Thursday, November 1, 2012

The End of an Era

I'm writing this post, because I think the time has come to close this blog.  I appreciate greatly those of you who signed up to follow it, and stuck with me through the years of off and on, up and down posting.  I pray you received something of blessing in that time. 

This blog began as an extension of the youth ministry work I was doing in Gravette, AR. And though I've tried many times to restart the blog, I've finally come to the conclusion that this blog can't really outlive the root that gave it life. 

I have started a new blog: Justin's Quest.  Though there will be some similar material there, the focus is decidedly different...and more personal.  At JQ, there will probably be much less in the way of standard Bible devotionals...and more about theology, reviews of books I'm reading, research I'm doing in various areas, the intersection of Christian doctrine with public policy questions, and just generally how I'm trying to integrate all of this in my own walk with Christ. 

Again, I thank you all for the love and support you've shown me over the years...and if you wish to follow my new blog, I welcome you (and your comments) there as well. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Of chicken sandwiches and christian endurance

In James 1:2-5, the author writes:
Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.  For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. (NLT)

If you're like me, this is a passage you're much better at quoting than living.  However, it seems to me that this is a timely message for Christians in America.  For a couple hundred years we've enjoyed a position of relative cultural dominance.  That is rapidly coming to an end.  Though the recent dust-up over Dan Cathy's (CEO of Chik-fil-A) support of traditional marriage, seems to testify that Christians (or at least free speech advocates) still enjoy a bit more vigorous support than some assumed, it would be wise for each believer to ask himself/herself "Just how far am I willing to take this?  Just how much do I believe in the words of James 1:2-5).  Though many (like myself) were able to purchase a sandwich at Chik-fil-A and enjoy nothing but unqualified support and acceptance from fellow believers, there were others (like the gentleman in this video) who were not blessed to swim in such warm and accepting waters.  What if I had been in his shoes.  Would I have had the courage to give my endurance a chance to grow?