Monday Morning Musings for 03.14.16

  1. "Everything we have ever been given, have now, or will receive comes from the Father. God Almighty appoints, allows, and governs all things. But knowing that is not the same as knowing God. When God through his Spirit chooses us for His temple, we come to an eternity of blessedness with him even here in this vale of tears." Abraham Kuyper
  2. After a weekend in New Orleans, some reflections on that city and on our humanity - how we live in this "vale of tears." New Orleans does not try to hide herself from anyone. She is out there, all the time, with everything: joy, pain, wounds, friends, poverty and faith. Perhaps that is why her people seem to live so freely: they are well aware of the "vale of tears." This approach lends itself to enormous deception and lies, a culture of spiritual darkness in some parts, the decadence of human flesh in others. However, it also lends itself to open, honest expressions of faith and identity: parades where every tongue, tribe, people and nation are celebrated; unique and marvelous food created like nowhere else, food inspired by a city and its culture as expressions of our Creator God; a city where the culture is a character in the play, not merely a location. 
  3. New Orleans is also broken. She still lives in the ravages of Katrina, a "word" never too far beneath the surface, one that quickly appears in conversations without even asking about it; poverty and human need on display, including a tent encampment of homeless people living beneath the bridges downtown; broken roads and sidewalks and sewers that leave water standing, unmoving - and these in the best parts of town. The "New" of this Orleans has been lost, but bubbling right there beneath the surface is this powerful thing called hope - hope for a better life, a new opportunity - a hope that stems from something bigger - something I think we call faith.
  4. The death of Nancy Reagan brought back a flood of memories - memories of a another time in our American history that was so vastly different than what we see today. You can agree with the politics or not, but it was HOW those politics were conducted - with class and elegance and a touch of fun. I loved that Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill, his political adversary, were also good friends. And I loved that their marriage was a great image of true partnership. We need another "morning in America." 
  5. COUNTRY MUSIC TRUTH: I know my colleague Dale Intemann van Gelder isn't a country music fan nor are many of you, but sometimes truth appears in odd places. If you want to hear good, simple words that nail it, listen to TIM McGRAW, Humble and Kind. ‪#‎forthebibletellsmeso‬
  6. March Madness: Kansas, Oklahoma, UNC, Michigan State are my final four - and how in the world did Michigan get in this tournament? 
  7. With "The Most Interesting Man in the World" retiring and a new one to be appointed soon, I nominate Case Thorp. "He can wear white after Labor Day and fashionistas applaud, Tim Keller wonders, "Can I be the next Case Thorp" and while standing with the pope, the crowd wonders, "Who is that standing with Case Thorp?" ‪#‎Heisthemostinterestingmanintheworld‬
  8. If you have not watched the video of some of our children talking about Easter, it's worth the two minutes (posted here). Who are you bringing? ‪#‎easterinthecity‬

Come to Easter with these little ones!