Tag Archives: Chapter

2 Peter (Aug 2018)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of 2 Peter published by Tom Vander Well in August of 2018. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

2 Peter 1: Excersize and Add

2 Peter 2: The Freedom that Leads to Slavery

2 Peter 3: Conflict, and What Needs to Change in Me

Lamentations (Dec 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Lamentations published by Tom Vander Well in December of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Lamentations 1: Blue Christmas

Lamentations 2: How I Should Grieve!

Lamentations 3: “Yet This I Call to Mind”

Lamentations 4: It Stinks to Be Right

Lamentations 5: A Different Spirit of the Season

Genesis (Sep-Dec 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Genesis published by Tom Vander Well from September through December of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Genesis 1: And So it Begins

Genesis 2: Ezer Kenegdo

Genesis 3: Entering a World of Pain

Genesis 4: In the Land of Nod

Genesis 5: Beneath the Text

Genesis 6: Order>Chaos>Reorder

Genesis 7: Destruction and Redemption

Genesis 8: The Inflection Point of Kindness

Genesis 9: Blood and Covenant

Genesis 10: Passing Notes

Genesis 11: Back to Babel

Genesis 12: The Journey

Genesis 13: “Greener” Grass

Genesis 14: A Sage in the Story

Genesis 15: Santa God

Genesis 16: Namaste God

Genesis 17: The Last Laugh

Genesis 18: Divine Hospitality

Genesis 19: Warning Signs and U-Turns

Genesis 20: Grace and Cancel Culture

Genesis 21: The Other Side of the Valley

Genesis 22: Faith Challenge

Genesis 23: The March of Time

Genesis 24: Wisdom in Knowing the Difference

Genesis 25: Value Judgment

Genesis 26: The Straight Man

Genesis 27: Dysfunctional

Genesis 28: Me and Messy Family

Genesis 29: Chip Off the Ol’ Block

Genesis 30: Flawed Characters

Genesis 31: Letting Go

Genesis 32: Wrestling

Genesis 33: Stuck in a Moment

Genesis 34: “It’s Not Business; It’s Personal”

Genesis 35: Exile and Return

Genesis 36: Connected

Genesis 37: Favoritism

Genesis 38: Different Times, Same Journey

Genesis 39: The Whispers

Genesis 40: Circumstances I Don’t Control

Genesis 41: “I’m Over It!” (or Not)

Genesis 42: Both/And Family

Genesis 43: Generational Impact

Genesis 44: Lessons in the Layers

Chapter 45: God in the “Hevel”

Genesis 46: Knowing and Not Knowing

Chapter 47: Pilgrimage, Pandemic, and Perspective

Genesis 48: “Effed Up Family”

Genesis 49: The Words of a Parent

Genesis 50: The Choice

2 Peter (Sep 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of 2 Peter published by Tom Vander Well in September of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

2 Peter 1: On Being a “Member”

2 Peter 2: The Well-Worn Playbook

2 Peter 3: Is This the End?

Nahum (Aug 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Nahum published by Tom Vander Well in August of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Nahum 1: Faith in Justice

Nahum 2: Smack-Talk

Nahum 3: “Kingdoms Fall”

Ruth (Aug 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Ruth published by Tom Vander Well in Augst of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Chapter 1: Dealt a Bad Hand

Ruth 2: More than “Boy Meets Girl”

Ruth 3: Proven Character

John (Jul-Aug 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of John published by Tom Vander Well in July and August 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

John 1: Just Like My Ol’ Man

John 2: Two Sides of Jesus

John 3: Birth, and Identity

John 4: Contrasts

John 5: Stupid Question (or Not)

John 6: #FreeFish4All

John 7: Who is This Man?

John 8: Showdown!

John 9: Blinded by the Light

John 10: Words and Works

John 11: Motivation Revelation

John 12: “All People”

John 13: A “New” Command

John 14: Peace Amidst Conflict

John 15: “Friend”

John 16: Trouble and Peace

John 17: Me and Babel 2.0

John 18: Contrasting Identity

John 19: “Taking the Bullet”

John 20: Namesake

John 21: “What’s it to You?”

James (June 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of James published by Tom Vander Well in June of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

James 1: Not Without Struggle

James 2: Counter-Cultural

James 3: Peeling the Onion

James 4: “Damned Spots”

James 5: Give and Live

Ecclesiastes (May/June 2021)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Ecclesiastes published by Tom Vander Well in May and June of 2021. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Ecclesiastes 1: Valuable
Ecclesiastes 2: Present

Ecclesiastes 3: The Inescapable Fact

Ecclesiastes 4: The Value of “Another”

Ecclesiastes 5: Of Spirit and Paperweights

Ecclesiastes 6: The Point

Ecclesiastes 7: The Two Certainties

Ecclesiastes 8: Humility and Uncertainty

Ecclesiastes 9: What in the “Hebel?”

Ecclesiastes 10: Topsy-Turvy Times

Ecclesiastes 11: Brewing Interpretation

Ecclesiastes 12: Journey’s End

The Inflection Point

The Inflection Point (CaD Mk 8) Wayfarer

[Jesus] then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Mark 8:31-33 (NIV)

Inflection point has become a buzzword in business during my career. And, it’s often misunderstood. The inflection point is the point on a line where the line changes its sign. It’s when the curve of that line reveals a shift of direction. When it ultimately shifts direction, that’s called the “turning point.” The turning point happens later. The inflection point is the subtle shift that precedes the turning point. If you see the inflection point, you can predict the turning point.

When the moving line turns red, that’s the inflection point.

In today’s chapter, the narrative of Mark’s version of Jesus’ story hits an inflection point. The majority of the first eight chapters is an endless stream of miracles, wonders, and exorcisms seasoned with Jesus parables and teachings. It has been all about Jesus interacting with people’s lives in this world. He’s feeding hungry people, healing sick people, delivering possessed people, and teaching people spiritual principles of God’s kingdom in contrast to the human religious system controlling most of their lives.

Out of the blue, Jesus tells his followers quite plainly that He will be rejected by the religious power-brokers in Jerusalem, He will be killed, and then in three days He will rise from the dead. We’re just half-way through Mark’s biography of Jesus and Jesus let’s fly with the greatest spoiler of all time without once issuing his listeners a Spoiler Alert.

This event is a narrative inflection point. From this point forward, Mark’s version of events will drive towards the very events Jesus predicts.

What really resonated in my heart and mind this morning was Peter’s reaction. Upon hearing Jesus explain the end game of His mission on earth, Peter pulls the master aside and “rebukes” Him. In the quiet, I imagined what Peter’s rebuke might have been…

“You can’t die! We’re just getting started!”

“The twelve of us have left everything to follow you assuming this was a long-term gig! How are we going to retire if you leave us in the lurch?”

“Jesus, dude, you’ve got what it takes to ride this wave all the way to the throne. With your powers and the people behind you, there’s nothing that can stop you from ruling the world!”

“Look! Your parables and stories are confusing, but they’re great. People love them. The miracles and the free fish sandwiches, that’s what the people want. If you go off-message and start tweeting about your death like some crazy-man, it’s over. You’ll lose your momentum. These people will stop following you. Then where will we be?”

He’ll be right where the powerful men atop the human religious racket can arrest Him, usher Him through their kangaroo court, and leverage their local power to convince Rome to execute this threat to all that they care about.

He’ll be right where He just predicted He’d end up.

It struck me this morning that this is more than just an inflection point in the storyline. This is also a spiritual inflection point in Jesus’ teaching.

I am so focused on this life. I am so concerned with my immediate circumstances. Virtually every moment of my day is concentrated on my place in this world. My time, energy, and resources are spent trying to make this earthly life last as long as possible (even if it ends up being no Life at all). I do all that I can not to think about death, talk about death, or consider the undeniable truth that my body is going to die.

“You’re right, Tom,” Jesus says through the text of today’s chapter. “Thanks for being honest. Because that is what needs to change. That is the inflection point…

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
Mark 8:34-37 (MSG)

If I follow Jesus at this inflection point, then down the road a whole bunch of turning points in my words, decisions, actions, and relationships will reveal themselves. Consider Peter. It’s at Cornelius’ house in Acts 10 that the turning point is revealed.

In the quiet this morning, I find myself contemplating this spiritual inflection point at which Jesus asks me to consider God’s eternal Kingdom more real than this physical life, more important than the things of this world, more valuable than anything this life could afford.

This is also a point of tension. It doesn’t mean that I ignore this life, coast through this journey, live as if nothing on earth matters. It does! It matters enough for Jesus to come and do exactly as He predicted. The spiritual inflection point gets down to the motives at the core of my being.

What is it I want?

What is it I’m living for?

What does my head answer? What does my heart answer?

If there is ultimately no evidence of a turning point on my calendar, on my credit card statement, and on my task list, then the truth is that I missed the inflection point.

If you know anyone who might be encouraged by today’s post, please share.