Wednesday, July 9, 2014

On the Preacher.




"Fling him into his office. Tear the "Office" sign from the door and nail on the sign, "Study." Take him off the mailing list. Lock him up with his books and his typewriter and his Bible. Slam him down on his knees before texts and broken hearts and the flock of lives of a superficial flock and a holy God.
Force him to be the one man in our surfeited communities who knows about God. Throw him into the ring to box with God until he learns how short his arms are. Engage him to wrestle with God all the night through. And let him come out only when he's bruised and beaten into being a blessing.
Shut his mouth forever spouting remarks, and stop his tongue forever tripping lightly over every nonessential. Require him to have something to say before he dares break the silence. Bend his knees in the lonesome valley.
Burn his eyes with weary study. Wreck his emotional poise with worry for God. And make him exchange his pious stance for a humble walk with God and man. Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Rip out his telephone. Burn up his ecclesiastical success sheets.
Put water in his gas tank. Give him a Bible and tie him to the pulpit. And make him preach the Word of the living God!
Test him. Quiz him. Examine him. Humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine. Shame him for his good comprehension of finances, batting averages, and political in-fighting. Laugh at his frustrated effort to play psychiatrist. Form a choir and raise a chant and haunt him with it night and day-"Sir, we would see Jesus."
When at long last he dares assay the pulpit, ask him if he has a word from God. If he does not, then dismiss him. Tell him you can read the morning paper and digest the television commentaries, and think through the day's superficial problems, and manage the community's weary drives, and bless the sordid baked potatoes and green beans, ad infinitum, better than he can.
Command him not to come back until he's read and reread, written and rewritten, until he can stand up, worn and forlorn, and say, "Thus saith the Lord."
Break him across the board of his ill-gotten popularity. Smack him hard with his own prestige. Corner him with questions about God. Cover him with demands for celestial wisdom. And give him no escape until he's back against the wall of the Word.
And sit down before him and listen to the only word he has left-God's Word. Let him be totally ignorant of the down-street gossip, but give him a chapter and order him to walk around it, camp on it, sup with it, and come at last to speak it backward and forward, until all he says about it rings with the truth of eternity.
And when he's burned out by the flaming Word, when he's consumed at last by the fiery grace blazing through him, and when he's privileged to translate the truth of God to man, finally transferred from earth to heaven, then bear him away gently and blow a muted trumpet and lay him down softly. Place a two-edged sword in his coffin, and raise the tomb triumphant. For he was a brave soldier of the Word. And ere he died, he had become a man of God."
-John McArthur Jr. on the Preacher of the Word.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Own Soul.






"I have never dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul."

-Imam al-Gahzali





Monday, July 7, 2014

The Ministry of the Word.






"One part of our work, and that the most excellent, because it tendeth to work on many, is the public preaching of the word - a work that requireth greater skill, and especially greater life and zeal, than any of us bring to it. It is no small matter to stand up in the face of the congregation, and deliver a message of salvation or damnation, as from the living God, in the name of our Redeemer. It is no easy matter to speak so plain, that the ignorant may understand us; and so seriously, that the deadest heart may feel us; and so convincingly, that the contradicting cavillers may be silenced." 

- Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor






Sunday, June 29, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Prayer to be Small Ones.


You are the God of that land we have not seen,
and the God of this one we can.
You are the Maker of every square inch,
those we have discovered and those we never will.
You are the God of history, of ages, outside of time,
and it was Your imagination that crafted seconds, years, and light-years.
You are the weaver of the Milky Way, fitting together the stars
with fingers of harmony and sovereignty.

And we have utterly forgotten.

We have misnamed my demands, “prayer requests”
and have neutered their decietful ruse.
We call on Your name and demand Your attention,
and grumble when we cannot feel You near.

We would like to imagine You with a chair at the table,
a seat on our couch,
a guest in our home.
But our invitations betray our own thoughts of self –
that we could contain You, host You, entertain You;
that our lives could preoccupy this Great One.

And yet…

You are the God of the bended ear,
including Your Divine Self in our effable world.
Whilst You spin the planets, we spin ours
In perpetual self-seeking, self-building,
and still You make our bodies Your dwelling place.

Great God of the heavens, we are frail.
We have fragile faith and even faultier faithfulness.
We have learned the language of self-reliance,
and we cannot seem to quit.

We demand You provide,
we barter our trust,
and our faith wobbles and falls
like a toddler’s top.

And yet…

We ask that You would come.
because only You can remake us into people of faith.
Only You can lift our gaze to see how very small we are.
Only You can reach down from Your lofty perspective
and give us the sight to see our Great need.
Only You can give us grace enough 
to be the small ones we are.

So, bend to us now.
Remind us.
Humble us.
Teach us.

Until our faith is
as Your sight.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014












"Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate. 

W.H. Auden