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Month: February 2019

Lent: A Journey Towards Crucifixion

Back in 2014, I decided to make Lent part of the regular rhythm of my calendar. Now I’m not a Catholic, and so I didn’t bother with only eating fish for dinner on Fridays. But in this crazy-busy world, it isn’t hard to see the value in abstaining from something in order to make room for more important things. So what’s it all about? I wrote about Lent in 2018 and 2017 but packaged simply, Lent is a 40 day period of reflection, repentance, and preparation which begins on Ash Wednesday (6th March in 2019, you’re welcome) and ends with the celebration of the triumph of Easter Sunday. Back in 2014 I wrote about my first experience of Lent:  Where do you start? Everyone’s journey…

Love Compels Us

Recently I’ve had the privilege of spending Sunday afternoons at Deep; an appropriately-named bible study class for North Pine Baptist Church’s cohort of young adults. Digging into the significance of the Great Commission (and learning more about the One who issued it), we’re asking the question “why should we make disciples?” We’re discovering how obedience to this command gets right to the crux of God’s grand redemptive plan for reconciling the world back to himself (1 Peter 3:18). Because the answers to this question are so rich and relevant for every Christian, I thought I’d share a few brief thoughts from weeks one and two. 1. We Make Disciples Because It’s a Command Through the grand narrative of Scripture, we read of events, roles, and—most…

Afraid of All the Things

For as long as she can remember, Scarlet Hiltibidal has been an anxiously-wired person. I’m not talking about the usual trepidation of making new friends at school or the fear of making the right fashion choices. Oh, no. In Afraid of All the Things, Scarlet speaks at length about her fear of tornadoes (and firenados—yes, they exist); death by random sinkholes; infectious diseases and exploding internal organs; and being away at length from the safety of cities that have easy access to hospitals and police, and the option of a quick escape from threats via the ubiquitous taxi. The message that makes Scarlet’s book the kind that everyone should read is succinctly captured in the subtitle: Tornadoes, Cancer, Adoption, and Other Stuff You Need the…

Spurgeon’s Prayer for Reading Scripture

When it comes to spending time reading the Bible, C. H. Spurgeon stands in the company of great men and women who held a high view of Scripture. He (and they) reminded people that the Bible is not simply a group of words that teach us how to live as faithful disciples of Jesus, but its the book through which we actually encounter the living Christ. Recently I’ve been immersed in the writing of men such as John Piper, Martin Luther, and (a new book on the works of) Karl Barth; men who knew that Scripture was the primary means of grace through which we could see and savour the preeminent, living Christ. When it came to teaching his people how to approach the pages…