Blog Archives

Taking Correction

I got the chance to preach at Crossroads this morning! I ended up talking about how hard it is for me to take correction, even from God. Maybe you can sympathize?

The download link and notes are below. And if you like this kind of preaching, check out the Crossroads Podcast.

Taking Correction (MP3)

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Aside from being a sci-fi nerd, something of a comic book guy, and a gamer, I’m a Bible geek. I’ve read it in four translations. I love connecting different passages and seeing what they say about God.

That’s why I’ll be starting a Sunday School series next week about the minor prophets, those little books in the middle of the Bible that only a few of us have read. I’ll be talking about Nahum and Habakkuk and Joel and all those guys. When I decided to teach on them, I realized I had to preach out of them too. There’s so much good stuff they have to teach us. God spoke through them, as I hope He will to you this morning.

One of the reasons God sent the minor prophets to Israel — and so many of them — was to correct Israel. This really hit me as I was reading through the book of Amos this last time. Israel was in a really bad spiritual situation, and God send the prophets to warn them, to set them straight.

That’s what I want to talk about today: taking correction from God. Because when God corrects us, sometimes we take it hard. Or we get stubborn and don’t want to listen. Or we get bitter because we think He’s depriving us of something we like. But God wants us to be humble as He corrects us through the Spirit and through the Word. And I wanna talk about a few reasons why we should be. Read the rest of this entry

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How to Grow

The last XLM Bible Study was great. Thanks to everyone who came out! And thanks once again to Adventures in Comics and Games for hosting us!

We’ve got more events coming up soon. We’ll post more details soon on the Facebook page, the Twitter feed, the Google+ page, and here at the blog.

Below are my notes from the Bible study.

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Last time, we talked about how God can change us into new people, how he can move us past things that we think are insurmountable. We can grow beyond what we are now.

In Extra Life Ministries, and at Crossroads in general, we talk about growth a lot. We encourage people to really engage what God wants to do in our lives. So, the question is, how do we do that? What can we do to grow spiritually?

I want to talk about three areas we can grow: knowledge, faith, and practice. And as I was thinking about those, I realized there were some parallels to the Matrix.

Think about Neo at the beginning of the Matrix, before he’s really Neo. He goes through life with these lingering questions he can’t ignore. He’s literally enslaved, but he can’t do anything about it because he doesn’t even know he’s enslaved. Something in him knows it, and knows he needs to do something about it, but he has no idea what.

When we lack knowledge, we are left without answers to the questions that bother us. Sometimes, we don’t know enough to even ask the right questions. Read the rest of this entry

Eyedrops

7:44 am

It’s another Friday morning at the surgery center. I don’t like that they call this place the surgery center. We just bring Addie here for her eye exams. They put her under general anaesthesia, so they call it surgery. Creeps me out.

See, I’m a mutant. Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of mutation that lets you fly or shoot lasers. It’s the kind that gives you eye cancer — you and possibly your kids. It’s called retinoblastoma, and it’s the reason I’m missing my right eye. My aunt lost both eyes to it. My brother died from it. There’s a chance my daughter will inherit it from me.

Addie in the hall of the surgery center

Addie before the eyedrops: i.e., smiling and not flailing.

So, every few months, we head down to the surgery center, hold the poor kid down to put in the eyedrops, then hand her off to an anaesthesiologist for a short nap while they shine bright lights into her pupils to look for tumors.

Side note: my girl fights hard when people hold her down and try to put stuff in her eyes. I’m proud.

I knew there was a chance, if I ever had a kid, that they would inherit my horrid little mutation. My wife and I talked about it before we got married. Did we want to take the risk? Did we want to risk the heartbreak of a sick child? We discussed it. We prayed about it. And in the end, we let God decide.

And now we have the awesomest kid EVAR.

It’s tempting to wait for a sure thing. It’s tempting to — oh, wait. Here comes the doctor.

8:10 am

Dr. Ruben says everything looks great. No tumors. Best possible news. Thank God.

If we had just decided to play it safe, there would be no Addie. But we asked God, and He led us in a much scarier direction.

God wants to bring us to new places. He wants us to go adventuring with Him. He has plans for us beyond our own.

That’s what we’re talking about tomorrow in the XLM Bible Study. We’re going to look at how deeply God can transform our lives. Join us at Adventures in Comics and Games at 11.

Faith isn’t Un-reason

Suppose you have a friend. Every time that friend makes you a promise, he keeps it. Every time that friend tells you a fact, he turns out to be right – even though you don’t always believe him at first. Your friend is always honest with you, even when it’s difficult to hear.

Your friend says something. Is it reasonable to believe him? Do you trust him?

I define faith as trust. Others, though, hear “faith” and think, “belief in a set of religious ideas despite a large volume of  evidence to the contrary.”

Some people don’t trust the Bible, but do trust their own hearts, or vice-versa. Trust can be reasonable or not. You generally trust your senses because they’ve been generally trustworthy.

Faith isn’t the opposite of reason. It’s a matter of what you trust enough to believe.