God Also Cares About Your Personal Drama

In Genesis 41, the Pharaoh had two dreams that warned him of the famine that would soon sweep the whole region. No one in the palace could interpret the dreams, except for Joseph who was still in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Then the chief cupbearer remembered him.

I’ve always read this account with a delicious sense of irony. The guy who would save them all was right there all along, under their noses, suffering an injustice, forgotten by the people who were supposed to help him out of his prison cell. There are so many things to be gleaned from this story, most of them are already clichés to our ears. Let’s venture to mention a few.

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Why Cancel Culture Is Not Enough

In internet-speak, cancel culture is the practice of withdrawing support for public figures, organizations, or churches after they did, said, or posted something considered objectionable or offensive. 

So if internet people catch you doing something deemed unacceptable, you get “cancelledt.” That last word is not a misspelling. One doesn’t properly cancel someone without using that particular spelling. And if you do agree to cancel someone, you are obliged to comment, “samedt” in the comments section. Again, that’s not a misspelling. It’s the word “same” stylized with the additional D and T. Don’t ask me how that mongrel of a word came to be; I didn’t make the rules. I suspect it’s the same grammar rules that gave us the word “shookt.” These days you are no longer shocked, horrified, appalled, or mortified. You are “shookt.” 

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Why People Avoid Talking About Predestination

The doctrine of predestination, also called election, is a difficult topic to talk about. Romans 8:29 says, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Some people are surprised I believe in this. I always say, “Why not? It’s all over the Bible!”

But why do many Christians avoid this topic? Two reasons. First, because some think it means humans no longer have a choice. They become like robots and their decisions don’t matter anymore. But if you look at the Bible, Jesus said things like, “come to me all of you who are weary and burdened…” “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” These are invitations. God is calling for a response from the people he is inviting. You don’t invite robots; you program them.

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Theology for Ordinary People

I don’t understand cooking shows. The full range of my cooking skills involves cooking rice and a few tricks on how to prepare quick meals appropriate only for college dorm life. Beyond that, I’m totally useless in the kitchen. My wife Donna is different. She’d watch a YouTube video about a recipe and in less than an hour she’d come up with her own version of whatever dish she’s interested in.

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Faithful Presence

For those who are passionate about changing the world and making a difference in society, David E. Fitch’s book is a good read.

“Does the church have anything to offer a world full of injustice? Can the church reach out to the worlds around me in a way that doesn’t judge them, alienate them, or ask them in some way to come to us? Can the church engage the hurting, the poor, and the broken with something more than just handouts? We have seen the programs, the missional church, the justice teams, the church in a coffee house or in a bar, and nothing seems to change. Can’t we do all of this better without the church? 

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Don’t Skip the Private Parts

Romans 6:12-14 says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

Romans 5 is the ground for Romans 6. Because you have been justified through faith in Christ, you are dead to sin. You are not its slave anymore. You are free. You can now walk in the newness of life. There are two things you can do to apply this verse to your life:

First, do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness.

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