Martha’s Best

During a recent Vacation Bible School, my son brought home a worksheet showing a bedraggled, exhausted woman whose face was frantic with worry. She held a pot that birdseed had been glued into and was in a perpetual state of trying to hurry up and get things done. It was Martha from the Mary and Martha story of Luke 10:38-42. “Poor Martha,” I thought, “She’s just trying to make things nice for Jesus.”

On the flip side of the worksheet, was a more sinister looking Martha. One that in bold letters is accused of complaining and grumbling. In the background, looking beautiful, lovely, and pious, was Mary. Sitting at Jesus’ feet, her illustration was gorgeous and sweet. “Martha looks like a total jerk,” I thought (though I subbed in a different word for jerk). “And Mary is so beautiful – look how happy she is.”

Slow Down

Our culture doesn’t leave a lot of room for choosing to do things slowly. Actions that are intentionally less efficient, less attractive, less relevant, and less pragmatic in your life will bring about a myriad of dissenting voices and counsel to change, ”Don’t you know that to be good and right, all of your choices must be based on the latest trend, the most effective methods, and the smartest strategy?” It’s a never-ending barrage of “keeping up with the Jones’” not just in material possessions but in the ways we live our lives.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Over the last few months, I have gone back again and again to the book of Revelation. Not to try and crack some non-existent code or to work out when the next blood moon will herald the second coming of Christ, like so many people do, but for comfort and hope.

English preacher, Charles Spurgeon, says:

The aim of the book of Revelation is not to lead us to speculation but is meant for practical purposes. Things written concerning the future are not intended so much to gratify our curiosity as to stimulate our watchfulness. The main objective is to keep us constantly on the lookout.

Walking Wisely

It’s a coyote-eat-chicken kind of world. My eldest son Jack learned this lesson about a year ago when, and you guessed it, a coyote ate one of our chickens. Now you might be thinking many different things right now: Why am I hearing a story about one of Pastor Ryan’s dead chickens? He must be struggling to come up with a blog post topic this week, or he must have really loved that chicken.

Let's Talk About Apathy Towards Church

The church in the West is known for many different, amazing things: its use of technology, its cultural contextualization, its wealth, its innovation, and so on. But it is also known for its failings: pragmatism, focus on charisma over character, and the general apathy of its people, are a few. Like all failings and shortfalls, there is always hope for redemption – especially when we talk about the beloved bride of Christ, the very body that has the promise of full reconciliation and the joy of being on the frontlines of God making all things new.