Wednesday Picks ~ 8-3-2016

Picks Wednesday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

The citizenship I need to cling to now more than ever
Aaron Armstrong
SunsetWhen I watch and listen as people speak with uneasiness about the upcoming election, I feel it differently. I will live with the consequences of November’s decision just as they will, but I am not a part of the decision making process. They have a voice. I do not.

I’m a sojourner.

And in a strange way, it makes me appreciate the fact that, in one sense, I always was. From the moment Christ saved me, my citizenship changed. I was no longer simply a Canadian, but a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. This fallen world was no longer the land to which I truly belonged—the coming kingdom, the New Jerusalem is.

And here in a country that is not my own—one where I am more obviously a temporary resident, a sojourner, than I’ve ever been before—it’s this citizenship that I need to cling to in a new way. It was always primary. I am just more aware of it.

Let Us Repent of Our NonchalanceJared C. Wilson
nonchalanceThe god of the prosperity gospelists is a pathetic doormat, a genie. The god of the cutesy coffee mugs and Joel Osteen tweets is a milquetoast doofus like the guys in the Jane Austen novels you hope the girls don’t end up with, holding their hats limply in hand and minding their manners to follow your lead like a butler or the doormat he stands on. The god of the American Dream is Santa Claus…The god of our therapeutic culture is ourselves, we the “forgivers” of ourselves, navel-haloed morons with “baggage” but not sin. None of these pathetic gods could provoke fear and trembling.

But the God of the Scriptures is a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24)… He stirs up the oceans with the tip of his finger, and they sizzle rolling clouds of steam into the sky. He shoots lightning from his fists. This is the God who leads his children by a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. This is the God who makes war and sends plagues and sits enthroned in majesty and glory in his heavens, doing what he pleases. This is the God who incarnate in the flesh turned tables over in the temple like he owned the place. This Lord God Jesus Christ was pushed to the edge of the cliff and declared, “This is not happening today,” and walked right back through the crowd like a boss. This Lord says “Nobody takes my life; I give it willingly,” as if to say, “You couldn’t kill me unless I let you.” This Lord calms the storms, casts out demons, binds and looses and has the authority to grant us the same. The Devil is this God’s lapdog.

And it is this God who has summoned us, apprehended us, saved us.

America’s Lost BoysSamuel D. James a time when our culture desperately needs bold and compassionate models of Christian masculinity, the prospect that an entire generation’s potential should be wasted on an addiction to stimulation is deeply sad. Sin is always double-edged like that—it’s a matter not only of doing what one ought not do, but also of neglecting to do what one ought. What might these millions of young men be doing, if they were not doing this?

These are America’s lost boys. They should matter to anyone who cares about human flourishing, the beauty of family, the sustenance of friendship, and the health of our civic society. Rather than try to attract these millennials by reshaping faith in the image of entertainment, we as Christians should offer a gospel that saves not only from hell but also from meaninglessness.

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