Friday, March 18, 2005


I am continuing to ponder the realm of Fatherhood, and the organic vs. structural aspects of life in God.

I have been in the engineering and building and construction industry for over thirty years. Pouring over civil engineering plans and watching pipelines go in the ground has tended to complement my intellectual focus on the "structure, order, and design" in God's creative order—the "build" focus in Jeremiah 1:10.

But recently I have begun to contemplate the "plant" focus of Jeremiah's writings. Fatherhood, relationships, and simply being friends with people, springs out of the organic. Check out grandpa, fishin' with his grandson above. Oddly, in the last couple of years, I have begun to work more in my yard, planting flowers and bulbs. I am enjoying this new phase, having traditionally been a "brown-thumber." Perhaps my new interest in gardening is a precursor to a new phase of life, here in my early fifties.

Another train of thought worth pursuing in all of this is that I have for so long been frustrated with my seeming inability to construct or build anything ministry-wise that lasts. Hey ... maybe I am just a planter.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Rotten Smart People

"It is not enough to be smart. Our culture is awash in rotten smart people. The answer however is not sweet stupid people. The religion of Jesus of Nazareth, the best and brightest man who ever lived, provides an alternative. We need men and women of virtue with good minds..."

John Mark Reynolds, Ph.D

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Reading: Disappointment With God by Phillip Yancey

I am reading another great book. It is titled Disappointment With God, and it is written by Philip Yancey. The book is not new. It was published in 1988. Although the topic is formidable, Yancey dives in head first, and does not shrink back from boldly exploring the theme.

Prior to beginning to write, Yancey took two weeks and read the Bible straight through, from cover to cover. Doing that, he said, gave him a fresh perspective on God. After reading the Bible again, all the way through, Yancey focuses his message on the emotional side of God, looking, if you will, at God's frustration with the human race. He looks at God as a jilted lover.

Yancey examines three fundamental questions: Is God unfair? Is he silent? Is he hidden? He considers the era of great signs and wonders in the Exodus story and muses over how much ultimate impact for change all of those supernatural happenings really effected. After seeing God in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire every day, and all of the other supernatural phenomena, the people of Israel still rebelled.Yancey looks at the different ways that God has chosen to relate to us humans down through the centuries.I am still in the midst of the book and don't have a final verdict on it yet, but what I've read so far, I really, really like.

Update March 13th 2005. I have finished the book and I must say, it left me on somewhat of a downer. Yancey does not candy-coat the harsh and difficult reality of God's sometimes silence in response to our queries. This book is only for the stout of heart and mind, and not for someone whose faith is tender.