Carry us, O sabbath Lord, when sabbath days are awful few. O help us rest, and rest assured, in sabbath’s story, long and true. That seventh day, from heaven’s throne, you looked upon a world made. Your restful satisfaction shone o’er heav’n and earth, in joy surveyed. From Sinai’s thundering mount you gave a law … More Carry Us to Sabbath
I am the resurrection and the life. —Jesus of Nazareth From all appearances, Jesus arrived too late. Far too late. And not fashionably, stylishly late, but wrongfully, neglectfully late. His friend Lazarus had been sick—critical condition—and Jesus waited. He didn’t rush to Bethany, like a real friend would’ve done. He didn’t come right away, like … More The Resurrection and the Life: Lazarus, Harvey, and the Love of Jesus
The words we threw around today, the curses and the blessings both, Were not a verbal game to play— a trifled breath, an empty oath. Instead, life’s current carries now the poisons we released so free; The fire careless words allow, consuming us from sea to sea. We know not how the cost will rise, … More Let Words Be Few
Last night I went for a walk along the bayou near our street, trying to decompress and straighten out my mind. There, in the humid twilight of a Houston summer night, I found myself in a familiar place: struggling to pray. It’s not that there’s too little to pray about; if anything, there’s too much. … More When You Don’t Have a Prayer
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. — Hebrews 1:1-2 Holy Father, Your word is light — let it rise, let it shine, let it show. Your word is health — let … More A Preacher’s Prayer
How much does it hurt when someone slanders you? How long does it stay with you when someone shares negative things about you with others? How deep does it go when someone slices into your reputation with twisted words you know don’t represent the truth? Slander is serious business. It poisons hearts and fractures friendships. … More Five Slippery Steps toward Slander
If you want to begin memorizing Scripture, how should you decide where to start? A student asked this question yesterday in Spiritual Life Dynamics. After some class discussion, here were my three basic recommendations. 1. Scripture you love. Hunger is the best spice. If you want to start memorizing, it may be wise to start … More ASKED: How should I decide what to memorize?
Holy Father, When I ponder the world, the church, and especially my own life, I am astonished at your patience. Your long-suffering is beyond comprehension. We, your church, stand in loving amazement at your united patience as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Loving Father, you patiently chose us, patiently made us, patiently redeemed us, and … More A Prayer for Patience
Here’s the fourth installment of my ongoing series of quotes from Dr. John Hannah of Dallas Seminary. The context of each quote is in bold, and it’s helpful to keep in mind that each statement was made in a specific educational context with its free-flowing atmosphere. It’s also helpful to keep in mind that Dr. … More Wit and Wisdom from John Hannah Revisited (4)
What happens when you combine one of the best minds the Christian church has ever known (Jonathan Edwards) with one of the most quotable professors I’ve ever encountered? A cascade of wit and wisdom like what you’ll find below. Quotes from Wednesday’s Class Theological controversies: If you don’t define terms agreeably before a controversy, you’ll just … More Wit and Wisdom from John Hannah Revisited (3)
I’m continuing to share penetrating quotes from Dr. John Hannah’s class on Jonathan Edwards, one of the most memorable classes I ever took. Quotes from Tuesday’s Class Reading the Bible: The first book you need is a Bible. I recommend reading it. Many don’t. They study it. I’ve been at seminary for 38 years, and the … More Wit and Wisdom from John Hannah Revisited (2)
Ten years ago I took a one-week class on Jonathan Edwards from Dallas Seminary professor John Hannah. It still ranks as one of my most memorable academic experiences. In the weeks that followed, I posted a bevy of wise and witty quotes that cascaded from Dr. Hannah’s teaching. Now after ten years, I’m re-posting those quotes, … More Wit and Wisdom from John Hannah Revisited (1)
Have you ever started watching a movie late at night, on a whim, only to have your better reason kick in and exchange the entertainment for a better night’s sleep? Or walked into a theater five minutes late and missed the opening scenes of a film? Or watched only bits and pieces of a documentary … More Reading for the Story: An Invitation to Read Large Portions of Scripture
In the Hebrew Bible, animals mean something. Adam names the animals brought to him by God, demonstrating his God-given authority to order the unordered creation, all for creation’s good (Gen 2:19-20). By pairs, Noah boards animals onto the ark, rescuing those who will join him in filling a cleansed creation (Gen 7:2-3). In the new … More Lambs, Lions, and Christmas
You know the moral of the story. Everyone knows the moral of the story. But do you know the story behind the moral? Every story teaches powerful lessons, whether explicitly or implicitly. We pick up on these lessons, by ethical osmosis, even if we don’t get them quite right or we wonder what exactly the … More The Moral of the Story and the Story of the Moral
Analogies can be so convenient. They’re so flexible, fillable, moldable. Especially in this particular election season. There’s a cluster of interesting comparisons flying around Christian discussions about the upcoming election. Each time Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proves afresh that his public moral train wreck of the past three decades is still a glowing heap … More Donald Trump as King David?