After I graduated Moody, I noticed that my need for someone to remind me of the gospel did not decrease but INCREASED dramatically! I found myself needing consistent reminders of who I am in Christ, God’s persistent pursuit of me, and the joy I get to cultivate.
From dialoging with Caleb Beaty, my roommate from Moody, I noticed that him and I were going through the same thing. We were both experiencing, what Caleb calls, gospel-growing-pains. Basically as we walked into a new season of life we recognized our unbelief and the need for increased dependance on Jesus in the gospel. And I don’t think that we are alone in this walk.
Therefore him and I have been cooking up a new website called gospeling. A little about the title: as we navigate life, sometimes blindfolded, we see areas of unbelief that need to be confronted by the gospel. Those areas need to be shaped and changed because of who we are in Jesus as revealed to us in the gospel. We are coining the phrase gospeling: the art of preaching the gospel to yourself daily.
All this to say that I have officially moved. At least in the near future I will not be posting any new content to this blog but will instead blog alongside Caleb (and a host of guest bloggers) at gospeling.com. We will be posting new content at least two times per week. I hope you will come join, subscribe, and participate in discussion.
For those of you who have been following me on this site, thank you very much. Your support and interaction with me here has been fantastic. I am thankful and grateful for you. Thanks again. I hope you’ll make the move with me!
(I wrote this after I got off a 13-14 hour shift and late at night, please forgive the typos.)
Before we get into it, let me set the backdrop. I served on summer staff for 5 years: two on day camp, two on counseling, and one on program staff. I love CHBC. I love the people, the grounds, the waterfront (especially the waterfront), and I love the mission and CHBC’s heart for kids to be introduced to Jesus. This place is a good place.
And this is why I am writing an open letter to you. Because if, at all possible, I would like to help make your summer less burdensome and more focused.
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Jesus is a liar!
I can distinctly recall sitting at my desk during my Freshman year at IWU and while reading Matthew 11, I said to myself “Jesus clearly has no idea what the burden of life is like. His burden is not light! His burden is heavy and borderline cruel!”
Matthew 11:30 enraged me. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I mean come on. Seriously? After ch. 11 vv. 1-19 Jesus tells John, “Yes I am the messiah and you will die in prison.” And then 20-24 he chews out unrepentant cities. Then is vs. 30 he has the audacity to say that His burden is light?
Utter foolishness. He clearly is not in touch with reality. Read more ›
Graduating from college seemed to rob me of purpose.
In December 2012 I officially graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (much to many of my guest’s surprise who strangely think that because of my degree from Moody I should try to be the pope, true story). Don’t get me wrong, that is great news. It means that I get to move on; I get to experience the world; I get to participate in God’s plan in new ways. This was exciting!
Except it wasn’t.
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Nicholas Wolterstorff, a prominent Christian philosopher, and his wife Claire lost their son (Eric) due to a mountain climbing accident. This devastated them.
The journal that Wolterstorff kept while he sat (sits) on the “mourner’s bench” has been turned into the book “Lament for a Son” (truly is a phenomenal read). (Lament is something that us Western positivistic Christians don’t understand. It simply is not a category with which we interact.)
Six years ago, today, I lost a good friend: Hadessa Aspen Presti Flora. (For more on this loss check out this post.) Her death was shocking, sobering, painful, hard. It shattered my world; I miss her dearly. Read more ›
“They stood there, naked, ashamed, holding the fruit, unbelief polluting their souls, the very bowels shaped by the Beloved digesting the forbidden, Adam and Eve experienced sin. Our first parents suffered greatly, for they knew the weight of the garden lost.1 But with that, suffering was introduced into the human existence. No longer would life be characterized by delightful conversations with the Divine. The great commonality of all mankind shifted from a vibrant relationship with the Creator to death, pain, toil, and suffering. The society of sufferers asks for no dues, no pledges, its membership include all who have a heartbeat.
This society is not reserved for only faithless unbelievers. The underlying assumption is that hating and cursing God results in suffering while remaining faithful to Yahweh results in incredible flourishing. However, Scripture does not attest to that. Scripture flies in the face of prosperity theology and declares that world-shattering suffering occurs to the faithless and faithful alike. Traditionally, this question has been framed, why do the righteous suffer?2 In the pages that follow, we shall trace the suffering of the righteous through Job, Psalm 73, John the Baptizer, Jesus, and then examine the end of suffering.”
Read the rest of my suffering paper here: The Society of Sufferers