Or, How Christians can respond to Evil.

Disclaimer: If you’ve recently been up close and personal with death, evil, chaos or pain, go read footnote 1 first.

You might be familiar with the problem of evil.

It goes a bit like this: If God created the world, then he is responsible for the kind of world he created. Our world seems to have a disproportionate amount of suffering and evil for one created by an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good God.

Teaching the Glory of God.

Students roll into a fluorescent-lit building at 7:45am, still dreary from staying up late the night before. They get an hour of chemistry drilled into their head, and then an hour of geometry, and then maybe a study hall or some time in an elective. During lunch, they get some time with friends before an hour of English, and then they all walk to room 221.

It’s a small classroom with cool white walls, two windows, and more whiteboards than anyone knows what to do with. There’s a tangle of Christmas lights mirroring vines in some far-off rainforest strung across…

Or, Between the Straining and the Return.

I think Burning by Maggie Rogers might be my favorite song of all time.

If you’ve never heard it, it’s a bop; I love the beat, and the verses all have this driving intensity that culminates perfectly in each chorus. Plus the song is about a life and a love so bright it burns in your chest.

The second verse of the song in particular is incredible. And it’s not even as much the lyrics; instrumentally, Maggie gives the guitar it’s own voice and lets it play a duet with her. You hear the two of them almost go back and forth for two brief sixteen counts, and I love it.

Or, why all my friends and I are out of work.

Written (mostly) on Tuesday, March 17th.

For the past two years,

I’ve been balancing full time grad school and part time work. For the last 8 or so months, I’ve been lucky enough to work at the downtown location of Frothy Monkey, a coffeeshop/restaurant/bar here in Nashville.

Two weeks ago, we joked at work about how the coronavirus was a funny meme. Last week, we started carrying hand sanitizer with us to work. This past weekend, we went several hours in a shift without anyone coming into the store. …

Or, how to see, know, and create God’s time.

In Greek, there are two different words for time.

The first, chronos, means the time we’re all familiar with. It’s the ticking of a clock, the rotation of the earth, and the movement of the earth around the sun. While we have different time zones for different places, chronos is the same time no matter where you are.

But there’s another kind of time — Kairos. This is closely related; it means real time, or God’s time. If you’ve ever been to the DMV, you know the way an hour in line can stretch into an eternity. On the other hand, I can binge watch eight episodes of The…

Or, how a coffee shop can change who you are.

Initially written Sunday, Jan 5th.

An Average Day in the Life.

Today I got to Portland Brew around 2:30, and grabbed a mug of coffee. The front room has these huge windows, and I grabbed a seat facing them.

By the time I was half a mug deep, I had finished a few chapters of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Antifragile, and the orange glow of golden hour was just starting to show up on the buildings across the street.

By the bottom of the first mug, I moved on to journaling, and the light was just deepening, lighting up the face of the houses across the street.

The end of a decade.

How to look back on the last ten years of your life, and read the narrative of your decade.

In high school, I read the Eragon book series.

The first book featured a character named Brom, who is introduced as a storyteller traveling with a circus-like group. Every night, children and adults alike would gather around the fire with him, and he would spin a tapestry of brave warriors and princesses, terrifying orcs and gentle dragons. From the moment I read that, I immediately said, “That’s what I want to be when I grow up.”

To be clear, I realize the “telling stories around the campfire” market is pretty slim these days and the pay has never been great, but I wasn’t seeking to do exactly what that…

Reflections on living, leaving, and moving on.

30% deep gratitude + 30% fulfilled joy + 40% the sorrow of loss = the last day of summer camp.

Four years ago, I spent a summer as Moose. For ten weeks, I ministered to third and fourth graders, middle schoolers, and their families, and that ministry often looked like letting the kids drag me underwater in the pool, or hitting them with colored-chalk-filled socks, or occasionally dunking a middle schooler head-first into the creek.

1 Happy are those

who do not follow the advice of the wicked,

or take the path that sinners tread,

or sit in the seat of scoffers;

2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law they meditate day and night.

3 They are like trees

planted by streams of water,

which yield their fruit in its season,

and their leaves do not wither.

In all that they do, they prosper.

4 The wicked are not so,

but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in…

This school is not what it seems, but that’s not always a bad thing.

Let us begin with a parable of Lipscomb.

“It’s Friday morning, and three friends are up early. One leads a Bible study with a bunch of freshmen. One attends an SGA meeting where he plans an incredible event for Lipscomb students, and one guy (an RA) busts a freshman resident for drinking the night before. The next night, those guys carry some beer into a friend’s house. To clarify, two RA’s and a tour guide carry a case of beer into a house that’s literally across the street from campus. They split the pack with everyone there. It’s a party, but a housewarming party at that. …

Lorne Jaques

Writer. Teacher. Pastor. Interpreter of strange times, and aspiring polymath.

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