links to 4 items worth your time

1. Waiting for God to Act

“We have been seduced by an idolatry that deceives us into thinking that God is mostly found in the big and loud, when in fact, God is almost never found in the big and loud. The ways of God are predominantly small and quiet. The ways of God are about as loud as seed falling on the ground or bread rising in an oven. The ways of God are almost never found in the shouts of the crowd; the ways of God are more often found in trickling tears and whispered prayers. We want God to do a big thing, while God is planning to do a small thing. We are impressed by the big and loud. God is not. We are in a hurry. God is not. We want God to act fast, but Godspeed is almost always slow.

“So we are waiting for God to act, but I would suggest that we are not so much waiting for God to act as we are waiting to become contemplative enough to discern what God is doing.”

2. A Nativity for Our Time

“What sorts of things should Christians really be upset by at Christmas?”

3. The Christus Victor View of the Atonement [essential reading]

“… the Christus Victor perspective inspires disciples to live counter-cultural lives that are persistently on-guard against the demonically seductive pull of nationalism, patriotism, culturally endorsed violence, greed, racism and a host of other structural evils that are part of the spiritually polluted air we all breath.”

4. 2,000-year-old ‘Pilate’ ring just might have belonged to notorious Jesus judge

“An intriguing 2,000-year-old copper alloy ring bearing the inscription ‘of Pilatus’ may be only the second artifact testifying to the historicity of the infamous Pontius Pilate. Unearthed 50 years ago, the ring was overlooked until recently, when it got a good scrub, and a second look. …

“While the name Pontius was common for Romans during the Second Temple, Pilate was not.”

links to 4 helpful posts

1. A God Veiled in Time and Space but Revealed in Christ

“If humans are going to find God, it will not be where he has chosen to hide but where he has chosen to reveal himself. It is not in quantum uncertainty or statistical analysis that God is discovered. We will not find him in a gap but on a cross. It is here in the most unexpected of places that we discern, as Stanley Hauerwas has put it, ‘the grain on the universe.'”

2. Houston’s $6 Billion Census Problem: Frightened Immigrants

“Fears of deportation could leave thousands of people uncounted … Texas stands to lose at least $1,161 in federal funding for each person not counted, according to a March report by Andrew Reamer, a research professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy. Multiplied by the estimated 506,000 unauthorized immigrants who live in the nation’s fourth-largest city, that puts at stake about $6 billion for Houston over the 10 years the census applies.”

3. Mikhail Gorbachev: A New Nuclear Arms Race Has Begun

“There will be no winner in a ‘war of all against all’ — particularly if it ends in a nuclear war. And that is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. An unrelenting arms race, international tensions, hostility and universal mistrust will only increase the risk.”

4. Podcast: Will God Always Provide a Non-Sinful Option?

“Look at the big picture. What’s being accomplished?”

links to 5 helpful posts

1. What’s Going On? The Day Motown Got Woke

“We can’t sing ‘moon and June’ songs any longer. And like Marvin Gaye, we may find ourselves simultaneously in a social and spiritual awakening.”

2. Our Father in Heaven – Matthew 6.9

“Unlike this clear focus on God in prayer, popular Christian prayers tend to pray focus on the needs of the person praying.”

3. The Wilderness of Judea: The Ultimate Getaway

“The places pilgrims come to see today show centuries of scars from the ruins and reconstructions of many faiths and peoples. But in the Wilderness of Judea, one can see what the ancients saw.”

4. Young Leaders: Who Will Replace Eugene Peterson and Other Giants We’ve Lost?

“So what does it take to cultivate a voice that has depth? What would it take for you to nurture a voice that speaks meaning into the lives of others during your lifetime, and perhaps beyond?”

5. New Social Security phone scams are so convincing they might even fool you

“… watch out for fraudsters that are spoofing the Social Security Administration’s official 1-800 number.”