Feeling Strong

1917-08-09-Life-Norman-Rockwell-cover-You-Can-Trust-Me-Dad-400Feeling Strong

Have you ever felt strong? I mean truly strong, like an invincibility that can’t be stopped. Have you ever felt weak? I mean worthless, like the world would really be a better place without you. It’s funny isn’t it how sometimes we can feel so mighty and then in just a moment we can be so defeated. What happens? How does it happen so fast? It is good to feel strong, it is good to be encouraged we need those times in life. We need to be reminded that we are blessed, that we have been given talents and gifts, and that our lives have purpose. But when we are strong we must always be reminded that strength comes from the Lord for he alone is strong. It is also good to feel weak, to be broken we need those times in our life. We need to be reminded that we are dependent, that everything we have comes from God, and that one day we will die. So also when we are weak we must always be reminded that strength comes from the Lord, for he alone is strong.

Not long ago I went to go see a friend of mine in the hospital. He was facing some serious surgery. A surgery that carried with it a fare chance of death. This is a man who has been strong, a man who has done great things, a man who many people have depended on; but that day he lay in pain on a hospital bed completely dependent on the surgeon’s hand…weak. It is good to go to hospitals, it is good to go to funerals, it is good to feel sad sometimes. We need to be reminded that we live in a death world and ultimately everything in this world will die. We need to be reminded that there is only one hope, there is only one life, there is only one truth, and that is Jesus the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus is the strong one, and he is strong no matter how we feel. The apostle Paul had many strong and weak moments in his life but God always reminded him of this truth. Once in one of Paul’s weaker moments the Lord said to him, “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” To which Paul responded, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Picks of The Week

I am often asked what I read, or what kinds of media I find interesting. To this end I thought it would be helpful to begin sharing some of the things that I find particularly interesting in the week and give a little commentary from a biblical worldview perspective. Hopefully this will help us all to Think Through It.

The Gondolier – RadioLabGondo

What is the end of Gender Confusion in the world? This story is a wonderful example of the confusing end of humanism. We all struggle with identity whether it is with our work, success, image, or relationships, but of course the gospel sets us free from all of this. The gospel calls us to be a new man or woman, identified by who we are in Jesus as sons and daughters of God. For more of my thoughts on this see this 2015 Sermon.

How St. Augustine Invented Sex – The New Yorker
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It’s amazing how much influence Freud has had on the modern understanding of human drive and this article is definitely written from this modern perspective. How should Augustine actually be defined? I would encourage you to consider his own words through this easy to read translation of his Confessions.

Les Misérables (2012)
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Paige and I spent a few nights this week chipping away at Les Misérables after we put the kids to bed (we are too old and tired to watch a movie in one sitting these days). It has long been one of my favorite musicals, a story of redemption, order, hope, struggle, and love. Obviously Les Mis falls short of a robust biblical theology but it does do 2 things really well. First, it really helps the viewer think about the human experience and to ask some of the foundational questions of what it means to be human. Second, the concluding thesis of Les Mis (which is, “to love another person is to see the face of God”) is certainly getting at what is true in this life. The how, why, and what of that statement is where the gospel comes in and makes so much sense of everything. It is an almost five year old movie and the Hollywood vocalists certainly don’t match their Broadway peers but it is well made, well acted, and worth a first or a second watch.

I won’t be able to post next week but let me know if this is a helpful experiment and I will be back in a few weeks with more picks of the week encouraging you and hopefully helping you to think through it.