My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

20 April 2007

Current events

I know I almost always post a link to Peggy Noonan's latest column, but here it is again, this time on the VaTech murders. She is one of our finest cultural critics, hands down. Actually, you can have email you their "Opinion Journal" every day, which includes Noonan's column once a week or so.

On a different, but perhaps related note: have you kept up on the murder of Christians in Turkey? It kind of slips through the net in a week like this, but here are three brothers wearing the crown of martyrdom for the glory of Christ, testifying by their death to the essential conflict between the followers of Christ and every other religion, including Islam.

19 April 2007

Responding to Evil

I was just looking through some of the victims of this week's shootings in Virginia. The NYTimes should be commended for putting a human face on what the media has turned into a sickening circus.

One of the far more sobering reasons to sing the Psalms is to be able to react to evil according to God's plan; many Christians look to the Pslams to give Biblical voice to their joy. But Jesus' songs have much to say about wickedness and evil, too. And they give us a chance to say it in a way that we know pleases God.

The two churches in town (Lafayette RPC and Immanuel RPC) have planned for a while to have a joint psalm sing this Sunday night. We've decided to focus the night on "Responding to Evil through the Psalms." I hope to post the service outline, to give you a sense of how the Psalms can help in a week this - but I'd rather you come and sing with us, to experience rather than just learn!

18 April 2007


Man, it's true. I'm getting bad at blogging. I hope to do a couple book reviews the meantime, here are some general points of interest or non-interest as the case might be.
  • Olivetti baby #4 is on his/her way. Yea wife! Yea God! (Pray for strength - it looks like there will be about a month when we have four children under the age of four.)
  • We're also trying to sell our house. Right now we live in the north part of Lafayette and we'd really like to be in West Lafayette, living near those we're seeking to build up in faith. We've had some interest (actually, there's someone looking at this very second - how exciting!).
  • Immanuel is turning into a healthy little church - not that there's always excellence in smallness, but I'm glad to see God blessing our fellowship and building strong relationships. I've also been blessed to see several folks really grow in the quantity and quality of their service to the kingdom of heaven. We hope to find some effective roads of outreach this summer, so you can pray for that, if you're inclined.
  • Movie review: The lovely bride and I really enjoyed Stranger than Fiction. It's not perfect in purity, but quite thoughtful. And with a great soundtrack.
  • As an early birthday present, my parents told us they're taking us to see Alison Kraus & Union Station this summer. I hope I can preach the next morning without a really goofy grin on my face.
  • Finally, my little brother is graduating from law school next month! We're glad to hear he and his wife are moving back to Indianapolis. It'll be great to have them around more.

Have a great Thursday, everybody.

06 April 2007

It is a good Friday

Almost 2,000 years ago a man died for me. Knowing my name, knowing the number of hairs on my head, he died for me. Knowing that I hated him, he died for me. Knowing my worthlessness and weaknesses, he died for me. The God of vengeance visited his own son so he might pass me over. Blood of infinite worth and power was spilled for me. Nails between his bones held him up on a wooden stake so he could suffocate to death for me. Thorns squeezed blood from his head because he was a king not yet ascended. Crowds mocked and I would have too, if I was there. Or, maybe I'm the thief and not a soldier. Maybe my eyes, these 2,000 years later, would be open to truth in all its beauty. Maybe my ears have heard the amazingly gracious promise, "Today you will be with me in paradise." Like that thief, I have done nothing to earn these words from the dying Savior.

On this day, grace was so amazing that it approached insanity. As the heart fills with gratitude, the mind swirls in incredulity - How can this be? How does this work? What kind of God would make a deal like that for me? And then heart and mind combine to confess with the apostle, O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! I am no detective of grace, no investigator of God's wisdom, no explorer of his ways. The depths cannot be plumbed and grace's motivation cannot be fathomed. I am a thief, dying. Dying yet holding in my hand an invitation to a feast. And what a feast! But that's for another day. This is Friday, the day a man died for me.