Skip to main content

leaning learning

There are some things in life that I just cannot explain. Call them miracles, call them God showing his love and kindness to us, call them the natural outworkings of basic life principles such as sowing and reaping or pride and humility - it really does not matter to me. All I know is that at least three times in my life, God has intervened and instantly freed me from addictions, destructive patterns, and painful memories. I still feel the vestiges of familiar tendencies on the rare occasion, but the impulse, the devastating ravage of emotions, that seemingly helpless downward spiral, and the desire to even head in those bad directions are gone, totally gone.
I wish I could point to something I did, or find a convenient 5-step process that made all the difference, or tell you that someone prayed for me, but in all honesty, I just cried out to God over and over again and submitted myself to him as best as I could. And one morning, or make that one morning and two evenings, these things were not following me around anymore.

I do believe that my desire to disentangle myself from these things caused me to lean over towards God more and more and rely on myself less and less and eventually, I just fell over into his arms and the chains broke. In one instance, I was alone at home, another time I was falling asleep, and most recently, I was in a crowd. No matter what situation I find myself in, if I just turn towards him, He is always there, more willing to engage with me than I could ever fathom.
This is a band we saw at the Montreal Jazz Festival a few weeks ago, Misteur Vallaire. Photo by Dean.


Popular posts from this blog

fun with hermeneutics

I am a reader. The stacks of books in my bedroom, living room, and office, many of them still waiting to be cracked open, testify to this fact. I love to read, but I also know that not all reading is the same. Some is more work and some is more pleasure. A light work of fiction requires little of me but to engage my imagination and be carried away by the story. Online reading requires a bit (or a lot) of discernment to make sure the sources are reliable and the facts check out. Academic reading requires me to reason through the arguments being made and connect them to what I already know or have read in the field. Reading an ancient text requires that I suspend my 21st century perspective as best I can and learn a bit about the worldview and language of the time. Acknowledging a text's context, intent, and genre enables me to hear the words and ideas in such a way that my view of history and the world are enlarged.

Reading, interpreting, and understanding the Bible are important …

stained and broken

Recently, I was asked to speak at another church, and the passage of Scripture which was assigned to me was John 1:6-8. "There came a man commissioned and sent from God, whose name was John. This man came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe [in Christ, the Light] through him. John was not the Light, but came to testify about the Light." (John 1:6-8, Amplified Bible)

The first question I usually ask when reading something in the Bible is this: What does this tell me about God? Two things are immediately obvious - God is a sending God and God wants to communicate - but there is a third which merits a bit more attention. Though God could communicate directly with humanity, sending truth and love to every individual via some divine mind-and-heart-meld, God chooses to send messengers. Not only that, instead of introducing Jesus directly to the world as the main event, an opening, warm-up act appears as a precursor. What is the point of incorporati…

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…