Fear and Faith

(Photo cred: Jeremy Poe)

My final destination is secured;
Tis fixed within my future by the pow’r
Sustaining all creation ev’ry hour.
And yet the days ahead appear obscured.
By pages and by principles applied,
May I perchance perceive the Father’s plan
(And thus pursue the path by strength of man
And live a life untested and untried)?
No. Faith is forged by following in fear,
Uncertain of the details of the road
Yet certain of the Master’s love and might.
Help me then, Lord, to listen and to hear.
Let me abide in thee in this abode
And learn to walk by faith and not by sight. 

A Prayer (As I Learn to Walk)

 
Deepen my convictions, Lord of heaven and of hell.
Quench my thirst with living water from the one, true well.
Let not my devotion be a mere religious act.
Let me learn to love you as a person, more than fact.
Tether me, O Trinity, to truth as unto air.
Marry truth to holiness and make my dwelling there.
Purge me of impurity, from all unrighteousness.
Privatize my worship. Let me work to serve, to bless.
Capture my imagination, my creator God.
Cultivate a true commitment kept by law and rod.
Let my life, in ev’ry aspect, be as unto thee
As I learn to walk with you for all eternity. 

Grieving Well

Pain is not without its purpose.
Tragedy still points to truth.
Terror may seem to usurp us,
Yet our God is not uncouth.
He, in sov’reignty, is moving.
Evil cannot halt his will.
Through the darkness, he is proving
Faithful. Let us then be still.
Nothing from his gaze is hidden.
He will never fail nor tire.
Evils come to us unbidden;
Evil will one day expire.
Suffer well, O worn believer.
See the larger plan unfold.
Trust the Father, blessed receiver.
He is purging you like gold. 

Image

Make me more like you and less like me.
Or rather, make me more the me
That you created me to be.
Help me, when I look at me, to see
The image of your son whose blood
Was shed to set this captive free.
He, the perfect paragon, oh he
Has overcome the curse of death,
Has brought to man a saving breath.
No one else can satisfy but thee.
You call to us with holy roar.
We worship you forevermore.

On Service

On Service.jpg

Matt Chandler, a pastor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, once imitated Mark Driscoll, another pastor, to illustrate Paul’s charge to Timothy to “fulfill your ministry” in 2 Timothy 4:5. In the video, Chandler shows that simply copying a popular pastor’s style of teaching will not make one’s preaching powerful. Instead, each one must do as the verse says and fulfill his own ministry, carrying out the work God assigned him to do. Though short, the video stuck with me, reminding me to fulfill the ministry to which God has called me and to avoid unwise comparison and copying in the work. Continue reading

Influences

And thank you, Mister Lewis.
As I above your pages blink,
Your words encourage me to think,
To follow you right to the brink
Where truth can pierce right through us.
Yes, thank you, Mister Lewis.

And thank you, Mister Tolkien,
For he who finds you on these shelves
Will soon encounter orcs and elves.
Still my imagination delves
Into your stories so keen.
Yes, thank you, Mister Tolkien.

And thank you, Edgar Allan,
For books that bear the mark of Poe,
Though oft macabre, still serve to show
A master’s mixture: beauty, woe.
I feel the raven’s talon.
Yes, thank you, Edgar Allan.

And thank you, Mister Shakespeare.
Iambic pentameter tells
Your tales, and each with grandeur swells.
Of deaths and weddings, blood and bells,
You speak, and I lend my ear.
Yes, thank you, Mister Shakespeare. 

Insecurity

Insecurity.jpg

The mini-fridge in the hotel room made a sound like a Geiger-counter in Chernobyl. That strange detail stood out to me as I tried to fall asleep in Pocahontas, Arkansas; that, and insecurity. I was preparing to represent my school at a college seminary day, and I kept wondering if I’d be able to answer student questions, if I’d be overdressed (or underdressed), if I’d do a good job. The event went well, and I had some great conversations with prospective students. Still, in the back of my mind, insecurity loomed, evaluating everything I did. Continue reading