Yakkity yak, don’t talk back…

“But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?”
Romans 9:20

I have written before describing how our relationship with our children are good reminders of our relationship with God.  Your child’s dependence on your provision as a parent is a tremendous sign of your own dependence upon God for everything.  Your child’s begging and pleading for the desires of their heart is how we ought to come to God in prayer.  Your child’s disobedience illustrates our own disobedience from our heavenly Father.  Your love for your child, even your disobedient child, is but a glimpse of the steadfast and unfailing love of God.

As I was reading through Romans 9 today, I was reminded of another correlative aspect of the parent/child and God/creation relationship: lipping off.  I don’t know if there is a more frustrating thing as a parent than to have a child talk back in disrespect. As a parent I’ve learned the meaning of pain by stepping barefoot on a lego on the bedroom floor.  I’ve learned humility through cleaning up sick in the middle of the night.  I have re-learned Algebra, History, Biology and the Arts to help guide and shape my children through their education.  And what thanks do I get, “Whatever, Dad!”

I am not a perfect father, far from it.  I have a lot to learn, and I will readily admit when I am wrong, and often have.  But when a child starts talking back, questioning not just my decision, but the very intention of my heart, that’s too much.  It is as if they think I’m making this up as I go (which, sometimes I am), but even worse, that I don’t want what’s best for them in the long run.  I doubt that I’m alone; this is one of the most frustrating things I have faced as a parent.

And yet, aren’t we like that with God?  This evening I’m attending a Presbytery Seminar on “The Future of the Five Points,” in which 5 of my colleagues in ministry will be discussing the 5 Points of the Doctrines of Grace and how they continue to be relevant today.  What I find fascinating is that whenever Calvin or Reformed Faith are even mentioned, the automatic question is, “What about my free will?”

Okay, what about it?

By insisting upon your freedom of will, what are you making of God’s will?  Shall the will of the sovereign of the universe bend to yours?  Are you questioning the wisdom of God?  Are you doubting his heart?

The apostle Paul has laid out the gospel throughout his letter to the Romans, that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, and that “God has done what the law, weakened by flesh, could not do by sending his own Son… in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us”.  This is God’s sovereign work of salvation in Jesus Christ for all who are called according to his purpose.

As Paul anticipates the rejoinder from his audience, arguing “Well, if God’s will is sovereign and you cannot resist Him, why does he still hold us accountable.”  And his answer, Because God is God.  “Who are you to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?'”  Ultimately, Paul’s solution to the question of free will is to compare the will of created man to the will of the eternal God; and there is no real comparison.

This is the answer that God gave Job when Job questioned the Almighty:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding. (Job 38:4)

Will you even put me in the wrong?
Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? (Job 40:8)

Ultimately, who gets the glory? Who’s will is sovereign?  If it is mine, then we’re all done for, because I cannot even plan a trip to the grocery story without something going wrong. He holds my breath in his hands (Dan 5:23).  So who am I to think that I have the strength of will to determine the outcome of my existence in eternity?  God is sovereign, therefore His will must reign supreme and work all things for the purpose of His good pleasure.  Will I not honor Him?

Please don’t think that I am being flippant or dismissive of the real struggle that many have in regards to our responsibility and God’s sovereignty. But in the end we must acknowledge that He is God, and we are not.  Will you, will I, continue to question his love, his mercy, His sovereign will?  He has ordained all things according to His will, things for wrath and things for mercy, that He might be glorified in all things.  This great mystery ought to lead us, not to divisions among us, but to join in the wonder and praise that Paul shares in Romans 11:

Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.

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We Stand in Christ’s Triumph

 

Today I offer another gem from A.W. Tozer:

Among evangelicals it is a commonplace to say that the superiority of Christianity to every other religion lies in the fact that in Christian its a Person is present, active, filling, upholding and supporting all. That person, of course, is Jesus Christ.

That is what we say, and say truthfully, but my own experience has shown how difficult it is to make this belief a practical force in my own life.  And a little observation reveals that my fellow evangelicals for the most part are not doing much better. This mighty world-beating truth gets lost under a multitude of lesser truths and is allowed to lie forgotten while we struggle, must unsuccessfully, with the world, the flesh and the devil.

The unique thing about the early Christians was their radiant relation to a Person. “The Lord,” they called Him tenderly, and when they used the term they gave it its own New Testament meaning. It meant Jesus Christ who a short while before had been among them but was not gone into the heavens as their High Priest and Advocate.

It was this engrossment with a victorious Person that gave verve and vibrancy to their lives and conviction to their testimony. They bore witness joyously to the One who had lived as a true Man among men.  Their testimony was not weakened by the pale cast of metaphysical thought.  They knew that Jesus was very Man and very God, and He had died, had been raised from the dead and had ascended into heaven.  They accepted literally His claim to be invested with authority over everything in heaven, earth and hell.  How it could be they never stopped to inquire. They trusted Him absolutely and left the detail to their triumphant Lord.

Another marked characteristic of the witness of those first Christians was their insistence that Jesus was Lord and mover in a long-range plan to restore the earth and to bring it again under divine control. He is now sovereign Head of His body the Church, they declared, and will extend His rule to include the earth and the world in His own good time.  Hence they never presented Him as Savior merely.  It never occurred to them to invite people to receive “peace of mind” or “peace of soul.” Nor did they stop at forgiveness or joy or happiness. They gathered up all these benefits into one Person and preached that Person as the last and highest sum of every good possible to be known and enjoyed in this world or that which is to come. “The same Lord over all,” they said, “is rich unto all that call upon him.” The seeker must own Him Lord triumphant, not a meek-eyed Lover of their souls only, but Lord above all question or doubt.

Today we hold the same views, but our emphasis is not the same.  The meek and lowly Jesus has displaced the high and holy Jesus in the minds of millions.  The vibrant note of triumph is missing in our witness. A sad weeping Jesus offers us His quiet sympathy in our griefs and temptations, but He appears to be as helpless as we are when the pressure is on.  His pale feminine face looks at us from the “holy picture” of the Catholic and the Easter card of the Protestant.  We give Him our sympathy, but scarcely our confidence.  The helpless Christ of the crucifix and the vacuous-countenanced Christ that looks out in sweet innocence from the walls of our evangelical homes is all one and the same.  The Catholics rescue Him by bringing a Queen of Heaven to His aid. But we Protestants have no helper. So we sing pop choruses to cheer our drooping spirits and hold panel discussions in the plaintive hope that someone will come up with the answer to our scarce-spoken complaint.

Well, we already have the answer if we but had the faith and wisdom to turn to it.  The answer is Christ Victorious, high over all.  He lives forever above the reach of His foes. He has but to speak and it is done; He need but command and heaven and earth obey Him.  Within the broad framework of His far-looking plans He tolerates for a time the wild outlawry of a fallen world, but He holds the earth in His hand and can call the nation to judgment whenever He wills.

Yes, Christian pilgrim, we are better off that the sad Church can see.  We stand in Christ’s triumph. Because He lives we live also.  Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tozer, A.W. The Root of the Righteous. (Harrisburg, PA, Christian Publications Inc., 1955), Pg. 70-73.

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Music to Read Books By

Last week I wrote about the books I’ve been reading, so naturally (to me, anyway) I thought this week I’d write about the music I like to listen to while reading those books.  I recognize that everyone has their own preference where music is concerned, but as with introducing you to new books I’m reading, I hope that maybe you’ll come across some new artist in this reading and be better for it.

I have varying tastes in music depending on what I’m doing at the moment.  My running playlist has a lot of U2, Beatles, Rich Mullens, and Billy Joel – just to give you a sampling.  While working around the house on the weekends, I like to turn on Spotify and listen to 70’s and 80’s playlists.  But while writing and reading, I like to listen to music that is fitting for the moment.

I have, for a while now, enjoyed listening to Indelible Grace Music and the music of Stuart Townend and Keith and Krystin Getty.  I think it was while listing to a radio station on Spotify based on their music that I found many of the following artists.  If you’ve never heard their music, they are all on Spotify or Youtube, and I would encourage you to listen to a couple samples (I’ll provide the links where possible).

So here’s a list of some of the artists I like to listen to while writing and reading:

Josh Garrels
I like to think that I have a pretty eclectic taste in music, and Josh Garrels is a pretty eclectic musician.  His description on wikipedia says, “Josh Garrels is a singer-songwriter, hip-hop, pop producer, and orchestral folk composer from South Bend, Indiana. His music combines traditional folk music with other musical elements and the nontraditional exploration of Christian themes.”  I don’t really know how to classify his music, but I can say that it speaks to me.  He doesn’t give a candy-coated, top 40 Christian message in his music; but the imagery of the struggle and hope in this life is real and richly Biblical.  With songs like Don’t Wait for Me and Beyond the Blue, Garrels articulates a longing for completion that is only met in Christ, but that it is met completely in Him.  My favorites would have to be The Resistance and All Creatures, two hip-hop influenced songs that have great messages.

Audrey Assad
As I was listening to Audrey Assad just this morning, I realized what it is I like about her music. She sings like Amy Grant did when Amy Grant was just starting out.  Innocent, beautiful, heartfelt expressions of faith in the midst of real life.  Her song The House You’re Building is especially Amy Grant-esque. She has a wonderful cover of His Eye is On the Sparrow in Sparrow, and her song Good to Me is an excellent reminder of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.

Page CXVI
Their name is a reference to Page 116 in their copy of C.S. Lewis’ book, The Magicians nephew, the passage where Aslan begins to sing Narnia into creation out of a black void.  Starting as worship leaders in church, Page CXVI’s self-stated purpose as a band is to make hymns accessible again.  All of their songs are re-writes of familiar hymns, accentuating different themes that the hymns, with their traditional tunes, might not convey.  Some of my favorites include O Sacred Head Now Wounded, Wash Me Clean, and Be Still My Soul.

Sons of Korah
Sons of Korah is an Australian based band that sings the Psalms – and that’s all. On their website they explain, “The Psalms have been the primary source for the worship traditions of both Judaism and Christianity going right back to ancient times. With their unique acoustic, multi-ethnic sound Sons of Korah have given this biblical songbook a dynamic and emotive new musical expression. They endeavour to lead their listeners into an impacting encounter with this book that is often described as the ‘heart’ of the bible.”  Often times I will turn on Sons of Korah and read the Psalms as they sing, word for word.  Their on my running playlist, and I’ve found that by singing the Psalms, I’m learning them by heart too.  A few of my favorites are Psalm 148, Psalm 73, Psalm 51, and Psalm 1.

Ludovico Einaudi
“One of these things is not like the other…” There are times when I am looking for quiet background music, instrumental or piano music, while reading or writing.  through Spotify I cam across Ludovico Einaudi.  Not under the Christian Music label at all, Einaudi is an Italian pianist and composer who uses a wide variety of styles and genres including pop, rock, world music, and folk music. I don’t know how to describe his music other than stunningly beautiful.  A couple that really stand out to me are I Giorni and Nuvole Bianche.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these artists and their music.  If you have any recommendations, please make sure to give them in the comments below.

SDG

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My Current Reading List

I have the habit of reading several books at once. I don’t know if this is good for me or not. On the positive side, it keeps me thinking about a wide variety of topics all at the same time. On the other hand, it takes me forever to finish a book, and when I’m finished, I sometimes have a hard time keeping everything straight.

I thought I’d take the opportunity with this Midweek Message to share the books that I’m currently reading, with a brief synopsis and an encouragement for you to keep reading.

kingThe King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Baker Academic) by Thomas Schreiner.  Biblical Theology studies the unifying themes of the Bible in their own historical setting, in its own terms, and forms; learning who God is and what God is doing through the ongoing story of Scripture. I have just started The King In His Beauty, but already I am loving the study of Scripture and the emerging themes that will unfold through the rest of the book. It’s almost ike reading a commentary that was written in story form.

baxterWalking with God (GLH Publishing) by Richard Baxter. I try to always have an old pastoral book on my reading list to keep me well rounded, and Baxter is one of my favorites. Baxter was an English Puritan of the 17th century (i.e., Presbyterian), a theologian and pastor most noted for his book, The Reformed Pastor. Reading the Puritans is not always easy, they love to make lists (and lists within lists), and they exhaust a topic before moving on to the next, so you really have to commit to ploughing through the reading. But the treasure is worth he work. “Walking with God” studies what it means to be in communion with God and to love him above everything else. Baxter’s work is challenging, but encouraging all the while.

elderFinding Faithful Elders and Deacons (Crossway), by Thabiti Anyabwile. It’s that time of the year again when we as a church prayerfully consider nominating men to serve as Deacons and Elders. This is not light work, and I’ve been studying and praying, not just about who should serve, but how I can work to develop discipling relationships to help identify and train future leaders in the church. Anyabwile’s book is a quick read, but incredibly informative and practical.

The Wholwholee Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (Crossway), by Sinclair Ferguson. Admittedly, when I bought this book for a reading group I’m in, I had never heard of the Marrow Controversy, but I love Sinclair Ferguson, and I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve read of his. The Whole Christ included. Recounting the Marrow Controversy of the 8th Century Church of Scotland which was essentially a divide over Legalism, Antinomianism, and the proper relationship between God’s grace and our works, Ferguson shows us that the antidote to the poison of legalism on the one hand and antinomianism on the other is one and the same: the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ, in whom we are simultaneously justified by faith, freed for good works, and assured of salvation.

nameName above all Names (Crossway), by Sinclair Ferguson and Alistair Begg. I picked this one up because I wanted to read something that wasn’t necessarily a theological study of Christ, but a biblical study on who Christ is and what He has one. Name above all Names is a reflection on 7 key qualities of Jesus’ identity and ministry, offering a meditation on the character of Christ. In case you didn’t notice, it’s another book by Sinclair Ferguson, with my second favorite scotsman preacher, Alistair Begg as well.

Studies on Daniel – As I am preaching through the book of Daniel for the next couple of months, I’m also reading a couple of commentaries on Daniel which I thought I’d mention here:

daneilPreaching Christ from Daniel (Eerdmans) by Sidney Greidanus. – In Preaching Christ from Daniel Sidney Greidanus shows preachers and teachers how to prepare expository messages from the six narratives and four visions in the book of Daniel. Using the most up-to-date biblical scholarship, Greidanus addresses foundational issues such as the date of composition, the author(s) and original audience of the book, its overall message and goal, and various ways of preaching Christ from Daniel. Throughout his book Greidanus puts front and center God’s sovereignty, providence, and coming kingdom. (from the website)

chapellThe Gospel According to Daniel (Baker) by Bryan Chapell. (From the cover) Often we read the book of Daniel in one of two ways – either as a book about a heroic man whose righteousness should inspire us to keep the faith, or as a roadmap to the end times that can, through careful study, tell us the day and hour (or nearly so) of Christ’s return. Both, says Bryan Chapell, are sadly missing the bigger picture – that God is the hero of the story, and he is in the midst of his unrelenting plan to rescue his people from their sin and its consequences. Pastors, teachers, and any Christian who wants to learn how to faithfully understand the book of Daniel without getting derailed by hero worship or prophetic mystery will value this grace-centered approach.

boiceDaniel: An Expositional Commentary (Baker), by James Boice. Boice was the pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Philadelphia, and his sermons were heard around the world on The Bible Hour. His commentaries give a verse by verse study of the text, and help apply the text to the readers experience. Reading Boice’s commentary is like reading his sermons, and it has been very encouraging as I approach the difficult task of preaching through Daniel.

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A Definition of Worship

Planning and leading worship services for the church week in and week out can sometimes drain the essence out of worship itself.  Worship becomes something I do, an act of professionalism rather than encounter with my heavenly Father.  As Presbyterians are known for doing things “decently and in order,” our worship often takes on a rehearsed tone, and “passionate worship” is not how visitors would typically describe the service.

So it is that I came upon the following by A.W. Tozer in his book, The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship.  May this serve as a corrective understanding for all of us as we prepare to enter into worship again.

A Definition of Worship

First, worship is to feel in the heart. I use that word “feel” boldly and without apology. I do not believe that we are to be a feeling-less people. I came into the kingdom of God the old-fashioned way. I believe that I know something of the emotional life that goes with being converted; so I believe in feeling. I do not think we should follow feeling, but I believe that if there is no feeling in our heart, then we are dead. If you woke up in the morning and suddenly had no feeling in your right arm, you would call a doctor.  You would dial with your left hand because your right hand was dead. Anything that has no feeling in it, you can be quite sure is dead. Real worship, among other things, is a feeling in the heart.

Worship is to feel in the heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe.  Worship will humble a person as nothing else can. The egotistical, self-important man cannot worship God any more than the arrogant devil can worship God. There must be humility in the heart before there can be worship.

When the Holy Spirit comes and opens heaven until people stand astonished at what they see, and in astonished wonderment confess His uncreated loveliness in the presence of that ancient mystery, then you have worship. If it is not mysterious, there can be no worship; if I can understand God, then I cannot worship God.

I will never get on my knees and say, “Holy, holy, holy” to that which I can figure out. That which I can explain will never overawe me, never fill me with astonishment, wonder or admiration. But in the presence of that most ancient mystery, that unspeakable majesty, which the philosophers have called a mysterium tremendum, which we who are God’s children call “our Father which art in heaven,” I will bow in humble worship. This attitude ought to be present in our church today.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was one of the greatest minds that ever lived. When he was only in his teens, he wrote advanced books on mathematics, astonishing people. He became a great philosopher, mathematician and thinker.

One night, he met God, and his whole world was changed. He wrote down his experience on a piece of paper while it was still fresh on his mind. According to his testimony, from 10:30 pm to about 12:30 am, he was overwhelmed by the presence of God. To express what he was experiencing, he wrote one word, “fire.”

Pascal was neither a fanatic nor an ignorant farmer with hayseeds back of his ears. He was a great intellectual. God broke through all that and for two solid hours, he experienced something he could holy characterize as fire.

Following his experience, he prayed; and to keep as a reminder of that experience, he wrote it out: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and of the learned.” This was not a prayer for somebody who reads his prayers; this was not formal religious ritual. This was the ecstatic utterance of a man who had two wonderful, awesome hours in the presence of God. “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob not of the philosophers and of the learned. God of Jesus Christ… Thy God shall be my God… He is only found by thy ways taught in the Gospel… Righteous Father, the world has not known Thee, but I have known Thee. Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy…” And he put an “Amen” after it, folded it up, put it in his shirt pocket and kept it there.

That man could explain many mysteries in the world, but he was awestruck before the wonder of wonders, even Jesus Christ. His worship flowed out of his encounter with that “fire” and not out of his understanding of who and what God is.

Tozer, A. W. The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship. (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker House Books) pg. 108-110.
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More Thoughts From the Hospital Bed

I’m home from the hospital now,  off of bed-rest, and gradually getting back to work.  Praise the Lord!

Following up from my last blog entry, I was in the hospital for 8 days, having experienced what the Doctors are calling a Spontaneous Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak.  Essentially, for some unknown reason, I developed a lead in the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord, resulting in excruciating headaches whenever I was in an upright position.  The fix for the leak was a Blood Patch, which is a lot like putting goop in your tires to fix a leak.  It has been over a week now since I’ve had a headache, and I’m slowly returning to a semblance of normalcy.

In the moments of clarity while resting in the hospital (when the narcotics had worn off), I had some insights from the hospital bed I thought worth sharing regarding hospital visits.

1. I cannot overstate the Importance of a Hospital Visit.

If you’ve ever been in the hospital for any amount of time, you know how wonderful it is to have someone stop in for a visit.  Seeing a familiar face at the door, a friend stopping by to brighten the day, a brother visiting with a word of encouragement – that visit is crucial.  I’ve made it a habit to visit my church members when I know they’re in the hospital, now I understand just how important that visit really is.  You don’t have to stay long, there’s no need to linger.  Just a quick visit can make the world of difference.

Elders and Deacons have a special duty to visit those in need, to pray  for healing and encouragement, but this does not absolve all Christians from their responsibility for demonstrate compassion and care to those in need. You don’t have to be ordained or commissioned by the church to be an ambassador of the hope we share in Jesus Christ.  If you know of someone in the hospital, or someone who is home and alone, and you are able, call upon them and bring the joy and peace of the fellowship of the body of Christ.

2. Don’t worry about what you will say…

Jesus told his disciples not to worry about what they will say when they are under trial by the authorities, for the Spirit will give them the words to speak.  I think this also applies to our visits in the hospital.  Don’t worry about what you will say or do, God will give you the words.  You don’t have to have a speech prepared.  You especially don’t have to have any answers about what’s happening or why.  Come with words of care, and with a word of promise.

One of the best visits I had was with a friend who came to sit beside my hospital bed and just read scripture.  Because of the nature of my headaches, reading was rather painful, so I was unable to even take up Scripture to read for myself.  So my friend sat by the bed and read the Bible, a verse here or there, a whole chapter from the Psalm and Romans.  There was no sermon, no instruction, but there was tremendous blessing in hearing the Word of God.

Before you visit, bookmark a few psalms, or some of your favorite passages, and pick a few to read and share.  You may never know how God may work through His Word, but you know that His word is full of promise and hope.

3. Pray

James tells us that the “prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).  This doesn’t mean that you need to come with a rehearsed or well-polished prayer, or that your prayer will always be followed by a great working of power.  But when you offer a prayer from the heart, a prayer that comes from a praying heart, great things are already at work. You are entreating before God on behalf of someone else.  You are sharing your faith in God’s strong and sovereign care. You are trusting God for provision, for health, for hope, for peace.  These are mighty things, and can do more than you will ever know.

Visit, share the word of God, and pray.  One of the greatest acts of compassion is just that simple.  I cannot begin to express what it meant to have friends come by to visit and to pray with and for me while I was in the hospital, and I cannot thank you enough.  Let us endeavor to show one another our care and concern through these simple acts, that we might encourage one another in times of need.

SDG

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First Thoughts from a Hospital Bed

It’s 2:45 in the a.m., and I cannot sleep. I’m lying here in a hospital bed, where I’ve been for the last 5 days. This is the firs time in over a week that I haven’t had “mush-mind”, a mind so preoccupied with pain that it can think of nothing else. Now my mind won’t shut down. So I thought I’d write. As these are the first thoughts to emerge from the hospital bed, please do not expect them to be entirely coherent, organized, or rational – in other words – same as usual. 

Background 

A week ago I began to develop a severe headache, which my doctor classified as a migraine, but he was concerned that I would be starting migraines at 42, I had never had one before. We eventually went to the ER,  (twice, because I panicked the first time and thought I could do without the possibility of a spinal tap) where I was admitted and have been treated for a Low Pressure headache. Technically they’re calling it an Inter Cranial Hypo Tension Headache. I was perfectly fine as long as I was laying flat on my back, but the moment I sat or stood, I would experience sharp shooting pain throughout the head, pressure behind the ears, and nausea. After 5 days of bed rest, MRI’s, 2 spinal taps, a blood patch, and some lovely drugs, I think I can say I’m on the mend. 

God is Good

Through the worst of this, I began to wonder, “Will I ever be able to read my bible agin? To preach again? To share the gospel again?” Yeah, the pain was that severe and debilitating. Wonderfully, I had family and friends praying for me when I couldn’t even pray for myself. They read scripture when simply looking at the pages hurt. They reminded me that all of Gods promises are “Yes and Amen” in Christ, and the God is faithful and steadfast in His love. I’ve told others that so often, it was good to be reassured in my time of need. 

Some things that got me though

Survival mode consisted of the basic pleasures of life, Popsicles, jello, broth, and coffee which I learned is actually good for headaches (and for writing at 2:45 am). I also learned how to use the audio version of the Bible on my Logos App for the iPhone. 

And music.  TV hurt.  The shades were drawn because the light outside hurt, and the phone screen hurt, so I played music the help calm me. The Sons of Korah sing new arrangements of the Psalms, I’ve listened to them a lot.  Indelible Grace music, especially the song God Moves in a Mysterious Way.  Find it, listen to it, love it.  There is a song too from Bifrost Arts called Break Us By Your Grace.  For the first couple of days, the chorus was the only thing I could think through all the pain. Interestingly, it was the old classic hymns that I sang to myself during the MRI’s. 

Thank Yous

I better bring this to a close. It’s taking longer to correct my typos than is is to write them. Personal thank Yous will be made later, but to all who have been praying, to all who have helped or offered to help my wife and kids: Thank You.  I’m not sure when I’ll be sent home, so keep praying, and if your in the area, stop by to visit.

To the doctors, nurses, and staff of the hospital, thank you for your wisdom, compassion, patience, encouragement, and care!

To God, for his grace, his mercy, his love, his faithfulness, which are all so perfectly evidenced in Christ Jesus, but have become even more real in this time of affliction and healing: may my life sing your praise and thanksgiving, now and forever.   

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