Thursday, July 10, 2014

The story of you. Me. Everyone.

Yes, it is. From Desiring God.

The Story of You
This is the story of your salvation. This story includes your conversion, but extends through time-twisting dimensions, immeasurable privileges, and lavish gifts beyond anything our brains can contain.

Start Here

Scripture’s first words capture creation’s first moments: “In the beginning, God. . .” (Genesis 1:1). And before the beginning — God. Before anything at all, before the first light shot through to introduce history’s first tick of the clock, God was enjoying eternal, trinitarian relationship with himself.

Then at some “point,” the Father, the Son, and the Spirit decided to make history — literally. This point happened “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). And there you are, at the beginning. God knew you before there was a “before,” at a time when the Father loved the Son, also “before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). You begin as part of a trinitarian plan, not yet as a created reality, but with the people whom the Father gave to the Son from out of a world he had not yet made (John 17:6). During this pre-creation era, God directed his will at you. You were chosen.

Go Down

But history had to happen first, in time. Your story continues when God formed Adam, his first jar of clay, from the dust of the ground (Genesis. 2:7). And you were there in Eden too. Before you were born, God anointed Adam to represent you specifically, and the rest of humanity with you (Romans 5:18–19). But our first king Adam failed, so you and the entire nation of humanity failed with him. That first sin heard ‘round the world kickstarted the long, checkered story of the Old Testament people — murder, floods, slavery, plagues, wars, and exiles.

And while that wild rush of redemptive history was unfolding, God knew you. With Jeremiah we say God knew us before he formed us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). God knew you in eternity before anything was made, and he knew you in history, before your arrival here on earth. And through the sometimes sordid story of God’s Old Testament people, all the authors of the Old Testament told the greater Story about the Redeemer who would some day fulfill every ancient promise (Luke 24:27; 44–48).

The Entrance

Then it happened. After thousands of years of waiting, the Father sent his Son down to his people, to walk around in history (John 5:36). The Son was to be the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45–47), the final King. Long ago, when the first Adam sinned, God told the serpent that his head would be bruised (Genesis 3:15). Later, as the last Adam’s cross punctured into the top of the “Place of a Skull” (John 19:17), history’s oldest redemptive promise came true.

But suffering on the cross was part of a bigger task Christ needed to accomplish (1 Corinthians 15:17–19). Even more was needed for your full redemption. Sin’s death grip on us demanded everything of Christ — his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. Christ needed not only to suffer, but to be glorified. And as difficult as it is for us to understand on this side of heaven, Scripture tells us that just as we were there in Eden with Adam, we were there in Israel with Christ — crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6), buried with Christ (Romans 6:4), raised with Christ (Romans 6:5), and as he ascended into heaven, seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). You were there.

You Are Here

Then came the day when God personally knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). You show up in redemptive history for the first time, your arrival planned and anticipated for ages. And at some point in your life history, you were brought out from under God’s wrath and united to Christ under God’s grace; from being represented by the first Adam to represented by the last Adam, Christ. Throughout the story of the world and the story of you, God has gathered his cloud of witnesses together (Hebrews 12:1), whether a child’s time on earth lasts for one minute or one century.

Start Again

And here you are, somewhere along the course of your Christian life. At some point in either your earthly or heavenly future — a few minutes from now, a few years off, or after a few more centuries have come and gone — the Son will come back to this alien land, this first earth (Revelation 21:1). He will gather together you and everyone else whom the Father has given to his Son (Mark 13:27), and you will finally be home. If you are in Christ, in one sense, you are already there.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Joy is Forever

from her writings on The Rabbit Room:


Anxiety is the devil. Fear is a taste of hell because it cuts us off from the ever-offered rest of God’s love. And fear cannot do one damn thing to avert the thing feared. Sorrow, on the other hand, is a kind friend, and when it comes, grace comes, too, and all the tender mercies of God. All fear is the fear of loss and death; all love comes with a price tag of pain; all true sorrow has its counterpoint of joy. And it’s real. We’re living it in the most vivid way. And if we’re running along the beach laughing at one moment and weeping over the grief that is coming the next, well then, this is life abundant, the full package. And the joy is more real than the grief because the joy is forever and the pain is for but the passing shadow of this life.


—Lanier Ivester

Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's going to get better. It is.
All this pain (that feels now like everything there is in all the world to feel) is going to roll up into a blink.
You will flip back through these pages and know how the story ends. You will smile because beauty chased you down in this present darkness. You will see how it found a way to surprise you when you least expected it.
You will look back at these terrible mountains you're climbing, the ones that take up all your hope and strength. You'll catch them in the corner of your eye while walking long and far from this despair.
Looking over your left shoulder, you will stop, sit in the grass, and trace the tops of this year with your finger. You will whisper, "Even still, I made it through."
Look how far you've come already. Look how much you've learned. You're growing through this. Your grief is not wasted. None of this is. In these fires you are deepening. You are being refined. The dross is being burned off. You are learning what love really means.
You are coming into the ranks of the holy worn, those blessed, ravaged few who have weathered mighty loss and found what remains.
Yes, you are dying, but there is life enough to sustain this death.
Yes, you are weak, but there is grace enough to sustain this weakness.
Yes, you are devastated, but there is strength enough to sustain this devastation.
There is stability enough for your anger and your confusion. In this breaking, you are upheld. In the terror that comes at the end of finding your own end, you are yet safe.
And there is a second gift, besides. There is something good for you to do next. Tomorrow when you wake, there will be someone in this world who needs your love.
Love will be an option, and you may choose it trembling. You may choose it second. You may choose it after hating first, and weeping, and lashing out.
But when you do choose love, your heart will grow from that choice.
Friend, this battle rages on and on and on, and it is full of blood, and earth, and sorrow, and fallings down. Let me kiss your wounds. I will cry over them tears of seeing.
I have been broken, too. See my scars.
Love, it is dark for you now. It is dark. But your enemies would have you quit fighting. They would tell you it is hopeless.
It is not hopeless. There is a way. There is a path that you can't see yet, just around the corner. It will open up to you like a yellow clearing in a black woods.
Tomorrow there will be one good thing for you to do, and then another good thing the next. Your hands will find good work. Step by step, it will fall like bread from ravens.
And then again, so very soon it will all be over. These days will be a sweet old song sung in a golden room, and your eyes will be clear, and your heart will be warm.
Hold fast, dear heart. Hold fast.
Listen while I whisper over you your true name. I remember who you are. I've seen you, royal one. You have the countenance of a child of a King.
Sleep now then tonight, because your body is tired and weak from the day.
Sleep knowing that I have prayed for you. And when I wake up in the night, I will pray for you again.
Remember that you are seen. Remember that you are known. Remember that you are loved.
Hold fast, dear heart. Hold fast. You are very nearly home.


The best thing i've read in weeks. A month since the death of my mom.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Whatever comes, we shall endure"

This song is an encouragement this morning. And the words O come O come Immanuel are good, year round!


Monday, April 28, 2014

I do what I must

























Work excruciatingly slow? Well, podcast up...and practice doing stuff you love. Then watch yourself amalgamate the two. My practice sheets during the BHP's gory stuff are hilarious...

Found this year:
The British History Podcast, or BHP
The History of English Podcast, or HEP
Radiolab

What are you listening to?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

starry juxtaposition

I read these two bits of writing within a couple days of each other, via Twitter. One from an author whose works have been on my to-read list for months, and another one I just happened across.

What a glorious thought.