When God Burns Down Your House

Tragedy is a part of living in a broken world. More than a part, it’s inevitable. When tragedy strikes, our first question is, Why? Whether or not we get an answer, we quickly must ask a second, and perhaps even more important question, How do I deal with this? Think of a tragedy in your life recently. How did you deal with it? Perhaps you dismissed it, chalked it up to bad luck, stuffed your feelings, or even blamed someone (maybe yourself). Maybe you blamed God. And got angry with him. Anne Bradstreet’s poem Verses upon the Burning of our House, July 10th, 1666 teaches us how … Continue reading When God Burns Down Your House

Reading the Bible in 2016: Knowing How to Read

As 2016 gets underway, many of us are starting a new Bible reading plan (and you can even start today though it’s January 7!). What is essential to making your Bible reading worthwhile this year? There’s a lot we could say, but let me boil it down to three things we must do: we must read successively, thoughtfully, and prayerfully. First, read successively. By this I mean read whole books of the Bible at a time. The Bible is a collection of 66 books with unique genres, and specific themes, tones, and purposes in mind. Each book was written by unique people who had their own personalities and … Continue reading Reading the Bible in 2016: Knowing How to Read

Psalm 88: A Paraphrase

This Sunday I’m preaching from Psalm 88. Eugene Peterson’s The Message paraphrase of that chapter inspired me to take a deeper look and draw out some of the obscurities of this ancient Hebrew song. Here is my best Petersonian effort at my own paraphrase. Psalm 88 O Yahweh, you are my savior;    All day and night I’m praying to you. Please listen to me;    Don’t plug your ears! My life is a wreck,    And I’m standing in my grave. I might as well be in hell;    I am weak and helpless, like one freed to play on a dead-man’s playground, … Continue reading Psalm 88: A Paraphrase