception of finding some food to eat for breakfast/lunch. I’ve been fiddling with broken electronics to pass the time this afternoon and to keep my mind from locking in on the loneliness of this empty house. Without the sounds of the children playing inside and out – talking, laughing, asking questions, and giving me their advice – and without Carrie’s smile and warm presence, this house seems more like a tomb than a home. So I was taking apart a voltage stabilizer that blew up in order to scavenge useful parts. It’s amazing how many great little screws, nuts and bolts, switches, small lights, pieces of wire, and power plugs you can scavenge from something! After I finished with that, I moved on to modifying a cheap battery backup unit I bought in town last year to be able to use an old gigantic truck battery I found left over from the last tenant of this house.

Whilst turning screws, clipping wires, and getting very creative with electrical tape, I realized something. I realized that for some time now, over the somewhat muffled sound of the U.N. office’s enormous generator next door, I had been hearing an unusual noise. It’s strange when you hear something, but then realize that you’ve been hearing it for a while now without consciously recognizing it. So I tuned my conscious thoughts to the frequency of the sound and was able to make out what sounded like wailing, mixed with laughter, mixed with talking. The confusion of sounds either overwhelmed my conscious mind with too many mixed signals to know what exactly was going on, or it was just too lazy to care. Because shortly after pausing to listen, I turned my attention back to my electronic autopsy. Read the rest of this entry »

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A different concept of pleasure and joy

(Originally posted on thelangleyclan.blogspot.com on 25-Mar-2008)

I was supposed to give a “Good Friday” message last week, but I was too sick to do so. “Good Friday” is typically when we remember the crucifixion in preparation for remembering the resurrection on “Easter Sunday”. In thinking about the message ahead of time, I began to contemplate a couple of different verses regarding the crucifixion.

The verses I was thinking about were both quotes from God. One is a quote from God the Father, while the other is a quote from God the Son. Both are quotes about the crucifixion, and both say something similarly dark and complex, difficult and curious. Read the rest of this entry »

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Life and Humanity’s God-complex

Original BBC article here – Boy conceived using new test born

So here’s my question after reading the above linked article… what if the embryo doesn’t pass the test? Then what? What do they do after purposefully fertilizing an egg with a statistically predisposed propensity for chromosomal abnormality and then find that their work has, in fact, resulted in an embryo with the anticipated abnormalities? Throw it out? And what is “it” (the embryo)? Is it life? Read the rest of this entry »

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Thoughts on Strange jellies of the icy depths

_46299996_img8968bsm50Check out these amazing and wonderful creatures (creature: from the Middle English, ‘something created’) in this BBC article – Strange jellies of the icy depths

More great pics of these fascinating creatures here.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” -Romans 11:33

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.” – Genesis 1:1,20-23 Read the rest of this entry »

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Blind Faith, Reasonable Faith, and Unreasonable Belief

I’m trying to figure out the real meaning of “blind faith”.

BLINDunable to see; sightless; done without being able to see or without being in possession of certain information.
FAITHcomplete trust or confidence in someone or something.

So — putting the two together — we get a definition of BLIND FAITH that looks something like this: complete trust or confidence in someone or something without being able to see or without being in possession of certain information.

Hmmmm. Let me think for a moment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political Activism, Radical Faith, and the Believer’s Responsibility

“A certain amount of healthy and balanced concern about current trends in government and the community is acceptable, as long as we realize that such interest is not vital to our spiritual lives, our righteous testimony or the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. Above all, the believer’s political involvement should never displace the priority of preaching and teaching the gospel because the morality and righteousness that God seeks is the result of salvation and sanctification.” – John MacArthur, from ‘Why Government Can’t Save You’ (emphasis mine) Read the rest of this entry »

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Thoughts on “With the Deepest Regret”

Following is the link to the post that inspired my post by J.G.F. on his ResQRev blogWith the Deepest Regret

I think that we would be hard pressed to find – even in American churches – any body or denomination of believers who would honestly disagree that being an alcoholic (what the Bible calls a ‘drunkard’ [Gr. methusos]) is a sinful state that no believer should walk in, and even more so, disqualifies one from leadership roles in the church. It seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Again, are there any that would honestly argue that those whose lives are characterized by being violently greedy [Gr. harpax] or embezzlers [Gr. kleptes] should be tolerated as church leaders or even as true and faithful members of the Body according to Biblical standards?

What about an adulterer? One who is known, unrepentant, and who continues in adultery whilst making excuses and torturing Biblical texts to justify his or her behaviour? Is this Biblically palatable? Is this the manner in which the average believer is expected to behave? Is this the behaviour of a leader in Christ’s church? Read the rest of this entry »

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