26 November 2010

may the One who died be our reason for thanks

"Cling to the Crucified...cling in your grief."

1. Cling to the Mighty One, Cling in thy grief
Cling to the Holy One, He gives relief
Cling to the Gracious One, Cling in thy pain
Cling to the Faithful One, He will sustain

Chorus: Cling to the crucified, Jesus the Lamb who died
Cling to the crucified, Jesus the King
Cling to the crucified, Jesus the Lamb who died
Cling to the crucified, Jesus the King

2. Cling to the Living One, Cling in thy woe
Cling to the Loving One, Through all below
Cling to the Pardoning One, He speaketh peace
Cling to the Healing One, Anguish will cease

3. Cling to the Bleeding One, Cling to His side
Cling to the Rising One, In Him abide
Cling to the Coming One, Hope shall arise
Cling to the Reigning One, Joy lights thine eyes


15 October 2010

He Drank Damnation Dry!

He Drank Damnation Dry!

I love this…I need to hear this preached to my soul.

“At one tremendous draught of love,” leaving not so much as a single drop of wormwood or gall for any of his people to drink.

The whole of the tremendous debt!
The whole of the tremendous debt
was put upon his shoulders.
The whole weight of the sins of all
his people was placed upon him.

Once he seemed to stagger under it–
“Father, if it is possible…”

But then he stood upright–
“Nevertheless, not my will, but your will be done.”

The whole of the punishment of his people was distilled into one cup– no mortal lip might give it so much as a solitary sip.

When he put it to his own lips, it was so bitter, that he well nigh spurned it– “Let this cup pass from me…”

But his love for his people was so strong, that he took the cup in both his hands, and “At one tremendous draught of love he drank damnation dry,”for all of his people.

He drank it all, he endured it all, he suffered it all; so that now forever there are no flames of hell; no racks of torment; and no eternal woes for them.

Jesus has suffered all that they ought to have suffered, and they must, they shall go free!” –Charles Spurgeon

14 October 2010

"The Pleasures of Eating" part III

"The pleasure of eating should be an extensive pleasure, not that of the mere gourmet. People who know the garden in which their vegetables have grown and know that the garden is healthy and remember the beauty of the growing plants, perhaps in the dewy first light of morning when gardens are at their best. Such a memory involves itself with the food and is one of the pleasures of eating. The knowledge of the good health of the garden relieves and frees and comforts the eater. The same goes for eating meat. The thought of the good pasture and of the calf contentedly grazing flavors the steak. Some, I know, will think of it as bloodthirsty or worse to eat a fellow creature you have known all its life. On the contrary, I think it means that you eat with understanding and with gratitude. A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes. The pleasure of eating, then, may be the best available standard of our health. And this pleasure, I think, is pretty fully available to the urban consumer who will make the necessary effort."

"The Pleasures of Eating" part II

""Life is not very interesting," we seem to have decided. "Let its satisfactions be minimal, perfunctory, and fast." We hurry through our meals to go to work and hurry through our work in order to "recreate" ourselves in the evenings and on weekends and vacations. And then we hurry, with the greatest possible speed and noise and violence, through our recreation — for what? To eat the billionth hamburger at some fast-food joint hellbent on increasing the "quality" of our life? And all this is carried out in a remarkable obliviousness to the causes and effects, the possibilities and the purposes, of the life of the body in this world."

"The Pleasures of Eating"

"There is, then, a politics of food that, like any politics, involves our freedom. We still (sometimes) remember that we cannot be free if our minds and voices are controlled by someone else. But we have neglected to understand that we cannot be free if our food and its sources are controlled by someone else. The condition of the passive consumer of food is not a democratic condition. One reason to eat responsibly is to live free."

see Wendell Berry's essay "The Pleasures of Eating" at http://www.ecoliteracy.org/essays/pleasures-eating

12 October 2010

Tú lo sabes

Y me dijo: Hijo de hombre, ¿vivirán estos huesos? Y dije: Señor Jehová, tú lo sabes."(Ezekiel, being asked whether the dry bones will live. He replies, "Lord God, you know." Oh such faith, not to say, "of course not!" but rather, recognizing the Creator. :) )

01 October 2010

The dying dream

What can I say, but that my God is good?

I dreamt a few nights ago that I was in a large gathering of people getting ready to be sent to the mission field. People were applying, were in training, and various other stages of the process. But I walked in, and God told me what to do, and apparently, told the others about me as well, since they did not question.

I was told to go to Africa, and that I would die there. No discussion. Go.
I remember fear in my dream. And the first thought I remember waking up to was "I'm glad that wasn't real..."

But it only took a few seconds for me to realize, my non-dream life was less scary than the dream. Not because going to Africa to serve and die was not required of me, but because I feel like it always has been required of me, and that God is faithful.

"And our questions grow in number
And their answers loom with fear
But still we ask and we trust you
Because you've held us here
With chains of grace and longing
Longing to be loved
And longing to be known

And we go on...

(All this reaching, still no grasping
Faith is there but time is passing
Are the answers in the asking
Where the weak become the strong?)"

Africa? maybe not.
My life? My death? Yes.

14 September 2010

10 September 2010

What has been termed a joyless summer

Well, you have stuck with me this summer as I wrestled through some difficult experiences and how to best convey them in writing. You have prayed for me and for Jeff. Street, and you have supported me verbally, financially, and otherwise. Thank you.

I find it necessary to continue writing and processing the summer, but I can do that in private. I can do that where I am comfortable, where I can use poor grammar and bad punctuation. Where I can insert some Spanish-English hybrid words that seem to describe that which I want to remember. I said I could process the summer for my own sake. But I am not called to live for my “own sake.” Even in my writing I desire to minister, and right now, I am writing to address an issue that may have concerned a few people—the apparent lack of joy in my updates.
The summer was difficult. Agreed. But it was a summer I would never trade for an easier one—for God grew me. (It is difficult to grow in intimacy with God through ease. Why is it that we often need to be pushed toward God by our circumstances or trials?) And friends, do not find that “difficult” must mean “lacking joy” or even that I was weighed down the entire summer with my sin and the sin around me. This is never what I wish to convey! (Nor is it true)

What you have seen and I have written has been called by some “the sobriety of life.” As W. H. Auden writes,
We can only
do what it seems to us we were made for, look at
this world with a happy eye
but from a sober perspective.

The desire for everything to seem superficially fine, good, and happy seems to be the very thing we fight in conveying the whole of the Gospel. We do not merely say that God is love…precisely because we humans need to know why it is important that God show His love. We need to have a sober perspective, knowing that His justice that destroys sin is fearsome…and that we are neck-deep in sin. Aye, and then the happiness comes. That, despite the sin that permeates our being, we are not destroyed—for God came in human flesh to be destroyed for our sin. (And the grave could not contain Him, for He is life.) What can we say then? That life on earth should not reflect the good news that, though there is death, God has conquered? Sometimes, we just see that death and decay a little more. And because we have been recreated to receive life and light, we actually notice the wretched place from which we come.

In Louisville, I saw more clearly the wretched place from which I come. Why do you think the program in which I participated is called Hope? Because sometimes we get so stuck between light and dark—what we call the grey areas—that we need to be reminded that dark is really dark and light is really light. We need to be able to say once again, “if Christ came into this dark, He can truly conquer any darkness.” Maybe it is because in our hopelessness and weakest state, we are taught to remember that we need Christ. For real need him. None of this license plate Christianity. We remember that we need to drink, eat, and breathe the life Christ demands when He says “follow me.” We need to remember that He provides the power to do so. Sobering? yes. Happy? yes.

I John 5:19-20 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

19 June 2010

Notes and Memos

I have said that a writer will use whatever means available to write. This is what happened as I sat in the storage closet with 306 bags. I found a “Notes and Memos” sheet taken from a calendar. These are a portion of my notes and memos.

Today, it is a day of testing. But you know that “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Tension is a strange concept; it is the pulling until taut, leaving little room for grace before breaking. One area of tension, grace is taken from all sides. Yet when all are sides of tension, there is no grace but directly from God Himself. May He indeed pour down His grace in abundance, convict us to forgive, even as He has forgiven. God, may you push us to love, for You have loved first and best, and steadfastly.

I find it difficult to pray, but not to breathe. Would that it were easier to lift an honest cry to Christ my Savior, even before breathing. And yet we humans, myself, I am fickle, sinful, and weak. Lord, teach me to pray.

Our Father, who is in heaven,

hallowed be Your name. (santificado sea tu nombre)

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done on earth,

as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

There is a man who comes regularly to Jeff. Street. Perhaps God uses him to continually break my heart and keep me humble. I have heard it said that the phrase “this breaks my heart” is overused. Perhaps when I use it, I mean the feeling one has after this:

...this physically healthy man’s fragmented story spoken in clipped and parceled syntax, glorifying the church and her people

(he had a head injury, and had to re-learn English)

...his near-chant of “glorifiable, glorifiable, glorifiable” to ward off sinful thoughts by others’ irreverent speech

(he thanks us every day for letting him “be a part of this. be a part of this church”

...his sincere listening to what we say, though his response is often less than intelligible

(he thanks us every day...)

Offering the simple kindness of listening digs deep into me and asks that I open up to this man’s hurt and to his story. Allowing myself to feel, because this is all I can do outside of praying for this dear man. My God, care for him.

They say that mercy, if truly mercy and not pride, hurts. I ask that the Lord teach me to hurt. Let not my heart harden slowly to You, and then to my neighbor. The two commands are linked, to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself. May His grace be evident in me.

31 May 2010

before breaking

When the first light brightened the dark
Before the breaking of the human heart...

I love these lines. I thoroughly like this idea, this concept--"before the breaking of the human heart." Crazy to think of, no?

And yet, I am learning, learning.
Redemption is more than a future hope.
It is a present reality.

In this I mean, there is hope for the future.
And there is grace now. It [insert cheesy, overused metaphor for "astounds"] me.

May God be merciful when we ask to see His glory.

A day of rest

I desire to think more. To process events, conversations, big ideas more fully. Sitting here on our teams' sabbath day (Monday) I have some time to slow down.

I have learned that I am a bit afraid of this down-time. My mind goes to insecurities that have not been addressed and yielded to God. It goes to issues that should have been handled better. Thus my question becomes, in the hard times, in the very scheduled, hard day-to-day, am I trusting God or am I just pushing through? When slowing down brings forth the "sludge" of life....is that human, or is that me not addressing things that should very much be addressed and taken care of?

I have struggled with why we are allowed to bring our lunches to the shelter and eat in front of guests and residents who have no food choice. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. Your body is a temple... I know there is a way to honor and love both God and neighbor by what I eat.

In a high-ratio environment of people with "strong" testimonies and difficult pasts, where do I fit in? I know my sins are just as grave, but it does not mean that I have those experiences with which I can relate.

In all of this, I recognized my need to bring it all to God, first and foremost. Why is it our natural inclination to run to a friend? God of all Glory! Continue to align my heart!

It is overwhelming, wanting to debrief with friends from "back home," be that Jackson or Little Rock, yet not having much time or organized thought. Though the desire is that our friends and family catch this fire that "burns up in our bones," the reality that this is an experience with whom few will be able to relate.

Ah friends. God is good. Hope is real. (I think of how little I really realize this...)
Let His name be praised. :)


30 May 2010

Are we brave enough to keep on going in?


“Sometimes our life reminds me/of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing

The forest is mostly dark, its ways/to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,/provided we stay brave/enough to keep on going in.”
(W. Berry)

“Remind me, remind me of the vision You gave me…”

I can only wonder why I am allowed to be here. Why I am given the privilege of being among these women who have found such strength in Christ, when I only last week was bowed under the weight of pain caused by not knowing how to best love my family and my close friends, how to deal with apparent lack of encouragement, and with loneliness. I have no right. But then again, I have forgiveness, as do they.

These seven women with whom I am living this summer as part of the HOPE team have already played a crucial part in God’s reviving of His vision within me. I admit, we have not been living together long enough to get on each others’ nerves, but it is a blessing to see like-minded sisters pushing forward in the hope of the Gospel.

Hope has already been seen during training. Training to serve the homeless in the day shelter at Jefferson Street Baptist Center. Training to serve the residents in the Fresh Start program. Training to meet our neighbors here in the Smoketown/Shelby Park area of Louisville. Laughing with a neighbor as she made fun of me not being able to parallel park. Grieving with a neighbor as she told us about the anniversary of her 10-year-old son’s death, and how she copes and encourages others in their losses. Handing that ice water to a day shelter guest who came in from the 95 degree, humid heat. The hope is not, of course, inherent in any of these instances. Rather, it is there when the light of the Gospel shines through love. The truth that while we were dead in our trespasses and sins, Christ died for us, and in His resurrection, we too, through repentance and faith, will be raised to newness of life. This reality drives us. Love commands us.

When my soul was dry, oh God, Your Spirit came like water
To drown me with Your love, and cover me with life
And Your waves were stronger than my faith could ever be
(Sojourn Music, “Mourning into Dancing”)

What is this life that I have been given? Sometimes our life reminds me of a forest that is mostly dark…a dark richer than the light and more blessed, provided we stay brave enough to keep on going in.

Are we brave enough to keep on going in?

Obedience when God seems not present has seemed the over-arching lesson of this past semester. And that sometimes, I think I am obeying, when what I am doing is trying to carry my own sin until it breaks me. I think I am obeying, but instead, I am trying to give people myself instead of Christ. I say I do not have time for more than short prayers throughout the day and a token verse...and then I expect joyful obedience. Praise God that neither my salvation nor ultimately, my sanctification is on my shoulders.

And praise God for community that is willing to show us that we need to fellowship with God through Scripture, prayer, and meeting together with one another. Praise be to the God who uses others to convict us when we are not searching for God, and then throwing up our hands and bemoaning our befuddled minds and hearts, and His seeming distance!

Dear God.

You turn my mourning into dancing, my sadness into laughter
My sorrow into joy,

“Halleluiah” is my song

21 May 2010

As this past semester is shaken and pressed, this is what runs over

"Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger, than when a human, no longer desiring, but intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys." (C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, ch. 8)

Many know this has long been my favorite quote by Lewis. I have carried this quote in my head and shared it quickly at the slightest opportunity. It was a romantic quote, romantic in the sense of being nice, neat, and pretty--and small enough to fit just a bite-sized piece of theology in it, enough to chew on for an afternoon.

It is highly unlikely that I will ever again be able to see in this quote its once-thought romantic qualities. I will see in this quote a brokenness that causes nausea. I will see a weariness that clenches the chest and makes it difficult to breathe. I will see a confusion that causes once dry eyes to weep.

I will see a God who is faithful no matter how faithless we are or become. I will see the ability to obey when blind as an ability dictated by need--desperation for life itself. (as the deer pants, so my soul longs for the God of my salvation)

Obedience when God seems not present has seemed the over-arching lesson of this past semester. And that sometimes, I think I am obeying, when what I am doing is trying to carry my own sin until it breaks me. I think I am obeying, but instead, I am trying to give people myself instead of Christ. I say I do not have time for more than short prayers throughout the day and a token verse...and then I expect joyful obedience. Praise God that neither my salvation nor ultimately, my sanctification is on my shoulders.
And praise God for community that is willing to show us that we need to fellowship with God through Scripture, prayer, and meeting together with one another. Praise be to the God who uses others to convict us when we are not searching for God, and then throwing up our hands and bemoaning our befuddled minds and hearts, and His seeming distance!

To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. Even in the wilderness- especially in the wilderness- you shall love him. ~Frederick Buechner

My life is like a liberal arts university. It is like taking a history class that matches up with a Spanish class, that is reminiscent of a social work class. It is learning the date 1492 and later finding out that not only did Cristobal Colón land in America that year, but that the first official Spanish grammar was printed that year.

I wandered the library at school, for I had two nights in which I could read a book. I found a collection of short sermons by Frederick Buechner. The title appealed to me. The Hungering Dark. Yet I read the one titled The Magnificent Defeat. (Jacob wrestles with God and is magnificently defeated...utterly defeated, for the Angel of the Lord did not cause the struggle to end until Jacob had nothing left. There was to be no doubt in Jacob's mind but that he was not a match for his opponent)

I did not know that a quote I had long pondered originated by this man, Frederick Buechner. And now, it makes more sense.

As this past semester is shaken and pressed, this is what runs over.
Only the grace of God.
I have nothing of my own to offer.

What to do when life is painful

Is this what answered prayers are? is this how God talks to me? Am I so blind as to not catch on for several hours that this was an answer to the prayer "show me what love means"?

Back in Little Rock, a slight rain was falling. I walked downstairs and, with things on my mind like going to the store for my mom and heading to Louisville, I was hit with a little bit of a lot of terror. As long as any piece of me is holding back in hopes of fulfilling my own desires, I am not loving. Why am I home for these few days but to serve? Why hesitate when asked to go to the store, take my sister to school...? How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Rom. 6:2) What agony!

I then read this quote on one of my team member's pages:
"Give until it hurts, because real love hurts"- Mother Teresa

I thought it was false by a long shot. Why would real love hurt?

I think it hurts because we still sin. We still struggle. I think it hurts because each day, though the Lord's mercies are new (Praise be to Him!), so are the temptations to live self-absorbed lives. And not necessarily overtly self-absorbed lives, but rather, the reserved love kind of life. The "here are three things I want to do this week and now lets see if I have time to go to the store for my mom, my neighbor..."
I kind of think it should be the other way around.

"Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days" (Psalm 90:14)

"I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1)

Real love hurts because it is a sacrifice. The sad thing is, the quote does not catch the full picture. Because real love's hurting and sacrifice is in some, inexplicable way linked to joy.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down
Beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul,
To God and to the Lamb I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb,
Who is the great I AM,
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
And when from death I’m free
I’ll sing His love for me,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.

March, Preparing for Hope for Louisville

Never, in the writing of my many support letters, have I experienced such difficulty in the putting of my thoughts on paper. (That first sentence took at least twenty minutes of contemplation before deciding to “bite the bullet” and write.) Perhaps this difficulty lies in the reality of God showing me how little I know, I mean really know, of His grace, glory, and love—but how much I desire to know and share Him every second. He has been working a work in me that confounds me. I must step back and say that I do not know His plans for me, but I know that they are good.

Last semester while running, a line in a song punched away the little breath I had—“Peel back the veil of time/and let us see You with our naked eyes” (John Mark McMillan)

In so many ways I found myself on life’s rim.

I could only think of Moses the chosen, Moses the called, Moses of the ancient faith—Moses who could only handle the wake of God’s presence. I, who could barely breathe, was calling on the unveiled glory of God…if ever there was a time to be prepared for God’s glory, this was not it.

All I know is that almost daily I ask that I be shaken by God’s presence…yet it requires my remembrance of running that day to give me a glimpse of what it is I ask.

I have been in college for nearly two years. I entered the Linguistics program, aiming for foreign mission work, yet this fall it was made clear to me that Social Work is the direction in which I should be walking. I am now knee-deep in Social Work studies, with little idea as to whether I will be abroad in the future, or here in America. I fully trust this will be made clear in time.

Along with this shift in study came the opportunity to pursue working with the homeless in Louisville, KY. I applied and was accepted to work with several other young men and women in the HOPE program (through Jefferson Street Baptist) this summer. We will be serving in the inner-city community in downtown Louisville and building relationships with the homeless while serving at the shelter. Our goal is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I am very eager to see how God will use us to minister, but almost more eager to see how He will humble me.

I ask that you join with me in prayer. I need it. The HOPE team needs it. We need humility and an ever-growing passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ whose life, death, and resurrection absolved God’s righteous wrath on our behalf. We need strength, for Satan does not sit idly while God’s people work and pray.

I ask that you join with me in raising support. (I understand that many of you cannot. I understand this, and ask you again to pray.) The goal for each team member is $2400.00.

Thank you. Your continued support of me as I pursue God is such a blessing.

(for more information about the HOPE program, please see hopeforlouisville.com)

15 March 2010

Long Live the King

My heart keeps beating even though I can’t control it.
My lungs keep breathing I admit I don’t know how.
Bring the flood or bring the fire in this lifetime
I’m ready for the altar or the plough
There are always days when I don’t feel like singing
There are always days when I don’t care at all
But I know the King of All Creation reigns completely
Over every moment great and small

Long live the One who gives us
Life and peace and hope for tomorrow
You’ve given everything we needed
From the palm of Your hand
I’ll give my everything to the One
Who pledged to cancel My sorrow
All I have is Yours (Long Live the King)
Humbly we approach Your throne of Mercy
Aware that we’re unworthy of Your Grace
(But) You have offered pardon and forgiveness
Grievances are gone without a trace

You restore our lives even though we don’t deserve it
And You’ve given us a love that’s not our own
You assemble all our broken, shattered pieces:
More beautiful than I had ever known

You Shall Reign Forever and Ever
You Shall Reign, You Shall Reign
Forever and Ever and Ever and Ever

I was going to only post a portion of this song, but found that I could not do so without missing some of the picture. Therefore, it is all here. :)

"there are always days when I don't care at all"--
I have had my share of these, the past few weeks. But today is not one of those days. Today I feel things deeply. I do not know yet whether this will be good or twisted to detriment.
I praise God for His mercy and poignant, timely grace.
Roommate ate some of my pudding. And then proceeded to fall off the back of the couch.
Watch out, pudding thieves.

06 March 2010

25 January 2010

The Vision – By Pete Greig

So this guy comes up to me and says:
“what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?”
I open my mouth and words come out like this:
The vision?
The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.
You see bones? I see an army.
And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday.
They wouldn’t even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.

They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations.
They need no passport.
People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.

What is the vision ?

The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes.
It makes children laugh and adults angry.
It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars.
It scorns the good and strains for the best.
It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation.
It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers choose to loose,
that they might one day win
the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground
The whisper of history in the making
Foundations shaking
Revolutionaries dreaming once again
Mystery is scheming in whispers
Conspiracy is breathing…
This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.
Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms.
The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes.
Winners. Martyrs.
Who can stop them ?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed?
Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man
with groans beyond talking,
with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and
with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive


On the outside? They hardly care.
They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide.
Would they surrender their image or their popularity?
They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,
they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.)
Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus.
Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.

Don’t you hear them coming?

Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks.
Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes.
They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension.
Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be.
It will come to pass;
it will come easily;
it will come soon.

How do I know?

Because this is the longing of creation itself,
the groaning of the Spirit,
the very dream of God.

My tomorrow is his today.
My distant hope is his 3D.
And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.


19 January 2010

We can only
do what it seems to us we were made for, look at
this world with a happy eye
but from a sober perspective.


15 January 2010

Addressing sin

I often keep incriminating things. Rather, am not hesitant to write on paper the things in my heart that are sinful. Addressing sin by looking it directly in the eye, this is necessary for its mortification. I rarely get to the point where I would rather not write it out, not bare my sinfulness to myself.

Tonight, I began writing and stopped. Erased. Started. Erased. Deleted the file. No evidence, right?
But the evidence is within. Killing sin is not for the squeamish, or faint of heart. It is not for the weak. It is for the courageous and noble-hearted.

So wrong. How very twisted. Only the humble can come before God. Sin is killed in us because we are not saviors to ourselves. God help us the moment we try to face our sin with a self-determined courage.

Maybe I will go back and write out what was troubling me, the sin in my life. Not because I can face it, but because I can't. And because I have a High Priest to intercede on my behalf.

13 January 2010


The old, wooden gavel fell crisply,
echoing as it had no business doing.
I had no business listening
to sacred court.
I stood, not waiting
for a pardon, but a command.
My stomach, abdomen clenched,

Those seconds before a storm
smell wondrous.
It's waiting for the ruin
that takes steel.

12 January 2010

"Create in me and in your church a sense of profound respect for questions of conscience. We are so lax. We have nothing of a watchman mentality. We trumpet our freedom in the gospel, but our living looks more like an easygoing indifference to matters of right and wrong. Lord, we even feel superior to previous generations of believers, who at least took moral questions seriously. We view their faith as strict and narrow. But we ourselves are so soft, so casually compliant, so unthinking and undiscerning and uncaring, we are no different from the world around us. We are the influenced, not the influential, because our faith has no moral power, no unbending resolve, no heroic defiance grounded in profoundly held personal conviction. O Lord, awaken us! Enlighten our darkness. Sensitize our dullness. Give us backbone. The world will never be won by Christians like us. "
~Ray Ortlund, Jr.

09 January 2010

Love-Sara Groves

love I made it mine
I made it small I made it blind
I followed hard only to find
it wasn't love
it wasn't love

love of songs and pen
oh love of movie endings
takes out the break
leaves out the bend
misses love

love not of you
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

love's reality
is not a passing bravery
it holds out hope beyond what's seen
the hope of love

love not of you
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

08 January 2010

What I would like to be able to draw:

-people, ninjas, warriors, princesses


-boats, sailboats, large ships with mast and sail, Viking ships


-my dreams

Favorite places:

-Jennings (for fun, not study)


-Grandma’s in Oklahoma

-Starbucks with a friend

-running trails

-outside under the stars (Joseph’s house works well)

Concepts I would like to express better:

-my melancholiness

-how one can be secure in faith (or, what that feels like)

-the pleasure I get in rain, snow, and stars…bonfires too.

-the concept of poetry being more than words

-intense longing that is like groaning

-the dreams that are not dreams