miércoles, julio 29, 2009

Goodness, how delicious!

The quality is poor, but the content is good. ;)

let it load and go up to minute 4:15

martes, julio 28, 2009

It's night again, and my mind is working overtime to chase away sleep. I toss and turn, and amidst the inner voices this thought prevails: Life is short.

Honestly, it hurts to face the facts so squarely, but every slip of the hourglass adds urgency to the message. My life right now blossoms with promise, and I am easily moved by both joy and fear for the future. But soon, so soon each scene on the stage will come to an end. For a few seconds the drama will flicker and dance to life, and then it will cease. The wind will blow, and the play and players will be gone.

As I lay in bed trying to compose my brain for sleep, I began to think of the things that this finite life is bringing to a close. "Hey everyone," Jon Foreman says in a song, "I've got nowhere to go/The grave is lazy/He takes our bodies slow..." And this is how I feel some times. Yes, the progress is slow at times, yet what is everything in this life ultimately doing but moving towards the grave? The relationships of today have 24 less hours to live than yesterday. The career that may come in the future is already a week closer to closing than last Monday showed it. The opportunities yet to be grasped are already a year fewer than they were last summer.

And lest I be accused of fatalism, let me assure my readers that I know this isn't the whole story. But tonight this is where the train of thought has taken me. A journey down this mental path that Solomon trod ages ago: the conclusion that life, too, will pass, and "
everything that is to come will be futility" (Ecc 11:8).

So here is my list: things the grave is taking. For
now I have:

a finite number of times to look at the stars, to sneak outside on a cloudy night and listen for wind in the leaves.
a finite number of times to hug my sister.
a finite number of drives to take singing in the car, or praying, or watching the earth rise and fall.
a finite number of licks on the chin from Rosie.
a finite number of coffees to drink, or cups of tea enjoyed with Mom over a good Psalm, or good book, or good life.
a finite number of nights to spend with Ben, watching videos, or playing guitar and ukulele.
a finite number of weddings left to go to in my life.
a finite number of times that I will ever again curl up on a couch and read C.S. Lewis or Jane Austen.
a finite number of songs to listen to with my older brother.
a finite number of times to talk about salvation with my father.
a finite number of inside jokes to share with my boyfriend or smiles to share with my girlfriends.
a finite number of people left for me to tell about the gospel.
a finite number of conversations to have at all.
a finite number of nights to stay awake reading or writing. After tonight - there will be one less.

and yet...

a finite number of days til those same stars give way to the Morning. (II Pet 1:9)
a finite number of hours until the Bridegroom comes. (Rev 19:7)
a finite number of breaths til sorrow flees forever. (Isa 51:11)
and a finite number of moments til futility itself is swallowed in victory. (Rev 19:6)
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come!"

Revelation 19

sábado, julio 18, 2009

David's Worthies

If you want to be inspired some time, go to I Chronicles 11. The chronicler is describing David's assent to the throne of Israel, and pauses to recount a list also found in II Sam 23 - David's mighty men. Anyone who thinks that true Christianity produces insipid lives should turn to these rip-roarin' dudes! What a group! Professional commando-lion wrangling-heavyweight defeating champs!

Yet it took Matthew Henry (or M.H. as I sometimes call him) to get me to see that these 'worthies' aren't just locked into some glory days of the past. As the Mighty Men served David, so I should serve David's Son. Ahhh, there's the connection.

So let's dig a little deeper. On the outside, the deeds these men accomplished seem like the stuff of myth. Standing in a barley field and killing 300 Philistines?! Are you serious?? But M.H. reminded me of why these Mighty Men were mighty at all,
"In the wonderful achievements of these heroes the power of God must be acknowledged. How could one slay 300 and another the same number (v. 11, 20), another two lion-like men (v. 22), and another an Egyptian giant (v. 23), if they had not had the extraordinary presence of God with them, according to that promise, Jos. 23:10: One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God fighteth for you."

So true. As great as these men were, they were not so much extraordinary men of God, as men of an extraordinary God. Who in their right mind would follow a lion into a pit on a snowy day?! And yet if your great God gives you that strength, then who of the least of the earth couldn't do such great things for Him?

And lastly:
"That which made all these men honourable was the good service that they did to their king and country; they helped to make David king (v. 10)—a good work. They slew the Philistines, and other public enemies, and were instrumental to save Israel.... The way to be great is to do good. Nor did they gain this honour without labour and the hazard of their lives. The honours of Christ's kingdom are prepared for those that 'fight the good fight of faith,' that labour and suffer, and are willing to venture all, even life itself, for Christ and a good conscience.
It is by a patient continuance in well-doing that we must seek for glory, and honour, and immortality; and those that are faithful to the Son of David shall find their names registered and enrolled much more to their honour than these are in the records of fame."

Huzzah! And so it returns back to Christ, who blesses our labors, both the flashy and little patient ones, by sanctifying them to Himself. Today let me be a 'worthy' of Christ, and see what works, great or small, He will design to bring great glory to Him.