Category Archives: happiness

prayerless words – weak fool

I have spoken many prayerless words in the past 24 hours.  Words matter.  Hard reminder when I see the effect of my mouth on my family.  God have mercy.

When I consider that my words can wound as they do… I am suddenly struck by the words of the Ecclesiastes passage I am working through – “What is crooked cannot be made straight.”  Sometimes that’s how I feel about the parts of myself that don’t add up.   When I am angry, why do I speak.  I know not to.  I do anyways.  What a crooked part of this fallen world.  The things I don’t want to do I do…

Crooked words point to a crooked heart in a crooked world that I can’t make straight.  Once again, weakness as the catalyst for a gospel prayer, hope, dependence and love. 

Today I feel like a crooked pastor because I can’t make things straight in my home… and yet, somehow by grace (in spite of all I said last night) there was a familial experience of peace this morning.  Could it be the peace that God, in his time, will straighten what is crooked.  Will bend my words into obedience and blessing for his glory?  Please do O God.

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imagination as a gift

There are a lot of things I have come to believe by God’s grace.  I do believe.  And then, in a moment of intimacy with my children, I realize that it is one thing to believe a propositional declared truth… it is another thing altogether to imagine such good truth to be TRUE.

Last night, Lina and Meggie and I were finishing the last chapter of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  It was all about the kingdom of Christ and his heaven coming to earth.  It was biblical theology that mattered and could be imagined.  Lina – “Linna” (5) – sat up and her eyes conveyed the imaginitive glory.  “So, daddy, it’ll be like a whole new world.”  Yep.  “So, if I die and then Jesus breathes on me to come into his new world, I might not live here anymore… I might live in that state where Uncle Kurt and Aunt Carla live.  Or maybe in Georgia.”  Maybe Lina, but I like how you called it ‘Jesus’ new world.  That makes a lot of sense to me.  “But daddy, I might be scared in heaven because I won’t find you.”  No Lina, it’s impossible for you to be scared in heaven… because in heaven there will be no tears or pain, not even fear.  And Jesus won’t let you be alone.  And I don’t think we’ll be apart, because we’ll all be doing the same thing – praising Jesus together!

I could go on.  But I would rather “treasure these things in my heart” – in a sense they are wordless anyway.  The point is, last night, through my child’s imagination, I experienced real belief.  I couldn’t paint a picture for her of something I casually held to.  What a gift.  Thank you God for your work in my children “of promise” who make your promises new to me day after day.

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my weakness makes me long to be ruled

I am heading off to church planter community in Philly… a highlight of every month.

But this morning I highlighted an incredible word from Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed.  In consecutive chapters, he has been making the point that our weakness should not so much cause US to desire to be strong (better self-rulers), but rather they cause us to desire to be ruled by another’s government… one who is not debilitated by weakness but can guide and direct and deliver us.

I quote: The happiness of weaker things stands in being ruled by the stronger.  It is best for a blind man to be guided by him that has sight.  It is best for sheep, and other feckless creatures, to be guided by man.  And it is happiest for man to be guided by Christ, because his government is so victorioius that it frees us from the fear and danger of our greatest enemies, and tends to bring us to the greatest happiness that our nature is capable of [do I hear John Piper here?].  This should make us rejoice when Christ reigns in us.

Yes, I am so weak that today I WANT to be ruled by him who is stronger.  May my self-awareness be the same tomorrow and the next day and the next day…