Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Are We Here?

“Why are we here?” the young man asked.
The old man bowed his head.
“Love”…then silence. “Love”…more silence.
That’s all the old man said.

“I’m not sure that explains it all”,
The young man said with a smile.
Finally, the old man spoke again,
“Can you sit here for a while?”

“Sure”, replied the young man,
“Tell me of this love.”
The old man raised his head
And pointed up above.

“Do you believe in God, my son,
Or was it simply chance,
That filled the world with music
And made the atoms dance?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Earth and Heaven

On earth we walk in darkness, not knowing where to turn,
Knowing less and less, as more and more we learn.
“That sounds right to me, but on the other hand…”
Will there ever be a time we finally understand?

On earth our dreams get shattered; things can change so fast.
The world is moving our way, then suddenly a blast
From out of nowhere stops us, we never quite break through;
Is there a place beyond the rainbow where all our dreams come true?

On earth we don’t quite finish all the things we start;
Another incomplete, another missing part.
If we only had more time, we’ve only just begun.
Will there ever be a time when things, unfinished here, get done?

On earth we feel so empty, so dissatisfied;
Pleasure doesn’t make us happy, the television lied.
Money doesn’t fill the void; we yearn for something more.
Where is the missing piece we keep on searching for?

On earth we get hurt badly by people with no feeling,
We search in vain for a place of justice & of healing.
In anger we discover how unfair life can be,
Can nothing make it right? Can nothing set us free?

On earth we make mistakes and struggle with our guilt,
We wonder if a life destroyed can ever be rebuilt.
Our sins cost us more than we ever meant to pay.
Can we ever go back home once we’ve gone astray?

On earth our faith is challenged and helpless mothers cry,
When heartless men and nations let little children die.
Greedy systems murder with no one to indict.
Can all this senseless evil ever be made right?

On earth we hide from death and pray there’s something more.
We hope there is a Heaven, beyond that scary door.
When we lose our loved ones, there is no greater pain,
Are they gone forever? Will they live again?

All once lost will be restored, once bound will be set free.
Every good and perfect gift will ours forever be,
All the pain we knew on earth could never be made right
Will heal and be no more when bathed in heaven’s light

We are meant to be here and hell cannot defeat
The promises of God to make our lives complete;
To bring back all once lost, to make right all once wrong,
To heal our broken hearts, restore our silenced song.

It’s not so far away as many might perceive;
Love will bring it near if only we’ll believe
That we are deeply loved and nothing can compete
With what God has in store for us when like a grain of wheat

We fall to earth and die, but only to be raised
To see a perfect world and ‘ever be amazed.
Love received and given reveals what God will do
To overcome our pain and make our lives all new.

Love received and given reveals what God has done
To heal our selfish nature and make His children one.
As we forgive our debtors and give freely to the poor,
Instead of having less and less, we gather more and more

If only we could die to self and rise with Him in glory,
We'd finally know the truth and tell the old, old story
of victory in Jesus, joy in the midst of pain,
light in the midst of darkness, sunshine in the midst of rain.

There is a place by us not seen, where, by faith, we go.
There is a time by us not measured, where, by grace, we grow.
Living out what we receive within the Bread and Wine:
Dying, rising, loving…one with the Divine.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Balaam's ass

"God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and He's been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to speak through you, you need not think too highly of yourself. And if on meeting someone, you recognize right away what they are, listen to them anyway, because God spoke to Ballaam through his ass and He's been speaking through asses ever since," Rich Mullins.

Watch one of his final concerts here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

God Came To Us

God came to us long ago and said let there be light.
Time and space became for all a journey into night.

Beauty was His whisper, conscience heard Him speak,
Now and then He shouted through pain that made us weak.

He came to us again through prophets and the law,
Oh to see again the visions men of old once saw.

He came so close one starry night, and stayed for 30 years.
Our journey changed forever when God shed human tears.

He came afresh when all seemed lost - later it was said:
“Did we not recognize Him in the breaking of the bread?”

Saturday, August 29, 2009

To my Baptist friends

1. There is a downward pull throughout life against which we all struggle. It manifests itself in addiction, hatred, violence, depression, confusion, selfishness, arrogance, suffering, emptiness and a host of other destructive actions and social systems.

2. We all need help in overcoming that destructive force which is both internal and external . We may or may not be aware of our need. God must open our eyes.

3. God, working through other people, random circumstances, our own prayers and desires, etc., will provide that help.

4. ...If we don't resist...if we freely cooperate. Our cooperation involves faith, repentance, love, denying self, charity, worship, hope, etc.

5. This is a life-long process. Salvation is a process through time rather than a point in time. There will be many key moments along the way, but none of these can be labeled "the" moment of conversion.


I've been thinking of the girl in the news today who was kidnapped at age 11 and held as a slave for 18 years in the kidnappers backyard...bearing him two children. I have 3 daughters and the thought of such a tragic event leaves me asking why a loving, all powerful God allows such horror. I know all the traditional answers, but I also know that if that were my daughter, those answers would probably not satisfy me.

Is there an explanation? No, only a response. Job's wife told Job to "curse God and die", but Job said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him." I trust that somehow God was with her at some level beyond our comprehension, ...and that even though she must have cried out many times in 11 year old language, "Why hast Thou forsaken me?", there was and still will be a "resurrection" for her and her family.

Often, it's the fact that we don't know very much about life and eternity that gives me hope... that the answers to life's most difficult questions lie in that vast realm of unknowing. I simply trust that "the God of all the earth... will do what's right" and someday will "wipe away all tears from our eyes". I pray for her and her family's healing.