When Oceans Rise

When I was in college, I helped lead a sailing trip into the Bahamas. I will never forget sailing away from land into the vast, unknown ocean in the middle of the night. It was exciting and yet extremely eerie. In particular, I remember watching the depth finder readings as we passed into deeper waters. The numbers slowly ticked deeper and deeper down until all at once they completely dropped off. I looked over at the captain. “Did the depth finder just break?” I asked. Nope. We had just crossed over an ocean trench. Gulp.

That was a strange feeling. Dark waters. Literally unfathomable depths. No land in sight. Us in a wee, little boat. I gripped the boat a little tighter.

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Suburban Wildlife Wonders

Right around our house we have spotted a wide array of wildlife.

The video above shows a slender fellow I met on a morning jog.

Just today we came across a box turtle crossing the street.

In our backyard, we have located over 27 different types of birds, including the exotic Cedar Waxwing and even a Cooper’s Hawk.

We’ve seen fireflies and bats, lizards and butterflies, squirrels, rabbits, and some type of badger-like beast in the trees.

So where do we live? In a forest? On a farm? In the sticks?

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Project K-Town 2013

The last couple years our student ministry has taken on our home city, Knoxville.

We typically do mission trips to regional destination cities. We’ve been to Chicago, Bronx, Boston, Atlanta, Queens, and Charleston. Internationally, our youth group has served in Greece, Romania, Poland, and Nicaragua. But in all our excitement to serve and reach the world, we did not want to overlook our hometown.

Knoxville has its share of hard stories and difficult spots. Sometimes we overlook these realities as we live in our suburban bubble, and so we desired to enter these hard places and make a difference, both for our own perspective and for those we served.

That vision gave rise to Project K-Town.

Last year for Project K-Town, we hit the ground running. In the span of three days, our students…

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Crawford Loritts on Luke Eight

Crawford Loritts worked through Luke 8, finding several common themes and culling many helpful lessons.

In Luke 8, we have three very distinct and disparate stories. There is the demoniac, the hemorrhaging woman, and Jairus’s daughter. Despite the differences, Loritts outlines three common themes.

  • Every person had no control over his/her affliction.
  • Every person was out of options.
  • Every person encountered Jesus.

From the stories and these observations, Loritts suggests four lessons.

  1. Our faith will only grow in proportion to our desperation.
  2. Inadequacy and suffering are our friends because they keep us tied to God.
  3. Jesus wants to speak life into our dead circumstances.
  4. There is no person or circumstance that is beyond the read of our Savior.

Surely God is good, and He is strong!

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of posts summarizing The Gospel Coalition Conference 2013 plenary sessions. I hope my shorthand will prove helpful to you.