Friday, October 7, 2016

If I Were Naked

If I were naked and hungry
And nothing but Your grace on which to cling
A debt I could never satisfy
Would still be heaped upon my shoulders
A thousand lifetimes could never
Cover or begin to repay
So great a debt and earn Your love
With the third we have fallen
And when we had led an insurrection
Against all Heaven's beauty
You without fault, sent Your Son
Rejected by the learned and righteous
To shame the wise and redeem the lonely
When called one day before Your throne
Only in the shadow of your great righteousness
Will I be able to stand aright

I am a Christian Poet.  I have released two collections of poems.  I hope you will take the time to check them out at the posts below.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Facing the Jesus question

Consider the story of the nativity.  A simple and common maiden becomes pregnant, before marriage.  In the ancient culture, it is a wonder she was not stoned to death.  Ancient Israel was not the place to come home to dad, and tell him you are pregnant.  Her husband is yet another simple and common character.  It hardly seems the beginning of the story to come does it?

Bethlehem was nothing in the time of David, and it had changed very little since his life.  Think about this, Bethlehem is a tiny village in the tiny territory of Palestine, within the world power that was the Roman empire.  You would be hard pressed to find a more insignificant place in the world.  

When this young couple arrives in Bethlehem, there is no room for them.  They have to take up lodging in a stable.  They are surrounded by animals.  It had to be a disgusting place to stay the night.  Mary gives birth to a son.  They wrap him up and place him in a manger.  He is placed in a feed trough.  Who is there to celebrate the birth of this child?  Filthy shepherds!  Wise men come from the east after sometime, but the night of his birth, it is only shepherds who celebrate with the young couple.

This child grows to be an adult.  He comes from a rather common family.  It is doubtful that he would have been provided the type of education, that the Apostle Paul was.  He grows up in another insignificant place called Nazareth.  When he is grow, he becomes a wandering preacher.  When he gathers his followers, he selects a bunch of ruffians and social outcasts.  This ministry must appeared destined to failure. 

Instead of failure, this ministry turned the world upside-down.  Christianity spread across the globe, carried by these unlikely heroes of the faith.  We sit 2000 years later, and you would be hard pressed to deny the power of Christianity.

If we are honest, this is not the story we would write for Jesus.  If Jesus is the Son of God, then this whole story seems absolutely ridiculous.  I suppose it is the absurdity of the tale, that makes it so believable to me.  Honestly, if you were to write the story yourself, then wouldn't write it to be a little more spectacular?  It is the Son of God we are talking about.  

As simple as this story is, if would not be suprising if this story ended in the obscurity in which it started, but it doesn't.  This story lit the world on fire.  This simple story would go on to change the face of the world, and the nature of human religion for ages to come.  With the conversion of Constantine, Christianity displaced the myriad of gods in Roman culture.  This story went on to displaced the myriad of gods throughout northern Europe.  All of this seems so unlikely to me.  From the simple begining of this story, how could all of this have been accomplished?  When I look at the epic world changes caused by this simple peasant boy, I am left with only one answer.  He must be all that he said he was.  Were he merely a human child, then his story could have never have change the world in the manner that it has.  I am left like the Roman guard at the crucifixion, who said, "truly this is the Son of God".  I can find no other answer that will satisfy the mere confines of human logic.  Any other suggestion is merely ridiculous.  How will you face the Jesus question?  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: The God You Thought You Knew Alex McFarland

America probably has more printed Bibles per person, than every other country in the world.  It is unbelievable some of the ideas that people have about with the answers so close at hand.  God is subject that everyone seems to know everything they care to know, and simply don't feel they need to check their own ideas.
Many of people's thoughts of God come from Christianities dirty laundry.  Most folks have yet to read through the Bible, but they have had a bad experience with a Christian living outside the gospel.  Many have been judged by Christians, and all of us have seen supposed Christians protesting soldier funerals.  If that were the only picture you had of Christianity, then why would you want to learn about this God?
We have been slow as a church, in adjusting to the reality of a post-Christian culture.  We need to be the voices challenging the ideas people have about God.  Alex McFarland has done this in his book, "The God You Thought You Knew".  He takes each of the myths that people believe about God, and destroys them with the truth of God's word.  Each myth is replaced with the truth of the Gospel.  He covers great topics like the perceived intolerance of Christianity to the supposed dispelling of Faith through science.
Why would others seek out God, when they believe lies about the Faith?  We need to be pointing the world to the truth of God.  Alex McFarland points to a God that others will want to know more about.  Without piling on a lot of Christianese, McFarland presents a compelling picture of the God we have fallen in love.  The God that we love and wish to introduce others to.  If you have questions about God, then this is a perfect place to start.  If you are a believer and want answers to the questions of a post-Christian culture, then this a book you should add to your library.  I truly enjoyed this book and I hope you will too.