The ground is covered with white speckled dust, giving the false appearance of snow. It’s ash and it’s everywhere. I can’t get the smell of smoke off my nostrils. Just a couple miles away from Azusa Pacific University, a wildfire is burning through 1,709 acres of the foothills above Azusa and Glendora, California. The local fire department hasn’t issued a warning about the air quality in the area. Nevertheless, being outside just isn’t the wisest thing to do right now. But that doesn’t stop Paul Joung and me from doing an impromptu photo shoot around Bowles, his apartment complex.
Paul grabs his skateboard, places it on the ground, and then rides it down the sidewalk. Wanting to entertain me, he decides to show me a couple of riding tricks he recently learned. As he skates, swerving from left to right, the wheels of his skateboard hits an uneven protruding portion of the sidewalk and Paul is launched five feet into the air, landing on the lawn. He lies on his stomach, pausing for a moment and looks at me with a “Did I just do that?” face. Then, he rolls around the floor laughing at his misfortune. Yes, I am entertained. But that’s the thing about Paul Joung: amidst the bad, he is able to see the good. It is this quality of finding redemption in events and in people that initially drew me to him the day we first met. I’m glad some things just never change.
My bro Travis busting out some spoken word on diversity.
God has set things right without laying down a prior condition of any sort. God’s rectifying act, that is to say, is no more God’s response to human faith in Christ than it is God’s response to human observance of the Law. God’s rectification is not God’s response at all. It is the first move; it is God’s initiative, carried out by him in Christ’s faithful death.
The redemptive news in all the messiness of a broken and fallen world is that Christ actually entered our broken, messy, and fallen world to love, rescue, and save us.
He showed us the way. He made a way. He is the way.
Take heart: We are not alone. God is with us.
The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.
But He’s Good
“Aslan a man? Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the woods and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Mom on My Movember
- Mom: You need to shave.
- Me: Can't. I've got 18 days left of Movember.
- Mom: No, you need to shave now! It's disgusting.
- Me: Jesus probably had a beard.
- Mom: Yeah, and it probably looked good on him AND that's besides the point. You aren't Jesus.
- Me: What if I keep growing it until Christmas? I'll be in all the family photos with a beard...
- Mom: Then you don't get a Christmas present.
- Me: Santa Claus hasn't given me a present in 14 years.
- Mom: And you wonder why? That's because you've been a bad boy all these years! You don't obey your parents.
People often ask when the next step in evolution—the step to something beyond man—will happen. But in the Christian view, it has happened already. In Christ a new kind of man appeared: and the new kind of life which began in Him is to be put into us.