Martin Luther was a 16th century German cowboy with a one-trick pony called "Gospel." Utterly obsessed with the subject, this firebrand monk once wrote that “the truth of the Gospel is the principal article of all Christian doctrine . . . Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.” If you went to dinner with this guy, you could depend on coming away with a greater sense of why Jesus matters.
The king groaned and closed his window to shut out the jubilant roars. Responsibility weighed heavy on his shoulders, and now heaps of ingratitude from those people – God's people! – nearly drove him to his knees. Nearly. Here he had been faithfully serving (for the most part) a nation of unruly souls with no one to lean on but the God who seemed bent on taking away his crown.
While working with a program that prepared couples for long-term missions, I began to notice a deeply troubling gap in the expectations and the definitions of spiritual excellence for males and females. Husbands were loaded up with classes, mentoring, books and accountability groups – but a monthly meeting was too much to ask of their wives.
There are many qualities about God's character I find deeply comforting: His omni-ness (omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent), His justice, His mercy, His wisdom, His patience, His faithfulness. On and on it goes. These attributes and a thousand more draw my heart to the throne with a profound sense of wonder.
But I keep forgetting He's a Dad — a really, really good one. Which means there's a new characteristic I need to add to my list of what I love about this fascinating God the angels never tire of extolling. Are you ready for it?
"To be, or not to be?" "What's love got to do, got to do, with it?" "Aren't you a little short for a Stormtrooper?"
Questions have always held a deep fascination for me. I'd be doing just fine, marching along to everybody else's drum, when that dang inquisitive streak—the one that made Sunday school teachers constantly run for cover—would raise its hand. Little me figured out that periods bring relief, while question marks bring consternation, so pretty early on I learned to stick to what’s known and acceptable.
Go-getter. Independent. Fearless. Capable. In the American economy, these are titles worth striving for, and strive we do. We strive until our peace is shot-through with bullet holes, our families have learned to function without us, and our souls are withered and whimpering. "Arm yourselves!" is the new battle cry of the republic, and much of the church rushes to answer.