Monday, April 15, 2013

Now eternal.

Broken but alive.
Tired but awake.
Walking on dead feet.
Breathing with empty lungs.
If I had a dollar for every hand reaching out.
Death is something never in doubt.
The end comes with a silent shout.
Hungry but thirsty.
Cold but sunburnt.
Listening on mute.
Watching with blind eyes.
If I had an answer for every cry for aid.
Death is something always paid.
The end comes when memories fade.
Soon the shouts will be heard.
Soon the memories will be remembered.
Walk, breathe, listen, and watch.
Soon the hunger will be filled and the thirst quenched.
Soon the cold warmed and the heat cooled.
Soon happiness.
Soon hope.
Soon help.
Soon victory.
Now life.
Now eternal.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Longing Soul

The boy who rode on slightly before him sat a horse not only as if he'd been born to it which he was but as if were he begot by malice or mischance into some queer land where horses never were he would have found them anyway. Would have known that there was something missing for the world to be right or he right in it and would have set forth to wander wherever it was needed for as long as it took until he came upon one and he would have known that that was what he sought and it would have been. - All the Pretty Horses
I read this earlier. I read this passage about five times before I read any more of the story. There is something in it that struck me thoughtful about longing. What does the yearning soul seek?

Oh Lord of wonders, of triumph, of power to calm the storm, without You there is no peace. May every wandering soul seeking You find the truth, that You are the way to everlasting life, and the only One who brings satisfaction to the soul of the lost.

When I think of the wandering soul and the Bible I find myself thinking of Joshua. How Joshua had been with Moses and the Israelites since they left Egypt; he wandered the entire wilderness year after year searching and seeking after the Promised Land. Then when the Israelites found Canaan filled with giants, only Joshua and Caleb spoke up that the land was theirs for the taking. Joshua wandered, but in his wandering Joshua pursued the Lord, and believed that the Lord would bring about His promise to His people. He saw the God of Wonders, Triumph, and Power in the midst of the people, found his soul satisfied in the Lord and His promise, never looked back and pressed on with courage and strength.

Joshua 3:5
And Joshua said to the people,
"Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow
the LORD will do wonders
among you."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Unexpected Surprises

Just before tea-time there came a tremendous ring on the front-door bell, and then he remembered! He rushed and put on the kettle, and put out another cup and saucer, and an extra cake or two, and ran to the door.
"I am so sorry to keep you waiting!" he was going to say, when he saw that it was not Gandalf at all. It was a dwarf with a blue beard tucked into a golden belt, and very bright eyes under his dark green hood. As soon as the door was opened, he pushed inside, just as if he had been expected.
He hung his hooded cloak on the nearest peg, and "Dwalin at your service!" he said with a low bow.
"Bilbo Baggins at yours!" said the hobbit, too surprised to ask any questions for the moment. When the silence that followed had become uncomfortable, he added: "I am just about to take tea; pray come and have some with me." A little stiff perhaps, but he meant it kindly. And what would you do, if an uninvited dwarf came and hung his things up in your hall without a word of explanation? --- The Hobbit
 When I read this part from The Hobbit I immediately think of the disciples when Jesus suddenly appeared in their midst three days after He was crucified. Dwalin's appearance at Bilbo's front door was an unexpected surprise, though of course in his own way Gandalf had told Bilbo he would be going on an ADVENTURE. For Bilbo to be so surprised by Dwalin's sudden appearance might not have been out of the ordinary for Bilbo, but the sudden appearance of a dwarf at Bilbo's front door a day after Bilbo had spoken with Gandalf about adventure, well, that certainly was not out of the ordinary for an adventure with Gandalf.

We find that despite all of the stories of adventure that Bilbo had heard regarding Gandalf, that Bilbo certainly did not know Gandalf the way he truly was. So I think was true of the disciples with Jesus. We find that despite all of the stories regarding the coming Messiah that the disciples had read about in the Old Testament, that they certainly did not know Jesus the way he truly was. The eleven disciples had spent three years with Jesus, and during those three years Jesus continued to surprise them.

I sometimes like to think that when Jesus appeared in the room with the disciples, three days after he was crucified and buried inside of a tomb, that some of those disciples reacted very much like Bilbo. In other words, they saw Jesus, the Lord says, "Peace be with you," and some of the disciples being too surprised to ask any questions responded back with, "Uh, peace be with you!" Then were struck dumb with the appearance of Jesus, trying to rationalize His sudden appearance, and then after a few minutes of awkward silence offered Him to sit and eat with them. Probably a little stiff, though I'm sure they meant it kindly, but were still a little skeptical if this really was Jesus in the flesh. But Jesus, knowing their hearts and minds, showed them His hands and His side, and then they were glad to know this was Him.
John 20:19-20 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." Now when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
So began the disciples' adventure with Jesus filled with miracles, love, loss, gain, epic dialogue, suffering, overcoming, encouragement, fear, death, romance, risk, uncertainty, faith, mercy, life, and so much more.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Ephesians 5:14
Therefore He says:
"Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light."

The clock says 1:39AM. I am awake, tired and ready to sleep.

A few minutes before this I was about to turn off the light and go to bed when I realized that I had not opened my bible at all this day. I often like to read a Psalm sometime at night before I go to bed.

I was opening my bible to the book of Psalms when I found myself with a strong desire to read from Ephesians. I opened up to chapter 5 of Ephesians. I was reading about walking in the light, that now I am light in the Lord, and that Paul encourages me to walk as a child of light. All of this was great, but then I read verse 14.

The Lord speaks, and when the Lord speaks may I not close my ears or my heart to Him. Do not hide from the light, if you find yourself in the shadows or in darkness, asleep and dead to reality, arise! Go to Jesus, and He will give you light. Wonderful news: Jesus is forgiving and full of love.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fairy Tales

“I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.”
“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” G.K. Chesterton
Psalm 25:4-5
Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day

My original plan was to write a post about BEARDS. I have been growing my beard out, and my face is just beginning to itch. "Itchy beard stage"(IBS) is not an enjoyable stage of beard growth, especially when you wear a hoodie or jacket with a zipper. Why? Because it is the stage where the beard is just long enough to get caught in the fastener, but you do not think about this until after your beard gets caught the first time and you lose a hair. Then you have to be careful how you turn your head, and just when you think you have this figured feel a prick on your neck or chin. The next thing you know you are taking off your hoodie in a fit and screaming at the top of your lungs, "HAHAHA TAKE THAT MANIACAL EEEVIL ZIPPER!!" You start kicking the hoodie, and people are staring at you wondering what this homeless guy with a ratty beard is ranting about. The zipper always ends up winning because the weather outside is cold and a little prick from the zipper is better than hypothermia. So, as I was saying.

I typed into Google Search "famous quotes about beards," and clicked on the first link from the list. There were quite a few quotes from the bible, William Shakespeare, and a number of 18th Century poets about beards. None of the quotes really interested me until I found one from C.S. Lewis, but when I read what Lewis had to say about beards I realized I had lost interest in beards. In a moment of arbitrary decision I clicked on the quote, which sent me to more famous quotes by Mr. Lewis.

While I was reading these quotes I came across the one I wrote out above. Personally I have always loved fairy tales or myths or epics. This got me thinking about George MacDonald and G.K. Chesterton. 

C.S. Lewis wrote a book of quotes taken from different writings by George MacDonald, and Lewis even uses MacDonald as a character in his book The Great Divorce. MacDonald lived during the 1800s and is known for writing fairy tales. Oswald Chambers wrote about MacDonald's books saying, "It is a striking indication of the trend and shallowness of the modern reading public that George Macdonald's books have been so neglected." Lewis, Chambers, and Chesterton all had great respect for Mr. MacDonald.

A few years ago one of my professors in college recommend the book Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. Despite the title I decided to give the book a go, and I am so glad that I did because Orthodoxy is one of my most favorite books. I believe Chesterton's quote on fairy tales comes from the book.

All three of these men have had profound impacts on my faith, walk, and belief in Jesus. And something I love about all three of them is that they all appreciated fairy tales.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My God is SO Great!

Thus says the LORD,
Who gives the sun for a light
by day,
And the ordinances of the
moon and the stars for a
light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The LORD of hosts is His name)
Jeremiah 31:35

I realize when I write I so desperately want what I am trying to say to come out perfect, that I find myself focusing less on what I want to get across and more on how I express what I want to say. I am finding that the best way for me to express what I want to say is in the simplest form. I need not feel overwhelmed by how I tell a story if what I am after is to be understood.

What I want in writing this blog is to communicate what I have to say in a way for everyone who reads this to see how great Jesus is. Not that I am important and feel some call that by sharing my life with you is the best way to show Jesus, but rather I love Jesus and I want that to be expressed to you all in what you read on this blog. Be that in stories about me or others, fiction, songs, pictures, etc.

I remember singing a song in Sunday school when I was little and part of lyrics read something like this:

My God is so great,
so strong and so mighty,
there is nothing my God
cannot do!

We would sing this song faster and faster until we could not keep up with one another, and the words would mix incoherently together and then we would end. We would end singing this song happy and joyful because this was fun. There was never a question in me that what we were singing was false. To me God was great, God was strong, and God was SO mighty.

Here I sit at my computer, a twenty eight year old, remembering back and still there is no question in me as to whether those words are untrue. Because those words are true. I have had many failings while I have had breathe in my lungs, but the LORD in the midst of that remains GREAT. I am tired of losing sight of this reality because I focus on what to me seems SO VERY DIFFICULT.

I have been reading and studying the book of Acts, and I just finished Acts 9 about the conversion of Saul. How amazing the Lord is that He takes Saul who was persecuting people of the Way--Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life--and chooses him to share the gospel with gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. What questions and agony must have been going through Saul's mind as he prayed during those three days he was blind in Damascus before Ananias laid his hands on Saul. BUT what mercy and grace Saul received from Jesus, and what good news of now knowing the promise of God had been fulfilled and brought about in Jesus!

The Lord is good (all the time), and despite our failings He still reaches out to us, and says, "Turn away. Focus on me. Step into what I have for you." 

This is my prayer, that I continue to look to Jesus as I move forward. That my past failings do not hinder me, or keep me from dealing with the present. That my focus on God is a daily, moment by moment, step by step walk, and not on a future that feels overwhelming, or a past that looks broken and hurt.