Light to Live By

"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

Month: January 2014

The Course of Character

sorrow

“… when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” (Job 23:10b)

“Whatever else we may have, if we do not have character we have nothing. It is character that determines destiny. The only failure that matters in the end is the failure to build character. In ordinary life character is formed by overcoming difficulties. . . . We might be tempted to ask whether God can build character without suffering. That is a hypothetical question. He has not chosen to do so.” (John J. Murray, Behind a Frowning Providence, 14-15)

The Road of Real Learning

girl.elephant

“I walked a mile with Pleasure,

She chattered all the way,

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,

And ne’er a word said she,

But, oh, the things I learned from her

When Sorrow walked with me!”

–Robert Browning Hamilton

(William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, 1:89)

What If?

What if?

What if I can’t pay my bills?

What if I loose all life’s frills?

 

What if I get cancer?

What if there isn’t an answer?

 

What if my child’s in a crash?

What if it’s all gone in a flash?

 

What if my spouse leaves me?

What if she won’t hear my pleas?

 

What if I loose my home?

What if I’m forced to wander and roam?

 

What if my children don’t believe?

What if the faith they do leave?

 

What if my children rebel?

What if they don’t care about hell?

 

What if?

 

What if the war doesn’t end?

What if it only extends?

 

What if the tensions spike?

What if terrorists strike?

 

What if the economy takes a dive?

What if my nest egg doesn’t survive?

 

What if the other party wins?

What will happen to us then?

 

What if democracy fails?

What if we’re all thrown into jails?

 

What if our borders are breached?

What if the president’s impeached?

 

What if the races riot?

What’ll become of my calm quiet?

 

What if?

 

What if the sun were to shift?

What if the planets started to drift?

 

What if the moon lost its orbit?

What if the earth we couldn’t inhabit?

 

What if the air became foul?

What if we sputter and howl?

 

What if our waters became bitter?

What if the stars ceased to glitter?

 

What if gravity ceased to exist?

What if life as we know it doesn’t persist?

 

What if global warming is true?

What if reality looses its glue?

 

What if El Nino is back?

What if all just goes black?

 

What if?

What if the Bible is true?

What if all is not askew?

 

What if Jesus is God?

Would that really be too odd?

 

What if He did die for me?

What if salvation is free?

 

What if God is truly sovereign?

Couldn’t He solve this earth’s problem?

 

What if God is in control?

What if all is headed toward a goal?

 

What if God’s love is victorious?

What if He does look down over us?

 

What if Jesus does come again?

What if all then is made plain?

 

What if I did trust in Him?

Would all still seem so grim?

 

Yes, indeed, What if?

Newest Book: Progress Report

all books
Once again I faced that terrifying moment … last week I hit “send” to submit the completed manuscript on my latest book! It really is a traumatic moment for a writer. Letting go of your baby is not easily done. But I’m glad to say that I did so, and I did so (by God’s grace) two days before my deadline!

The working title is Life as Worship: When Reverence Defines Reality. The good folks at CLC Publications have contracted to get this work into print and into the hands of people. They’ve been great to work with on three of my other books already and I look forward to working with my editor to see it become all God wants it to be. And of course I look forward to seeing what God wants to do through this book.

I’d much appreciate your prayers as we continue the process of preparing the manuscript for publication. I don’t have a release date yet, but it should be sometime later in this new year.

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