Thursday, August 3, 2017

to my listening ears

"This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres...

This is my Father's world,
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere."

Malthie Babcock

What was Babcock's 'music of the spheres?' It was an ancient observation that the mathematical harmony and proportions of the universe- the dance of the celestial bodies like the planets, moon and sun- is so orderly and beautiful that it is like a song, each natural law an instrument in a symphony of creation all playing to the glory of God. 

And for my friends for whom the beginning of August has been and will always be difficult because it's a reminder of loss and what's been broken, here is the beauty that comforts:

"This is my Father's world:
Oh let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world,
The battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav'n be one."

Monday, July 31, 2017

don't give up the ship

When life's storms come in wave after wave after wave of loss and stress, family life can kind of seem like navigating open water with an unlikely crew working together to keep going, despite having gotten knocked around and beaten up.  You've even lost a few captains, so who takes command of the ship?  What's a crew member to do?  Do you go port or starboard, bow or stern or maybe you should just abandon ship?  Those clouds look pretty ominous over there, after all.

Really, those are your choices when it gets hard:  adjust or abandon ship.

We recently went to see Christopher Nolan's masterpiece of a movie, Dunkirk which chronicles the miraculous rescue of hundreds of thousands of British troops during the eponymous WWII battle.    Owen Strachan's review on The Center for Public Theology's blog aptly notes, "Perhaps Nolan, in studying men afresh, gave us this fleeting shot to remind us of our task.  All around us, young men flail and struggle... But they are not alone.  We must stand fast; we dare not leave the wall.  Our battles are within and without, from outside our homes, but also inside them."

Of course, I don't mean to be dramatic or insinuate that our struggles equal that of the British soldiers on the shores of Dunkirk, France in 1940.  But life in family and community in 2017 still has its struggles and we must press on, waging war on the unseen forces that try to rip apart the grace laden glue that holds us together, that keeps our ship afloat.

We must not give up the ship, but keep our eyes fixed on the Lighthouse that guides us home and stay the course... together.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No Waste

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."
―John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

a letter written

Just three unassuming letters:  VBS.   It's quiet and under-the-radar kingdom work, but isn't that how all kingdom work is?  Unnoticed by the world, yet absolutely world-changing.  I've witnessed all kinds of kids at all kinds of Vacation Bible Schools and summer camps and I can't help but place hope in what God is doing among this generation to come.  It's not nothing. It's big work in lots of hearts.  I am encouraged to witness it. 

"The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you." 2 Corinthians 3:2

"Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.' Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:37-38

And God, grant great strength and grace for the your faithful workforce.  Amen. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

joy unchecked, a prayer

 For this hallowed spot of earth and the friends who share it with us

For our brotherhood solid and enduring 

For the all dirt and water and light itself, an exhilarating exilir

For childhood joy unchecked

For the freedom to live banded together as a family of Jesus disciples

Thank You, thank You, thank You, thank You, thank You

May we live gratitude and grace and joy, as the light You've called us to be.


Friday, June 30, 2017

like mother, like daughter

 She is fearfully and wonderfully made.

She is fearfully and wonderfully made. 

She will do beautiful and hard things for love. 


 She has done beautiful and hard things for love.  

She is aptly named Joy. 


She is aptly named Joy.   

 She has an incredible story of God's faithfulness in her life.  

She has an incredible story of God's faithfulness in her life.  

 She is loved beyond measure. 

She is loved beyond measure.  

Like mother, like daughter. 

Friday, June 23, 2017