If you have some time…

I preached this last Sundayon the age old question of how can there be a God when there is so much suffering in the world. My message was a restatement of Peter Kreeft’s thoughts on this.

The Bible teaches four things that relate to this topic: 1)God exists; 2)God is all-powerful: 3)God is good; 4)Evil exists. All are true at the same time and in the same relationship. The I move on to give 8 clues as to how the Bible wants us to address these four propositions. They are clues only. God can put them together in a way that transcends our minds.

If you desire to listen, then go here. If you want my notes, email me at donbryant@hotmail.com and I will send them to you.

No more college tuition bills!!!!

Yep, that’s right, folks. It’s done. But it isn’t about me. This is Ben’s time. He graduates this coming Sunday, April 29, from the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Material Science Engineering and a double minor in physics and philosophy. But Ben being Ben, the experience he is really looking forward to this weekend is the NFL draft all day Saturday.

We are working with my older son, Jon, to see if he can fly out from Chicago to Ben’s graduation. It would be great to be together. Hope it works out. Three years ago we were going out to Golden, CO to attend Jon’s graduation at the Colorado School of Mines, help pack him up and bring him home.

It’s been quite a ride, sons. Well done.

Ben’s next step is to move out to Santa Barbara, CA to do PhD work at UC in material sciences. Classes start in late Sept but he hopes to move out there in August.

The truth will turn true again

Here is a poem from Robert Frost that  reminds us to hold fast to what we know is true, no matter what anyone else believes.

Why abandon a belief
Merely because it ceases to be true
Cling to it long enough and not a doubt
It will turn true again, for so it goes.
Most of the change we think we see in life
Is due to truth being in and out of favor.

So many things we thought were true evaporate in face of life’s challenges, disappointments and regrets. Things like “God is good,” “the first will be last,” “forgive and it will be forgiven you,” – you get the picture. So we strike out to get things done our way, only to find out that what we thought was true is true. It’s where we come back to in order to gain a footing again.

We also follow the crowds with its passions and turmoil. We change our values based on where everybody is going, even in the church. But the reality is that there are truths that the crowd does not want to see, act on, commit to.

Wait long enough and you will see – the true will turn true again. So why abandon it in the first place?

I’d rather know the saddest fact….

D James Kennedy put it this way: “I’d rather know the saddest fact than be deluded by the sweetest lie.” A whole and healed life can only be built on the foundation of truth. Like medicine there can only be hope if the diagnosis is true. But I go for sweetness too often!!!

Truth sometimes appears to be the enemy, because there are some very sad things to see, things mostly about myself.  And if I see sad things, won’t that make me sad? Who wants to be sad? So I avoid and live with unexamined drives and agendas.

I wonder – what’s the most dangerous lie I am believing right now? I think that to some degree we all are believing something that is simply untrue and basing a good deal of our future on it. Sometimes the things we believe aren’t outright dark lies. They can be overemphases or slight twists of good things that when extrapolated out into the future can cause us to end up pretty far away from where we hoped we would land.

I think the biggest lie I believe is that I am basically okay and no radical interventions are necessary. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul who began his ministry by saying he was the least of the Apostles but ended his ministry by saying he was the chief of sinners. From one perspective that doesn’t sound like much progress, do you think? In fact, I can’t recall any major evangelical leader giving me such an impression of their spiritual journey, with perhaps the exception of Gordon MacDonald.

A part of the spiritual life is discovering the lies we have been believing and having  V8 moments when we clunk ourselves on the head, as if to say, “who woulda thunk?”  I think I will be having V8 moments for the rest of my life.

A prayer:  God, please give me strength when I find out how wrong I have been. I don’t want to give up, give out, or give over to despair. I really just want to thank you for keeping the repair job going in my life. And one more thing, Lord. When I find out how wrong I have been from a stinging critic rather than from my own keen insight, keep me soft. Keep me from attacking the source and resisting the truth just because someone wants to hurt me with it. All truth is from You. Amen