Showing posts from January, 2012

The Story Woven

The ground was white with snow. We were spending the weekend in a "cabin" -- sort of a hunting retreat -- in the middle of nowhere, four hours' drive, slow behind the plow/salt truck. It was a long weekend for most of us, with no classes on Monday for MLK day, and we were taking some time to sleep and read, do homework and cook and catch up with each other's lives. With no internet access. With no phone service, except the landline, kept for emergencies. And so -- Saturday -- we went for a walk in the woods. (A suibien kind of walk, my Chinese friends would say. It took me a while to explain that to my roommate once. I said I was going for a walk. "Where?" she asked. "Around campus," I said. "Where?" she asked. "I don't know," I said. "Nowhere." She stared at me. "Why?" "No reason, I just want to." She smiled. "Oh, a a suibien walk," she said, with understanding. It t

The Goodness of God

This point keeps coming up recently: We sin because we don't really believe that God is good. Last weekend I was at a staff training seminar for CCO where Tim Geiger , who works for Harvest USA, was speaking. His focus was sexual sin (and holiness), and he was talking about how sin -- any sin -- is based in a desire for something that's good. The problem is that we move this from being a good desire into being an ultimate end, something we're determined to get at any cost. Tim Keller made this same point very well in Counterfeit Gods. And I was discussing this last night with ZhongguoTim [okay, I realize that I have now talked about three Tims in a row. Not sure why that's how it happened, but there it is]. I know that this is where sin comes from -- that each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15) -- but I need to keep


[As a slight disclaimer... I've been meaning to post this for about a month, and just haven't gotten around to it. Not that it makes much difference, but here it is.] I was reading The Divine Conspiracy (still; it didn't make my packing list for China so it kind of got put on hold) and hit a section on how much sin comes from habits. I've thought more about habits in the past three months than I probably ever had before, because as soon as we got to China we started realizing that we had all kind of habits that were so deeply engrained we didn't even realize that they were habits, we just thought they were how life was. And we longed to rebuild a similar set of routine habits, so that we could do things like eat and buy groceries and shower on autopilot. It takes a lot of energy to consciously think about everything that we do in the course of a day. Anyway, I think there is a lot to be said for what was being said in Divine Conspiracy : our habits are so un