10,000 Things

“God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them… Not only may you see a tiny fraction of what God is doing in your life; the part you do see may make no sense to you.”

“Therefore, no matter what you face this year, God will be doing 10,000 things in your life that you cannot see. Trust him. Love him. And they will all be good for you.”

— John Piper, God is Always Doing 10,000 Things in Your Life

Your Beliefs and Practices are Cultural

“When I went to seminary to prepare for the ministry, I met an African-American student, Elward Ellis, who befriended both my future wife, Kathy Kristy, and me. He gave us gracious but bare-knuckled mentoring about the realities of injustice in American culture. “You’re a racist, you know,” he once said at our kitchen table. “Oh, you don’t mean to be, and you don’t want to be, but you are. You can’t really help it.” He said, for example, “When black people do things in a certain way, you say, ‘Well, that’s your culture.’ But when white people do things in a certain way, you say, ‘That’s just the right way to do things.’ You don’t realize you really have a culture. You are blind to how many of your beliefs and practices are cultural.” We began to see how, in so many ways, we made our cultural biases into moral principles and then judged people of other races as being inferior. His case was so strong and fair that, to our surprise, we agreed with him.”

— Tim Keller

Agreed. But also, this isn’t just a race thing but a larger cultural phenomena. In my experience, we Americans think that our way is the right way. When we go out to other countries, we are so quick to judge their behaviors, rituals, architecture, values, etc. In college I took an anthropology class about nonprofit organizations. We studied American humanitarian organizations that would go oversees to help develop third world countries. When they built systems, even things like washrooms, they would build them in a way that only makes sense to the Western man. The people these systems were intended to serve ended up not utilizing the services at all, because it did not fit culturally. This showcased how we believe our way is the only and right way. Instead of meeting people where they are, we are inclined to “help” people meet us where we are.

Just some food for thought.

Now Jesus was a man. He was human. He was not a white man! He was not a black man. He came from that part of the world that touches Africa, and Asia, and Europe, and he probably had a brown skin.

— Billy Graham in South Africa in 1973

“Christ belongs to all people. He belongs to the whole world.”

Organization of the Blog

Thanks for visiting. 🙂 I recommend that you use a desktop or laptop to peruse this blog. I’ve got a handy navigation bar on the left; my posts are organized by different categories. If you’re using a smartphone, you’ll have to scroll all the way to the bottom to find the navigation bar.

And if you have a blog, please let me know. I would love to read yours.

Happy web surfing, friends!

Like Joseph

“Loving God,
Like Joseph, we don’t always understand why things happen the way they do;
why our plans and dreams fail,
and we find ourselves facing challenge after challenge,
and disappointment after disappointment.

Yet, like Joseph, we also believe that You are at work in our lives,
and that You have a larger plan and purpose for each one of us.
Give us faith to trust in You no matter what challenges we face.

Give us courage to place our dreams and ambitions in Your hands,
and then follow where You lead without hesitation,
confident that Your loving presence goes with us.
Amen.”

Christine Longhurst

Genesis 50:20 ESV 

 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Wrestle, Don’t Give Up

“God will meet you in your anguish, fear, and uncertainty. But he may not meet you in the way you expect or desire. Your greatest ally may show up looking at first like your adversary, inciting you to wrestle with him.
If so, remember Jacob. There are multiple blessings in the wrestling. You may not need soft words of comfort, you may not need to be left alone with your thoughts, you may not need sleep, you may not even need a healthy hip! What you need is God’s blessing!
So when God calls you to wrestle with him in prayer, it is an invitation to receive his blessing. Stay with him and don’t give up. Do not let him go until he blesses you! He loves to bless that kind of tenacious faith and you will come out transformed.”

Clinging > Conceit

So how do we overcome these conceits?

Remember Paul’s situation in 2 Corinthians. He’s facing false apostles and teachers who are saying he doesn’t have the credentials to be a true apostle. Paul counters that he does have the credentials—but not the kind we would expect. He inverts all the categories. Instead of boasting about his theological knowledge, great success, or picture-perfect outward life, he boasts in insults, hardships, and being run out of town on a rail. This is how he contends that God is truly with him. He tells us to look at all the things God has done to bring him to his knees. 

Pastor, consider all the things God has done to break your pride. Look at all the ways he’s brought you to the end of yourself so that you would cling to him more tightly. Let all your failures and disappointments and weaknesses drive you like a nail into the love of God. It’s only by embracing them that you’re ever going to become a true minister and make it to the finish line.

— Tim Keller, 3 Ways Ministry Can Make You Conceited