Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Prayer


O God, we thank you for all those in whose words and in whose writings your truth has come to us. For the historians, the psalmists and the prophets, who wrote the Old Testament; for all those who in every generation have taught and explained and expounded and preached the word of Scripture: we thank you, O God.
Grant, O God, that no false teaching may ever have any power to deceive us or to seduce us from the truth. Grant, O God, that we may never listen any teaching which would encourage us to think sin less serious, vice more attractive, or virtue less important; grant, O God, that we may never listen to any teaching which would dethrone Jesus Christ from the topmost place; grant, O God, that we may never listen to any teaching which for its own purposes perverts the truth.
God, our Father, establish us immovably in the truth. Give us minds which can see at once the difference between the true and the false; make us able to test everything, and to hold fast to that which is good; give us such a love of truth, that no false thing may ever be able to lure us from it. So grant that all our lives we may know, and love, and live the truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.[i]




[i] William Barclay, Prayers for the Christian Year (New York: Harper, 1965); quoted in Vernon Grounds, “The Truth About Truth,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Volume 38, No. 2 (June 1995), 228-229.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bitter

Of all futilities,
those known as such,
                               and also impossible to avoid,


are the bitterest of all.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy, unhappy

Virtuous happiness issues its arduous demands. Happiness on the cheap is repellent and repugnant. Heron can do that, as can orgies (or any sort). Full bodied happiness is steeped in sorry, grief, and lament. It refuses to despair, which is giving up on the God of hope and life. Yet happiness oblivious to pain (human an animal) is cruel, self-centered, and enervating. Happiness worth its stinging salt, slogs through groans, moans, tears, quakes, fear panic, and unbidden but inevitable sufferings.  Happiness looks behind (to the Cross of Christ); it looks ahead (to the return of Christ); it looks within (to Christ with, if...he resident in the soul by regenerating grace); it looks above to Christ on his resplendent Throne; it looks below to the everlasting arms. It listens for the laugh of love, but not without hearing the searing wail of woes untold and uncounted. Love is, love is as strong as death--and stronger still. That thick red blood triumphs over its wounds--but that blood (of Christ, creature, and creation. Thus, I am a against happiness, for happiness, under God.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spouse A (not chronically ill): I am writing a despair poem.
Spouse B (chronically ill): I do not have time for that.

Who is more pathetic?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This woeful world can rub you raw, raw.
Press on to acknowledge God; pray on to bring God's blessings down--with Christ Jesus as your justification and hope.
Love is the work of a lifetime of receiving grace and giving it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sentiment, when mixed with gratitude, makes for beauty.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Patience

Patience is the better part of love.

Monday, June 11, 2012

How?

How does one prepare for the balance of one's life when one knows it will require endless misery and decline of the one you love the most? It will engulf you in the sorrows, sickness, and despair. How can one ready oneself for the unendurable? You cannot. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," said Jesus, the Man of Sorrows.

Damn it

Flattened affect, uncommunicative, non-emphatic doctors make life miserable, no matter how "skilled" he or she may be. You are dealing with persons, Doctor X, not a collection of symptoms, damn it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Doctor Visits

The chronically ill and their caregivers know how difficult and crucial doctor appointments are. We need wisdom, courage, and grace to listen, respond, and be present in a godly way. I pray for myself, our doctor, and my wife before, during, and after such appointments. I hope you do so as well.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Strategy

Folks: I am trying to increase my number of FB "friends," strictly for ministry purposes. (And there are some old friends I'd like to follow, too.) I want to get the word out on apologetics, ethics, culture, and more. So feel free to invite your friends to contact me. I am also on Twitter (#DougGroothuis) and have several other blogs.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ashes


Words broken, shattered, scattered--
hurled into the burning coals,
then becoming ashes,
acres of ashes,
now chocking down into the throat
burning into the eyes.

Ashes.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Prayer

Oh sovereign and God and Triune God, raise up an anointed army of prayer ministers with spiritual discernment and the gift of supernatural healing. Shake the world of disease; replace it with restoration, joy, and evidence of the truth of your Kingdom. God, increase our faith and may we do mighty exploits in the name and power of our God. In the strong name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen and Amen.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Even in Illness and Pain...

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.--Romans 12:9-13.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

 Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery. 


I know it well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

To the memory impaired, even one's home is a haunted house.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pain, God

In our most agonizing pain, God appears to be, feels to be, a sadist. But, in fact, he is the most skillful surgeon, whose operations we cannot fathom at this time. The proof of his competence is the Cross and Resurrection, which we can understand.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Alternating between misery, agony, and temporary amnesia about the first two.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jimi Hendrix, "I Don't Live Today"

Will I live tomorrow? 
Well, I just can't say 
Will I live tomorrow? 
Well, I just can't say 
But I know for sure 
I don't live today 
No sun comin' through my windows 
Feel like I'm livin' at the bottom of a grave 
No-ho sun comin' through my windows 
Feel like I'm livin' at the bottom of a grave 
I wish you'd hurry up and rescue me 
So I can be on my miserable way. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Book of Common Prayer, 1928

Dedication of Soul and Body to God’s Service,
with a Resolution to be growing daily in Goodness.

AND since it is of thy mercy, O gracious Father, that another day is added to our lives; We here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to thee and thy service, in a sober, righteous, and godly life: in which resolution, do thou, O merciful God, confirm and strengthen us; that, as we grow in age, we may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayer for Grace to enable us to perform that Resolution.

BUT, O God, who knowest the weakness and corruption of our nature, and the manifold temptations which we daily meet with; We humbly beseech thee to have compassion on our infirmities, and to give us the constant assistance of thy Holy Spirit; that we may be effectually restrained from sin, and incited to our duty. Imprint upon our hearts such a dread of thy judgments, and such a grateful sense of thy goodness to us, as may make us both afraid and ashamed to offend thee. And, above all, keep in our minds a lively remembrance of that great day, in which we must give a strict account of our thoughts, words, and actions to him whom thou hast appointed the Judge of quick and dead, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Grace to guide and keep us the following Day,
and for God’s Blessing on the business of the Same.

IN particular, we implore thy grace and protection for the ensuing day. Keep us temperate in all things, and diligent in our several callings. Grant us patience under our afflictions. Give us grace to be just and upright in all our dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all men, according to our abilities and opportunities. Direct us in all our ways. Defend us from all dangers and adversities; and be graciously pleased to take us, and all who are dear to us, under thy fatherly care and protection. These things, and whatever else thou shalt see to be necessary and convenient to us, we humbly beg, through the merits and mediation of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tears

Whey you cry.
When tears come.
Let them dry
on their own
before the Throne.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Paucity of Emoticons

None of the Google Mail emoticons are weeping.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Truth for Those Who Suffer and Fear

Isaiah 28:16

New International Version (NIV)

16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Consolation

A tragedy requires that I write a consolation message to a young couple who lost their unborn twins. I need wisdom from above to write the right thing in the right way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book of Common Prayer, 1928

For a Person under Affliction.

O MERCIFUL God, and heavenly Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men; Look with pity, we beseech thee, upon the sorrows of thy servant for whom our prayers are offered. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy; endue his soul with patience; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; lift up thy countenance upon him, and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Accept

I
accept
your
tears.
God,
please give her
her mind back.
Have mercy on her and us.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pathetic--Empathic

The deeply pathetic should arouse in us, call forth, the deeply empathic--not ignorance, disgust or anger. God is love and watches all of us, willing to give us God-inspired feelings to fit the devestations of the fall.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Good Friday Reflection

Suffering, rightly embraced becomes a crucible.
That is no easy skill.
Crucible refers to the Cross of Christ.
Therefore, affirming and accepting the suffering
as a Crucible
can make one more like Jesus Christ,
who died and rose from the dead--
but not one without the other.

Remember not to forget

Unremembered exigencies later emerge

as monsters,

ready to consume

peace and productivity.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

One cannot make one's peace with impossible imperatives,
imperatives,
imperatives.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Consider

Dear Healthy People:

Not everyone is like you, even if they look normal. Many suffer terribly from chronic illnesses that rob them of mental acuity, physical stamina, and hope. They need patience; they need you to go the second mile; they need sympathy.

These poor folks do not need angry outbursts or lectures on toughing it out. They do not need your disgust that their disease is an inconvenience to you. Consider what their maladies do to them. Reflect on the emotional pain you add to them by your unloving actions. You are compounding their misery and perhaps turning it into agony. You are needlessly increasing sorrow in this world of vanity and vexation of spirit. You are being unwise and foolish. You are re-wounding those already broken, bleeding, and deeply wounded.

Healthy people, for God's sake, use your health (which others lack) to minister to the chronically ill, to help lighten the load. Listen to the laments--and enter into them.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Narrative Thins Out

In literature, we find several styles of narrative. Consider the thick, psychologically complex story-telling of Dostoevsky on the one hand; on the other, think of Hemingway's sparse, thin, and muted accounts of people and events.

Many those now stricken with debilitating chronic illness once had robust and Dostoevskian narratives: their minds were active, their memories deep, their affections complex and well-suited to the varied circumstance of life under the sun. They were quite fully alive: complex, but robust and fascinating.

Then, it struck: one of the sickeningly many chronic illnesses. You supply the one that has most wounded you the most. The narrative now alters, even dramatically; it thins out; loses weight and depth: the sentences are shorter, as are the paragraphs; the page count diminishes. One is shunted into a kind of Hemingway world. Much is lost. (I am not pitting writer against writer, but simply using their respective styles to illustrate a point.)

As a soul's narrative moves from thick to thin, part of the person is lost--or strangely changed. The body refuses to perform the acts of the old story line. The mind slows and cannot summon its former memories, cannot accomplish skills so easily done yesterday. Survival becomes more important than adventure. One tries to endure, not prevail.

Those who witness this painful peeling away, this cruel diminution of faculties must learn to read a new story--not forgetting the old, thicker life, but not expecting it to return either. The wounded person, made in God's image (come what may), is still there, there, there. But the newer chapters of the life story seem to be composed by someone not a little different than the one who composed the earlier ones. The stylistic shift is jarring, wearing, and lamentable.

Yet, "love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13). We must love the person who is there, no matter how withered, wilted, or wronged by this groaning world of woe, still awaiting its final redemption.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yearning

Yearning for the beloved dead
to return with their love on earth again.

Yearning for the beloved living now largely dead through
diseases,
dementia,
diverse degeneration--

here, but mostly...gone
in their ghostly, haunting, daunting presence
(or proximity).

Come quickly, Oh dead and resurrected One.
Being heaven back to earth:
forever this time.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meditation on Ecclesiastes 7:1-6.

Let godly sorry do its good work,
and resist not
its edifying wounds.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Friday, March 23, 2012

LovE

Love,
thy wounds
are red, deep, raw,
-- and necessa
ry.

Blocked!

I blocked the bimbos! Sorry it took so long. God have mercy on them and the organization that promotes pornography.

Bimbo Alert!

Bimbos have infested my "followers" again, folks. Please be patient as I figure out how to kick their hussy butts off of my page.

Malediction

Malediction, imprecation,
cruel conviction in diction.

Hurled like sharpest spears
out of the fiery mouth,
prepared in
a wounded and vengeful heart.

Then they lodge deep into another heart.
And burn,
and burn,
and sap life, hope, and faith.

"The power of life and death is in the tongue."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tears

Do not dry all your tears.
Wear the best of them,
they are your badge, even
as they dry.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lamentations 3

1 [a]I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the LORD’s wrath.
2 He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
3 indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.

4 He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
and has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
6 He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.

7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
he has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I call out or cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
he has made my paths crooked.

10 Like a bear lying in wait,
like a lion in hiding,
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me
and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.

13 He pierced my heart
with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
and given me gall to drink.

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.

34 To crush underfoot
all prisoners in the land,
35 to deny people their rights
before the Most High,
36 to deprive them of justice—
would not the Lord see such things?

37 Who can speak and have it happen
if the Lord has not decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that both calamities and good things come?
39 Why should the living complain
when punished for their sins?

40 Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the LORD.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven, and say:
42 “We have sinned and rebelled
and you have not forgiven.

43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us;
you have slain without pity.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can get through.
45 You have made us scum and refuse
among the nations.

46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths
wide against us.
47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls,
ruin and destruction.”
48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes
because my people are destroyed.

49 My eyes will flow unceasingly,
without relief,
50 until the LORD looks down
from heaven and sees.
51 What I see brings grief to my soul
because of all the women of my city.

52 Those who were my enemies without cause
hunted me like a bird.
53 They tried to end my life in a pit
and threw stones at me;
54 the waters closed over my head,
and I thought I was about to perish.

55 I called on your name, LORD,
from the depths of the pit.
56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
to my cry for relief.”
57 You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”

58 You, Lord, took up my case;
you redeemed my life.
59 LORD, you have seen the wrong done to me.
Uphold my cause!
60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance,
all their plots against me.

61 LORD, you have heard their insults,
all their plots against me—
62 what my enemies whisper and mutter
against me all day long.
63 Look at them! Sitting or standing,
they mock me in their songs.

64 Pay them back what they deserve, LORD,
for what their hands have done.
65 Put a veil over their hearts,
and may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them
from under the heavens of the LORD.

Footnotes:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Prayer

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
*
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

________________________________

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ecclesiastes 4, King James Version
4

1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
2 Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead, more than the living which are yet alive.
3 Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 ¶ Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
5 ¶ The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.
6 ¶ Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
7 ¶ Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.
8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
9 ¶ Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; forhe hath not another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 ¶ Better is a poor and a wise child, than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.
14 For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.
15 I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.
16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh, the agony of watching someone disintegrate before your eyes, ears, and heart.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Can

Can you lovingly give more love?
Can you lovingly receive more love?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Never turn a deaf ear to a broken heart.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book of Common Prayer

For a Person under Affliction.

O MERCIFUL God, and heavenly Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men; Look with pity, we beseech thee, upon the sorrows of thy servant for whom our prayers are offered. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy; endue his soul with patience; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; lift up thy countenance upon him, and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." -- 2 Corinthians 4:17

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book of Common Prayer

A Collect for Peace.

O GOD, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace, which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee, we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book of Common Prayer

Prayer for God’s Protection through the Night following.

IN particular, we beseech thee to continue thy gracious protection to us this night. Defend us from all dangers and mischiefs, and from the fear of them; that we may enjoy such refreshing sleep as may fit us for the duties of the coming day. And grant us grace always to live in such a state that we may never be afraid to die; so that, living and dying, we may be thine, through the merits and satisfaction of thy Son Christ Jesus, in whose Name we offer up these our imperfect prayers. Amen.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Book of Common Prayer

For Quiet Confidence.

OGOD of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength; By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Guidance.

OGOD, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly; Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of Wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Acedia

Sitting, not doing.
Barely being.

Staring--at nothing.

Acedia.

Monday, February 6, 2012

For Quiet Confidence. Book of Common Prayer

O GOD of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength; By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A good friend of mine went to bed hungry, along with his wife, recently. They are godly missionaries in the US. Pray, please!
Woe is the weather front moving in to
double, triple...the miseries
of so many
chronically ill,
chronically down,
chronically chronic.

How can one prepare for
intensified misery that is unavoidable?
Is dread preparation?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book of Common Prayer

Written prayers in The Book of Common Prayer are often my only way to pray. Pain and sorrow can bring out intercessory passion and even eloquence, but they can also silence it. These prayers, many of which are written for the trials of sickness, give a biblical voice to our yearnings, fears, and hopes. I commend them to you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hope and Truth

What if hope cannot extend beyond human endeavor itself and is never answered by anything beyond it? What if the millennia of human cries echo only into the empty sky and not further? That possibility must be faced if the quest itself is to have any meaning. In the end, hope without truth is pointless. Illusions and delusions, no matter how comforting or grandiose, are the enemies of those who strive for integrity in their knowing and being. Statements such as "I like to think of the universe as having a purpose" or "The thought of an afterlife gives me peace" reflect mere wishes. These notions do not address the truth or falsity of there being purpose in the world or of our postmortem survival, because there is no genuine claim to knowledge: a warranted awareness of reality as it is. A hearty, sturdy and insatiable appetite for reality--whatever it might be--is the only engine for testing and discerning truth. (D. Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, p.16)
The fall of humanity is admittedly difficult to fathom; however, once it is admitted into our worldview, the enigmas of the human condition are explained and the human landscape is illuminated as never before. Douglas Groothuis "Christian Apologetics"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Capacities

Book of Common Prayer

In Pain

Lord Jesus Christ, by your patience in suffering you hallowed earthly pain and gave us the example of obedience to your Father's will: Be near me in my time of weakness and pain; sustain me by your grace, that my strength and courage may not fail; heal me according to your will; and help me always to believe that what happens to me here is of little account if you hold me in eternal life, my Lord and my God. Amen.


A friend of mine lost his young wife to cancer many years ago. She said to him, while dying, that she could not believe the human body's capacity for pain. That remark has haunted me since I first heard if over a decade ago. One wishes not to know such things, but they cannot be un-known once known. They linger, unbidden.

It now strikes me that the soul has untold capacities for emotional pain,
astonishing depths of despair...
and acres of acidic aching--
the miasma of myriad torments,
the abyss of agonies seemingly unrelenting and unforgiving.
And unbearable.

Yet Christ, yet Christ
suffered far, far worse:
"My God, my God.
Why have your forsaken me?!"

Then he died,
was buried.

And rose again, never forgetting
the worst wounds the world could inflict
or the eternal reward that God could provide.

God, have mercy on me,
a miserable sinner.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wondering

There are a number of people following this blog, but few comment. It is lonely. One wonders if there is a point to it, then. Is there?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yes and No

There is meaning.
There is suffering.

Is there meaning in suffering?
Christianity says, Yes.
Buddhism says, No.

I side with Jesus Christ,
crucified, dead, buried, and
raised eternal.

I can rejoice with him.
I can lament with him.
I must wait on and for him.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

There is something wrong with the world.
We all know this.
We all feel this.

What can be done?
And what do we do
when nothing can be done?

Lament: before God,
and wait.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Giants cower at the sound of a bird.
Amnesiac clowns march unafraid.
Demons laugh.
Angels cry.
The world groans and heaves in the impossible present awaiting its ineluctable future.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Someone has put an immodest photo on the follower part of this page. I am sorry. I am trying to get rid of it.
Woe
upon woe
upon woe.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sensitive is too mild of a word for it, really

Please read this excellent article on being kind to folks with chemical sensitivities. It is written by my friend, Sherri Connell.

Really?

"He's so patient with you."
"Well, yes, when there is an audience."
"Oh..."