Friday, April 30, 2010


In Dante's Inferno, there is a sign above the entrance to hell that reads -  “Abandon hope all you who enter here.”

Many people today have begun to give up hope.

After an era of success and great progress, the last century brought us World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam, the Cold War,  9-11,  and a war on terror.

We live in an era in which many people have a sense of despair, a sense of hopelessness, where they are not sure about what the future will bring.

We need to hear again the words from Romans chapter 15 -
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The Biblical word, “hope,” means to trust that God has a future for you. To have faith means to trust God in the here and now; but to hope means to trust in God’s future. To realize that God is in control of your future.

Ask yourself - Has God taken care of you in the past? Has God taken care of you today?

If God has so faithfully taken care of you in the past….and if God is so faithfully taking care of you in the present, will not God certainly take care of you in the future? Of course He will.

There is always hope, even when it seems like our hopes are dashed. And because our hope is in the Lord,  we abound with hope. We are filled with hope. We are overflowing with hope that the God who has taken care of us in the past, and is with us today will indeed take care of us in the future. We are not afraid of what the future may bring. We know that the God of the past is also the God of the present, and of the future.

Christians are people who have hope, hope for this world, and hope for the world to come.
We have the absolute sure and certain hope of eternal life. We have the promise of forgiveness, life, and salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. He came to live and die and rise again, so that we might also rise to newness of life. And He will come again for us, to keep His promise, and to fulfill our hope.

We live in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.

It is the same hope found in a prisoner of a Nazi concentration camp. For scratched on the walls of one of the camps were these words, “I believe in the sun even when it does not shine. I believe in love even when I can't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent.”...

That is our hope today.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Monday, April 26, 2010

a few awesome things

■#523  - Learning a new word and using it in conversation

■#526  -When dreams come true
■#538  - Laughing so hard you start crying
■#543  - That separate compartment in your stomach for dessert
■#567  - The light at the end of the tunnel
■#643  - The sound of steaks hitting a hot grill
■#777  - Reading the nutritional label and eating it anyway
■#895  - Getting something with actual handwriting on it in the mail
■#902  - Roasting the perfect marshmallow
■#919  - Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row


Thursday, April 22, 2010

incredible close-up of a solar flare

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"  Psalm 8

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

new creation

On Easter, we Christians celebrated the bursting forth of the new creation in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The restoration of creation has begun with him and with us. Consider the story. God had first created the earth and its creatures. And then he created us. But we ruined his creation. So God begins the restoration of creation at the point where it came unraveled. He first restores us in Christ. And then he restores his creation.

In the meantime, we live in the midst of a groaning creation (Romans 8). On the one hand, the groaning of the creation that has been subjected to corruption calls us to repentance. For it is on account of us that the earth suffers beneath the curse and ongoing human destructiveness. On the other hand, the groaning of creation in anticipation of its renewal calls us to embrace the goodness of creation and the goodness of our creatureliness.

As new creatures raised with Christ, we have been set free from the need to possess and control the earth for our self-aggrandizement. Instead, we’ve been set free to recover our place within creation as those whom God created to live in a unique relationship with him and with our fellow creatures. As the ruin of creation began with us, so the renewal of creation begins with us.

(from "together with all creatures" by charles arand)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

three lange boys

"God of My Fathers"

God of my fathers, You'll be there for me,
even as You were for them.
Why is is harder for me to believe?
Please give me the faith of those men.

Don't keep Your Spirit far from me,
Keep me steadfast in Your Word.
Lead me not into temptation,
Hold me close to Your Word.

Where do I go, and how do I serve You,
and who do You want me to be?
Knowing You and Whose I am,
somehow allows me to see.

Praise to the Father, who with the Son,
and Spirit all three in one.
Who leadeth me until that day,
when all is said and done.

God of my fathers, You'll be there for me,
even as You were for them.
Why is harder for me to believe?
Please give me the faith of those men.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

on the resurrection...

History matters because human beings matter; human beings matter because creation matters; creation matters because the creator matters. And the creator, according to some of the most ancient Jewish beliefs, grieved so much over creation gone wrong, over humankind in rebellion, over thorns and thistles and dust and death, that he planned from the beginning the way by which he would rescue his world, his creation, his history, from its tragic corruption and decay; the way, therefore, by which he would rescue his image-bearing creatures, the muddled and rebellious human beings, from their doubly tragic fate; the way, therefore, by which he would be and become most truly himself. The story of Jesus of Nazareth offers itself as the answer to this multiple problem: the arrival of God’s kingdom precisely in the world of space, time, and matter, the world of injustice and tyranny, of empire and crucifixions. This world is where the kingdom must come, on earth as it is in heaven. What view of creation, what view of justice, would be served by the offer merely of a new spirituality and a one-way ticket out of trouble, an escape from the real world?

No wonder the Herods, the Caesars and the Sadducees of this world, ancient and modern, were and are eager to rule out all possibility of actual resurrection. They are, after all, staking a counter-claim on the real world. It is the real world that the tyrants and bullies try to rule by force, only to discover that in order to do so they have to quash all rumours of resurrection, rumours that would imply that their greatest weapons, death and deconstruction, are not after all omnipotent. But it is the real world that the real God made, and still grieves over. It is the real world that, in the earliest stories of Jesus’ death and resurrection, was decisively and forever reclaimed by that event, an event which demanded to be understood, not as a bizarre miracle, but as the beginning of a new creation.

(N.T. Wright - "The Resurrection of the Son of God")

Saturday, April 3, 2010

happy easter

Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

the last supper

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, 'Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.'

'Where do you want us to prepare for it?' they asked. He replied, 'As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.'

They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, 'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.'

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."      (Luke 22)

(painting by John August Swanson)