The Blue Box Blog
Bob Kinzel

What is a Tenebrae?

The word “tenebrae” is Latin, meaning “shadows.”

It is the word we use for the brief, somber service in which Christians celebrate the death of Christ. Let that sink in. We are used to mourning death. We never celebrate death, because it is an enemy, the last and greatest enemy (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26).


“A Time to Laugh”

Let’s face it, things are pretty intense these days, and for good reason. But that means it’s time to remember Solomon’s words (Ecclesiastes 3) that. . .

There is a time for everything. . .
A time to weep and a time to laugh.


So today we turn from sorrow and seriousness to levity and laughter. And while disease and economic uncertainty abound, so also do smiles and chuckles.


Surfing Uncertainty

Growing up in landlocked states, I never spent much time on the water.

Had we lived on the coast, though, I might have enjoyed surfing. I always loved sports programs where brave souls did this. . .
From Silicon Valley to Cairo: Plug and Play Egypt Becomes a Reality

Looks like one of the most fun and/or most terrifying things ever, doesn’t it? I’ll guarantee you that he isn’t afraid. But no doubt when he began, he was.


“I’m sooooo bored!”

Years ago I heard a smart man say, “Life is dull only to the dull.”

There and then I resolved never to bewail boredom. I realized that if I felt bored, it indicated more about me than the task at hand, and that for believers, God always has something for us to do well, even if it is to rest.


Is COVID-19 God’s Judgment?

When global tragedy strikes, we usually hear two questions: 
“Are these signs of the last days?” and “Is this God’s judgment?”

Without going into too much detail, the answer to both questions is, “No.”

The Bible is clear that disease, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, and war have been and will be with us until Jesus returns. But these are not the signs of the end. After Jesus refers to them, He says, “But the end is not yet.” So it isn’t. Check out Matthew 24 for the full story.


“Enough advice! Stop nagging!”

Unsolicited advice abounds today. We have COVIDOVERLOAD!

We know to keep our distance, wear a mask, and stay home.
We know to wash our hands, use sanitizer, and wipe down surfaces.
We know to shelter in place, not touch our face, and order takeout.


“Are we there yet?”

When our two sons were ever-present back seat passengers, we did our best to keep them occupied. The alternative was the endlessly repeated question above.

Looking back on those pre-video days, I realize that we used one of two methods. The first was distraction, pure and simple. Play this game, work this puzzle, focus on this toy, and later, read this book.


Time Traveling

There are two ways to travel, two different types of traveler.

One says, “Let’s just get there.” My dad was an expert on that method. It’s a simple, no-nonsense approach that works well: We get in the car, and get out when we get there. Period. We’ll eat when we get there, sleep when we get there, and we stop only out of (extreme) biological necessity or if a policeman insists.


God’s Complaint Department: Line Forms Here

Stressful times are made worse by denial. Let’s not pretend that everything is good when it isn’t, or that we are happy when we are not. But what should we do?


Embracing Exile

We often hear the question, “When will things return to normal?”

It’s a good question, and one the Jews in Babylon were asking after they had been taken there as captives of Nebuchadnezzar and his cruel army. Many of their prophets were predicting a quick turnaround, and that they soon would be back in their own land, enjoying life as it had been a few short months ago.