I’m experimenting with podcasting. And it’s really difficult!. Anyway, I wrote a worship song – just a rough draft actually, and here’s the podcast link. (You have to right click, copy link location, and paste it to your podcaster or aggregator (I believe that’s what it’s called). Anyway, here’s the link to the song itself. It’s entitled “We Will Worship You”. Hopefully, I’ll get better at this.
birds chirping prayers
thanking God for wonders
of daily love and mercies
undeserved: such as bread
crumbs from nowhere and
straws with which to make
love nests – no need for worry!
The Father cares
He cursed the light
that once dispelled his darkness;
He blew the flame out
and stepped into the darkness
whence he came.
The light was but a flick'ring flame:
no real warmth, no steady light
The candle-bearers all
were walking in darkness still
(though showing off their candles);
they hurt him with their candle sticks:
candle flames burning soft thin skin.
Not enough to make a martyr's pyre,
But enough to make an infidel.
And the light died out
– 'twas his wish –
Yet his soul cried out:
"Let there be light!"
Have I time to listen truly
To the still small voice of Heaven?
'Tis to mortal ears not given,
But the broken heart hears clearly.
I seek solitude most often;
In the silences I listen:
Learn to love His voice more fully;
"Not my will be done – Thine only!"
Do dreamers still row their boats
In the soft and misty air?
I used to be one of them –
Starry-eyed and impractical.
My fingers knew how to push a pen
But bread was not forth-coming.
So rather than starve and drop
I chose to plant my feet on earth;
At least, assured of daily bread,
Some sort of peace was well in place,
Not to mention “respectability”!
“At last he’s come to his senses!”
But I lost so much, which no one knew:
I lost the sense of who I was
(I mean the truth of who I really was).
I was so distant from myself;
I knew not how to find me. How
Can I be lost when I am here?
The stars I held so gently in my hands
Died out last night and turned to dust.
My eyes no longer shine and sparkle
(I am a man engaged in serious things).
“Balder the beautiful is dead.” I weep!
"Balder the beautiful is dead." I sleep …
What do you when you go into Philippine Christian Book Store and find that new books have arrived? You reach out your hand, pull out the books, go to the cashier, reach into your wallet, close your eyes and pray that your wife won't get mad when you get home! But here are the new books:
1. David Wells' Above All Earthly Pow'rs (about Postmodernism, something I'm very interested in. Now all that remains is God in the Wasteland and my collection is complete)
2. B.K. Kuiper's The Church in History (for my Church History class which I will be teaching in June)
3. Piper's God is the Gospel (John Piper is such a blessing!)
4. Iain Murray's D. Martyn Lloyd Jones: The First Forty Years (The search is over! I already have volume 2, The Fight of Faith. Now finally I have volume 1)
5. Peterson's Subversive Spirituality (Eugene Peterson of The Message fame)
I fell asleep watching The Gospel of Judas on National Geographic. That was how exciting it was for me. But the next day my sister-in-law and her husband told me they were intrigued by it and started asking questions like "Is the gospel of Judas true?" It dawned on me that for people who are not that familiar with theology, church history and the issues posed by the gospel of Judas something like this can be faith-shaking. Which means I can't afford to consider these things as unimportant; I have to read up on these so that I can be "ready to give an answer."
Which leads me to the Da Vinci code. Again, it's one of those things that ordinarily I do not find interesting enough to get me to lay aside temporarily Calvin, Owen or Barth so as to plunge into Dan Brown instead. But a friend lent me Dan Brown's Angels and Demons and, of course, The Da Vinci Code – required reading for the holy week! What can I do? It was impolite to refuse and he was really excited about lending me those books. Anway, I now think it's a duty to read Dan Brown – a Christian apologetical responsibility, so to speak. By the way, the movie's coming out in May and the question is, "Should I go and watch it?" Frankly, I think I might do just that. But here's a contrary view that makes me hesitate. I'm providing the link to this contrary view for anyone who wants to make up his or her mind. To see or not to see? That is the question!
For those who'll be watching The Gospel of Judas episode on National Geographic (which will be airing in a few minutes as I write this) and who might think that this gospel is no more, no less than "gospel truth", better read what James White has to say about it here.
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
(A sermon preached to high school students)
"Whoever says that he lives in God should live just as Jesus Christ did."
(I John 2:6, TEV)
This is an important question because (1) the world is watching whether we're genuine or not (2) and the world is wondering whether we really have something to offer that will make a difference. For many people we're the only Jesus they'll ever see. The main answer to the question What Would Jesus Do? is: Jesus would do that which would glorify his Father. "Father bring glory to your name." (John 12:28) "I showed your glory on earth." (John 17:4) In particular:
I. JESUS LISTENED TO HIS FATHER'S WORD. "… the Father who has sent me has commanded me what I must say and speak." (John 12:49) "… I have told you everything I heard from my Father." (John 15:15) Are we also taking time to listen to the Father's word? Do we regularly read the Bible?
II. JESUS OBEYED HIS FATHER'S WILL. "My food is to obey the will of him who sent me." (John 4:34) Are we obedient? Do we obey God's will for our lives especially as it is found in the Bible?
III. JESUS DID HIS FATHER'S WORK. " My Father works always, and I too must work." (John 5:17; c.f., John 4:34 and John 17:4). Jesus was a carpenter for most of his life; he preached for only around 3 years. If we want to be like Jesus and to do as he did we should be diligent in the work God has called us to do. The Bible teaches that God saves people so that they can do the good works which God has prepared for them to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10) We should be "zealous for good works" and "not slothful in business."
IV. JESUS LOVED HIS FATHER'S WORLD. (John 3:16). He shared his Father's love for the world by dying on the cross for our sins. Do we also have this same love for the world? Do we share the gospel of God's love with those who need to know about it? And do we live out the gospel in terms of loving acts?
“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
— THOMAS MERTON, Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander, (Image Books, 1968 ed.) p. 86