Christmas Poetry

Merry Christmas, everyone!  May you be blessed by the peace of God, the love of family and friends, and the joy of salvation.

Here is some poetry I would like to share:


I.  Fall
Knowing good and evil,
We hid ourselves from God.
Opened eyes were darkened.
Flesh-hearts became like stone.
That which promised knowledge,
Bewilderment it bred.
Claiming to be wise,
We cursed ourselves instead.

II. Winter
With furrowed brow we fought
the thorny, thistled ground.
Meaningless, meaningless, all –
All is vanity.  All – profanity.  All – insanity.
Oh – humanity!
(Steeped in our depravity,
Our souls weighed down by gravity.)

III. Spring
Crippled creation cries,
coupled with the curse
Subjected to futility,
Waiting for fertility,
Groaning as in childbirth.

But on that silent night
In a little town,
the second Eve –
the servant of the Lord lay down.
As she cried out in pain
(the curse that she received)
the virgin’s labor brought forth Victory.

IV. Summer
In the land of darkness deep,
Sleepers spied the dawning Light –
the Glory of the One and Only,
full of grace and truth.  The Christ.

Scores of angels, shout!
To shepherds in the fields
And through the sands of time,
to us, Good News reveal.

Resounding trumpets, ring;
Continue with the set.
And until they ring again,
in the "Already
but Not Yet."



Make space for the uncontained God,
Unthinkable vastness gathered into infant capsule.
Light a torch in the night and draw near
to the Pillar of Fire sleeping in virgin arms.
Teach with alphabet blocks the Word
that confused the builders of Babel.
Make time for the One who sustains it,
Who interjected, uninvited, into human affairs,
bringing the deliverance we mistook for fruitcake.


The Mystery of Faith

They came from the East.
Pagans, not Kings.
Wizards and shamans –
Readers of tea leaves and stars.
Perhaps they carried ceremonial bones and runes
Clattering away in camel-drawn carts
Next to the gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Astrologers and sorcerers –
Blatant violators of Moses’ law and
Condemned by God –
Unlikely worshipers
Drawn by the shining light
of Grace.

"Thinking. Loving. Doing." Book Review

When I picked up this book, I had no idea what it was about.  All I knew was that it was edited by Piper and had chapters by both John Piper and Francis Chan.  On that basis alone, I figured that it was worth reading, but I was blown away by the introduction, long before I got to the later chapters.

Introduction: David Mathis
Not knowing what the book was about, I found the introduction rather helpful.  In the church, we've created this weird dichotomy of anti-intellectual sentimentalism pitted against anti-sentimentalist theological academia.  Mathis calls this the "unifers" (those who "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" but may be given to doctrine-dilution) and "purifiers" (those who thrive on "watching out for those who...create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have taught" but may be given to arrogance and division-stirring.)  In response, this book literally addresses the "thinking," "loving," and "doing" aspects of the Christian faith.  Many times, churches gravitate to one of these categories (which also fit the "prophet/ priest/ king" dynamic, for those who are familiar with that terminology) at the expense of the other two.

"In our scheme," Mathis writes, "the 'thinkers' (mind) would be Reformed; the 'feelers' (heart), the massive swaths of Pentecostal and charismatic networks (either in addition to, or perhaps rather than, the now greatly diminishing number of those labeling themselves 'emerging'); and the 'doers' (hands), the more practically oriented 'leadership' segments of the church...AND THE POINT IS THAT NONE OF US GETS IT RIGHT." (emphasis mine).  By incorporating and intermingling these three functions of Christian living, we can grow wholistically: in both unity and in purity.

For my commentary and summary on the rest of the chapters, please see my Amazon review here.

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my review, but the thoughts and impressions expressed herein are my own.



When we look at John 1 through the lens of 1 Corinthians 15, we see John
being intentional about his choice of words. John calling Jesus the “Word”
was a strategic spear thrown at his audience. The Greek word is logos, and
the Greeks used it commonly when speaking about their gods. The Greeks
believed their gods were detached from the pain of the world. Unlike those
gods, the logos of the Bible felt fully the pain of the world. In attaching Himself
to humanity, Jesus suffered the punishment of the cross so that we would not
eternally suffer the punishment of our sin.
- The Village Church Advent Guide

Grace. It exists.

The first thought I had this morning was an expletive.

By the time I had my second thought, my body moving faster than my mind, was sprinting halfway down the stairs.

Let me back up...

My first final was scheduled for 12/6/11 at 9:45 am.  I always get everything lined up the night before.  Computer, software for my computer (we use a special test-taking program), pencils, pens, erasers, white-out, highlighter, exam ID number, clothes, and yes, even breakfast.  I hard boiled three eggs and put them in the fridge last night.  And before I go to bed, I always set my alarm: multiple alarms on my phone and an extra non-phone alarm, just in case my phone dies or something.

So why was I so alarmed?  What was my second thought this morning?  It was a horrible mess of realizations that came to my brain all at once:
  • My phone wasn't on my bedstand
  • My phone is downstairs
It was 7:40 am.  Over two hours before my final.

Some more background information: I never wake up before my alarm.  EVER.


To summarize:
  • I have issues with school being an idol.
  • I have issues with control being an idol.
  • Control failed me.
  • God came through despite my need for control.
  • God came through and helped me with school despite my sin in idolizing school.
  • God came through, and my initial response was to shout expletives in my head.
God is really, really, really good, and I am very, very, very humbled.

Grace.  It exists.  And not just in a "spiritual blessings" kind of way, but in a "Lord, give us this day our daily bread" kind of way.  God feeds the birds, dresses the flowers, and doesn't give snakes to his hungry children.

May God bless you with his grace this day, the eyes to see it, and the peace to enjoy it.  So let this be.

11 Year Old Proclaims Christ, as Shown Throughout Bible

Full text below (via Mr. Ministry Man):

Divine Scheduling

Photo: zedcap, flickr, CC2.0

Text: A Living Oak, my friend's blog.  Take a visit!