Month: January 2016


“You have to learn to like the parts of the Bible you don’t like, because those are the parts that make you listen harder.” – R

That person is very ‘strong.’  Grit, gumption, stable.  Reliable.  Smart.  Sufficient.  And there in-lies the inherent wretched weakness. No neediness. There are moments where neediness presents itself (sometimes even in rather dramatic fashion) …neediness there for the taking, but it is never snatched-up.  Averse …utterly averse to it.  That chap in the street with his momma lying on the ground. That chap running from his kin. The chap always committing acts of self-sabotage. Etc.


*Where do you look for life apart from Jesus?

“The Gospel is the story of God covering his naked enemies, bringing them to the wedding feast, and then marrying them rather than crushing them.” – Ed.

“The entrance into the Kingdom of God is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man’s respectable goodness …the new life will manifest itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way around.” – Oswald

What do you think of Psyche’s husband?

Only if you are looking at the פָּנִים of Jesus will you ____________________.

Do you love people enough to be NOT liked by them?

When you tell your kids/sheep “No” they have a way of NOT affirming you.

Your sanitized, ‘tamified’, domesticated view of the story. LIAR.

God brings them out of Egypt – and is for them like the horns of the wild ox. Num 23/22


Book Review

Have you ever read the book of Job? Job has – what he believes to be – an established and robust complaint against God.

…But then – Job actually meets God! and his complaint crumbles to bits. his grievances against god are a house of cards in the presence of the One who is Holy Holy Holy. Job says, “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. …I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but NOW – my eye sees You; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

That’s what “Till We Have Faces” is about.

You should totes read it ASAP!

Things Unseen …What’s REALLY Real

When Jesus talks of seeking God’s kingdom, he isn’t telling us that the kingdom is some hidden reality which we have to struggle to lay bare. God’s kingdom doesn’t lie at the end of some great quest, and seeking it isn’t to be an occasion for spiritual athleticism. To seek God’s kingdom is simply to acknowledge that it is already among us, supremely potent and effective in the ministry of the man Jesus. To seek God’s kingdom thus means in public and in private, politically and domestically, to order our affections in such a way that God in Christ is the supreme reality. It means to govern our thinking and acting by the sheer truth that Jesus Christ is the one in whom God renews the face of the earth; it means to acknowledge that all other ways of thinking and acting fail, because they don’t read the world as it truly is: the place of God’s kingly rule. To “seek” that rule is, we might say, to strive after and hasten toward God’s rule as the most real reality and truest truth that may be found.

John Webster

Denis Talk’n Fish Sauce & What Not

Catch, rinse and drain black anchovies. Layer with sea salt in barrels. Weigh down fish with rocks and let ferment in the sun. Drain off the resulting fish sauce ONE YEAR LATER.

At first I thought, “D is gonna go off on a diatribe about patience.”  But he didn’t. Instead D talked to us about, “Who does that? …and why?” and “Who would’ve ever thought of something like that, let alone – specifically – that!?”  D says, “Human creativity, even in ordinary things, is more mysterious than we imagine.  Extraordinary stuff is is hidden in ordinary people doing ordinary things. …Sometimes what happens is beyond all we could possibly know or expect.”

Review of Get Scared’s 2012 album “Built for Blame, Laced with Shame.” …I don’t think I’d fancy the sound of the band Get Scared, but I do find their lyrics to be thoughtful and appropriately provocative. Denis says, “I grew up in a home where shame was used to control and to punish.  Failures were never forgotten and often rehearsed to emphasize how I was a disappointment to those who loved me.  So, to learn that Christ was on record not being ashamed to say He is my brother (Hebrews 2:11) was and is very difficult to believe. That He would tell others that, and even publicly “sing my praise” (2:12) is still something I have not even begun to process.  I suspect that until He replaces my shame with His glory – which is the Christian hope – the full impact of it all will continue to elude me (Colossians 1:27).”  Get Scared says/sings – Picture perfect down the drain again and again, I’m really tired of these stupid little people knocking you to the ground… This is what it takes to breathe; This is what it takes to fake a smile and say that everything’s okay as long as I take blame [“Built for Blame”].  Or/and, Devils come out at night. In the form of people that I love. They said I’m not enough [“Start to Fall”].

Who is the most attractively virtuous person you ever knew personally? What made them so? How did they become virtuous?

In what way does the consumerism of our society militate against virtue? Where can this be seen most easily? In what way do social media militate against virtue, or the busy pace of life, or the ubiquitous presence and pressure of technology?

In what ways do you actively and intentionally seek to grow in virtue, especially in those that are most foreign or unnatural to you?

Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians FIVE): the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The Extreme Blessedness (Matthew FIVE): Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The most virtuous man ever:  offensive, hater & hated, BLOOD, war (“do not think that I have come to bring peace…”), holy holy holy, real world = unseen, will of Father in Heaven, etc.

Can’t conjure it on our own (autonomy & neutrality are myth) …rather we are DD – and must RECEIVE gifts: affection for others, exuberance about life, stick w/ things, compassion, conviction in light of, and relationship to, holiness, loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

TGB. Prudence. Justice. Fortitude. Temperance. Faith. Hope. Love.


In a bookstore. Just browsing can generate a flood of questions and ideas that stimulates learning and deeper insight into life and reality.  Makes me glad to be alive. Time stood still for me there. Like portals, ea. bk. spine an invitation to enter a new world of imagination, story, and ideas. …What was unusual, however, could not be seen but was as real to me – perhaps more real – than all I was seeing on the shelves and tables and walls. A weightiness. Soul. It did not exist in the world of sight but though unseen was very real nevertheless. I’m not asking you to believe it. I believe it though, and believe it was real. Had a distinctly personal feel. Here, somehow, an outer, hidden cusp of reality could be experienced with all the danger and promise such a moment would embrace. Impressed on me forcibly that what is at stake is not merely abstract and rational but personal and relational. It is apostolic teaching. The reality of things unseen.

*What we choose to center our life, affections, and hope on really matters in this broken world. What we yield allegiance to, even if we are barely aware of the transaction, is always a choice between kingdoms, between life and death. And our brokenness is so deep that we can twist meaning into its opposite, as the ancient Hebrew seer knew:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter – Isaiah 5:20

It is possible for believers to be de facto materialists or magicians. The one lives as though spiritual warfare never actually impinges upon them while the other frolics in a world in which dark forces are behind ever instance of sinfulness. Both deny aspects of the Gospel and are content to live in a world of their own imagining.

_________ has an uncanny ability as a storyteller to peel back the outer layers of reality in order to provide a glimpse of a deeper reality that lies just below the surface of things. He makes unseen things visible so that we never can see reality the same way again.

revealed as the principalities and powers at work behind the scene in daily life. Small choices are shown to be decisive steps towards damnation or everlasting life, insignificant individuals are revealed in their quiet submission to be decisive in an ongoing war of darkness against the light (and vice versa), and ordinary things become hints of greater things yet unseen.