Pain is not without its purpose.
Tragedy still points to truth.
Terror may seem to usurp us,
Yet our God is not uncouth.
He, in sov’reignty, is moving.
Evil cannot halt his will.
Through the darkness, he is proving
Faithful. Let us then be still.
Nothing from his gaze is hidden.
He will never fail nor tire.
Evils come to us unbidden;
Evil will one day expire.
Suffer well, O worn believer.
See the larger plan unfold.
Trust the Father, blessed receiver.
He is purging you like gold.
Make me more like you and less like me.
Or rather, make me more the me
That you created me to be.
Help me, when I look at me, to see
The image of your son whose blood
Was shed to set this captive free.
He, the perfect paragon, oh he
Has overcome the curse of death,
Has brought to man a saving breath.
No one else can satisfy but thee.
You call to us with holy roar.
We worship you forevermore.
Matt Chandler, a pastor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, once imitated Mark Driscoll, another pastor, to illustrate Paul’s charge to Timothy to “fulfill your ministry” in 2 Timothy 4:5. In the video, Chandler shows that simply copying a popular pastor’s style of teaching will not make one’s preaching powerful. Instead, each one must do as the verse says and fulfill his own ministry, carrying out the work God assigned him to do. Though short, the video stuck with me, reminding me to fulfill the ministry to which God has called me and to avoid unwise comparison and copying in the work.
And thank you, Mister Lewis.
As I above your pages blink,
Your words encourage me to think,
To follow you right to the brink
Where truth can pierce right through us.
Yes, thank you, Mister Lewis.
And thank you, Mister Tolkien,
For he who finds you on these shelves
Will soon encounter orcs and elves.
Still my imagination delves
Into your stories so keen.
Yes, thank you, Mister Tolkien.
And thank you, Edgar Allan,
For books that bear the mark of Poe,
Though oft macabre, still serve to show
A master’s mixture: beauty, woe.
I feel the raven’s talon.
Yes, thank you, Edgar Allan.
And thank you, Mister Shakespeare.
Iambic pentameter tells
Your tales, and each with grandeur swells.
Of deaths and weddings, blood and bells,
You speak, and I lend my ear.
Yes, thank you, Mister Shakespeare.
The mini-fridge in the hotel room made a sound like a Geiger-counter in Chernobyl. That strange detail stood out to me as I tried to fall asleep in Pocahontas, Arkansas; that, and insecurity. I was preparing to represent my school at a college seminary day, and I kept wondering if I’d be able to answer student questions, if I’d be overdressed (or underdressed), if I’d do a good job. The event went well, and I had some great conversations with prospective students. Still, in the back of my mind, insecurity loomed, evaluating everything I did. Continue reading
The gospel is the poetry of truth,
For in it love and beauty condescend
From heav’n above to take the form of youth:
A righteous life to cover those who sinned.
Redemption’s plan was fixed before the fall.
The father, through his prophets, has foretold
The coming of the king who sounds the call
To all who under sin and death are sold.
Twas at the proper time and proper place
The son himself engaged man’s greatest foe,
And by his death the dead were made alive.
Alive again, the word of love and grace
Inaugurates his kingdom here below,
And all who know him evermore shall thrive.
I caught myself examining the theology of Ed Sheeran songs the other day. Granted, I’m pretty sure he’s not writing songs with God in mind; he seems to say as much. Even so, some of his lyrics reflect imagery and ideas found in Christianity, and I like trying to figure out what he might believe based on what he sings (for instance, I’m pretty sure he’s not a Gnostic based on “Shape of You”). Continue reading
Author of my being,
Singer of the song,
Watcher ever seeing,
I to you belong.
Better is your singing,
Higher are your joys,
Yet my ears are ringing
With a bitter noise.
Clear away obstruction.
Ev’ry hindrance, take.
Clamors of destruction,
Help my soul to shake.
Teach my ears to listen;
Tune my heart to yours.
Take this vessel, christen
On these earthly shores.