I’ve always been a bit fascinated with fear. When I was little, when the mildest frights could send me running, I still looked forward to October and to Halloween, the decorations, the costumes, and the spooky movies on the Disney channel each captivating my interest. In literature, I loved reading Edgar Allan Poe with his mastery of the macabre. Even in Batman cartoons and video games, I found myself enjoying the stories with Scarecrow more than the stories with many of the other villains. Fear, in a way, has been a lifelong interest. Continue reading
Sometimes, we don’t realize how much God has worked in our lives until we reflect over a period of time. Last night, I pulled out my journals and looked at my journey through the notes I kept. Between that and some general reflection, here are some lessons I learned in 2016. Continue reading
God, guide your Word like a sword for my reckoning,
Wrecking all hopes in my heart for this waste.
Cut to the quick for the purpose of quickening
Works of your Spirit to sever the sickening
Sludge that I sought in my haste.
Clauses like claws are accustomed to scratch away
Any remainder of wretchedness here.
Tear away sin and, in so doing, tear a way
Through the commotion that coaxes my heart astray
Till I have learned how to fear.
Let ev’ry phrase of your holy book break my heart
For ev’ry way I dishonor your name.
Never relent; pierce my soul from the very start
Till I reflect your resplendence with ev’ry part,
Living as proof of your claim.
Have you ever been humbled by the grace of God?
Last night, as I was on my way to grab some food before watching The Walking Dead finale with my roommates, I found myself getting frustrated at traffic. I kept looking at the clock in the car, wondering whether I’d be able to make it through the Taco Bell line in time to see the opening scene of the episode. I don’t like being late, and I really don’t like missing any part of a story, so I let myself inwardly grumble about every little thing that could possibly delay my arrival back at the apartment. Simply put, I was being a selfish punk. And yet, I didn’t have any reason to be frustrated. Most of the traffic lights were green on my way back, including those that seem to always stop me, and the traffic wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I managed to walk into the apartment just as the show was beginning. As I drove, God seemed to make it clear that he was working things out for me, even though I was being selfish about the whole situation. He was showing me grace in the very moment that I knew I didn’t deserve it. Continue reading
Shortly after I started leading Bible studies, I grew a strange desire to buy a sword. I knew of a little shop in a mall about an hour away from the university that sold all manner of blades, so, one day, when I had sufficient funds, I made the trek and purchased an epic battle sword. Sadly, it wasn’t sharpened (which is probably for the best), but it still fit the bill: full scale, heavy metal, and awesome. Between this and another sword I was given in college, I felt much more prepared for war, though I wasn’t swinging either blade against the enemy.
How can I comfort those who mourn
Unless I learn to mourn myself?
For fellowship with those forlorn,
I must be taken from the shelf.
For there I sat so safe and calm,
But there I also gathered dust.
If this, my life, would be a balm,
Then I must learn that God is just
Not just in times of peace and rest,
But in my sorrow, sickness, strife.
If I would follow heaven’s best,
I will not have an easy life.
But through my broken heart, he speaks,
And through my suff’ring, Christ is seen.
If soon, with death, my body reeks,
My soul, by grace through faith, is clean.
So why would I avoid the pain
If, through the turmoil, faith is grown?
The struggle leads to priceless gain
As man’s despair is overthrown.
All things do work together for
The good of those He called in love,
And though we walk the road of war,
God reigns in sov’reignty above.
What do you do when you realize that your love for God is sub-par at best? How do you respond when you feel like you’ve forgotten how to pray? What steps do you take when you recognize a deficiency in your walk with the Lord, but you don’t know how to fix the problem?
I probably like a good journal and pen a bit too much. I get excited about stationery and fine paper. And when my friends want to walk around a massive mall and take in the sights, my first stop is the store with the really expensive writing utensils. Call me crazy, but there’s something about the feel of a good pen on fine paper that stirs my affections for the Lord.
I’ve learned to thank God for air conditioning after living my entire life in Louisiana. I’ve especially recognized how much of a blessing it is after it went out in the car a few weeks ago.
The scalpel in my Father’s hand
Doth fill my soul with hope and dread:
Hope for the good that he hath planned;
Dread for the loss of what is dead.
Afflicted with a fearful faith,
The foreign and familiar fused-
The actions of the holy wraith
Obscured by actions unexcused.
Yet I am not accused by God,
Despite the sins I still commit.
I fall before the meas’ring rod,
But, by his grace, he doth remit.
His right hand of omnipotence
No longer waits with wrath for me:
The God-man, breathing holiness,
Bore holes and wrath upon the tree.
Now he upholds with righteous arm
The souls now saved from Sodom’s fate.
He works his purpose through each harm
As for his work we watch and wait.
So banish now these fleshly fears
And fear the holy God most high.
His work, though wrought with many tears,
Brings life to man though man may die.