Culture

/Tag: Culture

Formica Counter-ing Culture

“Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.”   -King Solomon. Prov 4:23.

I grew up in the mid-2000s, hyper-purity youth group culture of Christianity. Youth group emphasized saving yourself for marriage, dating was implied to be bad, and everyone was always wondering whether or not you “liked” a guy because you talked to him for more than eight seconds. I remember specifically attending a conference on relationships as a teenager where the entire emphasis was, literally, about keeping your pants on. They were selling checkered suspenders in the lobby.

And then I went to Bible College.

Cue confusion over courtship, paranoia about sneak-attack coffee dates (“Is is a date? Does he like me? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN”), and engagements left and right. It’s a strange arena to attempt navigation, and the Starbucks counter down the street has witnessed many a DTR

Formica Counter-ing Culture2016-05-30T20:26:15+00:00

I’d like to order one Rapture, please…

It’s hard to look at the monstrous expectations of your future and of yourself and not be overwhelmed. I want to grow up well. I want to do this life thing right, honor God, finish strong. Keep going….

There are plenty of folks in Scripture I can see parallels with. It’s hard not to feel like Timothy sometimes, staring at a rag-tag congregation of Ephesians who are veering into idolatry and Paul’s far away and it’s up to his youthful, dreadfully inexperienced self to protect the deposit of truth and lead them back. The pressure against maintaining the Gospel even among his own was very real.

It’s hard not to feel like Daniel, a kid in a foreign land where they’re forcing him to melt into a new identity and making him do things his Jewish mother would gasp at, and he’s navigating the war between inner resolve and compromise. The pressure

I’d like to order one Rapture, please…2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Wonderstruck and Bothering

I’ve been pondering this one phrase that has so completely captured my imagination:

God bothered.

This Incarnation Celebration Season, aka Christmas, we rave about the commercialism and the church services, the cookies and the presents, even our fiercely-held traditions of being with family or reading the Story itself, but shame on us if we neglect the powerful condescension that fuels this entire thing.

There is a God, and he has bothered to make himself known to us. There is a God, and he has called himself our Father in Heaven. There is a God, and he came.

As J.I Packer writes so plainly and beautifully in his book, Knowing God, despite the magnanimity of Him, we have made God so common, so base–we have lost the sense of awe and reverence for him. God has bothered! The fact that the God of the entire universe wants to know us demands a response of absolute love

Wonderstruck and Bothering2015-12-25T05:03:49+00:00

They held feasts in their homes on their birthdays

Tragedy comes in different packages.

It’s a suicide bomber at a Parisian concert hall. It’s a phone call that dad has brain damage from a slip on the linoleum. It’s a cursory glance at the Bible instead of a long drink. It’s an alcoholic beverage or a frosted sugar cookie or one more click on the computer even though you vowed to stop and “just do today” in God’s grace. It’s realizing that you got something really, really wrong.

For Job, tragedy was a gaggle of breathless messengers who delivered the worst news of his life. I wouldn’t ever be able to hear running feet the same way again if I had been him.

His life had been idyllic, blessed by the hand of God for being obedient. And yet, in his sovereignty, God destroyed his life: his children, his material wealth, his personal wellness.

Friends came, sat in silence for an eternal seven

They held feasts in their homes on their birthdays2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Preferring


Peanut Butter S’mores. It may sound disgusting, but it’s one of my favorite ice creams.

Rose Latte. It may sound disgusting, but it’s one of Hannah the Traveler’s favorite coffee drinks. 

We are all created with preferences. I like this, you like that, he can’t stand that, fill-in-the-blank. That’s part of how God made us, and it’s a wondrous thing to see how the Body of Christ fits together with the distributed uniqueness among us all. It’s beautiful how people are so different but need the same things: food, shelter, love.

God.

I wonder how many people think of God as just another preference, like an extra blurb to add to a biography or something to rattle off when we talk about mutual interests. “I like chocolate, watching classic films, and going to church,”

Preferring2015-01-09T03:41:02+00:00