Though far, his death felt near. In some way he represented my brother, my cousin, and my friend. I found myself repeating the words of Wolterstorff that “if he was worth loving”—a fellow image-bearer—“he is worth grieving over.”
As I grieved, I searched for help in navigating this grim reality. I found that help in a seemingly unlikely yet safe refuge: Lamentations 3. Here are three reflections.
This is helpful information.
Yes, I really have heard that objection. But there are many ways one can cast doubt on the Bible. It’s a huge subject, and it quickly becomes technical. But, for starters, here are two things to keep in mind.
This morning, Gallup, a research institution, published new data on LGBT Americans, and the facts are fascinating. The Obergefell decision was two years ago already, which is hard to believe, and the new data from Gallup is meant to show some of the ways the LGBT community has changed since gay marriage was made legal in the United States.
As pastors and church leaders seek to better understand, reach, and equip Millennials, understanding the LGBT community is important. So, here are seven surprising facts about the LGBT community.
The experience of student ministry prepares leaders well for other roles if the Lord leads the person to move into another role. If someone serves faithfully in a student ministry context, the person will be well prepared to serve faithfully in another context. Confession: Jimmy and I are also likely to feel this way because we both are former student pastors.
Effective student ministry leaders faithfully fulfill at least four critical assignments in their roles, and these four assignments are absolutely essential in other ministry roles.
That ink on paper has power to produce both joy and tears is a wonder to me. Yet, such is our experience as we walk the winding path a master story-teller blazes for us.
Even as a child, Lewis’ mastery was not lost on me as my heart ached with an unknown longing each time the Pevensie children left the bright lands of Narnia and found themselves enveloped by the grey weariness of England. Gone was the vibrancy and joyful melody of that land beyond the wardrobe, replaced, instead, with the drab colours and mournful dirge of reality. As a student of the soul, Lewis was taping into the shared experience of longing and the common ache of mourning that which has been lost. Somehow, to my young mind, it seemed wrong that anyone should say goodbye to Narnia. Why couldn’t the feasting and dancing last forever? Why did the story need to end?
Yet, we know it must be so. Our own story confirms what Lewis told us is true.
A favorite from the archives:
Hosea is one of those books that’s both extremely fascinating and troubling, not simply because of the illustration of God’s pursuit of his adulterous people through Hosea’s marriage, caring for children not his own and purchasing his wife out of slavery. (Side note: when was the last time you heard a really great Jesus-focused sermon from Hosea?)
The reason Hosea makes me uneasy when I read it, though, isn’t because of my spiritually adulterous ways (Lord willing, I’m faithful in that regard). It’s because of a different, but related, danger: that of abundance.