30 Seconds On Being Born

When I was born, I was full of disobedience and selfishness and fear. I did the wrong things because I loved the wrong things. And a man can’t change what he loves all on his own. Title of chapter 1 of my biography: Conceived in sin, born sinning.

A really miraculous thing about the news of Jesus Christ is that He can change a man from the heart out. He can kill what’s in him that just won’t die, all the greed and bitterness and cowardice, and then He can raise up something new that’s still somehow familiar, still him.

A bad man must die to be made something new; but afterwards he’s still a man. Cornelius was still Cornelius after the Holy Spirit fell on him. But he was different. Being born again as Christ’s requires a death, but it doesn’t require an annihilation.

I’m different. Apart from Christ I would’ve ended life how I started it, all angry and manipulative and nervous. But this Jesus died and rose to replay that song in the believers, to bid them die and then come up new.

Christ can undo a man to then make him what he should be.

Thanks to Jesus, I got another crack at being born.

And the second one outshone the first.

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60 Seconds On Kindness Not Being Weak

It’s false that kindness is intrinsically weak.

There certainly are people who are nice because they are scared or want to avoid all conflict, and that is wrong. But that does not mean that all kindness is wishy-washy or spineless.

True kindness is strong because it takes more of yourself to truly and thoroughly care for somebody than it does to disdain them. To pour into someone, to be invested in his wellbeing, to pray soulfully for him requires thought and guts and grace and courage.

I used to have to fire people pretty regularly at my full-time retail management job. It’s not uncommon for people in that retail world to no call-no show, get into a totally inappropriate argument with a co-worker, or post something unacceptable about the company on social media. And yet I made a practice of firing them with a sort of principled kindness, the kind of firm fairness that a father or a good teacher has. I did what was needed and right even though it was painful for the individual, but I did it giving the other person the same sort of dignity that I would want to be given if I had to be deservedly fired.

Good love is an endeavor for the strong of heart. It takes effort and thought and courage. It requires much. And kindness is a form of good love.

So whatever else kindness is, it is not weak.

A 30 Second Contrast


Mike Pence is very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don’t knock it till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there.

Comedian Michelle Wolf, at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’

Genesis 1:27-28

60 Seconds On Evil and God’s Judgment


One of the things the reality of the day of final judgment can do is give you comfort when you are confronted with violent, vicious evil.  God is a Judge, and He is returning.  So every finally unrepentant rapist or murderer or child abuser (or liar or gossip) will give an account and receive God’s fair, just wrath.  

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.

Romans 12:19

The Christian can know that His God, His Father and Friend and King, will account for every wrong and every wrongdoer.  None will slip by him.  Each and every sin will be dealt with in one of two places:  The Cross of Christ or Hell.  He can be comforted by the knowledge that every wicked evildoer who refuses to mourn his sin and believe in Christ will have his sin reckoned to him on the last day.  And for every day after that.  All of them.  Unto eternity.  

There are times when you’re confronted with pure, undistilled evil.  Toxic, nasty, virulent wickedness.  The Bible gives us many such cases, and the children of God often (in Psalms, Lamentations, and the Prophets, for instance) call out to God for justice in the face of them.  “Lord, they have ripped open pregnant women and murdered mother and child.  The have burned the homes of families for sport and spite.  They have maimed and scarred and slaughtered our people.  Please account for this.  Please judge them!”  These are adult feelings for an adult world.  In this groaning creation there are many times where humans do unspeakably evil things and then laugh at the pain they’ve caused and move on, with no true remorse and no second thoughts about doing more of the same evil as long as they can get away with it.  When the Christian sees these evils and is stunned by them, he can apply the truth of God’s final judgment to the grief and confusion in his heart.  

God is returning.  And all will give an account to Him.  

They do not escape His notice, these scoffers.  They do not escape His offer of pardon and re-creation, either.  

“Come, and be made new.  I saved a rotten thief who was right next to me on the day of my innocent execution.  I can save you.  But your sin must be dealt with.  It must be paid for.  Either here or in Hell.”

We can rest in the God of Judgment, Christian.  We worship a wise, loving, and just Judge.  All sins will be accounted for.  

Thankfully, even our own.  

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2:12

60 Seconds On Humans


The Bible forces you to acknowledge the potential, complexity, sinfulness, and beauty of humans.  It is the only window that lets you glimpse the whole man.  

It won’t let you cast him as a sappy, thin do-gooder.  Because right there in your face is the ugliness of Abraham handing off his beloved Sarah to save his own skin and David murdering Uriah to have his wife.  

But neither will it let you be a mere cynical critic of man.  There’s too much courage and hunger for truth and friendship and motherly affection there in it.  

And it will never let you see man as insignificant.  Talk about how small he is in the stars or about how late he showed up on the scene.  The Bible places him at the center of creation, as the jewel in the setting.  It states plainly that he is the image of the Author, and he is a startlingly beautiful portrait.

The Bible gives a vast, honest, vivid picture of man.  

And of where he can be restored.  

Man has fallen, but he will not be lost.  And when creation is remade, as wonderful as the new trees and sky and soil will be, man will be what he once was, in a garden on the other side of a rebellion from here.  

He will be what he once was.  

And enjoy what he once enjoyed.  

Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them,  ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’  Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so.  God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Genesis 1:26-31

60 Seconds On the Best Answer for Racial Hate


A political solution cannot thoroughly revolve a moral problem.  Moral problems involve what a man loves, what he hates, why his heart wants one thing over another and why it leads him to one action instead of another.  Racial hatred involves selfishness, contempt, anger, fear.  These things can’t be changed in a man by legislation, though they can certainly be restrained or punished by it.  We should have political solutions, and we should have laws.  But we shouldn’t expect them to be the answer.  They can’t rewrite a man’s heart.  One of the great lessons of Holy Scripture is that law, though good, cannot change a man.  

Racial hatred is a sin against God and a sin against neighbor.  It is enough to send a man to eternal Hell.  Just as important, it is something that can be forgiven and addressed in a man by the Father, Son, and Spirit.  Racial hatred is sin, and in order to be successfully reckoned with it must be reckoned with as sin.  God must be involved if a hateful man is to be fully and finally reclaimed.  There is no one else who can offer him final forgiveness, and there is no one else who can fundamentally change him.  The current climate sees legislation as the most complete answer, which implies that government is God.  But government is not God.  It is good (or at least is called to be), but it is not God.  Government cannot change what a man loves or hates, through laws or through any other means.  If God’s Law could not change a man’s dead heart, how can man’s?  

A political solution to racial animosity will not be the last one.  We who know Jesus have something much more fundamentally transformative to offer the racially hateful:  A God who can pardon their evil and then make them something new. 

We have a better and truer Gospel.  

Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘Uncircumcision’ by the so-called ‘Circumcision,’ which is performed in the flesh by human hands — remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.  And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:11-12

60 Seconds for Sunday

The church.  

We have the most important message in the world.  It is that God can take bad, broken people and remake them.  And that He likes doing this.  It is His (in two senses of the word) passion.  It is what He died to do, and what He rose to enjoy.  

The message we have to proclaim, to sing, to eat and drink and live out is that God has come to do an amazing thing, and that that thing is very nearly done.  There is only one note left to sing, and it is one that will never be quieted.  God came to reclaim sinners for Himself, and in so doing to nail every last one of their sins to His own bloody Cross.  Now we await His second great act, His returning to put the finishing touches on death’s obituary.  He has come, He is coming again, and He is taking on new friends.  

The church.  

We have the most important message in the world:  God is good.  And because He is good, He has chosen to forgive many who have wronged Him.  Any who trust in Jesus Christ, who lay themselves bare to Him as Lord of all, will be remade and resurrected.  In every sense of the phrase, they will enter eternity new creations.  

The church.  

We are the people of His message.  We have been formed from it and for it.  We are to speak it to all who will listen, and many who will not.  Our God is good, and He is patient, and He is seeking worshipers.  He has called us to help.    

The church.  

We are the Church of God, the Bride of Jesus Christ.  And we have an astonishing message:  Come with us, for our God can bring you home.