Tuesday, July 29, 2008


"Rejoicing is a deliberate and purposeful act of trust."

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Windings and To's and Fro's

"My shallow and ebb thoughts are not the compass Christ saileth by. I leave His ways to Himself, for they are far, far above me...There are windings and to's and fro's in His ways, which blind bodies like us cannot see." —Samuel Rutherford, The Loveliness of Christ

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I just posted a comment on Facebook to the effect of "Peroxide: If it don't hurt, it don't work." I meant for it to have a double meaning but wasn't expecting anyone to acknowledge that but myself. Within minutes a friend responded by saying, "Yeah, I think anything worthwhile should sting a little." Today has been a day of odd confirmations and seeming coincidences, so all I could do was laugh.

I was recently reminded that anything worth doing is worth doing badly, in the words of G.K. Chesterton. A simple reminder that if something is worth doing it's simply worth doing—no matter what. Well, there's been quite a lot of doing going on around me recently and I've discovered that where there is diligence in the things worth doing there often follows close behind eminent change. As I have already mentioned, I am not a big fan of change. But in my search to make the best of it, to accept it, to excel in it, I have stumbled upon a rare and unexplainable peace. It is the kind of peace that steels the soul with the reminder that sometimes you know things are right simply because they are hard.

Change often causes me to ask God, "What are You doing?!" Yet it always holds me in awe when I get the answer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Hate Change

Having been through a number of computers over the last couple of years, I occasionally stumble across old files from long ago. Today brings just such memories to light as I re-discovered my college graduation speech. It's pretty apt considering that just a few hours ago I declared today "I Hate Change Day". I'm posting this speech mostly so that I can continue laughing, but also as a reminder that change can bring about good things.


I hate change—loose change or life change.

When I moved to Franklin and started living on a college student budget, I some how got the idea to have two collection stations for my loose change—my truck and my little miniature-plastic-combination safe that I’m sure I stole from one of my siblings. Some how more of the change ended up in my truck. I have this suspicion, looking back, that that was the case after I discovered how well loose change worked with the Wendy’s $.99 menu or the Sonic half-price-drink schedule. I still found myself grimacing any time I had to put change in my pocket and wait to deposit it in one of my two “accounts”—Oh, but when you taste a lemon-berry slush from Sonic—it’s Heaven!

Dave just moved back to Franklin this year to finish up school. In January he succeeded in kind of speeding up the process of the whole wedding thing. Some day, hopefully, in the near future maybe he and Danielle will be blessed with a family. But for now, he’s wrestling with being a practical Trinitarian visionary—along with our friends, the Graysons—and is planning to put his incredible wisdom and Moral Philosophy skills into rigorous action by joining with Robbie to reshape Stone Table Tutorial.

Kristin “joined the club” this year and was a bit apprehensive about how she would be received. Which is not surprising because it seems anything relating to Der sometimes has a reputation for being a groupie sort-a thing. But with her help, I think we’ve dispelled all notions of cliquishness. Kristin was dissatisfied with her college education. I’m sure that more than once it put her on the brink of tears because she knew there was something more—something richer. When she came to Bannockburn, we all knew she had found it. And we all became the richer for it. In the course of this year, Kristin too has found herself in a tizzy of wedding preparations. She and Alan, though, must wait until July, which gives them a few more months to eagerly anticipate the changes that the coming weeks and months will bring. Seminary in Jackson, MS is Alan’s call and thus is Kristin’s call at this time in life. They too, Lord willing, will in the future be blessed with a family of their own.

It was a hectic day for all three of us some weeks ago when I felt like starting a deep conversation—some thirty seconds before class was to start, I’m sure. “I hate change.” And in that thirty seconds as I read the faces of Dave and Kristin, the expressions said and unsaid seemed to reveal the same thought.

It seems that each year the following year is looked forward to only with anticipated dread. We’ve looked at this year of changes that the three of us have experienced together, and though we’ve grimaced quite a few times, we wouldn’t exchange it for the world. We’ve all had the thought that there’s no way next year can get any better than this. But in that 30-second-right-before-class-deep-discussion time, we realized that we had at one point or another said that last year and the year before and most likely each year previous—“There’s no way next year could be any better than this.”
But it can be, and most likely will. Though the unforeseen is a bit more frightening at some times than others, and though the mere idea of change will continue to make us grimace, we will continue to be reminded that our callings are sure because we’re investing in something so much bigger than ourselves. We may have to wait to deposit our loose change—Oh, but when you taste of the glories of God’s covenant plan—it’s Heaven!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lil Markie

None of my office friends have posted this yet so I feel that it is my calling to share this wonderful tid-bit of 80's-Baptist-mullet-loving evangelism. Keep watching. I got bored at first too but then the jaw dropped.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Mediator

Everlasting Creator-Father,
I have destroyed myself,
my nature is defiled,
the powers of my soul are degraded;
I am vile, miserable, strengthless,
but my hope is in thee.
If ever I am saved it will be by goodness
undeserved and astonishing,
not by mercy alone but by abundant mercy,
not by grace but by exceeding riches of grace;
And such thou has revealed, promised, exemplified
in thoughts of peace, not of evil.

Thou hast devised means
to rescue me from sin’s perdition,
to restore me to happiness, honor, safety.
I bless thee for the everlasting covenant,
for the appointment of a Mediator.
I rejoice that he failed not, nor was discouraged,
but accomplished the work thou gavest him to do;
and said on the cross, ‘It is finished.’
I exult in the thought that
thy justice is satisfied,
thy truth established,
thy law magnified,
and a foundation is laid for my hope.
I look to a present and personal interest
in Christ and say,
surely he has borne my griefs,
carried my sorrows,
won my peace,
healed my soul.
Justified by his blood I am saved by his life,
Glorying in his cross I bow to his sceptre,
Having his spirit I possess his mind.

Lord, grant that my religion may not be
occasional and partial,
but universal, influential, effective,
and may I always continue in thy words
as well as thy works,
so that I may reach my end in peace.

—from The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett, editor (Banner of Truth Trust, 2002)

Learning to Pray

I find that I am eloquent when I am not in need. When things are running smoothly or when someone else needs the encouragement of a friend to go before the throne of grace with them. Words come fairly easily then. I may not always have the right words, but I can always find something to say. At least, until I am made speechless by the encroachment of need upon my own life. Then I am left to stutter, mumble, or simply run through a series of images and snap-shots in my head hoping God will get the picture of what it is I'm trying to say and what it is I want Him to do in the midst of my messy incoherent cries for rescue. There's a reason God gave us a template for prayer. We are so bad at it. We feel the need for creativity and eloquence when talking to Him. We try to convince him that our desires are just and our wants are our needs. But I find that when I am stripped of eloquence and dumbfounded by vulnerability my mental capacity is only capable of verbalizing four words: "Thy will be done". And still there are other times when I am reduced to one word: "Help". When there are no more words, it is so bolstering to return to the prayer that Christ taught His disciples, or to read the prayers of those who have gone before and experienced the same longings of the soul and worries of the flesh. It is in these templates that we can find a sure footing when we know only to place one foot in front of the other to move on. It is in such examples that we find a simple means of grace and abundant stores of mercy.