Thursday Picks ~ 2-16-2017

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

I admit that I have the tendency to do this…

Stop Making Yourself the Hero of Bible StoriesAaron Earls
Hero Villain Storm Trooper BibleWe want to read the stories of the Bible and see ourselves as the heroes of the faith, the brave ones standing up in the face of persecution. But more often than not, we are the cowardly ones caving to temptation…

We are the failures, the rejects, the idolaters, the sinful, the prideful, the villains. But that’s the most wonderful part. God hasn’t called us to be the hero, only to follow the One who actually is….

The good news of the gospel is that you aren’t the hero of the story and you don’t have to be.


I haven’t decided if I agree with everything Tim says here, but he makes a compelling point…

Why I Won’t Be Seeing (or Reviewing) The Shack Movie
Tim Challies
God is not a human being. God is not like a human being in any way that can be explained by presenting him in an embodied form. God is so other that any visual representation harms instead of helps our understanding. Even as The Shack uses human beings in an attempt to lead people closer to God, it will actually lead them farther away. It must. J.I. Packer says, … “To make an image of God is to take one’s thoughts of him from a human source rather than from God himself; and this is precisely what is wrong with image-making.”

The Shack presents God in human flesh. It makes the infinite finite, the invisible visible, the omnipotent impotent, the all-present local, the spiritual material. In its visual portrayal of God it diminishes, it obfuscates, it blasphemes, it lies.


I absolutely love this story! Take the time to watch the 5 and half minute video. This is one way that the concept of “missionary” is changing…

Redeemed to Go:
A Rescued Refugee Returns to Africa with the Gospel
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The world has watched in horror over the last several years as millions of people have been displaced from their homes in South Sudan as a result of civil war. It’s easy to wonder what good can come from children and families being forced from their homes, torn from any sense of safety and security.

But in God’s amazing grace, he is redeeming the stories of these lives, one by one,  calling refugees to himself, and sending them back out to share the gospel with the nations. Abuk, a disciple of Christ and an IMB missionary, is one of them…

Abuk has now embarked on a journey to obediently answer God’s call to return to Africa to make disciples. Through her obedient response to the call to the nations, Abuk is subtly redefining what many people believe missionaries to be. Her humble spirit and inspiring story shows how they are ordinary followers of Jesus, each with his or her own story of redemption. And each with his or her own part to play in God’s mission.


Turns out, the incarnation was a pretty smart idea…

I’m Surprised That I Think There Is No GodTim Fall
andromeda-spiralThe fact that Jesus lived never leaves me. I believe in his life and that he died a criminal’s death on a Roman cross. I believe in his resurrection from the dead too. I believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be: God.

Then why do I doubt God’s existence at times?

Why do I look around me and wonder if there really is a God? This isn’t a philosophical type of wondering. I’m not thinking on problems such as how evil can exist if God is good and loving.

I’m thinking at times that maybe God doesn’t exist at all.

Yet I never doubt Jesus’ existence: his life, death and resurrection. How do these two mindsets square with each other: assurance of Jesus’ existence and occasional doubt of God’s existence?

I have no idea.

This is where the wisdom of the Incarnation comes in…


Mating Dance…
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Calvin and Hobbes – Click image for a larger view.

One thought on “Thursday Picks ~ 2-16-2017”

  1. This line in your excerpt from Aaron Earls’ post is great: “God hasn’t called us to be the hero, only to follow the One who actually is … .”

    The Bible has a hero and it ain’t me.

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