Tag Archives: Study

Habakkuk (Jul 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Habakkuk published by Tom Vander Well in July of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Habakkuk 1: Habakkuk’s Cry
Habakkuk 2: Sleeping with the Enemy
Habakkuk 3: “Yet, I Will Rejoice”

Revelations (Jun-Jul 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Revelations published by Tom Vander Well in June and July of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Revelations 1: The Rabbit-Hole and the Three Questions

Revelations 2: Hearing the Simple Message

Revelations 3: Spiritual Self-Exam

Revelations 4: Crowns and Surrender

Revelations 5: The Alpha Point and the Omega Point

Revelations 6: “What Do You Expect?”

Revelations 7: “Every Nation, Tribe, People, & Language”

Revelations 8: Ignorant, Mindful, & Ready

Revelations 9: “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking”

Revelations 10: Justice

Revelations 11: Prophetic Pondering

Revelations 12: Not of this World

Revelations 13: My Choice

Revelations 14: Wisdom to Know the Difference

Revelations 15: The Bigger Picture
Revelations 16: Love and Justice

Revelations 17: Rogues Gallery

Revelations 18: The Funeral

Revelations 19: The Wedding

Revelations 20: The Books

Revelations 21: Death-to-Life

Revelations 22: The End is the Beginning

Judges (May-Jun 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Judges published by Tom Vander Well in May and June of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Judges 1: Git ‘er Done! (or not)

Judges 2: This Chain That I Must Break

Judges 3: The “I” in Idolatry

Judges 4: Women and Prophets

Judges 5: Deborah the Leader

Judges 6: Willingness

Judges 7: Different Ways

Judges 8: King, or Not?

Judges 9: Two Paths

Judges 10: Leaders are Not One-Size-Fits-All

Judges 11: Childish Notions

Judges 12: And So, It Begins

Judges 13: Living a Great Story

Judges 14: Achilles’ Heel

Judges 15: Who I Don’t Want to Be

Judges 16: A Confession

Judges 17: Order, Disorder, Reorder

Judges 18: Willful Independence

Judges 19: Violent Times

Judges 20: Tribal Instinct and Higher Law

Judges 21: Series of Unfortunate Events

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

Joshua (Mar-May 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Joshua published by Tom Vander Well in March, April, and May of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Joshua 1: Succession

Joshua 2: “That Woman”

Joshua 3: Pivotal Moments

Joshua 4: Memorials

Joshua 5: Upstaging

Joshua 6: A Different Way

Joshua 7: Life-Long Lessons

Joshua 8: Awareness and Ego

Joshua 9: Shrewdness

Joshua 10: Evolution of Conversation

Joshua 11: Facing the Giants

Joshua 12: We are Family

Joshua 13: My Inheritance

Joshua 14; Dense Fog Advisory

Joshua 15: Family Patterns

Joshua 16: Small Things, Big Consequences

Joshua 17: The Land of Entitlement

Joshua 18: Go!

Joshua 19: The Reward

Joshua 20: Justice Then and Now

Joshua 21: A Good Place

Joshua 22: The Fear Factor

Joshua 23: Success(ion) and Failure

Joshua 24: At Your Service

2 Chronicles (Jun-Aug 2018)

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

2 Chronicles 1: Childen’s Stories, Powerball, and a Really Good Question

2 Chronicles 2: Family Business

2 Chronicles 3: “It’s Boring!” (Until You See the Connections)

2 Chronicles 4: “Sea”

2 Chronicles 5: The Work

2 Chronicles 6: “Hello?!! Yo! Tom!! I’m Right Here!!”

2 Chronicles 7: Mine, Yours, Ours

2 Chronicles 8: Not Getting It

2 Chronicles 9: The Hard Facts

2 Chronicles 10: The Wisdom of Those Who’ve Gone Before

2 Chronicles 11: It’s Not About Me

2 Chronicles 12: Faith, Strength, and Suffering

2 Chronicles 13: Differences In Interpretation

2 Chronicles 14: Hamilton, History, and Me

2 Chronicles 15: The Slog Will Give Way to the Passion

2 Chronicles 16: The Spiritual Barometer of Comfort

2 Chronicles 17: Reduced to a Label

2 Chronicles 18: When the Opening Hints of Doom

2 Chronicles 19: Overturning the Scales on the Spiritual Economy

2 Chronicles 20: The Implosion of Evil

2 Chronicles 21: The Epitaph Being Written Today

2 Chronicles 22: The Story is NOT Over. The Story WILL Go On.

2 Chronicles 23: Time is Not My Enemy. She’s My Dance Partner.

2 Chronicles 24: Transition of Leadership

2 Chronicles 25: Matters of Heart

2 Chronicles 26: The Strength That Leads to Destruction

2 Chronicles 27: The Junior Babcock of History

2 Chronicles 28: When Trouble Unexpectedly Blows In

2 Chronicles 29: Carrying Out the Filth

2 Chronicles 30: “Return”

2 Chronicles 31: Fail, Rinse, and Repeat

2 Chronicles 32: The Improbable Actually Happens

2 Chronicles 33: Paying Heed

2 Chronicles 34: The Book and the Journey

2 Chronicles 35: Who Will Sing for Me?

2 Chronicles 36: Time, Distance, and Perspective

Hebrews (Feb-Mar 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of 2 Peter published by Tom Vander Well in February and March of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Hebrews 1: New Layers of Perception

Hebrews 2: Slaves to Fear

Hebrews 3: Version 2.0

Hebrews 4: A Die-Hard Tradition

Hebrews 5: The Mysterious Order

Hebrews 6: The Goal

Hebrews 7: The Gray
Hebrews 8: The Tension
Hebrews 9: The Sober Truth

Hebrews 10: Pajama Worship

Hebrews 11: Making it Into the Hall

Hebrews 12: Bitter Roots

Hebrews 13: Vertical and Horizontal

Matthew (Jan-Feb 2022)

Each photo below corresponds to the chapter-a-day post for the book of Matthew published by Tom Vander Well in January and February of 2022. Click on the photo linked to each chapter to read the post.

Matthew 1: Adding it Up

Matthew 2: God of the Foreign

Matthew 3: Herald

Matthew 5: Alignment of Being

Matthew 6: Two Retirement Funds

Matthew 7: Simple Difference

Matthew 8: “Ins” and “Outs”

Matthew 9: For or Against

Matthew 11: A Hobby Kind of Thing

Matthew 12: Two Guys Alone in a Mall

Matthew 13: Heart and Words

Matthew 13: Finding Forrest

Matthew 14: Between Quiet and Noise

Matthew 15: “Leave Them”

Matthew 16: Jesus’ PR Pitch

Matthew 17: Behind the Veil

Matthew 18: The Debt

Matthew 19: The Sticky Wicket

Matthew 20: The Old Couple Who Lived Up on the Hill

Matthew 21: Jesus vs. the System

Matthew 22: The Context

Matthew 23: “The Weight”

Matthew 24: Hot Times and Cold Love

Matthew 25: Three Stories, Three Questions

Matthew 26: The Contrast

Matthew 27: Mob Justice

Matthew 28: The Presence

New Layers of Perception

New Layers of Perception (CaD Heb 1) Wayfarer

…in these last days [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
Hebrews 1:2 (NIV)

I woke this morning remembering that it was time to choose which book in the Great Story to trek through on this chapter-a-day journey. There has never been much rhyme or reason to where the journey goes next. At this point, I believe every book has been blogged through at least twice with many having been revisited four or five times.

So why keep going?

When Jesus was tempted by the Prince of this World, He compared the Great Story to spiritual bread. It is basic nutrients. It is sustenance. It is a foundational, life-giving staple. When Moses commissions Joshua to be his successor as leader of the Hebrew people, he tells Joshua, “Always keep this book of the Law [the only written pieces of the Great Story at that time] on your lips; meditate on it day and night, and be careful to do everything written in it.”

That was the first verse I ever memorized. It launched my perpetual reading, meditation, and study, and it has never gotten old. In fact, it only gets deeper and more fascinating for me. Why?

First, because every time I trek through a book again I am at a different place on the journey. My perspective from this waypoint in the journey changes what I see, hear, and receive in spiritual nutrients and sustenance. It’s like going back to a favorite restaurant and having your favorite meal off the menu after not having tasted and experienced it in years. It is the same meal, but you experience it differently.

Second, with every step of my life journey, I acquire new information, inputs, and experiences which lead to greater insight into the stories, episodes, lyrics, and poems as well as the Great Story as a whole. Metaphor is layered with meaning, and the more experiences I have in life the more I see layered in the Message, and the more connections I make the text, both to other pieces of the Great Story and to other pieces of my life.

Third, I have found it to be exactly what Jesus said it was: foundational, life-giving, spiritual staple. It centers me at the beginning of the day. It informs my thoughts and meditations for the day. It reminds me how to think, speak, act, relate, and live this day. It often gives me an encouragement to inspire, a promise on which to cling, or an affirmation to comfort.

And so, a quick perusal of the latest chapter-a-day treks by book revealed to me only a couple of books missing from the list referred to as New Testament books. The first one I noticed missing was Hebrews. So, here we go…

Since the last time I’ve made the chapter-a-day trek through Hebrews, my dear friend sent me a personal essay about Pierre de Chardin that has greatly inspired me to learn more about this 20th century Jesuit priest, mystic, and scientist. His writings were banned, his teaching was censored, and he was silenced by the institutional Catholic church. History teaches me that this is always a credible sign that he was on to something true. In particular, Chardin’s thinking around “the Omega point” had a huge influence on both the worlds of science and art in the 20th century. In short, “the Omega point” theorizes that everything in the universe is connected, and just as the entire universe sprang from the explosion of a tiny point of matter (I guess that’s the Alpha point), so it will eventually collapse and return to a tiny point of matter: the Omega point.

As I launched into the first chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews this morning I only had to get to the second verse before I ran into something I’ve never seen in my reading of this text before.

“...in these last days [God] has spoken to us by his Son [Jesus] whom he appointed heir of all things...

The heir receives the inheritance. If Jesus is the heir of all things then all things eventually return to Him. He is the “Omega Point.”

and through whom also he made the universe.

Jesus was also the “Alpha Point.” And, the author of Hebrews goes on to state in the next verse, Jesus is “sustains all things.” In this letter to the followers of Jesus in Colossae, Paul states that in Jesus “all things hold together.” Therefore, I am reminded this morning that Jesus is the “Alpha Point” from which all things spring, the “Omega Point” to which all things return, and also what science ironically refers to as “dark matter” which holds everything together.

So, what does this have to do with my day today?

My meditation on Jesus being the “heir of all things” leads me to conclude that nothing I think I own or possess is truly mine. I will die and it will be passed onto others (who will also die) and/or it will erode, decay, or be destroyed to eventually flow back to the Omega Point. Makes sense, then why Jesus would tell His followers not to worry about, or invest in, the things of this world. He sees the bigger picture. He’s looking in context of the Great Story in which all of creation Jesus “will roll up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed.” And, if Jesus is the sustainer holding all of creation together, then how ever-present and accessible He is. He’s holding me together in ways I never consider.

In the quiet this morning, I head into my day considering everything in my temporal life in the context of a much larger reality. This is what I find Jesus constantly teaching His followers: “Break out of the crimped tunnel vision of this human existence. Learn to see as I see! Step back and see in the context of Alpha and Omega, inter-connectedness and omnipresent sustaining. Then you will see each day, each moment, each interaction with hope and possibility!”

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

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