On the Way

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
~ Psalm 84:5

Monday, December 27, 2010

a recommended devotional plan

This one is from Pastor J.R. Vassar, who blogged last year on the importance of having an intentional devotional life:  http://jrvassar.posterous.com/planning-an-intentional-devotional-life-for-2

The Silence which is the source of sound

Twentieth-century Quaker Thomas Kelly wrote, “Over the margins of life comes a whisper, a faint call, a premonition of richer living which we know we are passing by. We have hints that there is a way of life vastly richer and deeper than all this hurried existence, a life of unhurried serenity and peace and power. If only we could slip over into that Center! If only we could find the Silence which is the source of sound!”

How to fight loneliness

How to fight loneliness?
Smile all the time

Shine you teeth 'til meaningless
And sharpen them with lies

And whatever's going down
Will follow you around
That's how you fight loneliness

You laugh at every joke

Drag your blanket blindly
And fill your heart with smoke

And the first thing that you want
Will be the last thing you ever need
That's how you fight it

Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time

found on: Summerteeth

words: Jeff Tweedy

Jesusfreakhideout.com: Switchfoot   The Best Yet   Lonely Nation lyrics

Jesusfreakhideout.com: Switchfoot The Best Yet Lonely Nation lyrics

Email etiquette rules for effective email replies

I found this helpful link today on the subject.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good reads

God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of ChristmasGod With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas by Gregory Wolfe

wonderful book filled with profound meditations and gorgeous illustrations!

View all my reviews

Scribo Facio Noto: Francis Chan, The Seriousness With Which We Take G...

Scribo Facio Noto: Francis Chan, The Seriousness With Which We Take G...: "I'm going to get in trouble for this one. I know it. And I'm OK with it. You don't question someone like Francis Chan and not get some fallo..."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

prayer for St. Thomas' Day

Almighty and everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with sure and certain faith in your Son's resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

on seeking after God

"If you are seeking after God,
You may be sure of this:
God is seeking after you more."
~ John of the Cross



Friday, December 17, 2010

Dorothy Sayers ~ December 17


I haven't read much from  her but it's good to honor various Christian "saints".

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Prayer appointed for the week

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
2nd week of Advent


Saturday, November 27, 2010

encourage one another daily?

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.
~ Hebrews 3:12-14

I've returned to this passage time and time again while living in a culture, 21st century America, where folks often are "bowling alone" as Robert Putnam put it in his important sociological study.  Are  Facebook or other social networking sites one way in which Christians can "encourage one another daily"?  Perhaps.  But surely this is not enough!  Where is the dynamic, deep face to face fellowship and resultant joy which one can see in Acts 2 and during many other times of Church History?
I see encouraging signs of deep community or deep church (as Jim Belcher calls it) among the Amish (for all their faults and fundamental problems related to understanding culture properly) and the "new monastics".

I do give thanks for the small ways in which I've experienced this with my 'nuclear' family, a weekly men's group and with some other friends.   I submit that Facebook and other sites can be a tool to enhance what should already be there with respect to friendships & community (but often is not).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Links to Common Worship - Morning Prayer


"Daily Prayer provided by the official Church of England web site, © The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England, 2002-2004." and is linked to "http://www.cofe.anglican.org/worship/dailyprayer/".

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Concrete Girl

from their first album:  Legend of Chin - my latest fav by them along with Love is the Movement from their 3rd album, Learning to Breathe

Bleeding thoughts
Cracking boulder
Don't fall over
Fake your laughter
Burn the tear
Sing it louder,
Twist and shout

Way up here
We stand on shoulders
Growing colder
Laugh or cry
I won't mind
Sing it louder,
Twist and shout

Immovable shadows
Concrete girl
They'll rock your world
To nothing
And they're swimming
Around again, again
And they're swimming
Around the concrete girl

Catch your breath
Like four leaf clover
Hand it over

Scream to no one
Take your time
Sing it louder,
Twist and shout

Nothing to run from
Is worse than something
And all your fears
Of nothing
And they're swimming
Around again, again
And they're swimming
Around the concrete girl

Concrete girl don't
Fall down
In this broken world
Around you
Concrete girl don't
Fall down
Don't fall down
My concrete girl

Don't stop thinking
Don't stop feeling

One step away
From where we were
And one step back
To nothing
And we're standing on top
Of our hopes and fears
And we're fighting
For words
Now concrete girl
And we're swimming
Around again, again
And we're swimming
Around now
Concrete girl

Written by Jonathan Foreman / ©1997 Meadowgreen Music / Sugar Pete Songs / ASCAP All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Second Station hits home

The Second Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross
(John 19:17)
Lord Jesus Christ, our Teacher on the Way, sometimes your call upon our life seems like
more than we can bear. We are tempted to shrink from the challenges and hardships of
our path. We wonder if we can make it all the way up the hill. Lord Jesus Christ, you
carried your own cross with strength and perseverance and were undeterred by those
who demeaned you along the way. As we walk this way together, show me what is my
cross to carry, my burden to bear, and teach me how to shoulder it well. Today is the day
for me to learn more of what it means for me to take up my cross and follow you.
Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Interview with Jon Foreman at Point Loma Nazarene University - 2008


Lonely Nation

She turns like the ocean
She tells no emotion
She’s been gunning down the fight
She’s just reminiscing
Blood, sweat, and one thing’s missing
She’s been breaking up inside, inside

Singing without tongues, screaming without lungs
I want more than my lonely nation,
I want more than my lonely nation
Desperate we are young. Separate we are one.
I want more than my desperation.
I want more than my lonely nation.

We are the target market. We set the corporate target.
We are slaves of what we want.
We’re just numb and amused and we’re just used to bad news and
We are slaves of what we want

Lonely, lonely

Don’t leave me hollow. I’m tired.
Don’t leave me hollow.
I’m tired of feeling low, of feeling hollow.
I’m tired of feeling low, of feeling hollow.

Written by Jon Foreman and Tim Foreman. All songs ©2005 Meadowgreen Music Company and Sugar Pete Songs / All right administered by EMI CMG Publishing (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Behind the Song:
“Desperate times call for desperate measures. Over the course our time on the road as a band I have met so many amazing, beautiful, desperate, lonely people. We are the lonely nation. We are the disenchanted, the disillusioned- we are the remnant of lonely souls wanting more than anything that we can buy with this cold, hard cash. I wrote this song while we were playing a stretch of rock radio shows. I'd walk around near the back and just breathe in the loneliness- masses of lonely, scared kids. I remember thinking about the irony. Here you have this connected generation of online communities, IM, TM, myspace, and cell phones that grows more and more lonely every day. This is a song is still yearning, saying, "Don't settle, please, don't give up. Fight for only the true and the beautiful!" We wanted to start the record with this track because we feel that this song picks up where Meant to Live left off. There is hope for meaning and truth in this life but it probably doesn't come in the form of a corporate slogan. We, the target market, want more than this world has to offer. This is a song where tim and chad drive the verses and the guitars take the chorus. We've played this song many times live and refined it quite a bit from it's original state. There's nothing like playing a new song in front of real people with real opinions. The people at those shows, (the extended switchfoot family), they shaped this song as much as anyone.” – Jon Foreman (Switchfoot)

taken from http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=11116

the darkness of unknowing

"It is a darkness of unknowing that lies between you and your God ... He whom [no one] ... can grasp by knowledge can be embraced by love."
From The Cloud of Unknowing
cited in Quiet in His Presence by Jan Harris


Daisy give yourself away
Look up at the rain, the beautiful display of power and surrender
Giving us today when she gives herself away

Rain, another rainy day
Comes up from the ocean, to give herself away
She comes down easy on rich and debt the same when

Let it go, daisy let it go
Open up your fist this fallen world
Doesn’t hold your interest, it doesn’t hold your soul
Daisy let it go

Pain, give yourself a name
Call yourself contrition, avarice or shame
Giving isn’t easy, neither is the rain when she gives herself away

Daisy why another day
Why another sunrise. Who will take the blame
For all redemptive motion and every rainy day
He gives himself away

Let it go, daisy let it go
Let it go…

Written by Jon Foreman. All songs ©2005 Meadowgreen Music Company and Sugar Pete Songs / All right administered by EMI CMG Publishing (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Behind the Song:
“Ah, daisy! sweet daisy... this one is my wife's favorite. I wrote it a while ago yet somehow it didn't make it onto the last record. I'm really thankful it didn't; I don't think we were ready for it then. Some songs age like wine and others age like milk finding a sour, over-thought, overproduced end. This one lasted for a long time and kept getting better. I feel really great about how it came out. In fact the end of the tune might be my favorite rock moment on the record, ironic because the beginning of the tune is anything but rock- so sparse and pretty. Because of the different tuning, it's a pain to get the guitar back to normal afterwards so we've never played this one live. I want to wait for just the right moment. I remember chad was hitting so hard on this one that he ended up breaking the kick pedal on the last hit of the song, he shouts out,'I think I broke the kick pedal!' We ended up cutting it out for the record because it seemed a little camp. Maybe we'll put it up online or something, because it needs to be heard. Classic Chad: the man with the iron foot strikes again!

For me, this is an appropriate way to finish the record- A song about letting go. When we're making an album I tend to go into this mode where all I think about is the record, the record, the record- in very unhealthy ways at times. I usually put a lot of pressure on myself because the music means so much to me. but like everything else, a record has a beginning and an end. You have to put the brush down and walk away. I'm not sure I've done that yet but I'm working on it! I've heard it said that a record is never completed, you just move on to the next one. I'm very proud of this record and feel like this is better than anything we've done so far and yet I'm anxious to beat it. Thanks for listening and thanks for reading.” – Jon Foreman (Switchfoot)

Somebody's Baby ~ Jon Foreman

I heard this song for the first time tonight; it moved me to tears with compassion.  My first job out of college was with the homeless mentally ill.  Today, I talked with a man I met at a park about a week ago; he's been kicked out of the place he was staying and will be having to stay at the Mission.  My heart goes out to him and I want to help him; Jim (I'll call him) is a new friend who loves God, is loved by God.  Jesus loves the "losers" like Jim, me and you--thanks be to God!

Lyrics to Somebody's Baby :
She screams

If you're homeless you'd sure as hell you'd be drunk

Or high or trying to get there or begging for junk

When people don't want you they just throw you money for beer

Her name is November she went by Autumn or Fall

It was seven long years since the Autumn

When all of her nightmares grew fingers

And all of her dreams grew tears

She's somebody's baby

Somebody's baby girl

She's somebody's baby

Somebody's baby girl

She's somebody's baby still

She says

Well if you've never gone it alone

Well then go ahead, you better throw the first stone

You got one lonely stoner waiting to bring to her knees

She dreams about Heaven, remembering Hell

As the place that she visits and knows all to well

Every now and again, when she's hopeful she brushes her teeth

She's somebody's baby

Somebody's baby girl

She's somebody's baby

Somebody's baby girl

She's somebody's baby still

Today was her birthday, strangely enough

When the cops found her body at the foot of the bluff

The anonymous caller this morning tipped off the police

They got her ID from the dental remains

The same fillings intact, the same nicotine stains

The birth and the death were both over

With no one to grieve

She's somebody's baby

Somebody's baby girl

She's somebody's baby

Somebody's baby girl

She's somebody's baby still
[ Somebody's Baby Lyrics on http://www.lyricsmania.com/ ]

Motivations for living the Jesus-life

"In difficult times, the realization that there are no other options can cause us to cling to the Lord.  A second motivator is the fear of the Lord, which involves a holy fear of his displeasure. (not necessarily hers or anyone else's -she is not Jesus though I must try to discern when God is speaking through her, certainly!).  The third biblical motivator is a growing response of love and gratitude as we come to see God's gracious actions and provisions in new ways.  Scripture also encourages us to pursue the rewards that our Lord will give to those who have been faithful to the opportunities they have been given.  As we grow in our understanding of our security and significance in Christ, we come to view sin as beneath our dignity we have in him.  A biblical sense of purpose and hope can also contribute to our spiritual fidelity.  Finally, the psalmist and great saints were also motivated by a longing for God above any of his gifts."

~ Ken Boa Conformed To His Image

Afraid of bad news?

For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.

~ Psalm 112:6-8

A former boss and friend relayed Psalm 112:7 to me soon after giving me some very bad news which devastated me and my family.  It seemed a cold slap in the face at the time.  I've come to treasure this passage though not always.  Sometimes, many times, I still live in fear of bad news.  And when the bad happens, I can be undone and my faith can be really tested.

Here's what the always helpful ESV Study Bible has to say:

Ps. 112:6–8 never be moved. See note on 15:5c; verses 7–8 of Psalm 112 describe his security. be remembered. By the people, just as they remember the Lord's own wondrous works (111:4), and perhaps by the Lord himself, who remembers his covenant forever (112:6). The righteous is not afraid of bad news, because he fears the Lord (112:1).

It really hurts when the answer is "No"!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
~ Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

13:12 Hope deferred - Delays in obtaining what a man passionately desires. The desire - The good desired. A tree of life - It is satisfactory, and reviving.
(Wesley's notes)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mexican Sun - Chevelle

Soon the stares catch We begin to kill the calm as we Feed on the facts let's give in Let's give in to give in more Still on the knees Such a shame The cat's up and run away Scratched at me first Then the boy Gonna panic for a little more Watch the tail boy Watch the tail Like to be feeling the sand Bring color Back to both my arms the sun Let it do damage like they said it Would if given chance Had to be shouting your voices Scheming devils Never make it through Hey way to go lad Can't wait to go Closing out all my tabs Tighten down the pitiful Leave you a pen Write it down Or you know what you can do With that Watch that tail boy Watch the tail Like to be feeling the sand Bring color Back to both my arms the sun Let it do damage like they said it Would if given chance Had to be shouting your voices Scheming devils Never make it through Hey way to go lad Can't wait to go Let's let the panic bloom Could help us all end up in the Clear Then let the havoc choose To shape us all, push us to invent We can feed off shame all day We could feed of shame all day Soon the stares catch We begin to kill the calm as we Feed on the facts let's give in Let's give in to give in more Like to be feeling the sand Bring color Back to both my arms the sun Let it do damage like they said it Would if given chance Had to be shouting your voices Scheming devils Never make it through Hey way to go lad Can't wait to go Hey way to go lad Can't wait to go. . .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the deepest blues are black - Foo Fighters (from In Your Honor)

Shame on you Seducing everyone Faded jewel Your diamond in the rough You don't have to tell me I know where you've been Shinning once again Will you do The thing you've always done Tell me true I think you know the one One that makes me blurry Colors starts to run Everytime I wonder I go under The deeper the blues The more I see black Sweet are the bruise the feeling starts coming back All the deepest blues are black How my mind is spinning And my head is going numb Right from the beginning Our ending had begun I can be your trouble Shiver into you Shaking like the thunder Sinking under The deeper the blues, the more I see black Sweet are the bruise, the feeling starts coming back All the deepest blues are, deepest blues are black When it comes closing in Reject Cause I gotta move And the simple things get in the openings Connect Become something new To remove The deeper the blues, the more I see black Sweet are the bruise, the feeling starts coming back All the deepest blues are, deepest blues are black The deeper the blues, the more i see the black Sweet are the bruise, the feeling starts coming back All the deepest blues are, deepest blues are black

Easter Wings - George Herbert

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store, Though foolishly he lost the same, Decaying more and more, Till he became Most poore: With thee Oh let me rise As larks, harmoniously, And sing this day thy victories: Then shall the fall further the flight in me. My tender age in sorrow did beginne: And still with sicknesses and shame Thou didst so punish sinne, That I became Most thinne. With thee Let me combine And feel this day thy victorie: For, if I imp my wing on thine Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

I rise before dawn

With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord! I will keep your statutes. I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O Lord, according to your justice give me life. They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law. But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true. Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever. ~ Psalm 119 Qoph

Monday, March 22, 2010

Proverbs 3 - Living Wisely

Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success [1] in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your flesh [2] and refreshment [3] to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. 11 My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom 13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. 19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; 20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. 23 Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. 24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin [4] of the wicked, when it comes, 26 for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, [5] when it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you. 29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, 32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence. 33 The Lord's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. [6] 35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get [7] disgrace. Footnotes [1] 3:4 Or repute [2] 3:8 Hebrew navel [3] 3:8 Or medicine [4] 3:25 Hebrew storm [5] 3:27 Hebrew Do not withhold good from its owners [6] 3:34 Or grace [7] 3:35 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain (ESV)

Friday, March 19, 2010

My soul thirsts for you

143:1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! 2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you. 3 For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead. 4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled. 5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. 6 I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah 7 Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. 8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. 9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge! [1] 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! 11 For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! 12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Augustine's Prayer for Self-Knowledge

Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You, and desire nothing save only You. Let me hate myself and love You. Let me do everything for the sake of You. Let me humble myself and exalt You. Let me think of nothing except You. Let me die to myself and live in You. Let me accept whatever happens as from You. Let me banish self and follow You, and ever desire to follow You. Let me fly from myself and take refuge in You, That I may deserve to be defended by You. Let me fear for myself. Let me fear You, and let me be among those who are chosen by You. Let me distrust myself and put my trust in You. Let me be willing to obey for the sake of You. Let me cling to nothing save only to You, And let me be poor because of You. Look upon me, that I may love You. Call me that I may see You, and for ever enjoy You. Amen. ~ Augustine

Saturday, March 13, 2010

faint not...

6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. ~ Galatians 6:6-10 (ESV) 6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (KJV)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Peace & Reconciliation

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. ~ Matthew 19:15-16 why are we so afraid to do this? we are called to "speak the truth in love to one another" people are hurting, are sinning eggregiously against each other---and what do we do? we gossip, we get angry, slander the offending party, we keep it in, we harbor bitterness. THIS SHOULD NOT BE!!! we all know horror stories of this from Christians and non-Christians--- brothers, not speaking to each other for years, spouses in a cold war with one another if the gospel is true (which I firmly believe it is), it is good, radical, healing news which can meet these challenges head-on---but we must yield to grace! we must be willing to take bold steps to do what is needed including 'confronting someone who has sinned against us' i do not say this with any self-righteousness (i don't think). I'm 41 years old, have been a Christian since i was 16, but i feel like it's only been in the past year that some of this is finally sinking in to my thick head...i suspect i'm not the only one out there. So, if you have something against someone, as jesus said: "leave your gift at the altar, go and be reconciled to that person" If they get defensive, learn from them. if they reject you, remember people rejected the Lord Jesus too and he was perfect! if the don't repent, you've done the right thing...you can forgive and not hold on to bitterness which will only eat you alive anyway and keep you ineffective as a person! if they choose to accept your confession, then you will experience the sweet joys of reconciliation--you've won a brother or sister back --- a friend...then you've experienced real joy first hand---you've tasted the love of God in Jesus!!! "there is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear" ~ 1 John 4 "bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ..." ~ Galatians 6 "don't leave me hollow, I'm tired of feeling low, feeling low..." ~ Switchfoot

Saturday, March 6, 2010

For you have died

3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your [1] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ~ Colossians 3:1-4

Thursday, March 4, 2010

your treasure

"Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also." The Gospel according to Matthew

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

good works vs. good doctrine?

"[W]e must remind ourselves that the Catholic righteousness by good works is vastly preferable to a protestant righteousness by good doctrine. At least righteousness by good works benefits one’s neighbor, whereas righteousness by good doctrine only produces lovelessness and pride." Herman Bavinck, Reformed Theologian thanks to Howard Davis who posted this on his facebook page today.

to gather up all things in him

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ* before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
~ Ephesians 1:3-10
New Revised Standard Version

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Your Love Is a Song

Switchfoot Your Love Is A Song Lyrics

I hear you breathing in
another day begins

the stars are falling out
my dreams are fading now, fading out

I've been keeping my eyes wide open
I've been keeping my eyes wide open

your love is a symphony
all around me
running through me

your love is a melody
underneath me
running to me

your love is a song

the dawn is fire bright
against the city lights

the clouds are glowing now
the moon is blacking out

I've been keeping my mind wide open
I've been keeping my mind wide open

your love is a song

with my eyes wide open
I've got my eyes wide open
I've been keeping my hopes unbroken

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Auden "September 1939"

I first heard this from an Indian friend back at L'Abri in the summer of 1997:

Faces along the bar

Cling to their average day

The lights must never go out

The music must always play

Lest we know where we are

Lost in a haunted wood

Children afraid of the dark

Who have never been happy or good

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Psalm 67 - a prayer for revival (anticipating Lent)

67:1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Psalm 119:1-8 (psalm for the week)

Blessed are those whose way is blameless,

who walk in the law of the Lord!

2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,

who seek him with their whole heart,

3 who also do no wrong,

but walk in his ways!

4 You have commanded your precepts

to be kept diligently.

5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast

in keeping your statutes!

6 Then I shall not be put to shame,

having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.

7 I will praise you with an upright heart,

when I learn your righteous rules. [2]

8 I will keep your statutes;

do not utterly forsake me!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

great quote from Bonhoeffer

"God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill His promises...leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 I freely stole this from a young friend this evening.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

anger and the fool

A fool gives full vent to his anger,
       but a wise man keeps himself under control.
~ Proverbs 29:11


Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble
Trouble been doggin' my soul since the day I was born
Worry, worry, worry, worry
Worry just will not seem to leave my mind alone
We'll I've been...
saved by a woman
I've been...
saved by a woman
I've been...
saved by a woman
She won't let me go
She won't let me go now
She won't let me go
She won't let me go now

Oh, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble
Feels like every time I get back on my feet
she come around and knock me down again
Oh, worry, worry, worry, worry
Sometimes I swear it feels like this worry is my only friend
We'll I've been saved...
by a woman
I've been saved...
by a woman
I've been saved...
by a woman
She won't let me go
She won't let me go now
She won't let me go
She won't let me go now

Oh..., Ahhhh....
She good to me now
She gave me love and affection
She good tell me now
She gave me love and affection
I Said I love her
Yes I love her
I said I love her
I said I love...
She good to me now
She's good to me
She's good to me

~ Ray LaMontagne

Job's Confession and Repentance

Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent [1] in dust and ashes.”
[1] Or and am comforted

Proverbs 13

13:1 A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. 2 From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence. 3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. 4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. 5 The righteous hates falsehood, but the wicked brings shame [1] and disgrace. 6 Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but sin overthrows the wicked. 7 One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. 8 The ransom of a man's life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat. 9 The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out. 10 By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom. 11 Wealth gained hastily [2] will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. 12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. 13 Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. 14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. 15 Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin. [3] 16 In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. 17 A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing. 18 Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored. 19 A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools. 20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. 21 Disaster [4] pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good. 22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous. 23 The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice. 24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. [5] 25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Psalm 119 ~ Daleth

25 My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart! [1]


[1] 119:32 Or for you set my heart free


As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
~ John 15:9-12

Friday, February 5, 2010


Daisy, give yourself away

Lookup at the rain

The beautiful display

Of power and surrender

Giving us today

And she gives herself away

Rain, another rainy day

Comes up from the ocean

Give herself away

She comes down easy

On rich and debt the same

And she gives herself away

Let it go

Daisy, Let it go

Open up your fist

This fallen world

Doesn't hold your interest

It doesn't hold your soul

Daisy, let it go

Pain, give yourself a name

Call yourself contrition

Avarice of blame

Giving isn't easy

Neither is the rain

When she gives herself away

Daisy, why another day?

Why another sunrise

Who will take the blame

For all redemptive motion

And every rainy day

When he gives himself away

Let it go

Daisy, let it go

Open up your fist

This fallen world

It doesn't hold your interest

It doesn't hold your soul

Daisy, let it go

Let it go

Let it go

Let it go

And you let it go, go

Let it go

Let it go

Let it go, go

Let it go

Let it go

the fatal wound

I am the crisis

I am the bitter end

I'm gonna gun this down

I am divided

I am the razor edge

there is no easy now

son of sorrow

staring down forever

with an aching view


lets go down together

with the fatal wound

this is the real thing

no rubber bullets now

this is the final bow

my breath avoids me

my chest is in my head

my stomach's upside down


son of sorrow

staring down forever

with an aching view


lets go down together

with the fatal wound

with the fatal wound

with the fatal wound

false guilt article

Here's one on 'false guilt' from Probe which I want to read.
True guilt and shame is a very real issue to deal with which is often discussed but the notion of false guilt is an important one as well, it seems to me.

verbal abuse - a good article on the phenomenon

This is written by Kerby Anderson of Probe ministries and is quite helpful.
"Using Words to Wound" by Denis Haack of Ransom Fellowship is another excellent resource on dealing with verbal abuse:  http://www.ransomfellowship.org/articledetail.asp?AID=385&B=Denis%20Haack&TID=2

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

don't grasp

A grasping person stirs up trouble,
   but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.
~ Proverbs 28:25

I discovered this verse this morning from a personality assessment.  It's convicting and encouraging.  The translation used is The Message.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

humility 101

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus
~ Philippians 2:1-5

constructive summer - hold steady

love this song---wish I hadn't lost the album awhile back (think it's in the old blue backpack I'm missing):

Me and my friends are like
the drums on "Lust for Life"
we pound it out on four toms
our songs are sing-a-long songs

this whole town is like this
been that way our whole lives (?)
just work at the mill until you die
work at the mill and then you die
we're gonna build something this summer
we'll put it back together
raise up a giant ladder
with love & trust and friends and hammers

we're gonna lean this ladder
up against the water tower
climb up to the top
and drink it up

me and my friends are like
double whiskey, coke no ice
we drink along in double time
might drink too much but we feel fine

we're gonna build something this summer
summer grant us all the power
to drink on top of the water towers
with love and trust and shows all summer
let this be my annual reminder
that we can all be something bigger

i went to your schools
i did my detention but the walls are so grey i couldnt pay attention
i read the gospel it moved me to tears
but I couldn't find the hate and couldn't find the fear
i met your saviour I knelt at his feet
and he took my ten bucks and went down the street
tried to believe all the things that you said
but my friends that aren't dying are already dead

raise a toast to st joe strummer
think he might've been our only decent teacher
getting older only makes it harder to remember
we are our only saviours
we're gonna build something this summer

Scriptures to live by & a nifty quote

"Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven, and you are on earth. So let your words be few."
- Ecclesiastes 5:2

"Do not be overrighteous,
       neither be overwise—
       why destroy yourself?"
-Ecclesiastes 7:16

Here's what the ESV Study Bible says about the latter verse:
"Be not overly righteous. The Preacher is not advocating moral laxity (cf. 8:12–13). Bearing in mind that he is using the term “righteous” in the sense of being “right in one's cause” (see note on 7:15), his counsel is a warning against the obsession of always being proved right in an argument or dispute. To insist on this is ultimately self-destructive: people who have to win every argument will eventually alienate everyone around them. See 1 Cor. 6:7 for Paul's advice on this."

17 Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time? 18 It is good that you should take hold of this, and from that withhold not your hand, for the one who fears God shall come out from both of them.
-Ecclesiastes 7:17-18
again from the ESV Study Bible (nice work by Max Roglund, a Cov Sem grad!):
"Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. By the same token (cf. note on v. 16), a willingness to suffer wrong, if not tempered with the wisdom to know when to insist on the justice of one's cause, can also lead to self-destruction. One must strike the proper balance between the two principles (v. 18)."

"Most men are not satisfied with the permanent output of their lives. Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within his followers except the adoption of Christ’s purpose toward the world he came to redeem. Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of his eternal plans."
                                                      - J. Campbell White

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Do Not Despair; Do Not Presume"

John Wilson's review of Peter J. Thuesen's Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine

Psalm 9 (psalm for the week)

I Will Recount Your Wonderful Deeds

 [1] To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben. [2] A Psalm of David.

9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish before [3] your presence.
For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.
You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
their cities you rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.
But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with uprightness.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
11 Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!
12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
13 Be gracious to me, O Lord!
See my affliction from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may recount all your praises,
that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in your salvation.
15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.
16 The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment;
the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. [4] Selah
17 The wicked shall return to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God.
18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
19 Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail;
let the nations be judged before you!
20 Put them in fear, O Lord!
Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah


[1] 9:1 Psalms 9 and 10 together follow an acrostic pattern, each stanza beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the Septuagint they form one psalm
[2] 9:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[3] 9:3 Or because of
[4] 9:16 Probably a musical or liturgical term

Saturday, January 30, 2010

fixed-hour prayer

"pray without ceasing"
~ 1 Thessalonians

prayer from the Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold
Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter
Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
that every good work or thought found in me
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty
Thy glory in my valley.

wonderful blog link - Hearts & Minds

Byron is one of my favorite people as well as bloggers who cares passionately for books and owns a great bookstore in Dallastown, PA near York.

what doth the Lord require? a tall order

What is good has been explained to you, man; this is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.
~ Micah 6:8

Sunday, January 24, 2010

the lesser ich bins - part vier

Ich bin satt!

Escaping the Storm ~ Jonah

Poets have wrong'd poor storms: such days are best;
They purge the air without, within the breast.

Storms are the triumph of his art.

~ George Herbert, from "The Storms" and "The Bag," in The Country Parson, The Temple

cited by Eugene Peterson in Under the Unpredictable Plant:  An Exploration in Vocational Holiness

Prayer from "Sacred Space" website for daily prayer

Prayer of an Irish hermit
Shame on my thoughts, how they stray from me! I fear great danger from this on the day of eternal judgement. During the psalms they wander on a path that is not right: they run, they distract, they misbehave before the eyes of the great God. Through eager assemblies, through companies of lewd women, through woods, through cities - swifter they are than the wind. One moment they follow ways of loveliness, and the next ways of riotous shame - no lie!
O beloved, truly chaste Christ, to whom every eye is clear, may the grace of the sevenfold spirit come to keep them, to hold them in check. Rule this heart of mine, O swift God of the elements, that you may be my love, and that I may do your will! That I may reach Christ with his chosen companions, that we may be together: they are neither fickle nor inconstant - they are not as I am. (Irish, ninth century)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

on friends who are not fickle, who really care

17 A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.
~ Proverbs 17:17

I give thanks to God for friends and I have several who have demonstrated over time the above passage:  consistency, loyalty, encouragement, never perfection but faithful loving, nonetheless.

I think it's time I ready Bonhoeffer again on Christian fellowship in Life Together, a related theme to friendship.
Aelred of Riveaulx or a good modern theological reflection on friendship by someone like P.J. Wadell might be of use as well.  But most of all, let's hang, play games, talk, let's just be together as friends.
Facebook is nice and has its place in certain ways---but primacy should always be given in my view to 'face to face' friendships or at least having a good conversation on the phone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

a united & untied heart

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
~ Psalm 86:11-13

"The Bible regularly pictures the moral course of one's life as a “way” or path, and one's conduct as a “walk” or journey. A faithful person seeks instruction in the ways that please God in order to learn how better to walk in God's truth. Unite my heart, i.e., make it “one” (cf. Jer. 32:39), undivided in its loyalty (so that all of it can give thanks, Ps. 86:12)."
(ESV Study Bible note on v. 11)

towards a godly sorrow - may it be

9yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 2 Corinthians 7

the tongue of those who are taught

The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
Isaiah 50:4
~ a life verse and prayer that it may be increasingly true of me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Joy comes with the morning (giving thanks for the Lord's healing)

Psalm 30 was on my mind this morning as I visited New City Fellowship and I shared several verses during the 'testimony time'.  I give thanks for the Lord providing me some healing of depression and anxiety---a true answer to many prayers which I do not take for granted.  Every day can be a battle in various ways.  Recovery and redemption for that matter are life-long endeavors.

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. [1]
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name. [2]
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime. [3]
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

What is a healthy church member?

Pastor Scott Johnson of Living Hope Church (PCA) in Lititz, PA referenced the above book by Thabiti M. Anyabwile, pastor in the Grand Cayman Islands, in his charge to the New City Fellowship new members and congregation. He listed the nine marks of a 'healthy church member' according Pastor Anyabwile. He then spent a little time discussing the first mark, "expositional listening" and how Pastor Stan Morton provides a good example of expositional preaching.
I became curious and looked up the book this evening.
I will enclose a link to it for reference.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

the gospel gap

“It is amazing how long it took me to really understand the gospel. Like many Christians, I understood early on that my sins had been forgiven [past grace] and that I was going to spend my eternity with Christ [future grace]. But I did not grasp the depth of my need for the benefits of the work of Christ now [present grace]. My externalistic Christianity needed to be infused with the present power of the gospel. It is not enough to embrace Christ’s promise of life after death. We must also embrace his promise of life before death, which is only possible because of Christ’s grace at work in our hearts today.”
~ Tim Lane and Paul Tripp in "How People Change"

3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
~ 2 Peter 1:3-4

Thursday, January 14, 2010

once and done?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just give things or people once to the Lord and be done with it?
But often, I find, I have to keep giving things to him over and over again.
Fortunately, he delights in us, his children and never tires of us bringing the same concerns.
It’s part of what helps us to walk by faith and not by sight---and reminders that we are finite to keep us humble..
That’s why it’s so deadly and scary for someone to have much pride which is unchecked!
~ Deep thoughts with Doug

“cast your cares on the Lord
For he cares for you…”
1 Peter 5:7

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Psalm 46 - Prayer for Haiti

46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present [2] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Psalm 13 - How Long, O Lord?

This Psalm has special meaning for me.  I remember praying it years ago while on a personal, spiritual retreat.
I even wrote a little ditty to its words with my guitar.  I appreciate the raw honesty of the Psalmist admitting the struggle but also the note of hope upon which it ends.
Pray and be blessed!

How Long, O Lord?

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

13:1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

rebuke continued...

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
~ Proverbs 12:1

The Americanization of Mental Illness

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Packer on happiness

The way to be truly happy is to be truly human, and the way to be

truly human is to be truly godly.

J. I. Packer

sin's reality

"I love to sin, God loves to forgive;
the world is admirably arranged."
~ W.H. Auden

This quote could be taken in a rather sardonic, or callous way...or it could be taken as
a statement of God's mercy provided we lean on it.

Today, I choose the latter!

Born for Nobodies Like Us

a great post from Pastor George Robertson in Augusta, GA.

Monday, January 11, 2010

growing wise from rebukes

 7 "Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult;
       whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.
 8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;
       rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
 9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
       teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
 10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
       and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
~ Proverbs 9:7-10

5 Better is open rebuke
       than hidden love.
 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
       but an enemy multiplies kisses.
~ Proverbs 27:5-6

 5 It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke
       than to listen to the song of fools.
~ Ecclesiastes 7:5

Few people enjoy confrontation.  But growth can often come from heeding the 'rebukes' of a godly friend in one's life.  In my own life, this has come a number of times over the years. It is rarely pleasant at first but I've grown to see this as one of God's means of grace in order for me to 'grow up' in Christ as Paul discusses in Ephesians and elsewhere.  One of the functions of Scripture is 'rebuking' as Paul tells Timothy in his second epistle to that  young servant of God:

16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work
~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot

The Hollow Men
T. S. Eliot

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Online text © 1998-2010 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From The Hollow Men | 1925

Epiphanytide Prayer

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
~ Book of Common Prayer

2 things to ask for in prayer

7 Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9 lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

~ Proverbs 30:7-9

This is one of my Dad's favorite passages which he shared with me recently.

Let Yourself Be Filled

"We should focus on receiving. People who receive are considered great in the kingdom of God. The Bible speaks often of them. There's a certain fullness about them. They are filled to overflowing with abundant grace. Many are found in the Acts of the apostles.
So let's wait for the fullness of Jesus and be completely filled up with him. Then we will be truly satisfied. Diving into the depths of this fullness is what spiritual formation is all about..."
~ Joshua Choonmin Kang

fear in the face

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

fruit of wisdom

"The fruit of wisdom is Christlikeness, peace, humility and love. And the root of it is faith in Christ as the manifested wisdom of God" (J.L. Packer).

finding ourselves

"When we find that we have found ourselves, we are founded in that which we have finally found to be fine." ~Phineas P. Finley

A Prayer about Christian Cannibalism

This is from Scotty Smith, Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN:

A Prayer About Christian Cannibalism
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Galatians 5:13-15
Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you that the call to freedom in the gospel is much more like a subpoena than a mere invitation. Hallelujah… freedom is not optional or an add-on. We were dead in our sins and trespasses when you spoke the life-giving words, “Come forth” to our dead spirits.
I was just as bound in grave clothes as Lazarus was when you brought me to life and liberty through the gospel. How I praise you for the sovereign, death-defeating, liberty-giving power of the gospel. Jesus, those you set free are free indeed!
The freedom to which you’ve subpoenaed us is to define the rest of our lives. This is nowhere more necessary than in the world of our relationships. We are to love one another as you love us, Jesus. It’s such a blatant and ugly contradiction of the gospel when we fall into “Christian cannibalism”—biting and devouring one another. Worse, it’s a sabotaging of your glory and beauty. It’s lying about who you are to the world. Forgive us… forgive me….
This very day… free me from my pettiness and petulance. Show me where I’m holding onto unforgiveness just to gain advantage in a relationship. Show me where I’m rehearsing the sins of others more than I’m rehearsing my own forgiveness in the gospel. Help me know when overlooking the failures of others wouldn’t be cowardice, but courage. Help me learn how to conflict redemptively, rather than destructively, when overlooking is not an option.
Lord Jesus, you have forgiven me from your heart. May this good news be the billboard that is ever before the eyes of my heart, as I live out my freedom in a world of broken people and broken relationships. So very Amen, I pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.

Letter of Athanasius on the Psalms

Psalm 15 - Stability

Psalm 14 (15)
Who is worthy to face the Lord?
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

Lord, who will live in your tent?
Who will dwell on your holy mountain?
Whoever comes there without stain,
acts rightly, speaks truth in his heart.
Whoever does not speak deceitfully,
or do harm to his neighbour, or slander him.
Whoever despises the evil-doer,
but reveres those who fear the Lord.
Whoever swears and keeps his word, come what may
– lends his money without usury –
takes no bribe to condemn the innocent.
Whoever lives like this
will stand firm for ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.