Archive - May, 2009

Hmm, suffering, latin & Twitter

“One of my favorite Latin expressions : ubi dolor, ibi Christus; “wherever there is suffering, there is Christ.”

Just got this as a tweet (thru twitter) from Len Sweet who is kind of a cultural, theological and social architect of modern Christian thought (not sure how else to describe him, or if it’s possible to be those things!). It’s not anything new, like something we just discovered about suffering and our Savior. It is simply a truth. Wherever you go and there you find suffering, you will also find Christ. I firmly believe Christ is in the midst of suffering, not separate and distant from it. He embraced it on the cross. He called us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. Then grab hold of suffering as a prize for the redeemed. That’s big! If we truly took that seriously…wow. Paul saw suffering as an opportunity to be like Christ in His death and resurrection. So essentially we are the most like Jesus in our own suffering. More good news – he is remaking us in the midst of it. Like an ugly lump of clay to a beautiful, colorful vase that is a joy to look at, so are we being formed and fashioned into the most incredible piece of God-pottery.
So, if you’re in the middle of it, hang on, don’t let it go until God has finished His work. Ubi dolor, ibi Christus – yes.

Cancer is On My “List”

I just read that professional golfer Phil Mickelson’s wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. Man! That’s tough. I am sorry for he and his family.
Cancer is just one, bad, insidious, unpredictable beast isn’t it?? I have known many people who have struggled with the sickness. I have watched (literally) people die from it. I have watched people overcome it. I have watched people endure it with incredible grace, strength, confidence and sheer determination. I realize it is just one among many ways that we can be physically harmed, impaired or killed, but it seems more prevalent these days than ever before. Honestly, it is on my list! You know, “the list” we are all making of questions we have for God one day when the “roll is called up yonder” and we get to sit with Him and get this whole deal figured out. I look forward to that. It is helpful to know in the midst of tragedy, abuse, cancer, the loss of a baby, etc. etc. that God understands our pain and questions. He knows that we don’t have complete, perfect knowledge that makes the dark clouds of uncertainty blow away. Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 13:12,

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

One day we will see God and understand Him clearly. But, for now, we are left with that sometimes murky and always critical practice called “faith”. It is tied directly to hope and is what helps us endure the craziness of this earthly life.

Grace Campus to HK//They Will Be Missed

Just wanted to say “thanks” again to Matt Dean for his message on worship. He is such a gifted speaker. His heart is so humble and given to the Lord. I am, again, challenged to think differently about how I honor Christ with my whole life. Matt can be my preacher anytime!

He and the team at Grace Campus will be missed as they head to Hong Kong this summer. Besides Matt and April and their family, we will also be sending out Scott and Catherine Littlepage, Jason Orme, and Micah Brake from our church. Please pray for them as they go to serve Christ by ministering to the lost and empowering the found in China. Also, if you would like to support the Grace Campus team financially you can click HERE.

Technology is Good

Sometimes I wonder if technology really is good. Is it moving people toward fellowship, grace, genuine connection, love, sanctification, etc. etc.? I realize it’s a means for many things. But, how often have we made it function more like the end? Sometimes it’s more frustrating than helpful. Anyway, I’m all for it on days like today. I was meeting with our IT guy Scott Fillmer about my blog when Josh Agerton (our Pastor of Connections) video chatted me from Uganda where our mission team is currently working. He was wishing me a “happy birthday”. It was great to hear from him, and not just the birthday part. He filled me in on all the great work being done in Buloba (the town we have partnered with) and how the team was doing. We caught up for a few minutes and then signed off. I thought, “wow, I love technology!” It is something that God can and does use to fulfill His purpose. I use it everyday. Do we have to be careful – YES. Anything in the hands of a person with evil intent can cause harm. That’s why Christians should take hold of it and make it a tool for good.
Today, I definitely think it was good.