Friday, February 20, 2009


John 12.

Verse 6: He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief....

Verse 19: So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!"

Verse 43: ...they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

Taking what is given to us and perverting, misusing, 
Wanting more, stealing what isn't ours.
We place value on worldly things, toss away what should be a cherished gift. 
We miss the big picture and focus on our own agenda. 

Mary poured out her expensive perfume on feet. 
Christ poured out his blood for sinners. 


Thursday, February 19, 2009


In John 12, Jesus is anointed by Mary, she's criticized by Judas, Jesus redirects the discussion back to the focus, which it is where it should be. Mary had a jar of perfume, Judas had a pouch of money and both were being poured out, yet for very different purposes. After the triumphal entry with it's palm tree branches, Jesus himself is being poured out at Golgotha. And with that sacrifice, the Son of Man draws all men to himself.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Genesis Gravity

This all holy gravity –
Draws us ever upward, onward,
To a deeper light, that we may walk in it
As He is and does.
As a seed dies to produce many others,
Light goes out forever,
Through the creases of time
Never ceasing its journey to
New eyes and ears and tongues and hearts,
For light waves cannot be stopped
Unless blocked and
Nothing can block the rock.
If we walk there, in deepest light
With Him,
We too will shine,
For His glory will be on us and
None shall veil our faces,
For we fear not this blessing.
No longer is death required
For the greatest debt has been paid in full and interest.
Gravity pulls us upward –
Anti-gravity to draw us from the earth –
For, in all His holy, radiant light,
He extends, radiant, perfect and holy,
Radiating out
In unending spirals to cradle, comfort and
Lift high.
All power
Emanating outward
Serves only to magnetize
The streams of light
To draw all back
To the genesis.

“Walk in the light, as He is in the light” –1 John 1:7
“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” -John 12:02
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” –John 12:24
The Radiant Face of Moses –Exodus 34:29-35

God is Love

The creation of man boggles me. How could any one come up with the idea of how to make us work? How could any one being come up with a concept that complex? The theme in chapel this semester is "I believe because”. I believe because random combinations could never come up with something this intense, this complex, this complete. I believe because I’ve been blessed with a creativity that defies my imagination. I believe because this world, this existence, this reality is something so thoroughly crafted, so carefully and intricately designed so that it fits together just right.

God put so much time and effort into each and every one of us. He knew each step we would have to take and shaped our feet to match the footprints we’d leave behind us. He crafted our shadows so that they would never grow too long, nor would they ever be too short. He gifted us with individual thoughts, a mind of our own that allows us to decide for ourselves whether we should follow Him or not, or if we even think He exists.

And there is where I find my proof. I believe because I have seen God’s love.
This is love: Knowing when to let go.
God created us in love, longing for relationships, and then released us to make our own choices, even though He knew the destruction we would bring on ourselves. He stood by and let us make our mistakes, and when we're looking for a helping hand so that we can stand back up, He's there waiting, loving us always and longing to heal.

God loves me and He gave me a way to reach other people. He blessed me with a talent for writing and for music. I’m so undeserving of these gifts and I’ve misused them in the past but I see now that even in misuse, God can be glorified.

Music is an amazing creation, which I all too often take for granted. It’s a daily part of my life. There’s almost always music playing in my room and I’m in choir every weekday. I sing in church on Sundays and when I’m hanging out with people on Saturdays, there’s always music involved. I love music and I love God so putting the two together is like some sort of special treat that I feel honored to receive. Even when it expresses the darkest emotion, music is just amazing and awesome because of how wonderfully it affects us, how something as simple as sound can impact us so powerfully.

Words, too, are startlingly powerful. Words are capable of turning someone’s life upside down or healing the deepest wounds. With a word, you can mend broken homes and stop a war from happening. I might be a writer of fiction, but the power of writing is still apparent in the genre. In my head, there are dozens of characters all chattering away, sometimes louder than my friend sitting next to me. I know their stories, I know their lives and their struggles and their joys and their pain. The idea that God entrusted me with these ideas, these people, so that I can help others and show them something true and right and powerful is overwhelming.

God is love. Love is God. When you love someone, you’re showing them God. So stop reading this and go love some people for me. Go love people for God. What are you waiting for?

“If music be the food of love, play on…” –Duke Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

A writer's creed:
"Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true." -Ecclesiastes 12:9-10

Our Foolishness

In all foolishness,
We have hardened
Our hearts till they
Are as flint,
When the snare
Is already broken.
We have chosen
Not to escape.

Allusions, references, quotes and paraphrases from 1 Cor. 1:18-31, Zech. 7:7-12 and Psalm 124:7.

Who Has Listened to His Message? - Feb 18 class

This week's song is a response to John 12:38-40: " . . . so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

'Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arms of the Lord been revealed?'

Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

'He has blinded their eyes,
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.'"


Famous words, but so sad. The "blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart" is always a difficult thing to deal with. But, I see it kind of this way: when people are doing wrong and are confronted by what is right, the human tendency is to justify themselves and reject the advice they are given. It's often been that way with my kids, sometimes just me being "for" some idea is enough that they will automatically be "against" it. Many times if they would take my advice, live would have gone much easier for them.

So the very nature of Jesus, the "rightness" of it was enough to make many of the people and Jewish leaders reject him, blinded and hardened by their desire to justify themselves.

Here are the lyrics for this week:

Who has listened to his message?
Who has seen his hand?
Who has turned to him for refuge
In this weary land?
From a world that is steeped in sin
He calls us out, he invites us in.
But who has listened to his message?
Who has seen his hand?

Blinded eyes that will not see,
Don't you want to be set free?
Troubled heart as hard as stone,
Open up, he calls you home.
Turn to him, release your soul
In his arms you'll be made whole but
Who has listened to his message?
Who has seen his hand?

The Good Shepherd--Feb 11 class

I focused on John 10:1-6, where Jesus tell us: ". . . But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." (Jn 10:2-5, ESV)

We have often been compared with sheep, which is not all that complimentary since sheep aren't too bright. But it struck me in reading the passage this time, that sheep are smarter than us in this sense: they will follow the voice of their master and flee from others. Too often in this world I hear all the other "voices," getting distracted from my purpose in life, and forget to listen for the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Like a sheep I'm lost and wandering,
In a world of noise and strife.
Piercing through the mass confusion
Comes the Shepherd's words of life:
"Hear my voice and follow, follow,
In my fold you will be free.
Hear my voice and follow, follow,
Hear my voice and come to me."

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Flock, One Shepherd, One Man

John chapters 10 and 11 bring up and interesting parallel. At the beginning of chapter 10, Jesus is talking about the good shepherd as one who really cares for the flock. In fact he lays down his life for the sheep--and they know it. They recognize it and will come to no one else. The end of chapter 11 has the high priest Caiaphas prophesying about Jesus' death and its effects on spreading the Kingdom of God. Caiaphas' intent was that Jesus' sacrifice would appease the Roman government and keep the Jews from incurring the wrath of breaking Roman peace by following Jesus. Jesus had spoken about false shepherds in chapter 10. The high priest of the Jews was supposed to be a shepherd of the flock, yet he was willing to run when times got tough. Jesus did indeed die and through his death, he brought salvation to not only the Jews but to believing people from all over the world. I'm one of those sheep. Halelujah.

Who Is He, Sir?

In John 9, Jesus heals a man born blind. You'd think that would have been great news--at least the blind man thought so. If you read the chapter closely, everyone besides Jesus and the blind man had a negative angle on the event. The disciples asked who sinned that he was born blind. The rulers of the synagogue couldn't think of anything good to say about the miracle. Even the man's parents were more afraid of the synagogue leaders than they were in love with their son. They basically turned their back on him in front of the "influential" people. After arguing with the synagogue rulers, the man was thrown out. I guess he just wandered around a while in disbelief that this great miracle that changed his life was so easily tossed aside by others. That is until Jesus came up behind him and asked him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" What else could the man believe in? The world had rejected him. His parents rejected him. But God's own son sought him out and welcomed him. "Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may believe in him."