There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Archive for contra despair

what do you do when you sin?

so how do you respond when you know that you’ve sinned? Despair? Denial?

Here’s Paul Tripp’s notions:

Between Two Worlds: Paul Tripp, “Whiter Than Snow”

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the beautiful counter-intuitiveness of the gospel

the most expensive expression of forgiveness continues to put and end to a devastating cycle of violence and retribution.  Where does one gather the resources to be able to forgive without simply denying the pain of what’s been lost?  Read here.

still hounded after all these years

in case you wanted to read more of Thompson’s poem we referred to last Sunday, here’s a link (with a nice feature, I might add: run your pointer over the underlined words, and wait for the balloon to appear with a gloss of the colloquial word or phrase!)


and then here’s a little wikipedia article on him, too.

Holy Week Meditation, Maundy Thursday, 2008

Holy Week Meditation, Maundy Thursday, 2008

Isaiah 53:7-9

Is. 53:7    He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

It’s been said that the Scriptures reveal something far more arresting than mere propositions and principles.  They put forth a drama-a drama of redemption. Read the rest of this entry »

letting the hair down

there’s a song I gravitate toward when I feel on the edge of despondency. It’s a song by the late Rich Mullins. It was a song that I, my college pastor, and two dear friends of mine sang on a couple occasions in worship–which may add to its resonance to my heart, since college was such a watershed season for me spiritually.

It’s his “If I stand”

the chorus begins with:

If I stand, let me stand on the promise, that You will pull me through
and I can’t let me fall on the grace that first brought me to you
If I sing, let me sing for the joy that has born in me this song

but it’s the last line that always gets me:

and if I weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home

do you ever think that the times of melancholy–whether short or protracted, intense or gradual like a gathering storm–are part of what God allows so that we might indeed not get too cozy with this form of existence and instead long for the as yet undisclosed country….that the struggle here is meant to whet the appetite of the soul for the feast yet to come?

even as I ask that question, the answer seems obvious: of course, God means for us to “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Col 3:2). But isn’t it interesting that part of what gets us to do that is not so much an act of will on or part, but an act of God to get us to long for such?

gotta go

on death and dying…..and hope

When’s the last time you’ve been around someone who is dying? And what would you have said (and how would you have said it) if called upon to offer them hope? And while we’re at it, why do you think this question isn’t relevant until you’re older?
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the community you keep

We’re very late in having seen Million Dollar Baby. Surely it will test your convictions. Instead of stepping into the fierce and complicated discussion on euthanasia though, I’d like to propose a question to all of you concerning a larger theme in the background of the movie. How does the community you keep shape your view of the world, of self, and of the point to life? If she had been in a different kind of community might her outlook have been different? Or should our view of present circumstances be the final arbiter, as she allowed them to be? Discuss.