Friday, December 28, 2012


Proud and ancient oaks
Guard a temple of learning,
Where obscure philosophers
And ancient scholars
Are patron saints,
And the students are taught to know
Everything and everyone who's important
Except the Lord who made them.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8 ESV)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Jesus, Coming Jesus

Do you love the Christmas Jesus,
  The new-born babe in hay?
Do you love the angels’ song
  That turned the night to day?

That is right and good and true.
  Rejoice for all you’re worth.
Jesus is the Christ, the Lord,
  The Savior come to earth.

Do you love the coming Jesus,
  The judge with sword and fire?
Does repentance shape you daily
  So you are in his choir?

When he comes in strength and glory,
  Will your dead works all burn?
Or is your life all his great story--
  With joy at his return?

...“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
(Acts 1:11 ESV)

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Memories of Christmases

Memories of Christmases visit my mind
Like half-hidden ghosts.
They whisper of days gone by,
Of bubble lamps and foil icicles decking a spindly tree,
Of carols at school and carols at church
And on a stack of 45-RPM clear red records.
They speak of family members now gone,
Of places left years ago,
And cards pinned to green nylon net on a wall.
They tell of helping my pregnant wife
Walk cautiously to Christmas Eve worship on rutted ice
And of a Christmas day picnic overlooking the beach.
They slip in and out of my memory,
These Christmases I have known,
But remind me of the ever-present truth
Of God-come-to-earth.

Glory to God in the highest!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Questions After Newtown

The great crime in Newtown, Connecticut, has left a sadness across millions of people and has left a deep, deep hole in the lives of the families of those who died. I don't have any words to comfort them, except to say that I'm praying for them.

The situation leaves me with a number of question--not for them, but for the rest of us.

  1. Why did a female kindergarten teacher need or want four guns? It's easy to understand wanting one to protect herself or one for hunting, but why four?
  2. If her son had a history of mental illness, why were the guns not locked up in such a way that he couldn't get to them, even by killing her? (Or did she have at least one to protect herself from him?)
  3. Why do politicians think government is the answer? Don't such horrible crimes seem to be increasing in our country? If so, do they think government is the cause?
  4. If the guns were all purchased legally by someone who would have passed any background check, why do many people immediately think we need stiffer background checks for purchasing guns?
  5. Did violent, shoot-everyone video games play a part in shaping the young man's thoughts?
  6. The President was clearly moved--and rightly so--by this crime. He spoke of the graduations, marriages and future children that those murdered children would never experience. I agree with his thoughts, but why is it not also a tragedy that over 2000 children were killed legally in the US today via abortion? Those children, also, won't get to experience graduations or weddings or their own children. Why does the President support killing them at any time up to the day of birth? 
  7. Did evil visit New Town, as Connecticut's governor said? If so, should we consider using spiritual weapons in fighting evil?
  8. Is repentance in order for our whole nation?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Song to Our God

Words cannot express
Your great worthiness,
Regal kingliness.

Far above us all,
You are All-in-All,
Yet you hear our call. 

Tender to men's cries,
Holy, righteous, wise--
You're our source, our prize.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
(Psalm 27:7 ESV)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Let Me Not Be Silent

Father, let me not be silent
When right is labeled wrong
And wrong is labeled right;
When greed becomes a good
And good becomes a crime;
When babes are killed
And airways filled
With filth of every kind.
No, let me not be silent.

Father, let me not be silent
When men with men are sinning
And women leave their children;
When curses are defended
And Christ becomes a curse;
When churches preach just pablum
And truth is persecuted.
No, let me not be silent.

Father, let me not be silent
When Islam is exalted
And Christians are but fodder;
When science spins more godless myths
Or people follow Joseph Smith;
When sex is sold
And children bought
And marriage is for starters.
No, let me not be silent.

The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak. 
(Numbers 22:38b ESV)

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Christmas Thoughts

Holy, clean virgin,
Yet knowing her weakness and sin,
Mary, astounded,
Heard news of God's baby within.

Righteous, good workman
Now brimming with shock and dismay,
Joseph determined
To quietly send her away...

Then saw an angel
Appear in a dream in the night;
Heard with amazement
His bride was still holy and right.

Wounded by gossip
And called by the census away,
They found a manger
To fill with a baby, not hay.

Leaving his glory
And veiling his infinite worth,
Such is the story
Of God now in flesh here on earth.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (Philippians 2:5-11 ESV)

Monday, December 03, 2012

Stay Awake

Stay awake.
Stay awake.
Lest the devil overtake you,
Stay awake.

Be on guard.
Be on guard.
Even though at times it's hard, friend,
Be on guard.

Keep alert.
Keep alert.
Lest the devil hurt and kill you,
Keep alert.

Christ will come.
Christ will come.
When the years have reached their sum, then
Christ will come.

Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.
(Mark 13:33 ESV)