Monday Morning Musings for 09.05.16

  1. As human beings, we're a pretty messy bunch. We make mistakes. We say dumb things. We get up and keep trying, but we're far from perfect. At times, those mistakes can creep into the narrative in our heads. We start thinking that our worth is determined by worldly criteria, standards we often struggle to meet. We feel profoundly unworthy. In Genesis 29, Leah faced the same thing. She was always second to Rachel. She was horribly manipulated by her father. Even so, she chose not to allow the "Labans" in her life to get her down. She faithfully used the gifts God had given her and became a key figure in the history of Israel. Instead of listening to the opinions of – or looking at the gifts of others – realize the gifts God has given you and use them for His greater glory. You'll realize His is the only opinion that actually matters. 
  2. Whenever painful or evil or senseless things happen in our lives, we struggle to make sense of the reason. We want to know why. In the absence of any obvious reason, we tend to go all the way up to the top of the chain to find the "responsible party." If I can't find a reason for this misery or suffering or evil, then ultimately it must be God's fault. We wind up angry at God and shut Him out. We say, "I'm never going back to church." That's a very normal human response, but if we land there, we are trying to hold God to promises He never made. He actually said the opposite. Jesus said in John 16:33, "In this world, you WILL have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world." God has not caused the suffering or the evil or the illness, but He has answered it – in Himself. He came in human flesh to enter our sufferings, descend into the depths of evil, and rise from it a victory. He came so that what you suffer now will never be the final word. The final word has already been given in the Word made Flesh – Jesus.
  3. CHURCH PLANT LAUNCHES: Tremendously excited that our church plant in Edinburgh, Scotland –Esk Valley Church – had their first worship service yesterday! With 30 families committed to this fellowship with planting pastor Tom Muir, we are praying that Esk Valley will bring the light of the gospel to an ever-darkening Western Europe. Funding was made possible by the generous gifts to the Arise and Build campaign – the first of many!
  4. I have written about many things in this space over the last few years, but I have never had as many comments as I did last week. I have written on heady, cultural topics like racism and homelessness and poverty and parenting and sexuality and on and on, but what got everyone talking? Spacing. After a sentence. Who knew we had such strong feelings about spacing?? Rebekah Hood Coffman , you touched a nerve!#thetwospacerswon
  5. EVOLUTION SHATTERING DISCOVERY: Geologists in Greenland have discovered evidence for ancient life in rocks that are 3.7 billion years old. They are the oldest fossils ever discovered, meaning that there was very little time chemically for evolution to have occurred. Researchers said the discovery could well change the scientific understanding of the origins of life.
  6. THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE: Department of Public Safety officials came out with a new recommendation stating that "If you are sleepy while driving, you should pull over and rest."
  7. I completely disagree with Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the National Anthem as a means of protesting his concerns over racial bias and racism/profiling among police officers. However, he absolutely has the right to do so which is what makes that song – and this nation – so great. Try that in Russia or China right about now.
  8. I love it that a dog's tail is the expression of its joy. With dogs, you always know what they're feeling.
  9. And finally....TEXAS football is back!