I had a lot on my plate that day. I’d chosen a seat in the student center so I could drink some coffee while I worked, and I was hoping I could avoid people long enough to get some work done. Typically, however, such attempts were unsuccessful, and that day was no exception.
People love ghost stories. People hate ghost stories. But no matter the response, ghost stories have crept into our lives and our cultures, and they don’t appear to be leaving. Continue reading
James left us with some frightening thoughts.
People struggle to respond to imperfect people.
A number of my friends from seminary work in local churches, meaning their coworkers and bosses are fellow believers. A number of other friends, however, work in coffee shops, department stores, or in other non-religious occupations. One such friend recently asked how Christians in such positions can best represent Christ to their coworkers, specifically when lifestyles and ethical frameworks conflict. Today, I want to offer a few thoughts on the subject.
Do flowers honor Father more than I?
For they do not rebel against his name,
Never abandon purpose to proclaim
Another glory. Ev’ry passerby
Is bidden by the bud to look beyond,
To glimpse the author of the grand design.
I point as well, but I demand a fine,
Some profit for the prophet. Still, the frond
Is ever faithful. Though its days are few,
Great kings cannot compare to its array,
A testimony from the soil and sod.
Look closely and detect the divine hue
And find the same at work within your clay.
All beauty bears the signature of God.
Photo by Milos Tonchevski on Unsplash
I see my lack of holiness
When I observe my heart.
It shows a certain homeliness:
Tis stained in ev’ry part.
I long to live in purity,
Yet clearly not enough;
For sin remains a surety.
Temptation calls my bluff.
Thus I take up these robes of white;
I drag them through the dirt.
I pledged my life to perfect light,
Yet still pursue my hurt.
Oh pardon me this parody,
This purposeless pursuit.
Enable me to fully be
A son who bears good fruit.
May all who hear my story find
Your mark of perfect love,
And use me, Father, to remind
Them of your land above.
(Photo cred: Jeremy Poe)
Yesterday, I posted some thoughts on singleness being a gift, not a curse. I believe those words, and I pray they serve you well, but I also recognize the power of testimony in this discussion. Knowing the theology behind a subject helps; hearing how a person applies that theology may help more. So today, I want to share my current situation along with some lessons I’ve learned in the last few years.
How can I comfort those who mourn
Unless I learn to mourn myself?
For fellowship with those forlorn,
I must be taken from the shelf.
For there I sat so safe and calm,
But there I also gathered dust.
If this, my life, would be a balm,
Then I must learn that God is just
Not just in times of peace and rest,
But in my sorrow, sickness, strife.
If I would follow heaven’s best,
I will not have an easy life.
But through my broken heart, he speaks,
And through my suff’ring, Christ is seen.
If soon, with death, my body reeks,
My soul, by grace through faith, is clean.
So why would I avoid the pain
If, through the turmoil, faith is grown?
The struggle leads to priceless gain
As man’s despair is overthrown.
All things do work together for
The good of those He called in love,
And though we walk the road of war,
God reigns in sov’reignty above.