Monday, October 25, 2010

"The Inn of Mercy"

Charles Spurgeon writes,
Pardon must be for the guilty. Forgiveness must be for the sinful...When men are not playing with words, or calling themselves 'miserable sinners,' out of mere compliment, I feel overjoyed to meet with them. I would be glad to talk all night to bona fide sinners. The inn of mercy never closes its doors upon such, neither weekdays nor Sunday. Our Lord Jesus did not die for imaginary sins, but His heart's blood was spilt to wash out deep crimson stains, which nothing else can remove. (All of Grace, 17)
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

Sinners. We qualify! And salvation - this is our need!

May we never close the door that God has opened in Christ. May we come to God for mercy, through Jesus.

Friday, October 15, 2010

busy = good, right?

7:15 am: Get up, get ready for class, work
7:45 am: Drive to class, work - educational radio going, or perhaps earphones in, studying Hebrew paradigms and grammar.
8:00 am - noon: Work, study, go to class
noon - 12:30 pm: Eat, and might as well study or get some extra work done while chewing. Save some time, get more done.
12:30 - 4:30 pm: work, class, study. Walk fast, get things done. "Time is money, and a penny saved is a penny earned." Doing well. Bustle.
4:30 pm: Drive back from work, class. Make some calls (thank goodness for cell phones), arrangements, schedule that meeting (where's my calendar?).
5:00 pm: Devotions! Didn't have time this morning. Ok. Two chapters - check. Pray - check. Read a few pages of that recent book on how to live right. Ok, accomplished.

What connection—or contrast—is there between utter busyness and living for the glory of God? I have used a full schedule as an attempted testament to others - and myself - that I must be serving well, that I must be living life well, that I’m “carpe-ing the diem.” Could this be a lie…?

Is there any reason that, just because I am rushing from one activity to another, I am living in a way that is pleasing to God? Isn’t it all too possible to go through a whole day of jumping from one (good or wholesome) activity to another, and come to the end of the day - realizing that I hardly approached any of those activities truly in reference to God? We think of “devotions” as something we do—but have we forgotten the lifestyle of true devotion: a lifestyle oriented to God and lived in worship? Perhaps the one mindset—obsession with activity nearly for its own sake—has eclipsed the life of worship.

I never want to have a chosen pattern of life that is too busy to allow me to be interrupted. To drop everything and be fully present in that unexpected conversation, that moment to encourage another, or that time of uninterrupted and unmeasured prayer, confession, gratitude, appreciation. To simply stand and drink in the richness of the scent of fall leaves; to pause and truly pray for someone without simply formulaic and efficient words rushed out while mind already has jumped to the next daily task; to truly contemplate Christ as our treasure, even when we stand before God, stripped of all activity and bustle.

Thanks to Calvin College's chaplain for expanding on these thoughts in one of my classes, especially as related to the use of technology and its effect on our lives—harming our ability to truly be still and silent.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Buffet Boot Camp: A Poem

Buffet Boot Camp

No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs…

-2 Timothy 2:4

Full bellies—“Bread and circus”—while the battle rages

and souls are dying.

An all-you-can-eat, buffet boot camp:

“Eat ‘til you’re full” –and then some.

Where are those beating, buffeting their bodies

to make them serve the King...?

Outright war breeds

either fear and flight, or

awakening to action, training to fight

Scattered congregant yawns





around a dormant parish.


“Quarter ‘til.”


The preacher’s words, and a circling bottlefly—

Hardly a contest for a child’s—and parents’—attention.

“Will it land? Where?—place your bets.”


“Oh—he’s done.

Time for lunch.”