Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Song for the Suffering (with John Piper) Shane and Shane

I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say you do it all in love
That I might know you in your suffering

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still more than I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

[Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. But all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that.
I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing. Don’t look to what is seen.
When your mom dies, when your kid dies, when you’ve got cancer at 40, when a car careens into the sidewalk and takes her out, don’t say, “That’s meaningless!” It’s not. It’s working for you an eternal weight of glory.
Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.]  - John Piper

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need
Sing a song to the one who’s all I nee

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Never have I ever....

"What I've discovered is that in art, as in music, there's a lot of truth—and then there's a lie. The artist is essentially creating his work to make this lie a truth, but then he slides it in amongst all the others. The tiny little lie is the moment I live for, my moment. It's the moment the audience falls in love.."

Lady Gaga, New York Magazine

We heard this quote in church one Sunday and I found myself "Wow!"-ing it.

First, I did not know that Lady Gaga was so well spoken (no disrespect intended).

Second, I could not believe the shocking almost naked honesty of this of these words.

 And finally, I could not believe the perversion: God gave people talent to glorify Himself, that we might indeed 'fall' more 'in love' with Him, not the artist.  Without God, she is right, art however talented is a lie simply because it does not point back to The Creator just to the creation (whether that is the artist or the objet d'art is irrelevant).  We were created to worship and glorify Him; anything else is a lie.

Never have I ever felt so very strongly to call Christians to the arts...

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Today is a broken day....
nothing is wrong, nothing has happened
I just need to remember truth, because today it seems so far away.
I have listened to this song over and over this morning...
I pray Jesus He would break through...
that life would once again be about Him and not me.

I am so good at saying those words - but today I can't hear them...
Help me, Lord.

Monday, December 10, 2012

On those days, Lord....

 help me to remember...
 That I wanna be one of them...

by Sara Groves

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful.

Life Is Cheap in Norway: C. S. Lewis on the Sentence of Anders Breivik
Anders Breivik’s sentence for killing 77 people in Norway on July 22, 2011 is outrageous. He was deemed sane and sentenced to serve 21 years in prison “in a three-cell suite of rooms equipped with exercise equipment, a television and a laptop.” That’s 100 days of posh prison time for each person he murdered, with a legal release possible at age 53. Life is cheap in Norway.
The news agencies explained that such a sentence
is consistent with Norway’s general approach to criminal justice. Like the rest of Europe . . . Norway no longer has the death penalty and considers prison more a means for rehabilitation than retribution.
They explained that “many Europeans” consider America’s criminal justice system to be “cruelly punitive.” And the blog post I am now writing, naturally, would fall into the category of vindictive.
Do you see the error in this? C. S. Lewis did.
He wrote an essay in 1949 exposing the tyrannical folly of  “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment” (Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces, London: HarperCollins, 2000, 698-705). This theory reigns in Norway today.
Lewis explains that treating criminals not with a view to punishment, but only with a view to remediation and deterrence is the end of justice and the seedbed of tyranny. It is dehumanization with a gentle face.
It is essential to oppose the Humanitarian theory of punishment, root and branch, wherever we encounter it. It carries on its front a semblance of mercy which is wholly false. That is how it can deceive men of good will. (704)
He explains that the moment you disconnect punishment from what a person deserves, you disconnect it from justice; because “the concept of Desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice.” (699)
Thus when we cease to consider what the criminal deserves and consider only what will cure him or deter others, we have tacitly removed him from the sphere of justice altogether; instead of a person, a subject of rights, we now have a mere object, a patient, a ‘case.’ (699)
If a criminal’s sentence does not have to accord with what he deserves, it does not have to be just. At that point we are all at the mercy of those who are in power to call anything we do a crime and give it any therapeutic or remedial solution they choose, including gas chambers and medical alterations. “The Humanitarian theory of punishment will put in their hands a finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before.” (703)
In fact, the news story explains that, after his 21-year smack-on-the-hand for killing 77 people, Breivik “could be kept there indefinitely by judges adding a succession of five-year extensions.” There it is. The issue is not what he deserves. The issue is not justice. The issue is power in the hands of judges who will decide if he has been “rehabilitated” sufficiently, and if his detainment has served the community to a suitable degree.
This is the seedbed of tyranny. To be sure, there is a place for rehabilitation and deterrence. But only under the humanizing sway of justice. Lewis explains the relation:
I am ready to make both protection of society and the “cure” of the criminal as important as you please in punishment, but only on a certain condition; namely, that the initial act of thus interfering with a man’s liberty be justified on grounds of desert. . . . It is this and (I believe) this alone, which legitimizes our proceeding and makes it an instance of punishment at all, instead of an instance of tyranny — or , perhaps, of war. (“On Punishment: A Reply by C. S. Lewis,” Essay Collection: And Other Short Pieces, 707)
And what of mercy? We are Christians. We don’t treat each other merely on the basis of justice, but of mercy, since we have been treated that way by God in Christ. Yes. And the Christian — the biblical — concept of mercy toward wrongdoers only exists in relation to justice. Showing mercy, in relation to wrongdoing, means treating someone better than they deserve.
If the concept of ill-desert, and with it the concept of justice, is lost, mercy ceases to be. It is replaced by sentiment and caprice. As Lewis observes, “The essential act of mercy was to pardon; and pardon in its very essence involves the recognition of guilt and ill-desert in the recipient.” (704)
There may be good reasons for commuting or mollifying just sentences, but those reasons, if they are merciful, will give an account of themselves before the bar of precious and unimpeachable justice.
Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful. That is the important paradox. As there are plants which will flourish only in mountain soil, so it appears that Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice; transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed. (704)
To read the article by C.S. Lewis that Pastor Piper quotes from please click here.
I am so very grateful that this is true:
God’s capacity to clean things up is infinitely greater than our human capacity to mess things up.
 ~ Pastor Tullian Tchividjian
I linked Pastor Tullian's name to the Gospel Coalition's review of his book Surprised by Grace.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, May 25, 2012

what an amazing thought....

 This picture and caption come from the blog of
Jack Hager's Jot's and Thought's
"The story is told about a group of tourists in Israel who had been informed by their Israeli tour guide, after observing a flock and their shepherd, that shepherds always lead their flocks from the front. He told his attentive listeners that they never “drive” the sheep from behind.
A short time later they drove past a flock along the road where the shepherd was walking behind them. The tourists quickly called this to their guide’s attention and he stopped the bus to step out and have a word with the “shepherd.”
As he boarded the bus he had a sheepish grin on his face and announced to his eager listeners, “that wasn’t the shepherd, that was the butcher!"