Outside, the winter’s chill.
Inside, the warm light’s glow.
The atmosphere is still
As Christmas carols ring,
O’erpow’ring all ill will
That often dwells below
And changing hearts until
We all begin to sing.
Confession: I wish you would do my will,
For I would rather not surrender all.
I would prefer more say in what you call
Me to within your kingdom. Only kill
Those parts of me with which I wish to part.
Pick from the list I curate, then begin
To excise only my unwanted sin,
But leave the rest lest you disturb my heart.
O weak desire, false freedom, foolish dream.
Such service would be fiction, for the throne
Would be yours in name only. Lord, remove
Me from my central focus and redeem
All places where my heart is still like stone.
In grace and mercy, pardon and reprove.
Let now the hard soil of our souls be tilled,
And let us not resist the needed change.
Let not another be unjustly killed.
Let what is common now become most strange.
Lord, show us our responsibility
And lead us in compassion. Let the cries
For justice not end in futility
But further freedom as our pray’rs arise.
Let us be quick to listen, slow to speak,
And slow to anger with no room for sin.
Let those with power learn to live as meek,
And let this lifelong journey now begin.
Teach us to meet all souls with love and grace
As we now learn to welcome and embrace.
Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash
What good are words, and what will they achieve?
For they are small before the might of hate
And faulty too: they bend beneath the weight
Of generations. Can we e’er relieve
The burdens under which our brothers heave,
All hoping against hope that soon the wait
Will end in rest, in justice, in a state
Of peace and love and welcome? Now, we grieve,
For hope remains a hope, a thing unseen,
Desire unsatisfied, dream unfulfilled.
Bring justice, Lord, grant peace, and intervene.
Convict and humble us till we are stilled.
Let tragedy be not the final scene.
Let now the hard soil of our souls be tilled.
The moment passes, same as all the rest,
Save for an added weight, a seeming force.
Some see in it the ending of a test.
Some find in it the start of a new course.
We hope to lay aside all that is past
And welcome future’s possibilities.
We hope to make a change and make it last.
We often miss the forest for the trees.
For ev’ry day behind has led to now,
The good and bad both mingled in the soul.
Experience informs our present plod.
Find hope not in a momentary vow
But in the one who truly holds control.
Entrust this and all moments to your God.
As the band played one of the first songs of the evening session and the conference attendees sang along in worship, we noticed the fire alarm.
I’m not a huge fan of attention. My friends and family laugh because I won’t make a big deal about awards or accomplishments. When I play with the Stephen Michel Band, I like to hide in the back of the stage behind everyone else. I tend to downplay things a bit too much. I realize that some things should be celebrated, however, and I don’t want to appear apathetic about major events. So, with that being said, here are a few updates.
Two weeks ago, I received the Broadman & Holman Seminarian Award from NOBTS. Saturday, I graduated with my Masterof Divinity degree with a specialization in Christian Thought. I hope to continue on at seminary, pursuing a PhD in theology with the hope of teaching and writing full time. That may change over time depending on God’s leading, but, until he leads elsewhere, I plan to stay on this course.
I want to thank everyone who played a part in my seminary experience so far. God has used these last four years to shape me in many ways. I’ve read hundreds of pages, I’ve written thousands of words, and learned more than I imagined I would. Through it all, God used friends and family to continually sharpen and challenge me, to equip and encourage me, and to make me the man I am today. I see my limitations more clearly than ever before, yet I also see God’s faithfulness to use us, weak as we are, for the kingdom. I pray God will be glorified by my life always, and I thank you for helping to make me the man he wants me to be. May we be found faithful.