10/27/10

God's People


Child with the downcast eyes
what's all this sighing for?
Don't get so caught up in the battle
that you forget we've won the war!
You know these are principalities
the powers of darkness and sin
They're huge and they're scary
but don't you forget who's the King!
What silly little children who stand
shaking their heads at the mountain
they won't touch the shovel
just sigh and shrug "that's that, then"
Do you know that's the sun that you're holding,
there in the palm of your hand?
Why you haven't melted away long ago
that's what I don't understand.


10/21/10

We Are A Broken People

We are a broken people.
But we do everything in our power to forget it.
We are dead men walking.
So we redefine life.
We are drowning in pain.
We pretend there's no such thing.
We are hollow empty shells.
We paste yellow smileys over our soul-screams and tell each other we're loving it.
The soft, piercing notes of hope break into the clouds of death
We put our fingers into our ears and sing loud "la-la-la"s to block it out.
We are an incredibly stupid bunch.
Thank God,
There is a Redeemer!
He pursues
He hunts us down
He shatters the bars of death
He wakes us and breathes sunshine into our rotted lungs
We are alive for the first time
Captured and rebirthed by Healing
We open our blind eyes
We live, and our heart begins to beat out the song it was created to sing.

10/19/10

Prayer For Our Youth Group

Well that was the occasion at least, it applies to all of us probably. Not the greatest but I wanted to post something anyway =)

Father,
Free us from the dungeon
of thinking we know it all
our proud swelled heads are top heavy so we fall
Please stop us from finding
false strength deep inside
May Your wings over us
be the strength that we find
Please let us see the
emptiness that's in us
Show us our blindness
Lord we are only dust
Show us our need
make us soft, make us seek
Our appetite for You
is abominably weak
Teach us to listen
open our blind eyes
Make us parched with the thirst
that is fully satisfied.
Amen.

10/13/10

WHY ARE ALL THE MEN ASLEEP?

So I was sitting in church the other week listening to an excellent sermon about the Thessalonians and the Church. As I listened I got more and more excited. I was thinking ‘wow, if we get a hold of this, this will change us forever.’ I glanced around to see if anyone else seemed to be getting this too. Maybe people were getting it but I will never know because there were four men sitting there with their eyes closed. Maybe they were meditating deeply. Ha, ha. Maybe they had a really late night or something. I don’t know. (Though I do know that the pastor had about two or three hours of sleep that night). The effect this sermon had on me was, I think, rather different than what the pastor had in mind originally.

Do you identify with me? Have you had this happen? Do you know how totally discouraging it is to catch a glimpse of a vision of what our churches could be and then be rudely reminded that a lot of the key people in this could care less?

If you know who these guys are don’t say anything please, I didn’t mean this to embarrass them. This is not about them. This is merely symbolic of what is, spiritually, happening in a lot of our reformed churches. There has been talk lately among the youth of what it means to be men and women of the church, what is happening to leadership, and what we need to be doing.

I just wanted to throw a few thoughts out there, share some things that have been discussed, and ask,

Why are all the men asleep?


Brothers. Sisters.

We need leaders. We need MEN. The world has redefined “manhood” into spineless buffoons. Why is it in the media that it’s always the father who’s the incompetent fool played for laughs and the mother who holds the family together? Is equal rights what we think it is? Where are we getting our ideas of what is desirable and good and satisfying?

Men and women were created good. Adam and Eve were not genderless until the fall. What does that mean? It means that God had a beautiful plan that was manhood and womanhood. Adam was created first. Adam was given special responsibilities. Adam was the one given the job of naming the animals – not because God’s creative resources were exhausted, but because it was symbolic of Adam’s ownership or headship over them. He did the same with Eve. It was not until Adam ate of the fruit that the eyes of the two were opened and they knew that they had sinned.

It is because of the curse that it is now a struggle for man to provide for his family, Genesis 3: “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”

And that the woman is not satisfied with her role of submission “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”


I would venture that a huge part of why the men are asleep is because the women don’t understand what an active and powerful role submission is. The men are very very slow to lead if they are not being affirmed, supported and followed in their role. Girls, when we see weak leadership our immediate reaction is often to shove our elbow in and take over, to say “This is how it should be done”. This is exactly what Genesis 3:16 is talking about. I watched a movie called “Not Easily Broken” not too long ago, a movie that I would recommend for girls, personally I don’t think I’d recommend it for guys. But the main character said something that I thought was dead on.

Down through history, men have always been measured by how hard they worked and cultivated; how well they protected their wife and children. In the old days, woman saw their men as conquerors, providers, heroes. But somewhere along the line that changed, woman started to became their own heroes. Maybe it was because their man forgot to be reliable or because women didn’t want to be protected anymore or maybe woman had to be their own hero because of the pain they had to endure in life. But whatever the cause, the world took away a man’s reason for being a man. It told him he wasn’t important anymore and when that happened, it turned the whole world upside down.”


Sisters.

We need women who are supporters and encouragers. Women who have a quiet heart, who embrace their femininity as a beautiful and sacred calling, women who find their identity and security not in looks or skills or people but in who they are to and for their Savior (check out 1 Peter 3:5-6!), women who do not need to be in the limelight all the time but find joy in serving like their Savior did, in working behind the scenes and looking for their reward from their Lord. We need level-headed women who will be a refuge for their husband, who will be able to affirm him in his times of insecurity and point him back to the Lord. I don’t know if we are preparing for this very well. How trustworthy am I? Would my friends be able to trust that I will keep in confidence what they have confided in me? Gossip is the very opposite of our calling girls!


Brothers.

“If you a player out there, sit your tail down somewhere and grow up.” (quote by Sho Baraka) Please, the church is in desperate need of leaders. The world is in desperate need of fathers and faithful husbands and protectors. There are so many little ones growing up without men in their lives. They don’t know what a father’s love is. They don’t know what it’s like to be protected. I know some of them personally and they have broken my heart. The worst part is that when these little boys are older they will be their fathers that don’t know that they are fathers, or the fathers who only see their kids once or twice because they’re sitting in prison, unless Spirit breaks through the death cycle. They don’t know what growing up means. Do you?


Marriage and the role of man and woman is the clearest picture and example we have of Christ and the Church in this world. What we need to understand is that because of this it is one of the things that Satan abhors. He absolutely hates Christ-centered marriages. This means he will do everything he can to destroy the Biblical concept of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.

We need to fight back!! There are three practical ways we can do this that I can think of:


We need to encourage each other in our attempts to model what is pleasing to God. This could be going out of our way to make opportunities for each other to practice our roles, expressing thanks for each others strengths and less criticism of the weaknesses, sometimes rebuking each other IN LOVE for our failure to care (if you can’t do it in love please refrain or find someone else who can do it in love for you).


We need to obey Titus 2:1-8:

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you."

This is a lifestyle of discipleship. Both men and women should seek to build relationships with older and younger people, to be involved in each others’ lives to learn from each other, especially to learn from the wisdom of their elders and to train up the younger. (You will definitely learn from younger people as well though!) Don’t wait until later to look for opportunities to do this – I am pretty sure from Titus that this is supposed to be a lifestyle thing. It will make it easier to start early!


We also need to fight for our femininity and masculinity regardless of those around us. Guys, if the girls around you are annoyed when you treat them like women DON’T STOP! I’ve said it before but we will need to fight for our roles, and sometimes it may seem like we’re fighting against the opposite sex. Don’t forget – you aren’t called to be men just for the women's sake, and you aren’t called to be women just for the men’s sake. You are called to be a man or a woman because it is who God has created you to be FOR HIS GLORY.


One last thing. We will fail, many many times. We already have. But this is worth fighting for. Be encouraged – your failures have been washed away with blood. You are forgiven. We cannot do this in our own strength. (Period!) It’s all grace. Our God is worthy of all praise!





---check out:

This Momentary Marriage by John Piper

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/the-beautiful-faith-of-fearless-submission

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/single-in-christ-a-name-better-than-sons-and-daughters

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/series-index/marriage-christ-and-covenant-one-flesh-for-the-glory-of-god

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbQT38eY4NI (Boys!! Song by Sho Baraka)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRK7VLTTrZQ (We Could Be More song by Sho Baraka)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnN2PrIQijw (clip made about a book called “Church Planter”)---

10/8/10

Defined

I was tutoring Josh (creative writing) today, when I came across an exercise in one of my notebooks from when I was in South Dakota. I used to tutor a couple girls in the school there, and one of the things I do is come up with random little exercises to warm up before we work on writing. One day I asked one of the girls to define a few different terms in her own words. Here are two of them:

Happiness - when you do something good instead of bad.

Pain - something that always stays with you and never goes away.
I wonder what my brother Josh's definitions would be.  The girl from South Dakota lives in a place that's full of poverty, darkness, oppression and hopelessness. Josh is a year or two older (this girl was in grade seven, Josh is now in grade nine) and he's growing up in a home that is filled with peace, hope and joy. But my friend from the Rez hit the nail very close to the head. I hope one day I will be with her in the only place where pain will finally go away for good.

10/5/10

we are weary soldiers

I do not mean for this to sound like I believe myself to be experienced, wise, dramatic, or to have anything figured out. I do not and am not (except perhaps the dramatic part, at least sometimes). I do feel the small things I have been through deeply, and I wrote this in sincerity I think.




My eyes are bloodshot with tears
I have looked and seen sin.

My feet are caked with dirt and blood
from the places I have walked.

My arms are heavy from reaching
unsuccessfully so far.

My head aches with the echoes
of the voices in my dreams.

My shoulder scars are a little numb
where the claws of sin went in.

My hands are shaky
from holding on

My heart, well it's still bleeding
I don't know how long it takes for letting go to heal.

But I just got a much-needed reminder:

One day I will see my Savior
face to face
every tear will be wiped away.
Rev. 21:4

My Savior's in the foot-washing business.
John 13:5

Underneath me are everlasting arms.
Deut. 33:27

Some day His songs will forever ring in my head
and I will understand all that I need to understand.
Rev. 14:3

His yoke is easy,
and His burden is light.
Matt. 11:30

He holds me in the palm of His hand,
and He will never let me go.
Isa. 49:16, Rom. 8:35-39

My heart was made for Him.
He came to bind up the brokenhearted.
Isa.61:1-3, 43:21

One day, the Healer will be the only one with scars.

10/1/10

Night With No Moon


Night with no moon
will you sing me some praises
tell me Who sees
through the blindness of night
speak soft the deafening words
of His promise
the Dayspring, the Sun,
the giver of Light

Night with no moon
oh sing to me sweetly
we need Gilead's balm
for our bruised bloody souls
open our ears Lord
and teach us to listen
Trust may remind
frozen tears how to flow.

Night with no moon
I am here, I am listening
here in the stillness I'm
desperate for hope
Tell me the story
we both know so clearly
I won't drop the lamp we need
for this dark road

Night with no moon
please rebuke me and scold me
I know day will come
yet I gave up the fight
Night with no moon,
just once more sing it softly
and lull me to sleep
with my sword at my side.


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Sometimes I am melodramatic... Bear with me. My favorite thing is finding hope in hard places. If you enjoyed something (or not) I would love to hear from you! You can make me very happy by leaving a comment :)

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