Jesus Christ

Beautiful single woman with perfect teeth and skin and a nice smile(Celebrating Jesus Christ Edition)

One of the joys of teaching in Christian universities is that I get to read the research and reflections of students who freely and openly follow Jesus Christ. They are still learning from Him and in offering their insights (almost always for a grade!), they continue to teach me.

In this edition of quotes from actual papers and assignments from students from all over the world, I celebrate the life, death, resurrection, return, and Lordship of Jesus Christ.  Read on… you’ll be as blessed and challenged as I was.

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Dirt road in nature in Sri Lanka

This is about a Father with four sons…

A Sailor.

A Driver.

A Flyer.

A Walker.

The Father provided richly for each of his sons.  He gave them a home in which to flourish.  He provided resources upon which to build their futures.  He even saw to it that each was uniquely equipped and trained to succeed, according to his own natural bent.

Yet despite their obvious advantages, each son seemed convinced that there was more to life than living under the watchful, seemingly all-knowing gaze of his Father.  Each seemed determined to find fulfillment on his own terms.  And despite the obvious objections of the Father, each chose to go his own way. [click to continue…]

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Under His Mercy

There’s a place where love feels like love,
Where all the affection in the universe seems gathered up
And pointed only, always to you…
That place – that beloved place – is under His mercy.

There’s a song where all the symphonies and sonnets,
Ballads and serenades seem to converge
And sing only, always over you…
That song – that harmonious song – is under His mercy.

Under His mercy the world is recreated,
Eden reimagined, and hope is born again.
Under His mercy we all are reinstated,
Those stains are washed away, and we’re adorned again.
We’ve traded ashes for His beauty…
And longing for His love…
Under His mercy.

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Stained Glass JesusWe used to have this set of biblical art prints – four of them – that were gifts from dear friends.  The art was good, but now more than 15 years later we laughed at the fact that the characters – Jesus, Mary, a couple of others – all had “80s hair.”  It was feathered, layered, shoulder length, and looked blow-dried fresh out of a salon.

Jesus seemed to have it all. He was hip, compelling, with a laser gaze right at you and his hand reaching out in such a way that you just couldn’t say no.

Mary was, well, I don’t know how else to say it… she was hot.  In a holy sort of way, of course.  If they had mani-pedis back then, no doubt this version of Mary was just back from one.

I don’t know who the artist was, but I’m sure he or she was probably tired of all those sissy-looking Renaissance-era paintings of Jesus who looked as though He just had his nails done, and wanted something different.  More reflective of the styles and cultures of the artist’s day, by the time we got them, they were very dated.  We wound up hanging them in our laundry room. Not quite sure why. [click to continue…]

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cross

“Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble…”

And the multitudes surrounded Him, and shouted words of praise
As He rode a strong young donkey through the holy city’s gates.
Everything they did exalted Him; they praised Him as their King,
But He never smiled in victory – He never said a thing.
And they all surrounded Him again in just a few short days,
But their cries had lost their ecstasy, their words had lost their praise.
Everyone through sticks and stones at Him, they mocked and cursed His name,
And the man they worshiped as their King hung on a cross in shame.

They all said, “Crucify! I’ll live the way that I want to live.”
They said, “Crucify! The Man asks for more than I can give.
Yes I love Him, but He simply doesn’t fit my plans,
And the only way to do what I want is to crucify this Man.”

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fireplaceOn this cold December night, when life, relationships and future hope seem more complicated than ever, I pray that that the Father of lights would give you the joy of His presence and the gift of simple happiness throughout the coming year, with the light of every new sunrise.

I pray that he would remind you often of how deeply you are loved, unforgettably engraved in the palm of His hand, steadfastly held by His grace day and night.

I pray that in an age where nothing seems to last, that the One who promised us a home with Him forever  would keep the language and love of forever dancing in your heart and mine as long as you and I have breath. [click to continue…]

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Earth Apocalypse“The earth is degenerating these days.  Bribery and corruption abound.  Children no longer mind their parents.  Every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.”

Wow.  Not sure how the author of that actual little quotation made the logical leap, but leap he did.  Yes, some dishonest people have their pockets lined to serve the interests of a powerful few.  Do you doubt that?

Yes, children have a mind of their own.  That apple didn’t just fall from the tree and knock us on the head this morning.

Yes, everybody seems to want to write a book these days.  Here’s mine.  You can get it for three bucks.  Please buy it.

But are those our “Shocking Signs of the End of the World?”

Hardly.

Anyway, those pearls of wisdom came from an Assyrian tablet, dated 2,800 B.C.E.

How about this one? [click to continue…]

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Student ProfessorI’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, and this seems like a good time as another semester has drawn to a close.  Ever since I’ve been teaching on a college or graduate level, I’ve had the privilege of reading – and learning – from some pretty profound writers.

In this case, I’m not talking about the great books and journal articles I get to lead students through.  I’m referring to the papers and other written assignments that I have to grade.  At my peak earlier in the year, I was grading bout 25 papers a day.

As you may expect, most of the things I read are rather average, and some are, um, well, below average.  But every once in a while, somebody blows me away with their ability to creatively, powerfully express a truth.  Sometimes it’s just a sentence.  Sometimes it’s a paragraph.

Over the years I have collected my favorite student quotations.  So in the tradition of my “Half-Baked Ideas that I’m still thinking about,” I wanted to share seven with you.

Drink these in slowly.  Let them “bake in your oven” for a while.  You’ll be richer for it. Click here and brace for impact!

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A Reading of the Will

by Andy Wood on July 12, 2012

in 100 Words, Esteem, Life Currency

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things… (Hebrews 1:2, ESV)

Jesus Christ has been appointed the heir of all things.

That includes you.

When the Father bequeathed His treasures to the Son, He named you in that inheritance.

That says something about your value and worth to God. [click to continue…]

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Carved into the side of one of my favorite places in the world – Deer Bluff, near the family farm in Alabama… 

That brings up a thought:

Ever seen something like this carved in a rock or a tree (or written on a bathroom wall or somebody’s notebook)?

J.S. + E.J. = Tru Luv 4 Ever.

Without bothering to even ask whether you ever wrote something like that, I wonder where J.S. and E.J. are now?  I wonder how “tru” their “luv” is today?  I wonder if “4 Ever” really meant 4 days, or 4 weeks?  

Then again, who knows?  J.S. and E.J. may be J.S. and E.S. today, with four kids, three pets, two cars, and a nice mortgage.  Maybe there was more than just “4” in their “4 Ever.”

Forever.  Yet another of those charming words we overuse and undervalue.  Often said in the extremes of emotion, for many of us “forever” only means until we calm down or come up for air.  And yet we do live in a world of certainties, where words like “forever” and “always” really mean something.  Trouble is, because of the ways we so often water it down, sometimes we lose the force of forever when it’s the real thing. [click to continue…]

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