“I can still hear David laughing” Monday, May 24 2010 

In our Sunday school hour at church, we have just completed a study of I & II Samuel. Yesterday we looked at David’s last words, which contain one of my favorite verses: “When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth” (II Samuel 23:3-4).

Contemplating the end of David’s life, who for all his failures was Israel’s greatest taste of their coming King and was a man who both loved God and rightly responded to God, made me think of Andrew Peterson’s “Song and Dance.”

David’s on his throne at sundown
His paper and his pen are in his hand
He’s waiting on a song at sundown
As he gazes out across his holy land

And he thinks of old Goliath and he smiles
He can barely keep from laughing
He says, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised”
He can hear the rivers clapping
Well, they’re still clapping
To the same old song and dance

Well the cadence of the sea is just as steady
And the chorus of the hills is just as strong
And the faithfulness of God is just as mighty as it was
When the shepherd slew the giant with a stone

You can close your eyes and listen to the sea
You can feel the holy rhythm
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
For the mercy he has given
Well, he’s still giving
It’s the same old song and dance

I can hear creation singing his praise
That his love is everlasting
It’s the same as it was a million years ago
I can still hear David laughing
And the rivers are still clapping
It’s the same old song and dance

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Perseverance Monday, Oct 26 2009 

“The central reality for Christians is the personal, unalterable, persevering commitment God makes to us. Perseverance is not the result of our determination, it is the result of God’s faithfulness. We survive in the way of faith not because we have extraordinary stamina but because God is righteous, because God sticks with us. Christian discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God’s righteousness and less and less attention to our own; finding the meaning of our lives not by probing our moods and motives and morals but by believing in God’s will and purposes; making a map of the faithfulness of God, not charting the rise and fall of our enthusiasms. It is out of such a reality that we acquire perseverance.”

~ Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Sunday Hymn Sunday, Sep 27 2009 

One of my favorite Sovereign Grace songs is “O Great God,” which we sing often at church. This morning’s sermon from I Corinthians 2 was a reminder that it is only the Spirit who gives life and wisdom. And each time we sing this song, the truth of the second verse in particular always stuns me into humility and thankfulness — that it is the Spirit alone who awakens my heart.

O great God of highest heaven,

Occupy my lowly heart;

Own it all and reign supreme,

Conquer every rebel power.

Let no vice or sin remain

That resists Your holy war;

You have loved and purchased me –

Make me Yours forevermore.

I was blinded by my sin,

Had no ears to hear Your voice,

Did not know Your love within,

Had no taste for Heaven’s joys.

Then Your Spirit gave me life,

Opened up Your Word to me;

Through the gospel of Your Son,

Gave me endless hope and peace.

Help me now to live a life

That’s dependent on Your grace,

Keep my heart and guard my soul

From the evils that I face.

You are worthy to be praised

With my every thought and deed –

O great God of highest heaven,

Glorify Your name through me.

Sunday Hymn Sunday, Mar 15 2009 

giotto_crucifixion1

Depth of mercy! Can there be

Mercy reaching even me?

God the Just His wrath forbears,

Me, the chief of sinners, spares.

So many times my heart has strayed

From His kind and perfect ways,

Making clear my desperate need

For His blood poured out for me.


Give me grace, Lord, let me own

All the wrongs that I have done;

Let me now my sins deplore,

Look to you, and sin no more.

There for me the Savior stands

Holding forth His wounded hands,

Scars which ever cry for me,

Once condemned, but now set free.

 

(text by Charles Wesley, adapted by Bob Kauflin)

Theology of Sleep Thursday, Sep 11 2008 

I was reminded today of an excellent article on the topic of sleep. A while back, Christianity Today ran a series revolving around the question, “How can followers of Christ be a counterculture for the common good?” Lauren Winner, a writer whose works I love, responded with the answer of “Sleep more.”

A night of good sleep—a week, or month, or year of good sleep—also testifies to the basic Christian story of Creation. We are creatures, with bodies that are finite and contingent. For much of Western history, the poets celebrated sleep as a welcome memento mori, a reminder that one day we will die: hence Keats’s ode to the “sweet embalmer” sleep, and Donne’s observation, “Natural men have conceived a twofold use of sleep; that it is a refreshing of the body in this life; that it is a preparing of the soul for the next.” Is it any surprise that in a society where we try to deny our mortality in countless ways, we also deny our need to sleep?

I’d encourage you to read it, and then enjoy a good night’s rest!

“Sleep Therapy” by Lauren Winner

Psalm 130 Saturday, May 24 2008 

Our pastor will be preaching from Psalm 130 tomorrow. Here is a translation of that psalm done by Robert Alter in The Book of Psalms.

Psalm 130

From the depths I called You, Lord,

Master, hear my voice.

May Your ears listen close to the voice of my plea.

Were You, O Yah, to watch for wrongs,

Master, who could endure?

For forgiveness is Yours,

so that You may be feared.

I hoped for the Lord, my being hoped,

and for His word I waited.

My being for the Master –

more than the dawn-watchers watch for the dawn.

Wait, O Israel, for the Lord,

for with the Lord is steadfast kindness,

and great redemption is with Him.

And He will redeem Israel

from all its wrongs.