When we started on this blogging journey, my first post was a prayer. I told God, “I want to see right into your world and let it change mine.” That truly was the desire of my heart starting out, and really, how could my world not be changed by this revelation–of Jesus. Never before have I studied Revelation with such a consistent focus on Jesus, who is the letter’s appropriate and rightful centerpiece. He is the one in whom heaven and earth meet. In him there is light and no darkness at all.
How could I have missed your revelation–of Jesus–all these years? I was too caught up in timelines and puzzles and re-reading the “pretty parts” about the crystal sea, the pearl gates and the dazzling foundation of the new Jerusalem. But there it was right in verse one–“the …
My husband was a fan of of the series Fringe, a sci fi television series that centered on characters on either side of a parallel universe. Things always got intriguing when characters (or beings of some sort) passed from one side to the other. It’s likely the producers of the show didn’t intend for someone like me to draw spiritual comparisons between fictional parallel worlds and the reality of the spiritual realm and our physical world, but thank you N.T. Wright for the reminder that “there are signs that this reality [our future world] keeps peeping through even in the present world of death and tears.” Understanding that I am in the midst of eternity now and that what I do and how I choose to spend my days matters, both now and on the “other side,.” gives life significance, …
Today at the dinner table my fourteen year old said, “Today’s sermon was great. For the first time I wanted to cry about heaven because I was happy instead of crying because I was afraid.” I can’t blame her for being fearful. As much detail as John offers us and as fine a commentary as N.T. Wright has provided, it’s still a mysterious, albeit amazing, destiny.
This passage talks about God dwelling among his people, actually “tabernacling” with us (don’t you love turning nouns into verbs?) He will finally be able to enjoy the kind of intimate, fatherly relationship he’s desired all along and we with him. It’s hard for me to believe that being in such proximity to God will not evoke a lot of tears, the happy kind, like the kind we get on “this side” during wholehearted worship …
Dear God, Thank you for being a God of courage. You are willing to confront evil at every level and in all places. I’ve become so accustomed to living in a sin saturated world that I’m not sure I would even be able to recognize how deep and prevalent it really is, much less have the courage to confront it head-on and say enough is enough. Thank you for your perfect justice even when it demands a high price from you personally. Thank you for your mercy on us and your unmatchable patience. Your judgements are right and true. Your sentences are fair and justified. Forever grateful, VL
As I’ve shared in earlier posts, I grew up on a conservative Baptist church where events of the “end times” were clearly and definitively (my nice way of saying dogmatically) delineated. You had the rapture (fully illustrated in end times genre Christian-made movies), pre-trib & post-trib events, who would reign during the literal thousand year reign, etc. I suppose that because Revelation can be such a perplexing, disconcerting and mysterious book, it felt good to church leaders to have an approved “agenda” for what happens, while allowing no room for debate.
I appreciate N.T. Wright’s attempts to interpret this “who’s on first, what’s on second kind” of passage and offer us some clues as to its meaning within a biblical and historical context. But I’m also thankful for his closing thoughts cautioning us not to be too dogmatic and his encouragement …
Who knows how will things will shake down this November.
Who knows what the result of Egypt’s “election” will be.
Who knows where the NASDAQ will be next week.
Who knows how the new Spider-Man movie with compare to the Tobey Maguire versions.
Who knows what will happen at the”end the world” (not with a bang, but a whimper?)
But seriously, isn’t it soul satisfying to know that in the end God wins and God reigns. We can have complete confidence in the victory secured by the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Amen and amen.
The double doors opened and my fellow retreat participants and I were ushered into a room lit only by candleight. When my eyes started to adjust I could make out figures moving around the room. The figures it turns out were men dressed in starched white shirts, black pants and bow ties. They were carrying plates to long formal tables set with linen and china. Still dazzed, we were each guided to a table and our chairs were pulled out for us by these formally dressed waiters. I looked across the table at the other women. Everyone looked simultaneously puzzled and pleased. No one said a word. Finally, the woman next to me put her hand on my arm to get my attention and pointed over to the corner of the room. There I saw a beautifully decorated, multi-tier wedding …
Tonight I was listening to a story on NPR about human trafficking. According to a new State Department report approximately 27 million people are enslaved–more than any other time in human history (and yes, 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation). Apparently one of the reasons it’s so rampant is that it’s been allowed to go unchecked for so long. It fell under the “that’s not really happening” category, so the practice has been allowed to continue to gain momentum unchecked for the most part.
Sister Azezet Kinkane, a nun and nurse for Physicans for Human Rights – Israel was being honored for her work against human slavery, was asked if the problem of human slavery could be eradicated in our lifetime. She said, “God can change our hearts. If our heart change and all of us – we focus on respect …
A friend recently commented that she hates (yes, hates) it when someone says, “I’m so blessed.” She interprets this to mean, “God must like me better than the people in Sudan who are starving.”
Apparently, God can’t win with her. If he personally does not rain down food from heaven to feed the entire planet, he’s evil. If he chooses to bless some (knowing full well none of us deserve it), but not others, he’s evil. I get the idea she’s not real keen on God.
But on the surface, I can appreciate what she’s saying. I mean, why do some moms on the planet have to sell their families clothing in order to buy rice to fill their hungry children’s bellies, and then others need to send their children to “fat camp” summer after summer? It seems unjust. But from my …
Last night I got a call from one of my sister. She and her family are on a trip to California, by way of Las Vegas in order to see her son who works in one of the large, glamorous hotel/casinos. Like most first-time visitors my sister was awe-struck by the dazzling lights, the dancing fountains and massive buildings all created for pleasure. But it didn’t take long for reality to sink it.
As she and her family strolled the Vegas strip they were confronted repeatedly by people saying, “We can have a girl to your room in 20 minutes,” after which the “salesperson” would thrust something into your hand–it wasn’t a business card, it was a condom. Most visitors are not interested in the offer, so the sidewalks are literally littered with condoms wrappers. My sister’s son also told her …